Made up of four young lawyers and residing in the progressive city of Valparaiso, Carr, Chelovich, Skadberg, & Kazmierczak, LLC (CCSK) is always striving to provide informed, leading-edge legal counsel to their clients. While they have the degrees and bar certifications that enable them to practice at their best, their current source of guidance comes from a longtime friend and fellow attorney, Fred Grady.
Fred Grady, experienced attorney at Fred W. Grady & Associates in Valparaiso, recently came on the firm’s May 1st edition of “Tips from the Bar.” This weekly series was developed with the idea that “people would rather take tips from someone at a bar, rather than someone that has passed a bar [exam]” and explores the current state of law practice while offering practical advice to viewers.
During this episode, the team expressed that having an experienced attorney to go to for advice has been an invaluable asset. For a young practice, sometimes mentors like Grady can offer wisdom that could not have been obtained in law school.
“I’m getting out of litigation because it’s fun when you’re learning and you think you know everything,” said Grady. “But when you get older and realize that most of what you believe is dead wrong, then it makes it a little harder to do that.”
For Grady, practicing law has become more complicated over the years since he has been able to experience the rapid fluctuations in public opinion and societal expectations.
“With the cultural changes that are happening in our societies, bringing all different kinds of people in, growth of rights for individuals - women, men and everyone else - there’s a lot to think about,” Grady said. “It’s having people that experience this in a different way than I do that brings a lot of insight [to] what we present to the court.”
Acknowledging the changing social climate is important because it is what determines the law, otherwise known as the rules to which attorneys are confined when making a case. These guidelines, while seemingly constrictive, are necessary for good legal practice.
“The vast majority of attorneys are ethical and want a law that they can follow whether it helps or hurts their client...I think that we need to pay attention to that because it’s not about winning or losing money and if it is the lawyer is long behind,” said Grady.
Grady has come to understand these facts of law, and he is more than willing to share this insight with the lawyers at CCSK. One of his most stimulating pieces of advice encouraged a very open and abstract perspective that lends itself to a new approach in forming a case.
“It’s not the issue that’s on the surface - that hardly ever matters,” he said. “It's what’s behind the issue, and put that in a framework that addresses what is the real, bottom-line, personal issue involved in this. That’s important to get down on paper and to get the court to understand.”
While Grady spends most of his time writing federal and state appeals, drafting contracts, and addressing commercial and residential cases, he admitted that litigation is the part of law practice that defines the entire field itself.
“I still have this part of me that wants to argue if I think that something has happened that is wrong,” he said. “That’s really the lifeblood of enjoying working [as] a lawyer...It’s about right and wrong.”
With a mentor like Fred Grady in their court, CCSK can offer their clients both passion for the case and a real-world, experienced approach to law. To learn more about CCSK visit their website. To keep up to date on their weekly “Tips from the Bar” series, you can access their YouTube channel here.
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