Writing Competition and Steve’s Barbeque Kitchen

by Erica Clements
Week 4

This was a busy week given that the past several weeks have offered little spare time to prepare for our Summer Associate Writing Competition. Fortunately, I was able to tackle two assignments on Monday and Tuesday – a broad research assignment for partner Darryl Gavin regarding the independent contractor doctrine and its various exceptions as applied to our case, and a research assignment regarding the availability of a notice of lis pendens for another case. Both were excellent ways to explore different areas of the law, and I enjoy getting to research a lot of different topics.

On Wednesday, one of the firm’s founding partners, Bud Kirk, delivered a thoughtful presentation during the attorney luncheon. He shared his experience and suggestions related to jury selection, particularly emphasizing its impact on any case and the importance of establishing credibility and likeability with jurors.

Board games and BBQ!

Afterwards, Coleman and I departed for a slightly hectic trip to the Orlando International Airport. It was only hectic due to our navigational difficulties, parking closures, and Florida drivers, but we made it successfully and ahead of schedule. We joined partner Dan Gerber (who serves as General Counsel) at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s monthly board meeting. It was such a pleasure to meet and shake hands with the board members as well as some of the attendees, and I was impressed with how well respected and knowledgeable Dan is about all things GOAA. After many more laughs than expected during a board meeting (and some exceptionally large dollar figures attached to exciting new projects at the airport) we were able to take a tour of Dan’s office and the area of the airport where GOAA’s executives work. There is an interesting variety of legal work to be done at GOAA and I was intrigued by their need for all kinds of transactional work, employment work, land use and other legal niches. It certainly appealed to me, so I was excited when Dan mentioned that we would receive some assignments related to GOAA’s operations.

On Thursday, Coleman and I were invited by associates and former Summer Program alumni, Mary Hudson, Madison Buckley, and Hannah Klonowski to attend a luncheon hosted by the Young Lawyers Section of the Orange County Bar Association. It was hosted at the Citrus Club (which boasts a beautiful interior), and lunch was catered after everyone was able to chat and mingle. During lunch, we listened to a panel discussing the intersection of legal practice and the media, and different aspects of presenting legal topics to various news outlets over different mediums. It was something I hadn’t thought much about since I am still working on learning the law before I will teach it to others, but it was a helpful introduction! The luncheon was a great opportunity to meet with other local lawyers, from existing acquaintances to new connections. After we returned, I got back to work and pressed nose to grindstone for my Daubert motion for the Summer Associate Writing Competition.

On Friday, I continued to work hard on my motion for the writing competition, interrupted for a brief, but fun ice cream social. All day, I reminded myself that on Saturday, I would be celebrating my motion’s completion at the Summer BBQ where partner Steve Klein would prepare a veritable feast. Sure enough, I submitted under the wire and on Saturday we had a blast. The house is a fun mix of part vintage classic car museum, part artsy home, and part gorgeous pool and garden area. I was 100% envious! We had so much fun, the food was delicious (this is a running theme I am learning), and some of us even enjoyed playing some board games! This should be a monthly tradition, I’m just saying. I am so grateful for all of the experiences, and look forward to what whatever comes next!

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