South Florida Legal Guide 2007 Edition
In travels to law offices throughout the region, the South Florida Legal Guide has unique access to the private collections in the inner sanctum of highly successful attorneys. As a window into the inner life of top attorneys, these collections are fascinating. Their range is as varied as the individual lawyers who created them.
Attorney's firms mentioned were accurate at time of printing.
Robert Joseph Fiore, Esq. Robert Joseph Fiore, P.A. Miami Pow, Bam, Whammo
When he is not practicing law, litigator Robert J. Fiore befriends pop artists. His affection for creative genius has led to an impressive group of friends in the arts, to be sure, with the added benefit of a significant collection of their works. Visitors to Fiore's bright white penthouse suite atop the Museum Tower across from the Miami Art Museum and Miami-Dade County Courthouse may at first think they have opened the door to a pop art gallery rather than a law office. That mistaken impression quickly evaporates once seated on the modernist black leather couch in the reception area. Peering down, very far down from above, is an artist proof of Andy Warhol's fierce "Bald Eagle." If America's leading symbol of strength and freedom fails to grab your attention, snap out of it, because bursting from an adjacent wall is Ronnie Cutrone's massive and macho "Captain America," large, in charge and ready for battle. These two edgy works, strategically positioned in the reception area, make the case for serious legal work ahead. But wait, there's more! Follow the walls and find more large artworks in every room. The collection of original works on canvas and vintage photographs shot at Warhol's legendary "Factory" in NY is a dominant presence in the firm's offices - not only by virtue of the subject matter, but by its size and scope. In addition to Warhol and Cutrone, Fiore has significant works by Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, John "Crash" Matos and Roy Lichtenstein. "The art motivates and inspires me to work," Fiore says. "The primary artistic themes - strength and patriotism - provide the ideal work environment for a trial lawyer." As a litigator for two decades, Fiore should know.
1.-Fiore seated beneath "Moderneer," an original water color in four panels, created in 1988 by John "Crash" Matos.The work hangs in his offices in Miami. 2.Visitors to the reception area are greeted by the artist proof of "Bald Eagle," an original screenprint by Andy Warhol from the endangered species suite done by the artist in 1983. 3.-Kenny Scharf's original 2003 oil and acrylic on canvas is entitled "Bizungle" Visitors pass it leading down the hall into Fiore's private office. Ronnie Cutrone's original 2004 work,"Sunset Superman," hangs behind Fiore's desk.The lower right portion of the painting,where Fiore is seated, has a deliberate bleached effect.
Leslie J. Lott, Esq. Lott & Friedland, P.A. Coral Gables
Read the Label
Noted intellectual property attorney Leslie Lott was working at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in Washington D.C. when someone thought the office needed a huge housecleaning. Headed for the trash heap: stacks of original product labels and samples submitted with trademark applications in the early 1900s. Lott acted quickly to save history. She rescued dozens of labels from products dating from 1911 through 1926. "I carried them around with me," she says of her early days in practice. After moving to Florida and building a successful practice, she decided it was finally time to give the rescued samples a permanent home in her graciously appointed headquarters in Coral Gables. Lott had each item elegantly framed and hung in her main conference room at her firm, Lott & Friedland, P.A. These days, Lott is also very proud of another growing collection, original paintings by the young artist Emmett R. L. Moore, who is her son. (Lott is married to attorney Michael Moore.) Though just starting college, the younger Moore already has a following.
Michael T. Moore, Esq. Moore & Co., P.A. Coral Gables
Prominent maritime and aviation practitioner Michael Moore is quick to smile at the irony of an artist by the name of James A. Flood who paints scenes of the high seas. "He literally worked in a mailroom until a catharsis in his life led him to paint full-time," Moore notes. It's a typical observation for the attorney whose ability to identify, analyze and enumerate pivotal moments in U.S. and maritime history is impressive. Moore has eight original Flood oils in his Coral Gables office. The pairing seems a match made in Neptune, if not in heaven. Flood's work is radiant with light and energy; Moore seems to draw inspiration from the art and the science of intricate and authentic naval detail. Flood, now in his 60s, lives on the Miami River and is known for painstaking detail and accuracy in his renderings of battleships, sailing ships and ocean liners. Moore is so fond of his work that he and wife, attorney Leslie Lott, have commissioned new works from the artist.
Milton M. Ferrell, Jr. Ferrell Law Miami
Making a Home for Fine Art
Acquiring fine art is one thing; knowing where and how to place it in an office setting is quite another. One without the other is like sending a winning jockey in search of a racehorse on Derby Day. Happily, international litigator Milton M. Ferrell, Jr., has a creative talent for acquiring and arranging his assets in a pairing that defines seamless elegance. His affinity for works by Cuban and Latin American artists finds a perfect setting in the firm's full-floor headquarters high atop the city of Miami. Luxurious appointments in décor, and a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Florida Everglades to the west provide the perfect staging for significant works by Ruben Torres Llorca, Jose Bedia, Guillermo Kuitca and others. The professional use of space, light and design offers clients from out of town an image of Miami that transcends the familiar "cultural mosaic" to one that places Miami at the center of the four corners of the world. The grand conference room is the setting for Ruben Torrres Llorca's arresting "Make me a Mask" mixed-media grouping of 42 masks and accompanying words on small chalkboards. Ferrell is equally fond of Guillermo Kuitca's Untitled 1998 oil and color-pencil on canvas. Shown here, in a smaller side conference room, Ferrel stands with Jose Bedia's oil on cavas, Espiritu Custodio, (Custodian of the Spirit) painted in 2004. It is an appropriate metaphor for the attorney who provides a home for the intuitions, thoughts and feelings that each artist evokes.
Visitors to the Miami offices of Ferrell Law experience a rarified atmosphere where leading practitioner Milton M. Ferrell, Jr. surrounds staff and clients with beauty. Shown here, in a side conference room, is Ferrell with the Jose Bedia's oil on cavas, Espiritu Custodio, (Custodian of the Spirit) painted in 2004.
Burton Landy, Esq. Akerman Senterfitt Miami
Burton Landy, chairman emeritus of the global practice group at Akerman Senterfitt, is a well-known bridge-builder. A graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, Landy began his career as a JAG in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s. "Because of my Latin American expertise, the Air Force sent me to Korea," Landy recalls with a smile. It was to be a pivotal assignment as Landy began forming ties that have deepened with the decades. In 1986, as Honorary Consul General in Miami for the Republic of Korea, Landy was awarded the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit Heung-In Medal for "strengthening friendly ties between our two countries." The Citation, shown here, is accompanied two elaborate medals displayed in a gold box created especially by his wife, the artist Elie Landy. More recently, Emperor Akihito of Japan in 2005 bestowed the Medal of the Order of the Rising Sun with Rosette on Landy for creating and strengthening business relationships between the state of Florida and Japan. As past chairman of the Beacon Council as well as the Florida Council of International Development, Landy has done a great deal to help Miami become the U.S. hub for business in Latin America. On a wall opposite his desk are two additional prizes. One is an original oil painting by Mrs. Landy. The other is a statue of Buddha. "When I need wisdom and inspiration, that's where I look," he says. Family is never far away though; daughter Lisa A. Landy, a corporate and international lawyer with the firm, has the next-door office.
A wall of citations and honors bestowed upon him by foreign governments adorns one wall in the office of attorney Burton Landy, chairman emeritus of the global practice group at Akerman Senterfitt in Miami. Landy's desk faces a statue of Buddha and a painting by his wife, the artist Elie Landy.
Patricia "PK" Kimball Fletcher, Esq. Duane Morris LLP Miami
The Doll House
Once upon a time, before succeeding in law school and handling powerful commercial land and development deals at Duane Morris, the young Patricia Kimball "PK" Fletcher dutifully followed standard sister operating procedure and passed her Barbie dolls down the chain of command to her younger siblings. Along the way, she did her best to carefully preserve and protect each doll. Nowadays, people give PK dolls that she can keep all to herself. As a leading commercial real estate attorney in Miami, PK, who married Christopher Fletcher in 1977, is accustomed to people simply dropping off dolls at her office. "Often when I close a deal, or if something significant happens, people give me Barbie dolls or Barbie accessories," she says. Her assistant of 14 years, Nora Sanchez, helps rotate the 50 Barbie dolls on display inside Fletcher's downtown office. Gift-givers often become as attached to the dolls and come back to visit them "They'll often drop a Barbie off at the office, and then later ask me, 'Where's the doll I gave you?'" Fletcher says. She purchased a massive black display cabinet in 1997 just for this purpose. Visitors can soak up childhood memories of their own as they lovingly gaze at Palm Beach Barbie, Flamingo Barbie, Star Trek Barbie along with Ken, and Midge, and all their accessories. Fletcher watches over the growing collection with a curator's eye. "We have diversity in this collection," Fletcher points out, "but there are still a lot of blondes."
James B. Davis, Esq. Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, P. A. Fort Lauderdale
A Curator of Cures
When reflecting on his impressive collection of antique patent medicine bottles containing their original cures, Fort Lauderdale tax attorney James B. Davis recalls his charismatic uncle, the naturalist Robert Lieberz. "My uncle moved to Miami in 1949 and was like the Marlin Perkins of the Everglades," says Davis. Lieberz began acquiring old medicine bottles with the word "cure" embossed on them. Davis loved the collection and decided to add to it. While in school at the University of Arkansas, studying for his accounting degree and MBA, he began acquiring patent medicine bottles with contents intact and has continued ever since. During his law school years at SMU studying to be a tax attorney, Davis acquired a large circa 1890 mahogany apothecary case with glass doors, which now houses his patent medicine collection. In the last few years, he began collecting figurine "bitters" bottles, a highly collectible and often rare form of patent medicines but without contents. Nine of these sit atop a case in his Fort Lauderdale office at Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, P.A. Inside the bookcase Davis has some 36 medicine bottles with contents intact, some of which are close to 100 years old. Including what he has at home, Davis now has between 500 and 600 antique medicines - most of which predate the 1905 passage of the Food and Drug Act. From Indian Tonics to Hernia and Frost Bite Cures, Davis' remedies promise relief from nearly all human afflictions and conditions.
Davis: photograph from the private collection of James B. Davis.
Jeffrey S. Weiner, Esq. Weiner & Ratzan, P.A. Miami
The Game’s Afoot
Stepping into the roomy, mahogany office of prominent Miami criminal defense attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner is very much a voyage back in time to number 221b Baker Street, London. The attorney's spacious domain is positively atmospheric with history, intrigue and memorabilia of the beloved literary "Consulting Detective" Sherlock Holmes. Visitors and clients find so much to see that it is tempting to ask for the audiotape of the tour. The Holmes memorabilia collection occupying the western region of The Desk is as large as Montana. Turn then, if you will, to the huge stack of giant antique law books piled in another corner of the room. Carrying on in great Anglophile tradition, equestrian memorabilia is generously placed throughout the room. (Weiner has competed in jumping, driving, saddlebred and cutting horse competitions since he was a child.) But the true pride and joy is yet to come. Weiner beams when revealing his extensive collection of briar smoking pipes, including several "Sherlock Holmes" style calabash models by different pipe makers from all over the world. Weiner is a member of the U.S. Pipe Smoking Team and has traveled with his wife, Bonnie, and his children to Poland, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Italy to compete and spend time with friends at pipe shows and exhibitions. What makes a pipe-smoking champion? At World Cup events, where teams from 30 or more countries are represented, competitors are given 3 grams of tobacco each to place in their pipes. "You get a certain amount of time to prep, fill and light your pipe," Weiner says. The winner is the smoker who can keep the tobacco burning the longest. Weiner's personal best: one hour and 27 minutes. "Many lawyers and judges from all over the world enjoy the hobby," he says. "It is a lot of fun because we meet interesting people from all walks of life and from all over the world."
If readers will turn to their handy pictionaries, and look up, "office of lawyer passionate about the law, his pipes and Sherlock Holmes" they will discover this candid still of top Miami criminal defense practitioner Jeffrey S.Weiner.Shown here inside his cavernous,atmospheric office,Weiner finds time between cases to compete on the U.S. Pipe Smoking Team. The equestrian, literary and historic objects in his office could fill an entire second room.
Thomas Ringel, Esq. Markowitz, Davis, Ringel & Trusty, P.A. Miami
The Superstars of Sports
For top transactional real estate practitioner Thomas Ringel, bringing the fun and the familiarity of sports into a law office helps clients feel more at home. One autograph leads to another and before you know it, it's fun to spend nine or ten hours a day in the office. After all, if you are smart enough to surround yourself with the signed jerseys of your heroes, then there are signs of encouragement everywhere you look. Visitors to Markowitz, Davis, Ringel & Trusty, P.A. are greeted by superstar athletes in the form of the autographed jerseys of Wilt Chamberlain, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade, Tim Hardaway and Dan Marino. And this upbeat setting also includes a mini-basketball hoop and vintage photographs. Hockey fans won't be disappointed, either. Ringel has a Florida Panthers Stanley Cup finals team jersey, and one from the 1980 U.S. Olympic "Miracle on Ice" team. All that memorabilia provides a welcome break for clients undergoing the stress associated with a real estate closing. "Everybody wins, but more importantly, this is fun for me," Ringel says. As much as Ringel loves sports, especially the Miami Heat, he is quick to clarify that family comes first. In fact, his family is the very reason, he started a sports memorabilia collection. Some years ago, Ringel was preparing for the Bar Mitzvah of his son Kevin and decided to make a video of local sports stars offering their personal congratulations and advice to the teen. Ringel was bitten by the bug. "These athletes are human beings and they knew that this was for my son, not for commercial purposes. They were wonderful and very sincere," Ringel says. Now, his growing collection contains autographed baseballs and basketballs, player's shoes, and of course, the anticipation of the next great item to come.
Miami Heat super fan Thomas Ringel makes sure that his real estate clients have as good a time as possible at their closings by surrounding them with an impressive sports memorabilia collection in his Miami office.
Sandra P. Greenblatt, Esq. Sandra Greenblatt, P.A. Miami
The Well-Heeled Woman
Board-certified health care attorney Sandra Greenblatt has a vibrant personality that one could imagine equally as effective in a boardroom as in the whirl of the Vanity Fair Oscars' party. She is a passionate counselor for her clients and a dedicated collector of contemporary sculpture and oils on canvas. Her downtown Miami office is nearly filled with a themed collection of originals by contemporary artists who paint or sculpt interesting women, are interesting women themselves, or both. Shown here is Greenblatt's favorite painting, as evidenced by its place of honor directly across from her file-laden desk. It is a vintage oil painting by the American artist and portraitist Colleen Ross, who is known for her nostalgic take on the women in classic 1940s and 1950s films, as well as popular portraits of contemporary female artists such as Madonna. Ross paints with discernible, energetic brushstrokes and an appealing array of colors. Other artists in the attorney's collection include the German pop artist Peter Keil, American artist Susan Betz, French cubist Maxime Darnaud and Russian artist Alexander Gore. Greenblatt, who favors designer suits and diamonds, champions another cause as well: funding a national museum to recognize the many contributions to history made by American women. With a smile and an easy laugh, she shows a visitor a button that she believes captures her view on life. It says, "Well behaved women rarely make history."
Health care attorney Sandra Greenblatt is running out of wall space in her downtown Miami law office for a growing collection of vibrant paintings and sculptures featuring accomplished women. This painting is by American artist Colleen Ross.
Marty E. Davis, Esq. Davis, Hellman & Suarez, P.A. North Miami Wheels Up
Growing up in Fort Lauderdale with a dad who was a car dealer had its rewards for real estate and insurance defense attorney Marty Davis. Back then, when car buyers signed on the dotted line, they were handed a small promotional model of the vehicle along with the keys to the new car. Davis assembled more than 100 of these car models over time and now houses the collection in his MiMo-style North Miami office building. The collection includes original Matchbox models as well as a Batmobile, a 1954 Cadillac and dozens of sedans from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The most recent addition is a model PT Cruiser. "The plastic ones didn't hold up very well," Davis notes. He now enhances the collection through Ebay and antique shows, as well as the occasional gift. Yet seventy-five percent of the cars he now displays were his toys as a child. Seeing the impressive assortment carefully displayed today underscores the wisdom of Moms who told their children to please take care of your toys so they'll last longer.
Attorney Marty Davis started collecting promotional models of cars as a kid in Fort Lauderdale. His father was a car dealer.The collection of 100 or so models fills his conference room.
Milton Hirsch, Esq. Criminal Defense Miami
The Man Who Loved Books
In the time-honored tradition of legal practitioners, leading Miami criminal defense attorney Milton Hirsch keeps his own very special law library close at hand. He refers to these books early and often. "When you tell a judge, 'Your Honor, isn't this case controlled by the maxim optima est legis interpres consuetudo?' the judge invariably replies, 'Uh ... well yeah, sure,'" Hirsch deadpans, then grins, like a kid in a candy store. Hirsch is the author of "Hirsch's Florida Criminal Trial Procedure." More recently, he wrote his first murder mystery, "The Shadow of Justice," winner of the MIPA (Midwestern Independent Publishers' Award) in the mystery/suspense category, and a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Book Award for best new voice in American fiction. Both his books and his legal work deal with life-and-death issues. His antiquarian law book collection sits in a rather modest wooden bookcase. Some of the texts are in Old French, Old English, contemporary English or mainly in Latin. Regardless of language, Hirsch can quote them all. Shown here, Hirsch holds the highly sought after George Sharwood edition of Blackstone's, the most famous law book in the history of English law. If fate divines such things, this book was destined to sit in his hands. His legal secretary, Terry Escobar, grew up in Hughesville, Pennsylvania, in a very old house. When her father died, the family set about the task of sorting through the attic. She found a box of big old books. No one recognized them as belonging to the family, and they were probably leftovers from the home's previous owner, a lawyer. Terry called Hirsch to ask if he might want those old things. Of course, the answer was yes. Hirsh then pulls a small book, obviously old and fragile, from the shelf. "This," he says, "is something that I couldn't put a price on." It has no binding and appears wrapped in an animal skin. It is "Style et Maniere de Proceder" (Style and Manner in Criminal Proceedings) and Hirsch found it in a bookstore in Quebec. The pages were printed in Paris in 1609, making it a 397-year-old book written in the Old French. Other notable texts include an original set of "Wigmore on Evidence;" Baron Gilbert's treatise on evidence, the first such book in the English law, published circa 1760; and John Morgan's "Essays on Law," published in London in 1789. A more contemporary historical gem dates to the 20th century and concerns Sir Edward Marshall Hall, the Clarence Darrow of England. A biography of Hall entitled "For the Defense, The Life of Sir Edward Marshall Hall," was written by Edward Marjoribanks, son of the powerful Lord Hailsham of the British War Office. Students of British history and intrigue leading into World War II will be as familiar with the Marjoribanks name as with their cousins by marriage, the Churchill family. Hirsch opened his copy after purchasing it to find that it appeared to be the original copy owned by the author's father, because inserted into the front of the book were the original letters and correspondence from Lord Hailsham on War Office stationery. "What I love about this is that nothing happens by accident," Hirsch says. He has acquired his books through personal relationships, scavenger hunts and "dumb luck." What was the first book he ever bought? Oliver Wendell Holmes' edition of "Kent's Commentary." As he says, "The law library at school was throwing it out."
Mitchell S. Fuerst, Esq. Rodriguez O'Donnell Ross Fuerst Gonzalez Williams & England, P.C. Miami
Americana The Beautiful
Well-known tax litigation and corporate compliance practitioner Mitchell S. Fuerst began his career at the Internal Revenue Service. During those years, when The Audited would report in for a friendly chat, they were offered a polite cup of coffee. Those who opted to kick their jitters up another notch were quick with an offer to pay for it. But that raised an interesting question. How does the IRS account for a 50-cent contribution to its own office coffee bank? Fuerst, who liked to shop antique stores, found a nifty solution. While in Chicago one day he found a handmade, wooden Americana Uncle Sam Bank. Visitors dropped their change into the toy bank, and with the clunk of a coin, the ice was broken. That was the start of a collection of more than 100 governmental memorabilia items divided between his home and his high-rise office overlooking Biscayne Bay at Rodriguez, O'Donnell Ross Fuerst Gonzalez Williams & England. One favorite is a client's gift: a Native American talisman containing alchemy for good luck, with a bear's tooth and a coyote molar. Another is a wooden windmill with Uncle Sam sitting on it, milking a cow. The cow can't speak, but on its side are the words, "milking the taxpayer." The largest item in Fuerst's office collection is a former menu board from the ship's mess of a U.S. naval vessel scrapped in Korea. On the large red board, Uncle Sam points down to where the day's chow items would be chalked in, and says, "I want you to try this!!!" Showing his creativity, Fuerst inserted a diorama showing one of his major cases and its significant dollar award in place of the daily menu items. It's good to win if you want to eat.
Tax litigator and compliance lawyer Mitchell S. Fuerst collects Americana. Each piece has its own story, including the large Uncle Sam menu board in the corner of his downtown Miami office. Fuerst rescued it from the ship's mess of a U.S. naval vessel scrapped in Korea. In place of today's specials, it now features a trial diorama.
Susan L. Dolin, Esq. Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler Fort Lauderdale
Peace, Love and Understanding
John Dos Passos, the 20th century American novelist and playwright, said that in times of change, each generation thinks its own history is "the exceptional Now that blocks good thinking." For the offspring of America's World War II veterans who came of age in the 1960s, the "now" of adolescence was a gut-wrenching alchemy of beauty and brutality. And that era's music soothes the soul of top labor and employment lawyer Susan L. Dolin, a senior partner at Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, P.A. "This is my childhood and where I came from, and you never want to forget where you came from," she says, pointing to the Rolling Stones' "Let it Bleed" album on the wall signed by all the Stones, with the exception of the late Brian Jones; Ron Wood, who didn't play on the record, signed in his place. The collection includes a commemorative poster for the 1968 Hollywood Bowl Concert featuring The Doors with Steppenwolf and the Chambers Brothers as well as an authenticated Woodstock ticket good for all three days of the festival at $8 per day. The collection comes with its own Jim Morrison mystery; out of the blue one day, a framed snapshot of an Amsterdam storefront featuring a huge Morrison poster in its window appeared in Dolin's bookcase. To this day, she has no idea where it came from. Dolin's father encouraged her to go to law school so that she could marry for love and not for money. She followed that advice with a marriage to design engineer Harold Streem now going on 28 years that produced two sons. And Dolin still remembers her first day of law school. "My civil procedure professor said most of us had come to law school to work in poverty law or civil rights or on an Indian reservation. The first thing he told us was that the law has nothing to do with justice." Still, the values of the 1960s shaped her practice. "I feel fortu-nate to be able to say that yes, in some cases, I have seen justice done," Dolin says with a gentle smile.
Randi K. Grant, CPA, CFP Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant Fort Lauderdale Friends Become Clients and Clients Become Friends
Did you know that having a frog in your office facing the door helps money leap into your practice? Or that if you drop a small crystal ball on a string from the ceiling at the entrance and exits to your office good vibes will arrive? Who knew Feng Shui could work so well in an accounting office.
Whether it is because of these charms, or more likely, through her own charisma and expertise, the tax advisory and financial planning practice of C.P.A. Randi Grant is booming. Grant is a director with Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant in Fort Lauderdale, and its affiliate, Provenance Wealth Advisors. "I love working with families," says Grant, who provides tax and financial planning for individuals and closely-held companies. She is the lone female partner in an office with 12 male colleagues and has been advising clients for more than 25 years. Visitors to Grant's large corner office on Las Olas Boulevard discover an eclectic collection of paperweights, dolls, mementos from business trips, ornaments, keepsakes, talismans and tabletop accessories. The variety of objects does not overwhelm the space and in fact it feels open and airy. Grant, who attended Ithaca College in search of a journalism degree discovered instead an aptitude for math and accounting. She develops business naturally. "My friends become my clients and my clients become my friends," Grant says. She is very fond of a heavy blue mariner's globe that now sits on her desk. The sphere arrived in a plain brown box and was flagged down by security procedures for possible destruction. "I nearly had it blown up," Grant says, before discovering it was a gift from a client. Today the world is at her fingertips.
Mike Segal, Esq. Broad & Cassel Miami
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Health law practitioner Mike Segal has collected history books since childhood, but his massive collection of old sports books - primarily baseball, football and basketball - really blossomed in anticipation of pending retirement. "Starting in my late 40s, I asked myself, what hobbies would I have when I was ready to hang it up?" Segal, now 60 and a partner at Broad and Cassel for 30 years, chuckles as he takes a momentary break from a very active client roster in his downtown Miami office. His first major acquisition was the result of placing an ad in a newsletter from the Society for American Baseball Research, asking if anyone had a collection for sale. The man who responded, Ernie Infield of Wooster, Ohio, offered baseball books, scrapbooks and World Series programs dating back to the 1930s. Segal happened to be in Ohio on business, went to Infield's home, checked out the collection, and bought it on the spot. At 50 he started expanding his collection by buying on Ebay. Segal's collection kept growing while his retirement was postponed until further notice. Today, Segal's enthusiasm for history and sports is catching. The total collection, most of which is housed at home, numbers some 4,000 to 5,000 items and Segal has no desire to sell it. He's too busy enjoying it. Among the highlights: baseball programs and guides, going back to the 19th century.
Noted health care lawyer Mike Segal has a marvelous collection of antique sports books inside his downtown Miami office. It all started years ago when he began to contemplate what he would do during his forthcoming retirement, a thought that now makes him laugh out loud. More than a decade later, he is extremely busy at Broad & Cassel in Miami.
David Bercuson, Esq. David Bercuson, P.A. Miami
Sing Me a Song
If two solid walls of gold and platinum records impress the music lover in you, then feel free to break into song when you enter entertainment attorney David Bercuson's South Miami office. The longer of the two walls in his reception area showcases gold records from KC & the Sunshine Band, Black Eyed Peas, Julio Iglesias, Miami Sound Machine, Luis Fonsi, Trick Daddy and others. Bercuson has also received gold and platinum records from artists and labels in France, Spain and South Africa. "They're gifts representing gold and platinum records with sales of 500,000 or 1 million units and more," Bercuson explains. "It's a nice way of saying thank you to the attorney who helps the artist, the label, the producer or songwriter get the deal done," he adds. Bercuson clearly does what he loves and loves what he does. The results speak, rap, rhyme, sing and strut for themselves.
Devand "Dave" A. Sukhdeo, Esq. Ogletree Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Miami
It all Started With Batman
Labor and employment attorney Dave Sukhdeo breaks into a wide grin when he talks about his two young children, Charlie and Madeline. Charlie, it seems, discovered Batman earlier this year, at age three, and had to have one. Naturally, Dad went out and got Charlie a Batman. "He broke it in about two days," Sukhdeo reports. The store didn't have any more at the $15 price but they had several others at upwards of $100 each. "I'm not paying $100 for a piece of plastic!" Sukhdeo recalls thinking at the time, and then chuckles. During a subsequent trip to Manhattan for a deposition he happened to pass by Midtown Comics where he found trade books featuring comic-book compilations and reissues.
He also saw another Batman figure for the original $15 but that price was only available as part of a package deal with other characters from the series. And so it goes. Into the suitcase went the entire group. Then, as will happen, his secretary introduced him to Ebay. "My son had by then moved on to Spider-man," Sukhdeo recalls, pointing to a large Spiderman assortment in the collection. The entire action-figure pantheon arrived in Sukhdeo's Brickell Avenue office at the request of Mrs. Sukhdeo. It fills the two large book cases facing the attorney's desk. Included in the assortment are action figures from DC Comics, X-Men, Mean Streets, Japanese Anime InuYasha, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-man, The Hulk, and of course, all the Batman characters. "It's perfect for when the kids visit me at the office," Sukhdeo says. Of course it is.
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