Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Lyudmyla Kolyesnik and Christopher J. Greene, attorneys with Purcell Flanagan Hay & Greene to discuss their careers and their outlook on the profession.
Lyudmyla Kolyesnik is an associate. She focuses her practice on trust and estate litigation, complex business disputes, and construction-related conflicts. With her undergraduate degree in corporate finance, she brings a well-rounded perspective to each case to the benefit of her clients.
AALM: What drew you into litigation? Have you ever considered a different type of the law? What do you enjoy about being a litigator? What are some of the frustrations?
LK: Litigation captivated me due to its dynamic nature and the opportunity to advocate for clients in the courtroom. While I have contemplated other legal avenues, litigation’s blend of strategy, argumentation and problem-solving keeps me engaged. I relish the thrill of presenting a compelling case, but frustrations often arise from lengthy proceedings and inefficiencies in the system. Nonetheless, the intellectual challenge makes being a litigator an endlessly rewarding pursuit.
AALM: In your experience as a female litigator, do you think there are certain practices – like litigation – that are still more dominated by male practitioners? If so, why, and how do you overcome those challenges?
LK: Certainly, while strides have been made, gender imbalances persist in certain legal domains. As a female litigator, I’ve observed this reality. Historically, biases may steer women toward different legal specialties, and litigation’s confrontational nature might deter some. Personally, I navigate these challenges by forging supportive networks, seeking mentorship from women in the field, and championing diversity and inclusion initiatives. Through these efforts, I strive to break down barriers and make the legal profession more equitable for all.
AALM: In your work with senior partners, are there any traits you’ve identified that you hope to carry through to the next generation of lawyers?
LK: The trait I admire in senior partners is their commitment to mentorship. Their guidance and experience have been invaluable to my growth as a lawyer. I aim to pass on this dedication to mentorship to the next generation, fostering a culture of knowledge-sharing and support, ensuring that young lawyers can benefit from the wisdom of their peers as they embark on their legal careers.
Christopher J. Greene
As a shareholder in the firm, Christopher J. Greene focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation and disputes involving trusts, estates, and probate. He currently serves as co-chair of the probate and trust litigation section of the Jacksonville Bar Association.
AALM: Is there one case that stands out as a turning point in your career? A case that redefined your practice focus?
CG: I handled a case involving the enforcement and interpretation of the settlement agreement in a trust dispute. The lawyers were experienced and exceptional, and the subject matter was very appealing to me. It compelled me to pursue handling of trust and estates litigation matters as a significant part of my practice.
AALM: What experience in the courtroom has taught you the most about being a good litigator?
CG: Expect the unexpected. We prepare our cases for trial with the approach of knowing the other side’s cases as well as they do. This approach always helps us better prepare our evidence and strategies and minimizes potential for a surprise.
AALM: What trait do you believe most separates an average or good litigator from an exceptional one?
CG: Very simple. Extremely hard work. A focus on the details and displaying at all times a highly ethical approach. Lastly, always demonstrating civility to opposing counsel and parties as it defuses and helps to avoid an unnecessary conflict.