What part of town do you live in?
Pinecrest. We’ve lived in the area for about 33 years. I was born and raised in South Florida in the Gables area and after law school I came back to town. When we started growing our family, we moved down to Pinecrest.
Tell us a little bit about your family?
It’s me and my wife, who is always stopping by to see you guys with me at the market. I have two sons, one that lives in Los Angeles and the other lives in Pompano beach.
Would you share a little bit about what you do during the week?
I am an attorney. I have a law practice in a Coral Gables. I am a trial lawyer and concentrate in intellectual property law and healthcare law.
Are you typically working with large companies or individuals?
It tends to be a practice where you’re representing a business more often than an individual though sometimes it’s an individual. On the intellectual property side, I’ve represented musicians who had copyright infringement cases and litigated a lot of different types of products from perfume bottles to new drugs, and books. On the healthcare side, I represent health clinics who buy and sell doctor’s practices and get into the usual business disputes that need help being resolved.
On the intellectual property side, are you helping clients set up their protection or are you involved once there is a dispute?
I don’t get patents, but I can help people set up their trademarks and copyrights. Generally, I’m involved in a dispute. I’m working to assert someone’s rights and protect them or defending against someone.
What advice do you have for people setting up protections of their intellectual property?
More often, your average businessperson is going to run a across a trademark issue. Your trademarks can be very valuable and you should be consulting a lawyer to make sure they’re properly protected.
What trends do you see in the healthcare market?
I’ve seen the market change tremendously, mainly by consolidation of hospitals and other groups buying up practices – not just doctor’s practices, but imaging practices and pharmacy groups. Everybody’s consolidating. Everybody thinks they have to get big to survive.
Consolidation, and vertical integration seems to be a trend in all markets. Even with what we do at LNB, we are trying to build the company from farm to retail which helps us ensure quality. Is controlling that whole process what is motivating healthcare companies?
It’s not so much that as it is about getting larger in absolute numbers. They believe that to be able to compete and keep their costs where they need to be, they need to get bigger. I think it’s because of the complexity of dealing with the health care regulations, It’s very tough for a sole practitioner in a general practice of medicine to deal with everything he has to deal with and have time to do what he loves, which is practice medicine. You’ll notice there are fewer and fewer physicians who practice on their own that are not connected with a larger group.
What do you enjoy most about practicing law?
I love the challenge, both the intellectual challenge and the challenge of trying to outperform your opposing counsel in your pleadings and oral arguments.
Do you typically go to trial?
I go as often as I can because I love to, but in the modern litigation system, most cases get settled.
I am not surprised that you mentioned the intellectual challenge, in my research I saw you were the treasurer of Mensa for several years. Would you share about Mensa and what makes it fun for you?
I’m now vice president. It’s fun because it’s for people who’ve scored above a certain level on IQ tests and it’s just a fun group to sit around and have conversations with.
What kind of meetings take place here in Miami?
We have regular monthly meetings at Tea and Poets in Sunset Place – generally the first Tuesday of every month. We do our business that has to be done to carry out our local organization, and we have guest speakers, game nights, and very interesting conversation. There are people from every different walk of life you can imagine. They’re all capable of arguing their positions with great skill. So it’s a lot of fun. Recently we had a financial advisor present and another talking about diet issues and the Keto Diet.
How do people get into Mensa?
Anybody can contact the local president and get set up with a test.
What advice do you give somebody hiring a lawyer?
That’s an interesting question. Do your research and make sure they come highly recommended by people who know who the most skilled people are in that area.
How often do you come to the Pinecrest market?
Almost every week. I would say if we’re in town, we definitely are there.
What’s your ritual like when you come to the market?
The first place we go is LNB. I need my turmeric tonic. And, when you have it I need my turmeric dressing and my guacamole. Then we usually hit Zak’s, but right now I’m trying to cut back on carbs, which is anti Zak’s business. Then, Sybil for coffee. We always go down to Dimitri at Tony’s Gyros for the Greek food, and then to the various vegetable and plant vendors. And, we love Eddie’s Chocolates.
You’ve been using our tonic since we started, years ago. What about it do you like?
It’s extremely healthy. Turmeric’s a great anti-inflammatory. I’ve loved the taste of turmeric and especially your tonic with the combination of honey, black pepper and other ingredients. It just gives it a great flavor. I have a small glass of it every morning. I’ve been a big fan of turmeric and of Indian food for a long time.
What do you enjoy most about our farmer’s market?
Healthy and tasty food and the atmosphere. And, we always bump into neighbors there and have time to chat with them.
What do you think would make the market better?
I would love to see more of an educational booth. Maybe every week they can rotate by vendors who wanted to do it. Where for instance, you could show a recipe using different ingredients you sell, using turmeric, using your avocados, and show people ways to consume what’s in your turmeric bottle. Or, people could just demonstrate what they have and how they produce it. You could talk about the farm and what goes into producing all the great stuff you have.
Where do you all like to go out for food?
For Indian, we love both Bombay Darbar and Saffron that’s down here in Pinecrest. We get any number of curry or Tandoori dishes depending on what our mood is that night.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
Milam’s market. It’s a great supermarket that is a local chain. Especially the one in Pinecrest, we need to make people aware of it. Everybody will fight to park at Whole Foods across the highway, and they forget about Milam’s right here.
Also, the Fruit and Spice Park in Redland. The park showcases the amazing variety of tropical and subtropical plants that we are so fortunate to have in our area.
What is a worthy splurge for you?
We love to travel. We love beach vacations. We’re going to go out to Los Angeles in Santa Monica and to the wine country to visit my son and we’d like to go to Italy and Greece as well.
What’s a good rainy-day activity?
For us, it’s movies. Either Turner classics or something on TV or out to the movies at Sunset Place.
Are you reading any good books right now?
I’m almost always reading a good book. Right now, I’m reading Algorithms to Live By; The Computer Science of Human Decisions. It talks about the science of how to make better decisions and it has a great application to everyday decisions.
Where’s the most romantic spot in Miami?
I would say a hotel on Miami Beach overlooking the ocean.
What community events are coming up or philanthropic groups are important to you that you might like to share?
The Miami Greek Festival at St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church is November 15-17, 2019.
Also, we support the Pararescue Foundation which is dedicated to supporting US Air Force Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officers service members, veterans and their families.
Would you like to share a pitch about your law firm?
Sure. I work with businesses and individuals to help them effectively solve disputes about trademark, copyright, patent, and other business-related matters.
Is there a question that you would like to ask us?
(GB) How do you make your guacamole?
(A+W) We have to give the Avocados the credit. This is the time of the year when the Avocados start going from good to great. They have been so creamy this year. We use different varieties between July and February, each more creamy and tastier as the season progresses. This year, we learned that our Simmonds avocados are better a little less ripe, then fully soft. They have more flavor and better texture. In late November, we will have our Choquettes, which are the ones everyone asks for all year long. They are our favorites. As for how we make the guacamole – one batch is 20 lbs of avocados, 2 cups of red onions, 2 cups cilantro, 1 cup lime juice, 1/3 cup jalapeno and 1/3 cup of roasted garlic and 1/3 cup of salt.
(GB) I’ve noticed, your guacamole has been lasting a long time in the fridge.
(A+W) Yes, Florida avocados don’t brown like the imported Hass varieties, so we find you can enjoy our guacamole for several days. Typically people think of the Florida varieties as watery – but this is mostly because they are picked months too soon to ship to stores. We start picking when they start dropping, so we know they are ready.
Is there a question or a challenge that you would like to pose to the community?
A challenge would be to focus on the quality of what you eat and make sure you exercise to the extent you can.