Q: And now the firm is dedicated to
nursing home work?
A: Pretty much. Separately from that,
we do medical malpractice, and we
do economic torts here and economic
litigation. When I came here, they had a
nice statewide practice. That was enticing
to me because I had done criminal work
all over the state and I liked that. Since
then, we have a national practice. That’s
been great fun.
Q: Have there been changes in the law
along the way that affected your practice
A: Some states have changed the laws
such that we don’t practice there much
anymore. Mississippi is a good example.
Q: Because of malpractice caps?
A: Because of the nursing-home [litigation]
caps. This is very expensive litigation. It’s
Q: What effect does that have on people?
A: I’m a sincere believer in the fact that
plaintiff’s lawyers have changed things for
the better with regards to safety: providing
for safety and protecting individuals,
including nursing home residents. The less
threat there is of litigation, the bigger the
danger that there’s going to be less safety
involved in the care of people.
Q: You helped to create Tampa’s hockey
team. Tell me about that.
A: Phil Esposito, the founder of the team,
gives my mother credit for naming the
team the Tampa Bay Lightning. When Phil
first came to town, he targeted Tampa as a
possible location for an NHL expansion team.
He sought out one of my law partners, Henry
Paul, whose father had been in baseball
ownership and management. Henry said,
“Let’s have a party for Phil and introduce
him to some Tampa people.” This was when
the idea was just a germ in Phil’s mind. He
was out on the back patio talking about
what to name the team if we got one, and
he claims that my mom said, “You should
name them the Lightning.” There happened
to be a night in June when there was one of
these tremendous Florida lightning storms.
It turned out to be a good name. My firm and
I were lawyers for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And then Henry continued to represent them.