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Spotlight On: Michael C. Clarke
Michael C. Clarke |
August 1, 2018
Michael Clarke is a shareholder in Kubicki Draper’s Tampa office and has been with the Firm for thirteen of his twenty-four years of practice. Born in Albany, New York, Michael attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, beginning his career in the law immediately upon graduation as an examiner with the New York Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. While at the LBDC, Michael worked assisting members of the New York State Legislature in drafting legislation to maintain a consistent and constitutional statutory approach with existing New York law.
With all respect to Mark Twain and his quip that “People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either one being made,” Michael’s experience in the legislative process was different. He decided to attend Stetson University School of Law as a change in scenery after a lifetime in Upstate New York was a necessity.
While at Stetson, Michael’s interest and admiration for the organic process by which the law evolves continued. During law school, he began to focus on the appellate process and a court’s role in establishing the law. As effective (and concise) legal writing is a large part of any successful appellate practitioner, Michael “wrote on” to the Stetson Law Review and in 1993 graduated cum laude. He appreciates the law as a living entity believing in the ability to forecast the future based upon precedent and observable history. The same holds true in life.
Upon graduation, after a thankfully short period of searching for what was then an elusive first job, Michael began his practice on the plaintiffs’ side. In addition to writing briefs from day one, he gained immediate trial practice exposure and experience in a civil courtroom setting.
Participating in trials ranging from premises liability to complex medical malpractice actions, it became apparent that evaluating how “six people in a box” would communally decide a case presented a challenge to every professional with a stake in determining the likelihood of success of their positions and arguments. He also learned the only effective way to help control the ultimate outcome results from proper evaluation, preparation, and preservation. Objectivity is always key. Taking a long game approach developed Michael into a lawyer who appreciates all aspects of claims evaluation, pre-trial practice, trial and appeals, keeping him grounded outside of the Ivory Tower and firmly within the realities produced by the legal marketplace and a client’s bottom line.
Now, with a focus on defense and appellate practice, Michael’s interests include helping his clients coordinate statewide litigation and appellate strategies, providing trial support and trying a case as required. Of particular interest is the pursuit or the defense of attorney’s fees claims both for his clients and as an expert witness. He intends to continue his practice well into the future as his engagement and enthusiasm in becoming the best lawyer possible has not waned.
Michael resides in St. Petersburg spending his free time enjoying everything Florida has to offer – particularly in the Tampa Bay area – and is excited about the opportunities that the growing region presents. His current goal is to create or recognize one near-perfect thing each day. Whether a grill-marked steak prepared to his guest’s exact taste or an artistic recognition of the Steadicam work of Stanley Kubrick, he derives his primary satisfaction from a job well done. If you appreciate his approach to practice with professionalism, feel free to give him a call.