Celebrating 30 Years: Feat. Attorneys Mike Morgan & Joe Taraska


We get to know the attorneys who’ve been with us from the beginning, and the young guns working with them to take us to the next 30 years.

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This is Joe Taraska. Joe is probably one of the most preeminent medical malpractice lawyers of all time, especially in Florida. He's got some of the biggest verdicts that have ever been recorded in multiple counties throughout the state. His work that he's done there, as well as in product liability is just unmatched. That's very kind. He read that perfectly right off the monitor. Let me tell you a little bit about Mike. Mike and I have been working together for a few years now, and I will tell you that Mike, and I'm not spoon smoking, you are probably one of the most aggressive, well-organized, and intelligent lawyers that I've ever met. I am just entirely impressed with the work that you do and the way you run your department. That's very humbling. Thank you. So the way I started working with Joe is he does mainly medical malpractice, and that's been his practice for the majority of his life. But he's also had some experience through that with product liability cases, mainly like the fentanyl patch case, where people were overdosing with the fentanyl patches and kind of ran with that and had huge success with that. When I came over and started doing product liability, one of the first case types that we were doing was carbon monoxide. That was really my first exposure, no pun intended, to working with Joe. The way that he approaches a case is just so different than anybody I've worked with before. You get a case, carbon dioxide, who knows what that is, right? It's an odorless, invisible gas that can poison you and cause brain damage and kill you. But it's something that nobody knows about and you can't see it. If I had been [CdO'd 00:02:04] unless I was completely gorked out, you wouldn't know that I had been poisoned. And so Joe comes down and goes, "Here's the case, and here's what we're doing. Let me start you with a little research that I've done." He comes down and he drops five medical textbooks on my desk. He goes, "Go ahead and start with these." I'm like, "Start with these?" He goes, "Yeah, I've already read them a couple of times, and I've pretty much got it down." He really approaches it like a doctor would approach it. He looks at, "Here's the medical textbooks. Here's how it works. Before I even start working on the case, I'm going to know everything about it better than any expert will." That's what's just so impressive about bringing that level of preparation and knowledge to these cases where you start off with absolutely no knowledge of things. The other thing that I'm just so impressed about the work that you do down in your department there with carbon monoxide and everything you do is you are so well-organized. I don't think I've ever met anybody who can multitask so many different types of cases as quickly and as easily as you do and keep them all in your head. Well, I'm glad you feel that way. Well, it sure looks like it to me. I'm not just blowing smoke at you. Over the years that I've been practicing law, which is quite a while I've probably seen hundreds and hundreds of lawyers working in different fields, and you are impressive. Your mind is like a trap. It picks things up and works very quickly with them. Thank you. You're welcome. What I've learned from Joe is that's not what you have to beat. If you're not the loud guy, if you're not the guy that's going to come in with a Southern twang and you're not going to be prophetic that you're preaching from the Bible and crying in court, you can still be superb, right? Because it's all about connection. The way that Joe is able to connect with juries makes all the difference. And I think the reason that is, is because he's so true to himself and true to his style and he doesn't waver in that. And so for me, that's one of the big things is a guy that's tried a lot of cases. As a young guy, I started off for sure trying to be something I wasn't, right? Reading the books, writing a script based off the way these books tell you that a case should be tried, and it just doesn't work. I found that I wasn't getting the results that I thought I should. But watching Joe and seeing the way that we're able to evolve, that it's not about a script. It's about your case, and it's about communicating it the best you can, but in your own voice. And he does that masterfully. Oh, thanks, Mike. This is going to surprise you. Passion. One of the difficulties in aging in the practice of law is that some days you come in and it's just like the day before. It's easy to lose your passion. Mike has passion. He has the young man's passion. Now I was calling it aggressiveness before, but a much better word is passion. When I worked around Mike, it's exciting. He fills me with passion again, too. He makes me want to get up and get right back in the ring and go at it. I don't think you do anything special to demonstrate, but it's just part of you, Mike. You're just passionate about what you do every single day and every single case you're working on, for every person that you're working with and it's catching. That's the problem. I haven't had any hobbies. This is your hobby now. Yeah, exactly. This is your life.