“With great power comes great responsibility” is a popular theme in politics and literature. In one form or another, this universal “truth” has found its way into the words and writings of Voltaire, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lord Melbourne, John Cumming, Hercules, G. R. Robinson and Henry W. Haynes. My law partner, Nick Zissimopulos, vehemently argues that Spider-Man is the original source of the exact quote. I think Winston Churchill said it best when he proclaimed, “the price of greatness is responsibility.”
When we founded the Law Office of Glassman & Zissimopulos, we took this quote to heart. Being a lawyer and having the opportunity to represent citizens of our community is a tremendous honor. The law degrees, bar cards, and certifications empower us to fight for people who place their trust in us. We thank our clients for the opportunity to work for them and never lose sight of the fact that being able to represent our clients is a privilege, not a right.
The Florida Supreme Court has given lawyers the following powers:
· The power to prepare legal documents for others.
· The power to appear as a legal representative of someone else.
· The power to use titles such as “lawyer,” “attorney,” “attorney at law,” “esquire,” “counselor,” or “counsel.”
· The power to send correspondence as the representative of a client regarding legal matters.
· The power to give advice regarding the filling out of legal forms.
· The power to threaten to file a lawsuit on behalf of another.
· The power to participate in a deposition as the representative of another.
· The power to give advice about rights, duties and obligations or the consequences of certain actions or inaction under Florida or federal law.
The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the basis for giving lawyers powers that the general public does not possess is the notion that “the giving of legal advice and performance of legal services affect important rights of a person under the law, and if the reasonable protection of the rights and property of those advised and served requires that the persons giving such advice possess legal skill and a knowledge of the law greater than that possessed by the average citizen, then the giving of such advice and the performance of such services by one for another as a course of conduct constitute the practice of law” (The Florida Bar v. Moses, 380 So. 2d 412, 417 [Fla. 1980]). The Supreme Court further stated that “the single most important concern in the Court’s defining and regulating the practice of law is the protection of the public from incompetent, unethical, or irresponsible representation” (Id).
The attorneys at Glassman & Zissimopulos Law understand that the powers given to us by the Florida Bar carry with them a great responsibility. Clients entrust us to fight for them, to guide them, to protect them when they have suffered injuries and damages caused by the negligence of others, and to defend their rights and freedoms when they are being threatened by the criminal justice system.
We humbly accept that responsibility. Nick Zissimopulos and I have committed ourselves and our practice to the belief that the only way we can honor that responsibility is to treat each of our clients like we would expect and want our families to be treated if they were in need.