Founder & Managing Attorney
Licensed IAR for Keystone Wealth Partners, LLC
I was 15 years old, in disbelief at my surroundings. To my left, a public defender, my parents and my sisters. To my right, a prosecutor. Piles of paper everywhere, clipped into these very formal looking files. And squared up in front of me like in a Tombstone standoff, a judge, looming over me and my future. That day, the judge “adjudicated me a delinquent” and gave me community service as my punishment. I learned many lessons that day.
One of them was that the court system is scary, confusing, slow (and sometimes fast), and absolutely setup so that even the smartest person could get lost and lose their rights in a blink. I put on a good face back then, but I really had no idea what was happening. I didn’t understand all the formal legal papers (things called “pleadings” – what they heck is that), the weird deadlines, and the fast-talking lawyers (wasn’t one of them supposed to be MINE?). The judge was maybe the only person in the courtroom who really took the time to speak TO me during that whole ordeal.
It’s Scary To Feel Completely Out Of Control
This was my life! I made a dumb teenager mistake and now my entire life was spinning out of control. I felt completely lost and helpless, like I was at the mercy of a system that didn’t have the time to pause for a second to tell me what was really happening.
From then on, I resolved to treat people better than that, especially when they were scared or felt helpless.
I Started This Law Firm On One Bedrock Principle: We Will Not Scare Or Confuse Our Clients
Turns out that means we’d have to find ways to do things differently than most other lawyers and other law firms. So now, we aim to break traditional lawyer and law firm stereotypes.
I have a passion for teaching and have taught hundreds of workshops, seminars and education courses to attorneys, financial professionals, and the public. I discovered this joy for teaching in English Talk Time, an outreach ministry at my church, where we taught conversational English as a second language to immigrants and refugees.
Nicole and I have four children, Isabella, Gabriel, Sophia and Zachary. Before entering law school, I promised my wife that I would not become one of “those attorneys”. I promised her that I would be different. Nicole keeps me honest to this goal every time I start to “drift” and begin cross-examining her or one of the kids!
Outside of work, you might find me camping with my kids, fishing, hiking, hunting, driving out for a quick family road trip, or attending my church, Central Christian Church in Ahwatukee (say “Hi!” if you see me).
Having watched the demand for our services grow over the years, my role has shifted from being the phone answerer, to the IT support guy, to being the paralegal, to being the attorney, the bookkeeper, the web designer, the speaker, and everything in between. These days my role is limited to a few key areas that have the biggest impact on continuing to accommodate the needs of our growing client base: finding and training amazing team members, speaking and teaching the public and other professionals, building & maintaining community relationships, volunteering as a board member in one or more nonprofits, and providing strategic guidance on complex estate, probate, wealth planning, asset protection, and trust litigation cases.