Education was important to bankruptcy attorney Paul J. Battista and his parents. “My father was in construction his whole life; my parents were determined I stay in school and use my brain as opposed to my arms and back to make a living,” he said.
Following high school, Battista went on to earn his accounting degree from the University of Rhode Island with the intent of becoming a CPA. After interviewing with several accounting firms, he knew he needed a back-up plan. “I wasn’t able to get a job,” Battista said, “so I asked myself if I should go to law school or medical school.”
Law school won the coin toss. “In hindsight, I know I made the right decision,” he said.
Having worked for several law firms over his 28-year career after graduating, magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law, he was taken under the wing of many accomplished attorneys. “At each firm, I had the good fortune of working with several great mentors who gave me guidance and new insights into my career.”
Now as one of the founding partners at Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A., with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and an affiliate office in Caracas, Venezuela, he receives the deepest gratification guiding clients to a stable future. “Most clients don’t come to see us unless there is a serious economic issue threatening their future,” he said.
The pressure his clients face throughout bankruptcy proceedings can be an added concern to any case. Trying to recognize and lessen the emotionall strain, while balancing the litigation aspects of the matter, can be a challenge. “I have found that you really need to spend time with each client to understand their concerns – whatever they may be – and provide not only legal advice but practical advice to navigate them through difficult situations,” Battista said. “Many times, it is as simple as taking the time to explain the process to a client afraid of the unknown. Overcoming their uncertainty can usually overcome the accompanying stress.”
Over the years, Battista has seen some things. “There are many funny stories,” he said. “But many of them are not appropriate for publication for one reason or another,” he said with a smile. “We often find ourselves saying, ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ throughout our day.”
Having had the privilege to work on many high-profile cases, Battista received his greatest compliment following the successful representation of Fred Goldman – the father of Ron Goldman, the victim in the O.J. Simpson murder case. He represented Goldman in successfully obtaining the ownership rights to the book, “If I Did It,” written by Simpson.
“In the acknowledgements, Fred was kind enough to say that I ‘handled myself with grace under tremendous pressure.’”
Looking to the future, Battista is excited to spend more quality time with his family and his children as they grow up – one of the most important parts of his life. Otherwise, he looks forward to continuing his work, serving his clients the best he can.
For those considering the law, his advice, “They really need to love the practice of law. To be good at this, you need to commit a great deal of time and energy and It can be overwhelming at times. You need the right personality to succeed in these conditions.