Firm News Feed Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800firmwise, Kirk & Caldwell Serves up the Winning Chili Recipe<p>At the 23<sup>rd</sup> Annual Tallahassee Bar Association and Legal Aid Foundation Chili Cook-off, Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell&rsquo;s Tallahassee office beat out 11 other teams for the People&rsquo;s Choice Award for Best Chili. <br /> <img src=" Cookoff 3.JPG" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="350" height="232" /><br /> <br /> <img src=" Coofkoff 1.JPG" hspace="5" vspace="05" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="200" height="132" />The winning recipe was created by Russell Edwards, firm partner Linda Edward&rsquo;s husband. The tasty recipe included special secret ingredients, one of which is black angus ground steak.<br /> <p>Competing at the event for the past seven years, the team is no stranger to awards, but this is the first time the firm has taken the top prize for best chili, although Russell claims we should have won in prior years. In years past, the firm has twice received the 5-Alarm Award honoring chili packed with heat and won the award for &ldquo;Most Magnificent Margarita&rdquo; last year.</p> <p>Congratulations to all who played a role in the event including Richard Greenberg, Kayla Platt Rady, Nathaniel Johnson, Carlie Duquette, Leonard Dietzen (and his wife, Beth, who created the team banner), David Marsey, Leslie Lagomasino Baum, Jack Weiss, Linda Bond Edwards and her husband Russell Edwards.<br /> <img src=" Cookoff 2.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="350" height="232" /></p> </p>Beyond the Bio Blog18 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 High School Students Get a Glimpse into the Legal Field<em><strong>Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell Hosted an Educational Law Program in Partnership with Allstate Insurance Company and Street Law, Inc.<br /> <br /> </strong></em><img src=" Law 1-small.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="325" height="243" />Students from Freedom High School in Orlando participated in a three-day educational law program presented by The Law Offices of Robert J. Smith (in-house counsel for Allstate Insurance Company) and Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell (RKC) from January 9 &ndash; 11, 2019. The Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, a joint effort of Street Law, Inc. and the Association of Corporate Counsel, provides students with an overview of relevant legal topics and insight into careers in the legal field.<em> </em> <p>On Wednesday and Thursday, attorneys and staff from Allstate and RKC presented seminars at Freedom High School regarding contracts and advertising law and how they relate to the students&rsquo; daily lives. Friday&rsquo;s program, at the offices of RKC, provided students with a more in-depth look at both contracts and advertising law. The event included interactive workshops such as a mock mediation on a contract dispute and a role-playing scenario in which the students were asked to act as attorneys consulting clients regarding proposed advertisements.</p> <img src=" Law-Judges.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="250" height="187" /> <p>Following the workshops, students explored careers available in the legal profession and interacted with local professionals at a job fair. Judges of the Ninth Judicial Circuit attended, along with attorneys and other professionals related to the legal industry, such as court reporters, interpreters, insurance adjusters, process servers, and paralegals.&nbsp;Individuals in administrative fields, including human resources and marketing, also presented at the job fair.</p> <p>&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with legal and related professionals and spark their interest in careers they might not have known exist,&rdquo; said Orlando Partner Lori Caldwell, the attorney coordinator of the program at the firm for the past six years.</p> <img src=" Law Collage 1.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="450" height="167" /> <p><strong><u><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> About the Partners:</u></strong><u> </u></p> <img src=" Law-Group.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="200" height="259" /> <p><em><strong>Street Law, Inc. </strong></em>is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which strives to educate students and communities worldwide about law, democracy and human rights.&nbsp;It seeks to empower individuals to actively contribute to society through its various programs, including its Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program.</p> <p><em><strong>The Law Offices of Robert J. Smith</strong></em> is Allstate&rsquo;s Florida staff counsel, representing Allstate, its associated companies, and their insureds in legal matters covered under their policies.<br /> <br /> Special thanks to everyone who participated to make this a great day for the students!&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell Staff: </strong><a href=";t=3&amp;A=663">Lori Caldwell,</a> <a href=";t=3&amp;A=705">Sally Culley</a>,&nbsp;<a href=";t=3&amp;A=690">LaShawnda Jackson</a>,&nbsp;<a href=";t=3&amp;A=3819">Brett Carey</a>,&nbsp;Kristen Olson,&nbsp;Lora Trowell,&nbsp;Angela Sterley, Marisa Eubanks,&nbsp;Avi Solomon,&nbsp;Christine Quintana,&nbsp;Cathy Ophoff,&nbsp;Laurie Mesa,&nbsp;Debbie Hrytzay,&nbsp;Nancy Jordahl,&nbsp;Stephen Feran,&nbsp;Brittney Bogan,&nbsp;Margo Slater,&nbsp;Jaimi O&rsquo;Shea,&nbsp;Charlotte Hook,&nbsp;Shellie Medford,&nbsp;Tyrone Harvey,&nbsp;Eva Moeller,&nbsp;Carol Burns,&nbsp;Teddy Rodgers,&nbsp;Robert Roman and&nbsp;Rita Ritner.</p> <p><strong>Allstate Staff Counsel Office: </strong>Maria Vazquez,&nbsp;Linda Saltsgaver,&nbsp;Gabriela Meulens,&nbsp;Michelle Tanyhill,&nbsp;Olu Aduloju,&nbsp;Amanda Wright,&nbsp;Laura Saint Clair,&nbsp;Maura Burgreen,&nbsp;Lindsay Delgado,&nbsp;Ted Stephan,&nbsp;Lindsey Parnell and&nbsp;Angel Lamarre.</p> <p><strong>Allstate Insurance Company:</strong> Ryan Conway and Michele Kucinski,&nbsp;Insurance Adjusters<br /> <br /> <strong>Orange Legal:</strong> Court Reporters Diane Roberts and Lyssa Urban<br /> <br /> <strong>U.N.T.I: </strong>Michele Bermel, Interpreter<br /> <br /> <strong>Orange County Ninth Judicial Circuit Judges:</strong> Judge Faye Allen, Judge Eric DuBois,&nbsp;Judge Robert Egan,&nbsp;Judge Gisela Laurent,&nbsp;Judge Donald Myers,&nbsp;Judge Elizabeth Starr and&nbsp;Judge Diana Tennis<br /> <br /> <img src=" Law Collage 2.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="450" height="194" /> &nbsp;</p> <p><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>Beyond the Bio Blog11 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800, Redemption and Overcoming Challenges are Three of the Overriding Themes in a New Novel by Paul Lipton<img src=" These Five Breaths.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="275" height="425" /> <p><a href=";t=3&amp;A=7196">Paul Lipton</a>, RKC&rsquo;s Director of Professionalism, Career and Skill Development, has written his second book,<em> In These Five Breaths</em>. In the novel, a good man, devoted husband and father faces the end of his life after a tragic car accident. As his pulse slows, so does time. Each breath takes on a life of its own and takes us back through years of the challenges in his and other family and friends' lives. Paul talks about his inspiration for the novel and his hope for people who read it.</p> <p>&quot;After losing a dear friend and my wife going through a serious illness and surgery which she came through well, I sat down about two weeks later and began writing,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;While I was writing the book, the word that kept coming into my mind was courage. Life requires courage. We&rsquo;re all faced with challenges of one sort or another&mdash;physical, emotional, business, family. To live a full and complete life, we must have the courage to overcome the obstacles we face,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It was very emotional to write the book and it takes the reader through their own journey through the times of their life.&nbsp;I hope that it helps people face their obstacles and live life to its fullest. In the end, we each&nbsp;have to come to terms with our choices and their consequences.&rdquo;</p>Beyond the Bio Blog19 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Joy Across the Globe: Rumberger, Kirk, & Caldwell Shipped 74 Packages to U.S. Military Troops Serving Overseas<em>The holiday care packages contain personal hygiene items along with snacks and treats for hundreds of men and women serving in Korea, the Middle East and other remote locations.</em><br /> <br /> <img src=" 18-Troop Shipment 0041.JPG" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="300" height="400" />For the last ten years, Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell has been sending shipments overseas to men and women serving in the most remote locations ensuring that personnel stationed around the world will enjoy good wishes during the holiday season. The packages contain everyday items often taken for granted&mdash;toothpaste, shaving cream and razors, wet wipes, socks, coffee and flavored drink mixes. <br /> <br /> What began in 2008 as a shipment for legal assistant Lisa Griffin&rsquo;s son, has grown into an ongoing program where the firm ships 40-80 boxes that reach hundreds of service men and women every 3-4 months. To date, the firm has sent an estimated 1500 packages overseas! Lisa is the heart of the program. She sends reminders for staff to donate supplies, collects and organizes the supplies, manages the requests for packages and coordinates the shipment. <br /> <br /> Although Lisa&rsquo;s son is no longer deployed, she keeps this program going because it is so important to her that the men and&nbsp;<img src=" 18- Troop Shipment 006.JPG" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="250" height="187" />women working for us know that we care. &ldquo;When they get one of these boxes, they know that people they don&rsquo;t even know care about what they are doing and care about our freedom,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And, it truly makes their day!&rdquo; <div><br /> &ldquo;What&rsquo;s most amazing is the support of this great law firm,&rdquo; said Lisa after finishing up the lastest shipment on Thursday, December 13. &ldquo;Everyone is so generous of their time, money and spirt to keep the program going. This takes a team to pull this off and I&rsquo;m very thankful for the support we receive from our team, our partners, and our vendors,&rdquo; she added.&nbsp; <div><br /> <img src=" 18- Troop Shipment Colalge.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="475" height="116" /></div> </div> <div>&nbsp;</div>Beyond the Bio Blog13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Deeper: Steve Smith Talks about the Evolution of Trials and his Outdoor Trails<p><i>A partner in RKC&rsquo;s Miami office, Steve Smith is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial attorney who specializes in </i><i>defending mass tort exposure cases as well as complex claims arising from commercial and professional relationships. When he&rsquo;s not working, Steve spends his time outdoors hiking and travelling. He talks about the evolution of his trial practice and his outdoor adventures. </i></p> <img src=" Volcanic NP2.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="300" height="225" /> <p><b>With more than 40 years of experience as a trial attorney, it might be surprising to learn that Steve spent his first year of college studying engineering and mathematics. </b>While nobody in his family had been a lawyer, an aptitude test pointed him in that direction.&ldquo;I found my calling because, although I like science and mathematics, I missed reading and writing.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>&ldquo;Being in trial practice was the last thing I thought I&rsquo;d do,&rdquo; continued Steve. </b>&ldquo;I clerked for an insurance defense practice and appreciated the team approach to litigation. Civil litigation and tort practice can be both interesting and challenging,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;My engineering background is very helpful with expert work.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Getting Board Certified as a civil trial lawyer remains one of Steve&rsquo;s most rewarding accomplishments. </b>&ldquo;I was in the first group of trial attorneys to get Florida Bar certified,&rdquo; remembered Steve. &ldquo;You need a minimum of 15 trials to be certified and I reached that milestone by the time I was 32 years old.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>These days, there are not as many opportunities to go to trial and Steve talks about some of the reasons why.</b> &ldquo;Costs are a big factor, but another is uncertainty. The population has grown and become more diverse. In today&rsquo;s world, sources of information, particularly electronic media have multiplied. Fewer jurors read the same media and publications. &nbsp;There&rsquo;s a greater risk the jury can come back with an unanticipated result,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Despite having fewer trials than in the past, Steve finds the work fun and challenging. &ldquo;In mass tort cases, we strive to make the complex simple,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p><b>The biggest changes Steve has witnessed over his career have really occurred in the last 20 years due to the massive changes in technology over that time. &nbsp;</b>The way people process information has changed. &ldquo;Demonstrative aids are significant in trials, and there is more emphasis on audio/video presentations. People read less and have shorter attention spans. Reading paragraphs of text runs the risk of losing juror attention,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You need to get to the point quickly and present information with graphics or visually,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p>The use of email and digital documents has resulted in a greater volume of evidence to sort through. &ldquo;The files are much bigger, and there is so much more to get your mind around,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;&ldquo;Despite these significant changes in how information is synthesized and presented, the basics of law are still the same,&rdquo; noted Steve. &ldquo;Structurally and procedurally, you still make arguments, examine witnesses. The difference isn&rsquo;t necessarily what you do, but how you do it.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Steve joined RKC in 1983 and said it was pure serendipity. </b>&ldquo;I raced sailboats back then and a mutual friend connected me with Rumberger. I only looked for one job in 40 years and that was the first one,&rdquo; he laughed.</p> <p><b>Steve likes mentoring new lawyers. &nbsp;</b>&ldquo;The main limitation to young lawyer development is their initiative and imagination. The more time they put into their practice, the more success they will have. It works out well for a firm like ours because we focus on mentoring and developing talented new lawyers. Young attorneys who aren&rsquo;t offered the opportunity to grow are not shy about finding a different firm,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;I also encourage new attorneys to be active in in the community, church or temple. Network with other professionals other than lawyers so you gain a perspective about the general economy and the work people do to feed their families,&rdquo; he added.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>In his free time, Steve likes to stay active swimming and biking. </b>&ldquo;I ran 10k races for many years until my doctor told me to dial it back to save my knees,&rdquo; said Steve. &ldquo;I still do some trail running,&rdquo; he explained. &nbsp;</p> <p><img src=" Volcanic NP.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="225" height="168" /><b>Last July, Steve took a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California with his college friends and spent five days hiking.</b> As the fifteenth national park, and one of the oldest, the park boasts numerous volcanoes, steaming fumaroles, meadows filled with wildflowers and clear mountain lakes. The sharp, peaked land is the result of past volcanic eruptions and hot water continues to flow and sculpt the landscape. It is nestled three hours northeast of Sacramento.</p> <p>&ldquo;I hadn&rsquo;t taken a &ldquo;guys trip&rdquo; in many years and it turned out to be great fun. We hiked a different trail each day and the scenery was beautiful. It looked like moonscape,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d definitely like to do that again.&rdquo;</p> <img src="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="300" height="225" /> <p>Steve and his wife also enjoy traveling together and spending time with their three children when they can. &ldquo;My wife was a NICU nurse and retired a few years ago. We&rsquo;ve taken some really interesting trips together including one to India right after she retired.&rdquo;</p> <p>Despite his adventures, Steve still places his work on the top of his favorite things to do. &ldquo;I feel fortunate to be able to continue working in an area I find interesting and challenging for so many years,&rdquo; he admitted.&nbsp;</p>Beyond the Bio Blog15 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Carey Welcomes the Challenges and Diversity of His Practice<p><i>Brett Carey, who practices in the areas of insurance coverage and bad faith, product liability and employment law, enjoys the diversity of his work. He talks about his practice, mentoring and keeping busy with his family.</i></p> <p><b>Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, Brett attended the University of Central Florida and transferred to the University of Florida where he earned a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in Business Marketing.</b> &ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t one of those who always wanted to be a lawyer, but I did realize what I didn&rsquo;t want to do while listening to a guest speaker talk during my &ldquo;Entrepreneurship&rdquo; course. The guest speaker owned an ice cream franchise and was talking about what it takes to run a business. During the presentation, he told us that his life is ice cream,&rdquo; remembered Brett. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t want my life to be ice cream, or any one thing,&rdquo; he laughed.</p> <p>Brett went to Tallahassee for law school at Florida State University. When asked if he was harassed as a Gator in Seminole territory, Brett said he actually felt at home because so many undergrads from UF attend FSU&rsquo;s law school. &ldquo;I saw a lot of Gator gear there.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Brett came to Orlando to work as a summer associate for Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell and then joined the firm after finishing his degree seven years ago.</b> &ldquo;My time as a summer associate was invaluable. Because an associate had left and they were down a person, I was essentially working as an associate. I went to depositions and worked on research and issues related to a particular case. When I started a year later, the case was still active and I was able to hit the ground running.&rdquo;</p> <p>Now Brett is in his 4<sup>th</sup> year of being a mentor for the summer associates. &ldquo;We teach the summer associates what it&rsquo;s like to be a litigator so there are no surprises when they start. In addition to doing legal research and writing, we also make sure they spend time going to depositions, hearings and participate in a simulated trial.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Brett says his work is both challenging and engaging because he is always learning and applying legal principles to a variety of situations. </b> &ldquo;For instance, one case involved a person who had a zoo in the backyard while another involved wills and trusts,&rdquo; explained Brett. &ldquo;Also, with commercial litigation, you learn about the client&rsquo;s business in order to understand the case.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>While there is a lot of time spent writing and researching in the office, Brett also spends quite a bit of time out of the office investigating incidents, taking depositions and going to hearings.&nbsp;</b>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s fun to get out of the office to investigate, go to the scene of an incident and talk with witnesses and employees to figure out what happened,&rdquo; said Brett. &ldquo;There are often a lot of fact patterns and unusual stories that you hardly believe are real and I enjoy digging deeper into the stories.</p> <p><b>Being able to think on his feet is one of Brett&rsquo;s favorite aspects of his job. </b>&ldquo;The key to thinking on your feet is preparation,&rdquo; said Brett. &ldquo;You need to be sure you have read everything and are knowledgeable on every issue that might arise,&rdquo; he added. It&rsquo;s a good feeling when you&rsquo;re able to answer a judge&rsquo;s question or respond to opposing counsel&rsquo;s arguments.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Brett has spent the last two years as a member of the Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyer&rsquo;s Division Scholarship Committee</b>. &ldquo;I was one of a handful who interviewed high school students seeking scholarships. It was very humbling to hear their stories and see how engaged and involved these students are,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>In addition to working with high school students, Brett sits as a judge for the FAMU moot court oral arguments for first year law students. &ldquo;I really like to help out because I did moot court at FSU and found that to be so valuable to me. It&rsquo;s both fun and rewarding to help someone achieve and serve as a mentor.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <img src="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="300" height="452" /> <p><b>A lifelong Floridian, Brett and his wife enjoy all Orlando has to offer</b>. With two young sons aged 4 and nearly 2, they spend a lot of time at Disney World and on the soccer field. Come football season, they like to watch the Gators and try to visit Gainesville to catch a game whenever they can.&nbsp;</p>Beyond the Bio Blog10 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800, Kirk & Caldwell Welcomes Six Associates<p style="text-align: left;">Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell welcomes six associates to the firm including: Joleen East (Tampa), Kayla Platt Rady (Tallahassee) and Albert Li, Stacy Mateu, Erik Perez, and Victor Sanabria (Miami).<br /> <br /> <img src=" Associates Welcome.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="450" height="490" /></p> <p><b>Joleen East</b> concentrates her practice in the area of casualty litigation defending theme parks, water parks, and other businesses against premises liability, auto negligence, and various tort claims. Before joining Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell, East served as a law clerk for the circuit judges presiding at the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court.&nbsp;There, she gained experience in a wide variety of practice areas including insurance coverage matters and Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act claims. East graduated, cum laude, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.</p> <p><b>Kayla Platt Rady</b> practices in the areas of constitutional law, employment and labor law, governmental and administrative law, and casualty defense litigation. Prior to joining Rumberger, a significant portion of Rady&rsquo;s practice focused on law enforcement and corrections liability, civil rights litigation, and insurance defense representing counties, cities, sheriff&rsquo;s offices, and police departments. Rady earned her law degree from the Florida State University College of Law.</p> <p><b>Albert Li</b> practices in various areas of construction law, including representation of contractors, developers, and design professionals in construction defect claims and disputes and was selected as one of Florida Super Lawyer&rsquo;s &quot;2018 Rising Stars&quot; in construction law. Li earned his law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law along with his MBA.</p> <p><b>Stacy Mateu</b> focuses her practice in the area of casualty defense and insurance coverage litigation. Mateu joins Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell from a civil litigation firm where she handled an active trial practice in the areas of premise liability, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, HIPAA violations, cyber security, privacy violations, first party property, personal injury, and wrongful death litigation. Mateu graduated, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law.</p> <p><b>Erik Perez&rsquo;s</b> practice encompasses all aspects of civil litigation with a concentration in the areas of product liability, warranty litigation, and casualty defense. Prior to joining Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell, Perez practiced with a national litigation defense firm handling multi-million dollar construction defect cases and other complex civil matters. Perez received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.</p> <p><b>Victor Sanabria </b>focuses his practice on commercial litigation, general aviation litigation, and casualty litigation in state and federal courts. Prior to joining Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell, Sanabria practiced commercial litigation at a premier Florida law firm with a concentration on construction litigation, business torts, and community association representation. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.</p>Beyond the Bio Blog08 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Diversity in the Workplace: Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Honors Hispanic American Attorneys during National Hispanic Heritage Month<p><em>Beginning on September 15 each year, the United States celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America during National Hispanic Heritage Month.&nbsp; What began as a week-long celebration 50 years ago, grew to a month-long observance in 1988 that continues today.</em></p> <img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="300" height="351" /> <p><b><i>Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell honors our Hispanic American attorneys who have contributed to making the firm a rich, innovative and diverse environment.</i></b> In talking with each of the 13 attorneys at Rumberger who share this culture&mdash;David Acosta, Leslie Lagomasino Baum, Cristina Cambo, Claudia Cuador, Joleen East, Kevin Gowen, Albert Li, Stacy Mateu, Erik Perez, Jens Ruiz, Victor Sanabria, Maggie Sanders and Monica Segura&mdash;it is clear that while each has his or her own unique experience that helped shape them into the successful attorney they are today, they share a culture steeped in traditions and values surrounding family, hard work, holidays and food.</p> <p><b>Importance of Family</b></p> <p><b><i>Family is at the core of many cultures, but this is especially true for Hispanic families</i></b><i>. <b>It isn&rsquo;t unusual for extended families to live with each other, or at least very close to one another. In addition to living within close proximity of each other, they spend a lot of time together and not just for holidays or special occasions. </b></i></p> <p><img src=", Monica.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="112" /></p> <div>&ldquo;I am a block away from my twin sister and 10 minutes away from my parents and younger sister,&rdquo; said <b>Monica Segura</b>, a partner in the Miami office whose Cuban parents came to Miami when they were very young. &ldquo;My twin sister&rsquo;s three kids and my son see each other almost every day and will go to the same school,&rdquo; she explained. &ldquo;I see my parents more than once a week and typically twice on the weekends. When my mother was working, we&rsquo;d meet for lunch at least once a week and we all go to mass together,&rdquo; she added. <p><b><br /> Claudia Cuador,</b> an associate in the Miami office, agrees. &ldquo;I talk to my parents 10 times a day. We&rsquo;re very close and we spend time every weekend together,&rdquo; she&nbsp;said.&nbsp;Claudia was born in Cuba and moved to Miami just before her eighth birthday with her family.<br /> <img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="150" height="102" /><b><br /> Stacy Mateu</b>, an associate in Miami, lived with her grandparents. &ldquo;We all lived together and my grandparents took care of me while my parents were working,&rdquo; she explained. &ldquo;Both of my parents are from Cuba and came with their families when they were young. My mom was 15 and my dad was just 7,&rdquo; she explained.</p> <img src="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="112" /> <p><b>Kevin Gowen</b>, special counsel in the Orlando office, grew up surrounded by his extended&nbsp; family. Of Spanish Basque descent, Kevin explains that his mom&rsquo;s family came to the United States as refugees from the Spanish Civil War after they survived being bombed by the German Condor Legion (a unit composed of military personnel from the air force and army of Nazi Germany).</p> <p>&ldquo;My great-grandfather, a Spanish immigrant, lived with us for some time before moving in with my maternal grandmother (his step-daughter). My grandmother lived close enough for me to see on a daily basis,&rdquo; said Kevin. &ldquo;We had very similar personalities. Despite being an immigrant herself, she went to college and earned a master&rsquo;s degree, which was so rare in the 1950&rsquo;s. She was an elementary school teacher. She encouraged me academically and told me the family history. When I was little, she got me a set of encyclopedias to read and when I was older and studying French, she would rent French movies for us to watch together. We spent a lot of time together. Even when I was in high school, I enjoyed just hanging out with her,&rdquo; remembered Kevin.</p> <img src=", Leslie.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="100" /> <p>&ldquo;I was lucky to have been born and raised in Miami, steeped in vibrant Cuban culture growing up and surrounded by family and both sets of my grandparents,&rdquo; said <b>Leslie Lagomasino Baum</b>, an associate in the Tallahassee office whose parents and grandparents are from Cuba. &nbsp;&ldquo;Both of my parents fled Cuba when Castro assumed power. My father and his family were able to leave the island fairly quickly, but it took my mother and her family some time to leave,&rdquo; she explained.</p> <img src=" (1).jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="" width="75" height="93" /> <p><b>David Acosta</b> and his family get together each week for Sunday brunch. An associate in Miami who was born in Peru and moved to South Florida with his family when he was five, David attended law school at Rutgers in New Jersey and then worked in Manhattan for a couple of years. &ldquo;I missed the culture and being close to family,&rdquo; admitted David. &ldquo;I married my high school sweetheart who was also born in Miami and is Honduran and Nicaraguan. She is also close with her family,&rdquo; he added.</p> <img src=", Joleen web.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="93" /> <p>&ldquo;My Hispanic culture reinforced the importance of family growing up,&rdquo; said <b>Joleen East,</b> an associate in Rumberger&rsquo;s Tampa office. &ldquo;My grandmother was from Cuba and she arrived in Connecticut where she met my grandfather. They married and moved to South Florida about 10 years later. My grandmother helped each of her brothers and sisters come to the United States from Cuba,&rdquo; explained Joleen. &ldquo;I grew up in South Florida and the rest of my family on my grandmother&rsquo;s side lived in Miami.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Pride and Inspiration to Work Hard and Value Education</b></p> <p><b><i>Coming to America with almost nothing and working hard to make a life is a common thread in almost every immigrant&rsquo;s story&mdash;from Cuba, Peru, Spain, and anywhere. It is the story of the American dream and it is a powerful influence on the descendants of immigrants for generations.</i></b></p> <img src=", Cristina.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="112" /> <p><b>Cristina Cambo</b>, an associate in the Orlando office, grew up in Central Florida and was inspired by the law early on as she watched her parents, both immigrants, have the opportunity to build a much better life than they otherwise could have due in large part to the legal system. Her father is a Cuban exile and her mother is from Spain.</p> <p>&ldquo;My dad, his mother, and his sister fled Cuba in 1960 when my dad was 6 years old. My grandfather had died during the revolution, and my grandmother knew they needed to leave. My grandmother&rsquo;s only choice was to put my 6-year-old dad and his 9-year-old sister by themselves on a flight to Miami through Operation Pedro Pan, which was coordinated with the Catholic Church. &ldquo;It was difficult leaving everything and everyone they knew behind. Here, they had nothing, but my grandmother made sure to get them the best education possible by working multiple jobs,&rdquo; she explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;Coming from an immigrant perspective, my parents instilled the values of hard work and self-reliance and an education in us from an early age. No matter what, no one can take away your education. It&rsquo;s true, and my husband and I plan to raise our kids with that same mentality,&rdquo; said Cristina.</p> <p>Leslie believes the &ldquo;Cuban story&rdquo; is one of perseverance and thinks of the Cuban people as possessing dauntless spirit and optimism. Her grandparents and parents left Cuba with little more than the possessions they were able to carry and managed to make a successful life for themselves in the United States through hard work.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our parents never allowed my sister or me to forget our Cuban roots. They taught us, &lsquo;to those who much is given, much is expected,&rsquo; and have always been very strong proponents of education,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Much was always expected of me, and I think that is one of the reasons that I&rsquo;ve worked so hard to succeed in school and in my profession. As a lawyer, I like to think that I have been able to give back to others by doing my best in representing our clients, whether they are individuals, schools or companies; and helping them figure out an acceptable solution to their legal questions or litigation,&rdquo; explained Leslie.</p> <p>Monica said that her Cuban heritage plays a big role in who she is today. &ldquo;I never take for granted all the sacrifices that were made for me to be where I am today,&rdquo; she revealed.&nbsp;&ldquo;My mother is the most influential person because she instilled in me the value of hard work. She taught me that if you pursue hard work and education, there is nothing you can&rsquo;t accomplish.&rdquo;</p> <img src="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="93" /> <p><b>Victor Sanabria,</b> an associate in the Miami office, shared that his father came from Cuba with his family around the age of 10. &ldquo;The Cuban work ethic is very impressive and there is a focus on education and being humble. These are lessons I&rsquo;ve absorbed into my life as well,&rdquo; he shared.&nbsp;</p> <p>Joleen also said that her family believed in a strong work ethic and valued education. &ldquo;These are all values I have carried with me throughout my life and will continue to pass on,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>Claudia knows the struggle of immigrating first hand. &ldquo;I remember being so excited and thinking it was going to be really amazing, but when we arrived, it was really hard. My parents didn&rsquo;t speak English and it was hard for them to work even though my dad was a lawyer and my mom a librarian. We ended up moving a lot and I went to 5 elementary schools,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I worked hard to learn English and by 6<sup>th</sup> grade, I was in honors classes and doing well,&rdquo; she said.</p> <img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="93" /> <p><b>Albert Li,</b> an associate in Miami whose parents are from Cuba and Nicaragua, noted that education is always important in immigrant households and that his was no different.&nbsp;Another strong influence in Albert&rsquo;s life was the importance of serving the country that had given so much to his family. &ldquo;I definitely feel my heritage contributed to my entering the military. I was also deeply affected by the events of 9/11 and I joined the Navy nine months later, just two weeks after I graduated high school.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Lessons of Acceptance of Others and their Diversity</b></p> <img src="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="93" /> <p><b>Maggie Sanders</b>, an associate in the Miami office, was born in Ecuador and came to Miami when she was three weeks old with her Ecuadorian mother and Cuban father. She said her family&rsquo;s culture and heritage helped her to be open to diversity and different points of view.</p> <p>&ldquo;I learned that what&rsquo;s normal to me might be completely weird to someone else, and vice-versa. I embrace who everyone is and where they come from. I try to teach that to my kids, even if they&rsquo;re too young to understand,&rdquo; she said.</p> <img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="93" /> <p><b>Jens Ruiz</b>, an associate in Miami, embraces his cultural differences and says they give him a different perspective on viewing the world.&nbsp;Jens was born in Mexico City, but his family moved to Miami when he was one years old. While he is Mexican by birth, neither of his parents are&mdash;his mother is German and his father, who grew up in New York, is Puerto Rican and German.</p> <p>&ldquo;My family gravitated toward German traditions. I spent my summers in Germany and speak German even though my dad and grandfather both speak Spanish,&rdquo; he noted. &ldquo;I went to a magnet school with international programs focused on French, German and Spanish cultures. It helped me to understand how different backgrounds give you different perspectives on how others see and view the world. This is extremely helpful in litigation where you are solving problems and look at issues from different perspectives,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Albert believes that coming from a unique background helps him to view things differently. While his father is from Cuba and his mother is from Nicaragua, his maternal grandfather is from Switzerland and his dad&rsquo;s side has Asian influence. &ldquo;Diversity enables us to introduce novel ways to approach problems. That&rsquo;s how it&rsquo;s benefitted me in my life and career,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p><b>Traditions </b></p> <p><b><i>Food plays a big role in any family gathering or holiday tradition and that is especially true for Hispanic families. The most popular holiday is by far Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), which in many households eclipses Thanksgiving, New Year&rsquo;s and Christmas itself. </i></b></p> <p>&ldquo;Many of our traditions revolve around food and family. Any occasion, large or small is usually marked with a family get together and an abundance of food,&rdquo; said Leslie. &ldquo;However, one of my favorite family traditions has always been our celebration on Christmas Eve, or &ldquo;Noche Buena.&rdquo; Christmas has always been a special time for me because I loved celebrating with my family, but especially as Cubans, both Christmas Eve and Christmas are marked with a 2-day long celebration of both the religious holiday but also of spending time with family.&quot;</p> <p>Maggie agrees. &ldquo;Food is <u>very</u> important to us! We celebrate Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) a lot more than Christmas Day. We have a big party with music and lots of dancing. The traditional Cuban pig is cooked in the caja china and we make the traditional rice and black beans and yucca. Since I married an Argentinean, we cook half of the pork with Cuban mojo and the other half with Argentinean chimichurri. I&rsquo;m not going to lie&mdash;the chimichurri side is better. The adults also open presents at midnight.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve,&rdquo; said Jens, &ldquo;but we also celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6, which is a Germanic holiday where kids put out their shoes or boots at night and St. Nicholas fills them with small gifts or treats.&rdquo;</p> <p>On New Year&rsquo;s Eve, Cristina says her family continues the Spanish tradition of eating 12 white grapes as the clock strikes midnight. She said, &ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t finish the 12 grapes before the last bell tolls, then it&rsquo;s bad luck for the year! Also, eat the grapes while standing on your right foot to make sure you&rsquo;re starting the year off on the &lsquo;right foot,&rsquo;&rdquo; she added.</p> <p>Kevin&rsquo;s family throws out a bucket of water on New Year&rsquo;s, which is a tradition throughout Latin America and Cuba that signifies renewal and throwing out all of the tears and suffering from the previous year.</p> <p><b>Speaking the Language</b></p> <p><b><i>Another way Hispanic Americans embrace their culture and traditions is by passing their native language on from generation to generation. </i></b></p> <p>&ldquo;I actually learned Spanish before I learned English,&rdquo; said Cristina. &ldquo;My parents dropped me off on my first day of school without knowing any English! They say I learned English in about 3 months, but, I remember that first day of school. Even today, I only speak in Spanish with my parents, and I&rsquo;m doing my best to teach my son Spanish as well.&rdquo;</p> <p>Although both of her parents worked hard to learn English, Stacy said she didn&rsquo;t learn English until she went to school. &ldquo;My grandparents do not speak English and they took care of me while my parents worked. It was really hard for me at first and I struggled until around 2<sup>nd</sup> or 3<sup>rd</sup> grade,&rdquo; she admitted. &ldquo;Now, however, speaking two languages is a big benefit,&rdquo; she added.</p> <p><b><i>Being able to speak Spanish is a benefit to any business, especially when considering that Hispanics make up almost a fifth of the total U.S. population, according to the Pew Research Center. </i></b></p> <p>&ldquo;Speaking Spanish helps me with both clients and witnesses who do not speak English, but it&rsquo;s also easier to connect with people who speak both languages in their native tongue,&rdquo; said David. &ldquo;People can be more open and relate to you.&rdquo;</p> <p>Maggie agreed noting that being able to speak Spanish helps her connect and understand people better, whether at a deposition or during a client interview.</p> <p>&ldquo;It really helps when taking depositions,&rdquo; said Stacy. &ldquo;Sometimes I can catch on to what a translator is saying, or trying to say. If you don&rsquo;t speak the language, you may not fully understand what the witness is trying to communicate. I&rsquo;ve also found that witnesses who speak Spanish open up more when they know you understand them,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Speaking Spanish is a great asset in the business world, of course. I&rsquo;ve found that in addition to connecting with clients and assisting during depositions or interviews, I am also able to ensure documents are translated properly,&rdquo; noted Monica. While speaking a second language in the business world is a great asset, Monica feels that it&rsquo;s also important to share that part of the culture with her son.</p> <img src="" hspace="5" vspace="05" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="75" height="93" /> <p><b>Erik Perez</b>, an associate in the Miami office, shared that his father was from Cuba and his mother from Puerto Rico. His mother&rsquo;s family comes from Spain and Cuba with ties to both the Catalonian region and Moors. &ldquo;My diverse heritage definitely allows me to connect with the Miami community in a unique way and helps me relate to my Cuban and Hispanic clients or opposing parties,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s also allowed me to have a multicultural experience in many aspects of life.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Celebrating Our Differences </b></p> <p><b><i>Rumberger is made up of many diverse individuals, but we all work hard toward the same goal of providing innovative legal services to our clients. Our culture of inclusion and respect enables a team of different individuals to bring unique perspectives to solve the most complex problems. </i></b></p> <p>&ldquo;Everyone is very collegial, helpful and friendly,&rdquo; said Jens. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a unique atmosphere that you rarely see at firms this size,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p>David notes that the supportive environment and the feeling of camaraderie extends beyond the walls of work. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a feeling of inclusiveness and genuine friendship,&rdquo; he said.</p> </div>Beyond the Bio Blog01 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800 to our Newest Attorneys: Robert Barton, Claudia Cuador and Timothy ‘T.J.' Harvey<p><em><strong>Robert Barton, Claudia Cuador and Timothy &lsquo;T.J.&rsquo; Harvey took their oaths in three separate ceremonies last week</strong></em></p> <img src=" Barton-Swearing In-1edited.jpg" hspace="05" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="250" height="193" /> <p>Robert Barton joins the Orlando office after working as a summer associate in 2017. Robert represents insurance companies in coverage disputes and bad faith claims in both state and federal courts. He earned his law degree from Stetson University where he was an Editor for the <i>Stetson Law Review </i>and graduated, with honors, from the University of Tampa with a degree in political science. Prior to attending school, Robert served in Afghanistan as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, earning awards for his leadership and combat valor.</p> <p><br /> <br /> <img src=" Cuador-Swearing In2.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="250" height="181" />Claudia Cuador joins the Miami office and practices in the areas of aviation litigation and casualty defense in state and federal courts. She earned her law degree from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law. During her time at the College of Law, Claudia clerked for a renowned South Florida-based medical malpractice firm. She also interned at the Staff Attorney&rsquo;s Office for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. She received a full scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with Distinction in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Art History, and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Born and raised in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Claudia is fluent in Spanish.</p> <img src=" In-1.edited.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="250" height="274" /> <p>T.J. Harvey joins the firm&rsquo;s Tampa office and also worked as a summer associate in 2017 and was awarded &ldquo;Best Advocate.&rdquo; He practices in the areas of casualty defense and product liability. T.J. earned his law degree from Stetson University College of Law where he served as a Senior Associate on <i>Stetson Law Review. </i>He graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Social Science. Prior to attending law school, T.J. worked in the banking and finance industry. T.J. also served as a summer intern for the Honorable James D. Whittemore, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.&nbsp;</p>Beyond the Bio Blog28 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Closer Look at Jack Weiss<p><i>Jack Weiss has dedicated his career of more than four decades to professional responsibility. When he&rsquo;s not representing bar applicants, lawyers or judges in bar disciplinary proceedings, Board of Bar Examiner admission cases and JQC proceedings, you&rsquo;ll likely find him enjoying the tranquility and peace of nature. He talks about a few of the most fulfilling aspects of his career and how he spends his time unwinding. </i></p> <p><b>Jack came to professional responsibility at the very beginning of his career working for The Florida Bar.</b> &ldquo;I prosecuted lawyers for unethical conduct, gave ethics opinions, and served as counsel and staff liaison for numerous bar committees. When I left the bar after nine years, I was chief trial counsel for the grievance department and set my sites on devoting my private practice to professional responsibility. In the mid-80s, I was the only lawyer in the state whose practice was dedicated solely to professional responsibility,&rdquo; noted Jack.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Over the years, I&rsquo;ve seen a huge variety of cases. If you can imagine a situation where a lawyer got into trouble, I&rsquo;ve probably represented that lawyer,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p><b>&ldquo;Lawyers today aren&rsquo;t any less professional than they were 40 years ago,&rdquo; said Jack. </b>He remembers when he was first admitted in 1974 hearing senior lawyers complaining about the professionalism of new attorneys as opposed to when the senior lawyers were admitted. &ldquo;But, young lawyers today do not get the guidance they got in earlier years.&nbsp;There was a lot more peer pressure and mentoring, even if informal, than there is today. He points to the number of lawyers in practice today, over 100,000 as opposed to less than 19,000 in 1974, as the primary reason for the lack of guidance.</p> <p>&ldquo;When I came to Tallahassee, most lawyers in practice more than 10 years knew each other, and the judges knew most of the lawyers in town who had been practicing any length of time. It&rsquo;s just not that way anymore,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p><b>The highlight of Jack&rsquo;s career came when he was recognized by his peers in 2014 with the Charles W. Kettlewell Legal Advisor Award from the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL). </b>&ldquo;This award was particularly meaningful, not only because I was recognized by my peers, but because I was recognized for my legal ethics,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>One of the most rewarding experiences of Jack&rsquo;s career was his service on the board of directors, including a term as chairman of Legal Services of North Florida, a federally funded legal aid provider. &ldquo;We were able to provide access to the courts to people who couldn&rsquo;t otherwise afford it,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>As one of the founders, Jack has been active with APRL since its first meeting in February 1990,&nbsp;He has watched APRL grow from about 25 members to almost 500; including lawyers representing lawyers, law school professionalism professors and malpractice defense lawyers.</p> <p>Jack speaks frequently at seminars about ethics, lawyer discipline, bar admissions and professional responsibility. One seminar he participated in, jointly sponsored by APRL and the State Department of the United States in June 2000, took Jack all the way to Fudan University School of Law in Shanghai, China.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was an extraordinary experience. I was surprised at the openness with which faculty discussed the shortcomings of the legal system, even with communist party members present,&rdquo; remembered Jack. &ldquo;In addition, there was a philosophical difference between China and the United States. In foreign corporate disputes, the importance of national interest would impact the outcome of the case in China,&rdquo; he said. After the seminar, I took a 5-day vacation to Beijing and was very impressed with the vibrancy of the people.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Jack worked for most of his career as a sole practitioner and joined Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell two years ago. </b>&ldquo;Richard Greenberg, a partner in the Tallahassee office, and I have been friends a long time. He does a lot of professional responsibility work and it felt like the right fit for me,&rdquo; explained Jack. &ldquo;Everyone welcomed me into this incredibly wonderful family known as Rumberger, Kirk &amp; Caldwell,&rdquo; said Jack.</p> <p><b>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s great to be able to talk with my fellow lawyers about my issues and theirs and I&rsquo;ve also developed some good friendships,&rdquo; </b>he continued. One of the legal assistants at the Tallahassee office and Jack formed an informal book club. Jack reads a lot of science fiction and fantasy, as well as history and noted that one of his favorites is Stephen King&rsquo;s <i>The Dark Tower</i> series. &ldquo;I really enjoy reading about imaginary worlds created by the authors.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Jack and his wife have been calling Tallahassee their home for more than 40 years. </b>&ldquo;We met when we were working at the University of Florida law school library. She wasn&rsquo;t a law student, but I always said that if we hadn&rsquo;t met there, we&rsquo;d have met at a game,&rdquo; laughed Jack. &ldquo;We agreed that we&rsquo;d stay in North Florida after we were married. I took my first job here in Tallahassee and we are still here 44 years later.&rdquo;</p> <p>A die-hard Gators fan, Jack notes that UF is the only school in Florida, and maybe in the U.S., that&rsquo;s won national championships in football, baseball, basketball and track. &nbsp;</p> <p><b>Jack enjoys spending time outside and Tallahassee is the perfect place to do so with its rolling hills and canopied roads of moss-draped oak trees. </b></p> <img src=" Weiss-Redfish 4.27.14.jpg" hspace="3" vspace="3" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="250" height="333" /> <p>&ldquo;We love the seasons here and there is just so much to do,&rdquo; said Jack. He likes to spend his free time taking care of his yard, gardening and fishing. &ldquo;When I&rsquo;m fishing, it&rsquo;s very relaxing for me. There&rsquo;s absolutely no stress.&rdquo;</p> <p>Jack served on the Board of Directors for Bird Song Nature Center in Thomasville, Georgia for five years. The center sits on 565 acres of wildflower meadows, forests, ponds and swamps and offers a home to a myriad of birds and other wildlife. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a wonderful, peaceful place where you can see a huge variety of birds and other critters that you don&rsquo;t see in suburbia,&rdquo; noted Jack.</p> <p>Jack also spends time fly fishing in North Carolina and says he and his wife travel there about once every other month to visit with two of their three children who live there. &ldquo;In addition to our daughter and son-in-law in Asheville, we also have a daughter and son-in-law and new grandchild living in Winston-Salem and a son in Orlando,&rdquo; explained Jack.</p> <p>Over the years the Weiss family has spent a lot of time kayaking and canoeing as well as whitewater rafting. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve kayaked the Nantahala, canoed the Chattooga and rafted the Ocoee and the French Broad,&rdquo; said Jack. &nbsp;</p> <p>He and his wife enjoy traveling together and have been to Europe on five occasions, to South Africa and have traveled extensively throughout the U.S, Canada and Mexico. &ldquo;Really, though, the ideal vacation for us is one where at least one of our kids is with us,&rdquo; said Jack.</p> <p><img src=" Weiss-Wife and Granddaugher.JPG" hspace="3" vspace="3" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="350" height="260" /><br /> You can tell Jack is very proud of his kids and their accomplishments, but he&rsquo;s most excited about his new role as grandfather. His first grandchild was born on July 3, 2018. &ldquo;Kathy and I are completely besotted with the newest member of our family.&nbsp;There is no doubt in our minds that she is the most beautiful baby born in the history of mankind,&rdquo; he said.</p>Beyond the Bio Blog24 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0800