Jacob E Segal
Jacob E Segal was ranked in the top one percent at NSU Law. He moved on and graduated from the University of Florida College of Law I was recruited to South Florida. I worked for Selective Commercial Litigation firm. This Firm only recruited first year associates with impeccable credentials. A very different life than law school. In those days, prestige and education mattered. It is not easy to get hired into these firms. Very detail oriented and perfectionist.
Jacob E Segal
- University of Hawaii, Undergraduate Major in Journalism and History.
- Nova Southeastern College of Law, 1996-1997, (Ranked in Top 1 percent and Transferred)
- University of Florida College of Law, 1997-1999 J.D.
After graduation from University of Florida College of Law I was recruited to South Florida. I worked for Selective Commercial Litigation firm. This Firm only recruited first year associates with impeccable credentials. A very different life than law school. In those days, prestige and education mattered. It is not easy to get hired into these firms. Very detail oriented and perfectionist.
For example, leather soled shoes were a must. Suit jackets could only be taken off in the offices. And the only recruited from the top law schools at the time, namely, University of Florida (Ranked number One in Florida), FSU, and to an extent UM and Stetson. And they only recruited those students in the top 5 percent of the class. This firm had offices in Downtown Miami on Brickell Avenue and in Fort Lauderdale.
One particularly interesting case that illustrates this type of firm and the cases it engaged in involved a case involving an Oral Contract. Between two Norwegians cruise ship owners. Nothing written down! I had no idea how they had amassed over 50 banker boxes on an oral contract. The litigation had already been going back and forth for years when I arrived. And within months the trial began. It was held in a beautiful, old courthouse in Downtown Miami. The biggest courtroom there. A gorgeous place to conduct a trial. I loved it. Until the trial started I had spent my time in the library researching every little issue. With books. Today there are no books. Except for show.
The trial began. After weeks of trial the jury announced a verdict of well over $10 million. I was a new associate so of course so I didn’t share in the proceeds. But I was thrilled for the firm. I had just started and wasn’t a partner. But it was an interesting start to my career. This was a firm typical of large commercial defense and plaintiff firms in that it was not a 9-5 job. We would usually work until after dark. They had a saying that I use to this day: you don’t stop when youre tired, you stop when the job is done. And they lived by that creed. We usually worked through the weekend. After some time and discussions with other, older successful lawyers on Brickell I realized it would be years before I would be able to actually lead a trial there.
Monroe County Public Defenders Office:
1999 through 2002
I decided to work where I could get all the jury trial experience I wanted, the Public Defenders office. Monroe County is beautiful and my wife and I were able to afford a house on the water and even a little boat on my small government salary. But to this day this was the best job I have ever had. In fact it’s a large factor on my wanting to run for judge. In the first two years I worked in the remote Marathon office. There were only two lawyers. Myself and a Felony lawyer. The Felony Lawyer was a very talented lawyer named Courtenay Miller. Who I still speak to today. Today he is second in command at the Public Defender’s office north of Jacksonville. Most of the lawyers in the Keys lived on sailboats and he was no exception. I get seasick so that wasn’t an option for me.
Regardless of the beauty and laid back feeling the tourists passing through on their way to Key West and Duvall Street felt, the criminal justice system was tough. As tough as any small town in the South. They had less cases to take care of and could afford to spend all the time they needed on each case. They were very tough on crime. There is a saying: “Arrive on vacation, leave on probation.” I got my wish and conducted multiple jury trials. Mainly DUI’s. To this day I could meet a DUI offender and go to trial the next day if needed. It was a lot of fun. Once a month was trial week. I believe my record for number of jury trials in a week was four. It was a tough week.
I transferred to the Broward County Public Defenders office after my first son was born and to my astonishment the first person I met that was assigned to show me the ropes had been there four years and had only done two trials in that time. The reason was the overload of cases. Few lawyers there did many trials. But there were many extremely talented lawyers. Alan Schreiber was running the place then. Schreiber heard of my trial experience and wanted me to try as many cases in front of a certain judge that was giving them trouble. I did just that. Before being transferred to Juvenile Division. Where the number and severity of crimes was staggering compared to Monroe County. After about three and a half years at the Public Defenders office I was ready to go into private practice and gain new skills.
Landau & Segal, P.A.
I started a firm with a friend from law school and we did very well. We started out doing everything we could. We lived for a year on court-appointed criminal and foreclosure cases. I remember we took one divorce trial for a few hundred dollars and it actually went to trial. We learned a lot in the first few years. Then we discovered personal injury. Unlike criminal law you don’t spend half your time trying to get your client to pay. With a second son born we worked many hours a day. And soon had a high volume practice and the firm would gross seven figures. As this is a website for judge I will err on the side of caution. We had at least 1000 cases pass through.
The Segal Firm
Starting in around 2008 until today I have been a solo practitioner. Focusing on Personal Injury and Civil Rights. The most rewarding cases I have ever done were civil rights cases in Federal Court. My father, who died just this year, was handicapped, and in a wheelchair for most of my life. Until the 1992 Civil Rights Act known as the ADA was passed, he didn’t have access to a lot of places. The Americans with Disabilities Act was a truly great piece of legislation. Called the “Emancipation Proclamation for the disabled.” A study showed that the percentage of of disabled persons going to things we take for granted like movies and restaurants skyrocketed once this law passed. There are other parts to it than accommodations, but that was my personal favorite thing I did as a private attorney. The Segal Law firm is based in Hollywood since 2003.