I’ve been practicing for 25 years. About 21 years ago, I stumbled on my first
employment case, and I fell in love. Ever since that time, I’ve focused on
employment exclusively over the course of the last 21 years. In terms of my
education, I went to the University of Florida from 1982 to 1986. I graduated
with a Bachelor’s in journalism and communications from UF. Knowing that I
always wanted to be a lawyer, I then went to Cornell Law School in upstate New
York to get my JD degree.
After I left law school, I came back to Central Florida. My parents were elderly at
the time, and I wanted to live and work close to where they were living and
working. I began my career, doing complex commercial litigation, mostly
focusing on federal court litigation. Then I stumbled on an employment case
about a year or three or four into my practice. I then went to Baker Hostatler,
where I worked for about 19 months. Then I was given the chance to be part of
the opening of a new office for a national labor employment boutique firm,
where I then went for several years.
The last two law firms, I was the managing partner of the Orlando office of
Fischer and Philips. Then I subsequently became a managing partner of the
Orlando Office of Livel and Mendalson, which is the world’s largest employment
firm, with a thousand lawyers in 56 offices across the world.
The cases are very interesting. They involve real people, real issues, real
circumstances. It’s not arguing over a contract or something esoteric that lacks
much meaning in people’s lives. Work place law impacts people. One of the
things that we all cherish in our lives includes family, faith, work. Work is such a
big component that the law or cases involving work are very impactful in
people’s lives. What I enjoy about an individualized practice is number one, I get
to work with my wife. She and I used to work together years ago. I used to be
her boss at the firm that we worked at together. It was really one of the best
periods of my professional career, working with her. Given her intelligence and
her abilities as a lawyer, I really enjoyed my time working with her very much.
Over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of different organizations in the
community. Early on, I was president of the Hispanic Bar Association in the mid
’90s. I also worked with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at Metro Orlando,
having served on its board of directors for a number of years, and ultimately as
its chairman in 2007, 2008. I’ve also done probono work through the Orange
County Bar Association, helping indigent individuals in a variety of legal issues.
I’ve also served on the board of directors for the Center for Drug-free Living for
more than 20 years. It’s been an amazing experience to be able to really be part
of not only the community, but also as a lawyer. Also to be a contributor to a
community that has given me so much. It is often said that to those who much is
given, much is expected, so I view it as my obligation to not only serve and be
committed to my clients as a lawyer, but also, to be a contributing member of