Why did you decide to become an attorney?
I grew up working in my Dadís law office and admired the fairness and integrity of the people I met there. I believe it is a helping profession and give my best efforts at maintaining integrity and obtaining the best possible outcome for my clients and their children.
What experiences (work and personal) help you to be a better attorney?
I had at least five part-time jobs while attending law school and running my own small business so I understand many of the struggles that people face every day. I have experienced both the pain of divorce and also the loss of my second wife of many years who died of cancer. I was a single parent for many years, and am now in a happily blended family with my wife, Cynthia. Together, we have five children from age 17 to 25. I have both the legal background and the personal insight to help my clients obtain the best possible outcome for their situation.
What made you choose your primary area of law?
This area of law is an odd combination of law and psychology: People come to us when they are facing the most difficult and important decisions of their lives: having lost a loved one, planning for their heirs, accepting an unwanted end to their marriage, escaping from a bad one, or fighting for their children or their grandchildren's future. Every personís story, and therefore every case, is unique. Helping people through a rough situation is very rewarding. Many of my clients stop by years later to let me know their story turned out well.
What makes your law firm unique?
I and my associate, Dora Wagner, listen to the objectives, needs and desires of each client and tailor our efforts toward those ends. Often bringing those objectives into the world of reality is necessary, in an effort to reach a fair result, which is our goal. Dora, has been with me since she graduated from High School, and worked in my office while attending college and law school, so our relationship and communication goes back years. After she passed the bar, she needed to experience a wider range of cases, so she became a public defender for several years before returning to private practice with me. That we are different genders and generations adds to our ability to see each case from many points of view.
Describe your ideal client.
Whether it involves the end of a marriage, a custody decision, the death of a loved one, or planning for oneís own estate, these are emotionally charged situations. What makes a client ideal is their ability to separate any fear, frustration, anger, or sorrow over their current situation from the decisions they have to make. The attorney can only advise the client, not make decisions for them because the client, and their family, will live with the outcome. A client must be able to see beyond the current emotion long enough to decide what to do about their future, and then have the courage, determination, and patience to work with me to get there.
Describe your personal interests and hobbies.
As stated above, we have five children between the ages of 21 and 29. One lives at home; they are all in college - one in Australia. Mentoring five intelligent, creative, independent-minded young people takes a lot of time and attention. Whatever free time I have, I read, garden, and try my hand at gourmet cooking.
Describe your charitable activities.
I am an active, long-time member of Charity Newsies, a local organization dedicated to seeing that schoolchildren have new clothes, shoes, and warm winter coats at the start of each new school year, as well as school supplies. I have sold papers on Newsie Saturday (2nd Saturday in December) at the corner of Bethel and Olentangy River Road for years, raised funds myself, and volunteered at fundraising events such as the Red White and Brew Party on July 3 each year. I have tutored for the Right to Read program and have long been active in the Columbus Public Schools that our children attend.