Beyond the Bio

A Love of Learning is at the Heart of Sally Culley’s Successful Practice

A Love of Learning is at the Heart of Sally Culley’s Successful Practice

For nearly 20 years, Sally Culley has built a strong civil litigation practice focusing on labor and employment litigation as well as commercial litigation. In her employment litigation practice, she defends both public and private employers against a wide range of employment issues. In her commercial litigation practice, she handles disputes between companies such as contract disputes, fraud, racketeer claims, and insurance coverage and bad faith claims. Here she talks about balancing two very different practice areas and how her love of learning and strategy is at the heart of her success.

“One of the things I enjoy about having such different practice areas is that I have acquired knowledge about a wide variety of things, which satisfies my desire to always be learning and improving,” Sally noted. “Working with different clients in a variety of industries, allows me the opportunity to always learn something new,” she added.

Sally’s desire to add variety to her work is what drew her to Rumberger in the first place. “I had worked for a small commercial boutique firm for four years. While I enjoyed it and gained excellent experience, I did not have much opportunity to expand my practice into other areas,” she remembered.

As soon as Sally arrived at RK 15 years ago, she immediately knew she had made the right choice. “I was involved in a product liability case that was both intellectually challenging and required a lot of strategic decision making, which I truly enjoy. In fact, analyzing a case and coming up with a strategy for handling the case in order to meet the client’s goals, and then implementing that strategy, is what I enjoy most about my work,” she said. 

“Understanding the clients’ business and goals plays an important role in developing the strategy of their individual cases,” Sally explained. When working on a case, Sally talked about how much she enjoys immersing herself in a file to figure out the best way to move forward and implement the strategy in accordance with the client’s business goals and needs. She also explained that just because a plan is in motion, it continues to develop and change as needed. “It’s important to periodically reevaluate the plan to see if it’s working and readjust the strategy as necessary,” she said.

Although Sally works in two different practice areas, she often works with the same clients on completely different issues. Having full understanding of the client’s business affords a unique perspective for Sally to be able to help them on a wide range of issues. “It’s great for clients to know they can come to me with any issue and if I don’t know the answer, I know where to find the answer and can usually do so pretty quickly,” she said.

Sally discussed that working in litigation can be very challenging because it is extremely difficult to predict what will happen. “It’s important to be diligent, focused and detail-oriented, but you also need to be both flexible in your plan to keep things moving and aggressive,” she explained. “Planning for litigation is one of the hardest things we do because we have to consider so many possibilities of what may occur. Here at RK, we are blessed with a team of skilled litigators who are readily available whenever necessary,” she said.

“RK has an open door culture where people are ready and happy to assist or offer advice. And, when there is a big project or trial, we all work together to try and achieve the best results possible for our clients,” said Sally.

In addition to a culture of respect and teamwork, RK also has a very collegial environment. “I am surrounded by good attorneys and good people who are truly pleasant to be around,”said Sally. “We all enjoy each other’s company and that is important when working long hours together on complicated problems.”

Outside of work, Sally spends most of her time with her family. “My three kids keep me busy with all of their activities—from chorus and theater to soccer, football, lacrosse and karate. And, when we aren’t busy with activities, Orlando offers so many great things to do,” she said. Sally is originally from Kentucky, so she enjoys Florida’s mild temperatures and many beaches.

“While I love living in Florida, I do enjoy traveling to Kentucky, Denver, and Texas to visit family,” said Sally. “I’m from a very small town and I always look forward to going back home to see all of my friends and my family. During the winter, it’s nice to go play in the snow and then come back to warm, sunny Florida!”