Attorney at Law Magazine First Coast publisher Tom Brady sat down with Barry Sinoff Award of Excellence Award Winner Mark M. Green to discuss his family law practice.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney?
Green: When I realized that I was not smart enough to get accepted to a medical school upon graduation from college.
AALM: Do you have any mentors or professors that encouraged you along the way? What is the best lesson they taught you?
Green: I didn’t have any mentors or professors that were instrumental to my career. I did, however, rely on my experience as an assistant state attorney for three and a half years to learn how to prepare and try a case. I have been able to rely on that training and experience now for approximately 40 years.
AALM: What drew you to family law? Did you ever practice in any other area?
Green: When I first started practicing 42 years ago. I took cases in several areas of practice to include, workers’ compensation, personal injury, contracts, marital and family law, and criminal law. Over the years my practice was exclusively marital and family law and criminal trial practice. However, over the last 10 years or so my family law practice continued to grow and I stopped practicing criminal law.
AALM: Why did you decide to open your own practice?
Green: In the past I had several partners. As a result, I learned various aspects as it related to running a business, professional demands, marketing, relations with your partners and associates. Operating a business is quite different than practicing law. Recently several of my former partners decided to retire. I decided to open my own practice in the BB&T Building which is where I started 42 years ago.
AALM: Are there any changes coming in the future that you’re excited about?
Green: Yes, I am excited about the success of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms available for parties to stay out of court. Mediation enjoys great success which allows the clients to stay out of court and keep their assets for the family rather than paying substantial attorney’s fees to litigate their case. I believe there will be significant changes in the family law practice over the next 10 to 15 years to include a substantial increase in collaborative law which results in less trials and litigation costs and attorney’s fees for the parties.
AALM: How would you best describe Mr. Barry Sinoff?
Green: My fondest memories of Barry go back to when he first started practice in the Blackstone Building and I was still an assistant state attorney. During my 42 years of family law litigation, Barry and I often crossed paths. Barry was the consummate professional and was always a pleasure to work with. I can fondly say I never had a short phone conversation with Barry when we discussed cases.