How did you arrive at this position? What path brought you here?
I heard about this firm from my friend and now-colleague Nick Ayoub. He recommended the firm because of the collegiality between the attorneys and the firm’s willingness to take case to trial.
What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
All I do is insurance subrogation, so my knack (unique in this firm) is that even though I work for insurance companies, I technically am a plaintiff’s attorney. One of the important skills for subrogation attorney is to be able to discover (informally, usually) all of the important information about a lawsuit as quickly as possible, in order to evaluate the claim for the client without engaging in full-blown litigation.
What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients? What do your ideal clients say about you?
Responsiveness. In my experience, clients value fast response to their telephone calls and emails, and appreciate their attorney keeping them abreast of their claims. Clients expect competent representation, but being responsive to make you their go-to attorney.
What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work and the contribution you can make?
I love new files. It’s not that I don’t enjoy working on files I’ve been handling for a long time, but there’s something exciting about opening up a new file and seeing what’s going on in this new claim, what interesting stories am I going to find it, what problems is my client asking me to solve here?
What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
Recently I’ve been stuck thinking about culture, in the long-view. I’m not educated in history or culture, but I’ve been fascinated contemplating how differently we live from almost all of our ancestors—our expectations, our hopes, our assumptions, and our fears are things that we take for granted as normal, but so many of them would’ve been unthinkable just five generations ago. Think about this: John D Rockefeller was one of the richest Americans to ever live. But would you honestly switch your life for his? No way: I have a car, a toothbrush, running water, a toilet that flushes, and an iPhone; I’m not giving those up.
Where can we find you when you are not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
On Saturdays I goof off my family. On Sundays I go to church in the morning and take a nap in the afternoon; then more goofing off.
How long have you been an attorney?
I received my P-number in November 2008, and have been filing complaints ever since.
What memories do you have from your hometown?
I grew up in Grand Rapids, where I currently live. I never want to leave; I hope to die here.
What volunteer activities do you engage in?
I’m on the parish Council for St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, and help out the church as much I can.
Any nonprofits you love and if so, why?
St. George. It’s my home church.
Any awards, medals professionally or personally you want to share?
Super Lawyers awarded me a “Rising Star” designation in 2014, 2015, and 2016. It makes me wonder how long a star can be rising.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
At this point, my Dragon dictation coupled with my Bluetooth headset. Another reason I wouldn’t trade places with Rockefeller.
How do you want to be remembered professionally and personally?
Professionally, I’d like to be remembered as someone who knew what he was doing, didn’t play litigation games, and was easy to work with. Personally, I’d like to be remembered as faithful to my family and church.
Anything else that you would like to tell about yourself?