*I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my plans and the goals for Michael H. Moody Law, P.A. In this process, I have also reflected on the good fortune I have had to have worked with a small group of individuals who have added tremendous value to me both personally and professionally. Over the next several weeks, I will attempt to honor those that have helped me become who I am today. Without these individuals I never would have had the knowledge, skills, or resources to be on this journey in the first place.
Paul S. Singerman
Today I am reflecting about Paul Steven Singerman. Paul is well-known in Florida’s business bankruptcy community. He has been involved in most, if not all, major bankruptcy and/or fraud cases in Florida for the last several decades. If there is an award, Paul has won it. If he hasn’t yet won it, he deserves it.
My first job as a practicing attorney was with Berger Singerman, LLP, of which Paul is Co-Chair. From 2010-2013, I worked with Berger Singerman’s Business Reorganization Team unwinding frauds, recovering assets, and reorganizing or selling distressed businesses.
In this role, I had the chance to work directly with Paul in many cases and to see his tremendous work ethic, determination, and drive. Much has been said of his tremendous skills and work-ethic. But many people do not know how generous he is: Paul allowed me to have significant experience early on, at a time in my career when many other lawyers with the same skills were stuck doing document review without any direct client contact.
From the moment I joined Berger Singerman, Paul caused me to be staffed on significant cases and assigned me important tasks and responsibilities. During my very first week, I was staffedd to assist with the creditors’ committee representation of The Sea Island Companies. Later that same year, I was tasked with preparing all of the first day papers, schedules, and statements for the bankruptcy case of a high-end furniture retailer, Robb & Stucky Limited, LLLP. This was a significant undertaking because Robb & Stucky had approximately 600 employees and ongoing operations in several states.
After the first day papers were filed, I attended the first day hearings in Robb & Stucky’s bankruptcy case, thinking my role was to be there to supply necessary information in the background should a question or issue arise. Paul had other plans. He gently pushed me to the podium in a jam-packed courtroom, allowing me the opportunity to argue several of the first day motions. I was extremely nervous that day and barely got through it. But, because of that experience I have not been nervous at the podium since. Sometimes I get hungry at the podium, but never nervous.
My entire time at Berger Singerman was filled with similar stories. While many of my law school friends were stuck doing tasks in the background at other firms, I had tremendous and significant opportunities and responsibilities. I’m very thankful for the years I spent with Paul, learning from him and his team. Paul was recently quoted saying, “Work hard, be honest and be kind, and whenever in doubt, default to what is simple and true.” I hope the strength of his early influence will become apparent through the future work of Michael H. Moody Law, P.A.