When I first met him, and briefed him on my situation, he told me it would be pretty routine, but having never gone thru a divorce the whole experience was daunting to me. He patiently walked me thru it from initial motion for dissolution to the final judgement. He was professional and did I mention patient? (Divorce is an emotional experience, so he was kind and really compassionate to stay on the phone with me when I had … “moments”.)
The whole thing took less than a year. He helped me sort thru all the legal language so that I could understand what exactly was going on and more prudently decide on the best courses of action. His recommendations were sensitive to my specific situation, which gave me a sense of real trust. He defines ‘integrity’ (which I’ve discovered is rare with family attorneys). Simply, I realized how lucky I was to be represented by him. (Damien won’t give you false hope in trying to talk you into spending more money.)
Damien’s edge is his integrity. He lives it every day from casual conversation to formal court room proceedings. My judge in Hillsborough County had obviously seen him at work prior to my case and I was surprised (shocked really) to witness that Judge actually “trust” my attorney’s judgement when recommending courses of action on specific elements of our proceedings, while at the same time obviously “not trusting” council of the opposition. (Just try to picture that. Hard to contain my smile in court.)
I would say that it was his reputation which won the case. I also know now where the term, “powerful attorney” originates. He’s there, but is humble all the way to the finish. No flashy this or that (certainly no tasteless TV ads) — he just puts his head down and executes his objectives. He made it happen for me.
Damien is also a master of case law (in my opinion.) You should have seen him quietly demonstrate the invalidity of various Motions from the opposition, based on previously tried cases. It was satisfying to see the Judge dismiss their “iron clad”, but ultimately frivolous Motions (separate from the main case.)
His conduct in court is nothing short of artistic. When in front of a judge, he walks gently but with a big stick. He is by nature a humble, gentleman and in court he speaks softly but his words hold mountainous gravitas. Only weak causes require strong words and sharp tone — and because he does his homework and comes to court prepared, he left the “performing” up to his opposing council. (That in itself was entertaining, when the judge repeated asked the opposing council to tone it down while my attorney garnered only respect.) Damien’s overall demeanor helped my case in so many unmeasurable ways. I could see the judge respected Damien’s good lawyering.
Overall too, I never got the sense that he was stringing me along to make more money from me as I witness my ex-wife’s lawyer doing to her — praying on her emotions to get to her pocketbook.
He never loses sight of my interests, and for me, remained very fair in the big picture. I mean, he isn’t a snake like some of these guys. (That’s something I witnessed in the opposition’s council. The judge could see thru it too — again, Damien’s integrity is his power.)
My objectives to divorce were achieved, the child visitation schedule instilled in a way that was beneficial to my kid. He orchestrated it like a classic music symphony — and finished it like a chess match. The opposition didn’t even realize they got the lower end of the deal, until after the mallet fell. (They did appeal, but that appeal didn’t get them anywhere as their appeal held no water and they dismissed it after some skillful negotiation by Damien.)
I never want to go thru a divorce again, but God-forbid if that day ever came, I know who’d I call.