Lawyer Snapshot: Paul M. Renner


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  • | 12:00 p.m. August 20, 2012
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Age: 45

Family: Working on it

Pets: Dog, Mia

Education: Davidson College – B.A. history; University of Florida – J.D.

Admitted to the Florida Bar: 1994

Employed by: Milam Howard Nicandri Dees & Gillam

Field of Practice: Commercial litigation, including commercial landlord tenant, construction, corporate, partnership, and general contract disputes, trademark and copyright infringement, and probate litigation.

Professional Organizations: The Jacksonville Bar Association, chair – Commercial Litigation Law Section; co-chair Civic Affairs, Southside Business Men’s Club; board member, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Northeast Florida Chapter; member, Gator Bowl Committee; member, Westside Business Leaders Association; commander, United States Navy Reserve (deployed to Afghanistan in 2011)

How did you get involved?

I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, leaving our law firm in December 2010 and returning to work in January 2012. Serving in Afghanistan was a great opportunity for public service and I wanted to continue that here in Jacksonville upon my return. Involvement in a Bar committee is a great way to contribute to the knowledge and professionalism of our local Bar.

How can someone else get involved?

Join a Jacksonville Bar committee. The plan for our Commercial Litigation Committee is to meet twice a quarter, once to socialize and network and once to address a substantive topic of interest to commercial litigators. If you are a commercial attorney, we welcome your ideas for topics that will add value to your practice, as well as possible venues for our social events.

What have you learned/achieved through the experience?

I have only been chairman of the Commercial Litigation Committee for a couple of weeks, but look forward to the experience. However, I learned a number of lessons from my experience in Afghanistan, in the transition from lawyer to intelligence officer and back again. A key lesson is the importance of having a law firm where you are supported by great partners, associates and legal assistants. Everyone in our firm really stepped up and assisted in providing quality service for my clients and cases and made sure other important matters were handled timely. More broadly, the deployment reminded me of the great country we have and the critical importance of the rule of law. In many countries, a small dispute may start a generation of blood feuds among families or tribes, but here we appeal to neutral principals to fairly resolve disputes. I have seen the devastating consequences for countries that do not have our strong tradition and commitment to the rule of law and it has re-doubled my commitment to preserve and strengthen the rule of law here at home.

What was the last book you read or are reading?

“Reading Law: The Interpretation of Texts,” by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner