Attorney at Law Magazine Miami Publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with 2019 Rising Star Adam Richards of Luks Santaniello to discuss his career, his inspiration, and his plans for the future.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney?
Richards: I’ve wanted to practice law as long as I can remember. As a matter of fact, a few years ago, when visiting my family up in Brooklyn, New York, I bumped into my first grade teacher. After learning about my career, she told me I was her only student that ended up doing what I said I wanted to do!
AALM: What drew you to this career?
Richards: Having to navigate through our legal system in the pursuit of justice for your client always appealed to me. The practice of law requires the best version of yourself, and provides an opportunity to learn something new every single day.
AALM: How is the practice of law different than your expectations in law school?
Richards: Practicing law is an incredible responsibility, with difficult decisions at every corner that should tug on all parts of you. You can lose and win, you can win and lose. Having the ability to think “like a lawyer” will only get you so far without having the presence of mind to understand what that means and how best to serve your client’s interests.
AALM: How would you describe your role within the firm?
Richards: I am so grateful for my role within the firm as it allows me to continue practicing construction law, an area that I am intensely passionate about. Seriously, I am talking that kind of love that makes you jump out of bed on a random Saturday morning to stand as close as possible to the installation of sheet metal panels with a vibratory hammer and 50-foot crane in connection with the construction of a new parking garage nearby. The firm has construction lawyers in various offices throughout the state of Florida, and I manage the construction practice for our Miami office. Several of our construction defect attorneys were former construction professionals prior to bar admission and they bring substantial industry experience to their position and serve as wonderful mentors. The firm represents owners, contractors, design professionals and subcontractors throughout all phases of your typical construction project, ranging from contract drafting and execution, project management/consultation, through pre-suit claims and litigation. Part of my practice also involves preventing against, investigating, and handling claims/litigation arising from construction site injuries/deaths.
AALM: Where do you see your career going?
Richards: Practicing law has triggered my entrepreneurial spirit. Earlier in my career, I was fortunate enough to get a glimpse into the business world as a General Counsel and Vice President of Operations for a leading residential roofing contractor. That glimpse allowed me to appreciate the importance of total quality management, while weighing potential legal issues from inception; truly an invaluable experience that propelled my development as an attorney and entrepreneur exponentially. I already see my practice as a business, and any successful entrepreneur will tell you to keep hustling!
AALM: Tell us about your involvement in the community.
Richards: I recently became involved with a charity that means a lot to me, the Construction Angels. Assistance is provided to families that have lost loved ones in construction accidents. Under Florida’s current workers’ compensation law (absent extraordinary circumstances), and in the event of death, a family is capped at $150,000.00, and may ultimately recover even less depending on the circumstances. I am hopeful that increasing awareness, engaging the community on behalf of the construction industry, and providing more support to those affected by tragic events will decrease the claims and litigation associated with most construction site accidents.