My Client

Walking into the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables Friday morning brought back a flood of memories. The most nostalgic of which was the remembrance of coming here with my mom ten years ago when I first began weighing the decision to attend the University of Miami. Next was a strange sense of déjà vu – I had been in this same lobby two months ago for my own hearing before The Florida Board of Bar Examiners. And finally, there was the pride because I was not walking into that lobby alone. Friday, I walked into the lobby of the Hyatt Regency with someone incredibly special. That someone was not just a friend, a brother, and a counselor. That someone was my first client.


As a young lawyer, representing my first client from start to finish has been a much-needed breath of fresh air. The involved reader may meet this last phrase with confusion as I have written before about my clients. However, clients whom I represent now and have represented in the past, I have had the privilege and the honor of representing alongside Spencer Marc Aronfeld and Brandon Eric Stein of Aronfeld Trial Lawyers. It took on a different feeling and a heavier responsibility when I decided to represent my client as a favor, entirely on my own, outside of the now familiar world of personal injury law.

True confessions. When my client first contacted me, I had not even received my Bar Card yet. I had just been sworn in as a lawyer and sent my Oath to Tallahassee. I remember sitting outside my apartment on a sunny Sunday afternoon when the call came. As he finished explaining the issues he faced, still alive with the excitement of recently being sworn in as a new lawyer, I offered to zealously represent him until the end. The next day, I made my first call as a lawyer to the Florida Bar Ethics Hotline, to ensure it would be ethical for me to represent my client with the issues he was confronting seeing as how I had just been sworn in. The answer brought instant relief and not long after I was staring into the abyss of a freshly signed notice of appearance. I savored that moment; that feeling that I was now practicing law. We spent the next two months building his case until finally, the moment had arrived.


The night before my client’s hearing, I found myself back at Starbucks – the same Starbucks on 12th and Washington where there remains a doodled and coffee stained napkin. This time, I took up three tables. I laid out my client’s entire file and began reading over every page, word for word. Feverously I took notes in between sips of my delicately crafted Americano. My eyes move faster than my pen can write. Like a character from a Dostoyevsky novel, I feel myself resisting the urge to laugh out loud. I want to laugh because I am living the life of a young lawyer – “So this is what it’s like,” reverberates between pen strokes. Hours later, I awaken from my stupor, deep breathe – WE are ready. There is an extraordinary hum in the air as I walk home that night. Something tells me it is the electricity I feel in the Atlantic breeze as I finally laugh out loud.

The next day, we walk into the room and meet our makers – the panel that will question my client. This is the moment we have spent two moths preparing for. Countless hours, phone calls, and Sunday-night meetings in my South Beach apartment.

“Please state your appearances.”

I look at my client one final time before turning to The Board and responding.

“Good morning. Domenick Giovanni Lazzara, on behalf of my client…”


11 thoughts on “My Client

  1. Well written, Dom. I remember the first time I had to teach a class when I was in graduate school. I got in the elevator from my desk on the third floor. In the elevator I thought, “what the heck am I doing.” Then I took a breath, walked into the lecture hall and said, “Good morning, I am Maggie Anderson your instructor for this course.” It was a frightening, but awesome feeling. I too can feel your excitement and the hope you have for the positive outcome of your client’s case.

  2. Pingback: We Won | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

  3. You worked hard to get to this passage of life and the exhilaration you are feeling is the results of that hard work,,,unk bill and I are very proud of you,,,,,gain congradulations to you,,,

  4. Pingback: Confessions of a Young Lawyer | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

  5. Pingback: To Be or Not To Be, Part 1 | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

  6. Pingback: To Be or Not To Be, Part 2 | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

  7. Pingback: Home | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

  8. Pingback: Confessions of a Hallow Man | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

  9. Pingback: TWO WEEKS | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

  10. Pingback: A Young Lawyer’s First Trial | Portrait of the Lawyer as a Young Man

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s