People often ask me, “how did you decide to be a lawyer?” The answer is quite simple. At the relatively young age of thirteen (13), I had narrowed my career choices to doctor or lawyer. So one day after school, while I was in the ninth (9th) grade, a medical program on PBS showed a woman in labor and the delivery of a baby. A live birth! Instead of being awed by this profound experience, I was disgusted. First, the beautiful mother was screaming bloody murder. Next, the baby came out covered in blood. Who has ever seen a baby covered in blood? And the final straw was the tsunami that leveled me next -- The Afterbirth! A tidal wave of blood and tissue that changed my life forever. Since every teenager knows that all doctors are required to deliver babies, it was time for a career change. After hanging up my scrubs in the ninth (9th) grade, I decided being a lawyer would be much easier to stomach.
As a youngster I moved to Ocala in the seventh (7th) grade. After attending Osceola Middle School and Forest High School, my first year of college was in Ocala at Central Florida Community College n/k/a College of Central Florida. In my sophomore year, I transferred to Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. Clinton is a beautiful small mill town located in upstate South Carolina. Its gently rolling hills and red brick college campus won my heart immediately. After graduating with an English Degree and History Minor, I was ready to tackle my next degree.
Law school was the next step of my journey. Georgia State University in the heart of downtown Atlanta beckoned. After a much hard work in three (3) years at Georgia State University, I passed the Georgia Bar in the spring of 1994 and graduated. In the next year, I worked for two (2) Personal Injury lawyers in Atlanta while studying for and passing the Florida Bar.
In 1995, my decision to return to Ocala to practice law became one of my best decisions ever. After receiving a job offer from an Ocala law firm while living in Atlanta, I was torn about the prospect of leaving some of my best friends in the world (DL, SV, MS & HK) to relocate to my hometown. After much reflection and soul-searching -- and a heart to heart pep talk with my Father -- I decided to come home to Ocala.
If there were ever the perfect incubator for young lawyers learning how to practice law ethically and professionally with a focus on always putting the client first, it was Savage Krim & Simons Law Firm in Ocala, Florida. For ten (10) years, I honed my skills and added tools to my legal toolbox while slowly over time establishing and growing a Personal Injury Practice. Gary Simons, Dick Jones, Fred Krim, Tim Fischer, John Simons, Betsy Hodge; and Bob Seymour all deserve special recognition for sharing their legal skills and professionalism during my formative years as a lawyer. In particular, Gary Simons deserves special recognition for his wise and trusted counsel throughout the years. Outside of my law firm, Greg King and Sam King were also invaluable as mentors.
After years and years of getting into the car to drive down to The Villages to sign up a new case, the proverbial light bulb came on. In 2004, I ventured out to The Villages, Florida to establish my own law firm. At the time, we were the first Personal Injury Law Firm with a full time office in The Villages. We are proud to be active supporters of one of America’s Premier Retirement Communities