Curry Pajcic is a trial attorney with The Law Firm of Pajcic & Pajcic in Jacksonville. https://www.pajcic.com/
When in need of a quick recharge I … walk nine holes of golf.
The one thing I would tell a stressed-out and overwhelmed young lawyer is … it’s never as good as it seems, and it’s never as bad as it seems. It will work out; just always keep your lines of communication open with the other side, and always be kind to others.
Every day I make sure to … kiss my wife and my children, tell them that I love them, and pray over them.
The best way to deal with a difficult colleague or opposing counsel is … it’s OK to disagree, but there is no need to be disagreeable. “A kind word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1.
The quickest way to ruin your career is … be dishonest with opposing counsel or the court. Bad, bad, bad.
My favorite hobby is … golf. The golf course is a sanctuary where you can process through the worries of the day in nature among the birds and the trees. I can be alone with the Lord, away from the distractions of the world, and eventually forget the day’s worries, because that darned 7-iron you keep hooking takes all your focus!
I keep my priorities straight by … prayer, family, thankfulness. Whenever something doesn’t go how you want it, think of 10 things you are thankful for right away. It takes the edge off.
My favorite music is … classical (really enjoy Tchaikovsky) and country gold (Johnny Cash!).
The one thing that concerns me most about the future of the legal profession is … the declining level of personal relationships among lawyers. It has led to problems not seen before. When I started the practice of law, there were no emails and no smartphones. Everything was done on the phone, hand-to-hand or face-to-face. While there are many blessings to modern technology, it has led to a decline in professionalism and civility in the practice of law. When we sit in our offices and fire off emails all day – rather than going to the courthouse and spending time with opposing counsel, the judges and the JAs – we lose the connection and the accountability that comes with relationships. It’s a lot easier to lob a grenade in an email when that lawyer never sees, or even talks to, his or her opposing counsel. However, when we have relationships, know each other’s histories, kids and families, we are more professional, accountable, and ultimately better lawyers. Trust is established through relationship and time spent together. We need to get back to that. Pick up the phone, have lunch, get a drink together.
The most gratifying part about my job is … righting wrongs and making my clients’ lives better. The other day, a friend asked when I was going to retire. I told him: “Never.” Why would I, when I love what I do, righting wrongs and helping to make my clients’ lives better every day? It is truly a joy.
The best life lesson I ever learned was … Justice Raymond Erhlich, a mentor when I was a young lawyer, told me, “Never even approach the shadow of the tree that sits on the line of what might be unethical.”
I wish more lawyers … took the time to have a drink, or share a meal, with opposing counsel. They really are good people, and it’s all about relationships.
My role model is … my Dad, who passed away in 2006. He loved, he laughed, he fought hard in the courtroom, on the playing fields and in the field of life.
The best advice I’ve received about balancing work and life is … to work hard, and play hard, in equal portions. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Exercise clears you mind, oxygenates your brain and reinvigorates your soul for the work ahead.