Brett Carey Welcomes the Challenges and Diversity of His Practice
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.
Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, Brett attended the University of Central Florida and transferred to the University of Florida where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. “I wasn’t one of those who always wanted to be a lawyer, but I did realize what I didn’t want to do while listening to a guest speaker talk during my “Entrepreneurship” 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,” remembered Brett. “I didn’t want my life to be ice cream, or any one thing,” he laughed.
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’s law school. “I saw a lot of Gator gear there.”
Brett came to Orlando to work as a summer associate for RumbergerKirk and then joined the firm after finishing his degree seven years ago. “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.”
Now Brett is in his 4th year of being a mentor for the summer associates. “We teach the summer associates what it’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.”
Brett says his work is both challenging and engaging because he is always learning and applying legal principles to a variety of situations. “For instance, one case involved a person who had a zoo in the backyard while another involved wills and trusts,” explained Brett. “Also, with commercial litigation, you learn about the client’s business in order to understand the case.”
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. “It’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,” said Brett. “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.
Being able to think on his feet is one of Brett’s favorite aspects of his job. “The key to thinking on your feet is preparation,” said Brett. “You need to be sure you have read everything and are knowledgeable on every issue that might arise,” he added. It’s a good feeling when you’re able to answer a judge’s question or respond to opposing counsel’s arguments.”
Brett has spent the last two years as a member of the Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division Scholarship Committee. “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,” he said.
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. “I really like to help out because I did moot court at FSU and found that to be so valuable to me. It’s both fun and rewarding to help someone achieve and serve as a mentor.”
A lifelong Floridian, Brett and his wife enjoy all Orlando has to offer. 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.