Friday, January 11, 2008

1/11 - My work goodbye

I sent this today:

A heartfelt and sorrowful goodbye (with the obligatory top ten list)

Today is my last day at Akerman. It has been an incredible privilege to learn from and work with my colleagues here for the past 12 years. Having previously worked at Skadden Arps and Greenberg Traurig, I can state with confidence that this is the finest firm that I have ever seen.

So why am I leaving? Male menopause. My wife won't let me buy a Camaro, so starting a new firm is apparently the only way to recapture my quickly-fading youth. Actually, the real reason is probably no more logical. As many of you know, last year was a very tough year for my family, due to my son's ongoing illness. My friends at Akerman have been the lighthouse that helped us weather the storm. That said, my subconscious appears to be driving me, like a spawning salmon, to separate from everything in the "past" so I can approach a different future (healthwise) for my family. Can you see why I only earned a B- in Psychology 101?

Once my subconscious began driving me (without a GPS) towards unspecified "change", I developed my one sentence business plan – "Do something in which Akerman remains a friend." I have never had any desire to go to another large firm, because Akerman does it better. So I came up with the plan for a small litigation boutique, in which I am joining Scott Cosgrove and James Sammataro. That allows us to continue to work with our Akerman friends, call upon their vast expertise, and do the kinds of things that Akerman can't do because of client conflicts.

So where does that leave us? Akerman is the dominant firm in Florida. And Miami. Period. A quick look at the phone list reveals the caliber of our people, from the most senior partners to the most junior staff. There's nobody smarter, and nobody more skilled. Period. To top it off, our "jerk quotient" is so low that an unbiased observer wouldn't believe its actually a law firm. Think about it.

While nobody can touch me with regard to pop culture knowledge from 1980 to 1990 (yes, I've thrown down the gauntlet), the rest of the litigation practice will march on without even a hiccup. In the face of the continuing recessionary pressures, there is no firm better situated to thrive. On the other hand, if you have questions about "Pretty in Pink" or the Psychedelic Furs, you probably need to call me.

Yada. Yada. Yada. What would my email be without a top ten list? So here it is, the top 10 reasons why I'm leaving:

10. The firm won't let me try to fix the copiers when they jam, so I wanted the opportunity to do it for myself.

9. There's a glass ceiling – I will never, ever, ever, be able to beat Steve Roddenberry at Brickbreaker on the Blackberry. I give up.

8. "I forget what 8 was for."

7. I really, really want to go back to Word Perfect.

6. Management said that if I walked around the office in spandex bicycle clothing one more time, I was in trouble. It's so comfy against skin, and one thing led to another, and the rest is history.

5. I can now buy a Keg-erator for beer room.

4. I can't get over the fear every time I step into the new elevators.

3. Work was getting in the way of my blog (which is still going, if anybody's interested).

2. The firm was pressuring me to update my web bio picture, which was taken 3 years ago during the brief 2 week period after I lost weight and before I lost my hair. No dice.

1. People were getting suspicious about the collection of Porsche headlights in my office.

As you can see, there's still a writer's strike. . .

If you need me, Scott or James for any reason (Hart Scott advice, L.A. Law trivia, teaching your child how to ride a bike), we'll be 40 yards to the east in One Biscayne Tower. Our phone number is 305-377-1666.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10, 2008 Report

Big news. Jake is scheduled for a Make-A-Wish trip during President's Day weekend to Legoland in San Diego. We fly out after dialysis on Friday, spend Saturday and Sunday at Legoland, do dialysis in San Diego on Monday, and fly back on Tuesday. A whole weekend where it won't be safe to walk around in bare feet. He's very excited, and we are of course grateful to Make-A-Wish. I'm going to miss the annual 24 Hours of Sebring endurance bicycle race, but it's clearly worth it.

We're moving forward with getting him on the Kidney Transplant list at University of Miami Hospital. It looks like he'll go on the list in April. From there, it could take a week or it could take a year.

In other news, I left my job and I'm starting a small "boutique" law firm with 2 friends. See for details. It's kind of a mid-life crisis thing. I'll post my goodbye email to Akerman tomorrow.