Title: partner (attorney) at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Alma mater: University of Florida, College of Law
On the job: I recently attained the status of partner in my national law firm. I am a civil litigation lawyer who focuses my practice on advising insurance companies and their policyholders on coverage and claim-related issues. My work includes defending and counseling clients involved in bad faith and extra-contractual claims litigation. I am involved in all phases of litigation and ensure my clients are informed throughout the process. My extensive litigation experience also includes the defense of other attorneys, real estate professionals and medical professionals. I also defend clients in product liability, health care, wrongful death, premises liability, auto negligence and general liability cases.
My legal career spans over a decade in commercial, business and insurance matters. During that time, I have amassed countless awards, including but not limited to being recognized by Florida Super Lawyers publication as a Rising Star and by the Best Lawyers publication as a One to Watch for numerous years. Among other accomplishments, I have served as and/or am serving on the executive board of local bar associations.
Giving back: I served on the executive board of Hillsborough County Bar Association, which provided oversight and services to its more than 3,500 other attorneys in the area. I also serve in a similar capacity in the executive board of the George Edgecomb Bar Association. As an individual who recognizes the importance of reaching back to assist the younger generation, I have served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club and pride myself on speaking to audiences of young people throughout the state, with an emphasis on motivating them to reach higher in pursuit of goals beyond the socio-economic barriers in their community.
When I’m not working, you can find me spending time with my wife, Krystal, and daughters, Zora and Zola, enjoying all that nature has to offer in this beautiful Florida weather: hiking, beaching, camping and fishing.
When I was a child I wanted to be a Power Ranger. More specifically, the Black Ranger. (Zack was the man!)
My dream vacation is exploring the pyramids of Egypt. Since I was a child, I have been fascinated with ancient civilizations and have dreamed of journeying to and through those wonders with notepad in hand and camera securely strapped around my neck.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is my Great Uncle William would always tell me “not to sweat the small things in life.” From time to time, I remind myself of those words and feel they have enabled me to navigate through the ups and downs of life.
My favorite thing about Tampa is I absolutely love the great mix of country living, which reminds me of my rural beginnings, and the close proximity to city life and all that Downtown Tampa and the overall bay area has to offer with its museums and performing arts theater.
My motto or philosophy that I live by is When I think of my life’s mission, I echo the words of the poet, Tupac Amaru Shakur: “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but my sincere hope is that I will spark the mind of some young person who will one day will change the world in some way.” As such, my philosophy is to live life in such a way that it leaves a lasting positive impression on everyone with whom I come into contact, with singular focus on leaving the world a better place than it was when I arrived.
My heroes and inspirations are and have always been the ancestors in my family. Having reviewed old family photographs and memoirs of their lives and struggles has provided all the fodder I could ever need to continue pushing to achieve higher heights in life. The fact that they lived during times where regardless of how hard they labored, they would never manage to pull themselves up out of their circumstances motivates me to take full advantage of the opportunities before me in pursuit of personal and professional accomplishments with a tenacity that I feel is unmatched. I feel I owe them that much, at least.
My pump-up songs are, when preparing for a courtroom battle, “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. There is just something about the drum break in that song that gives me chills every time I hear it. That signature drum break may very well be the sleekest, most melodramatic drum break in the history of music. When preparing for an intense workout session, “Intro” by Meek Mill.
My most ambitious goal is to create a foundation through which I cover the college expenses for a group of kids every year. The ultimate focus of that foundation would be aimed at permanently altering the generational trajectory of each recipient.
The greatest adversity I’ve faced is the loss of my son, Zuri. I leaned heavily on my faith during that season of my life and emerged with a renewed appreciation for life and a mindset of maximizing the time I am given while taking nothing for granted.