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"Constitutional Champions Share Their Stories, Experiences, And Insights"

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A Cup of Coffee With 10 Leading Attorneys In The United States
A Cup of Coffee With 10 Leading Attorneys In The United States


This book provides powerful insights into the lives of constitutional champions and legal professionals that provide exceptional services to their clients. They share their stories, experiences, and wisdom on how to succeed in business and in life. Excellent reading
for a law layman, the aspiring attorney or the business professional.

What This Book Covers

A Cup of Coffee With 10 Leading Attorneys In The United States is a sampler. Within the covers of this book you will find an assortment of attorneys whose specialties are as varied as the backgrounds of the lawyers themselves. From small town girls to young men who dreamed of professional sports and learned to play hard ball on an entirely different court, this book is the key to what motivates the people who work to fill the only job in the country that our Founding Fathers thought important enough to mandate within the Constitution itself.

Here you will find helpful information on not only lesser-known legal niches such as Elder Law, Estate Planning and Administration, but also Business Law, Criminal Defense and the arduous business of making huge corporations pay for their gross negligence and the life-altering chaos it can cause.

You will come away from A Cup of Coffee With 10 Leading Attorneys In The United States, with a better understanding of the law and a whole new appreciation for the men and women who practice it. And, while none of these attorneys regularly ride to work on white chargers, we think you will find them to be Champions, nonetheless.

Table of Contents

  1. Underdogs And Advocates: A Journey Of Empathy
    by Laurie A. Mack-Wagner, Esq.
  2. Leave Nothing To Chance
    by Paul J. Dunn, Esq.
  3. Coal Dust For Inspiration: Helping Good People Recover From Bad Things
    by Joe Stanley, Esq.
  4. Family First: Lessons in Loving
    by Kim Boyer, Esq.
  5. One Of The Smart Ones
    by Matthew Meyer, Esq.
  6. A Creative Perspective: A Lawyer Who Thinks Outside The Box
    by Laurie B. Gengo, Esq.
  7. Gridiron Guidance
    by Matthew Trapani, Esq.
  8. Living the American Dream
    by Andrew J. Borsen, Esq.
  9. The Road Less Traveled... Destination: Courtroom
    by Adam T. Dougherty, Esq.
  10. Legacy Lawyer
    by Judge Paul H. LaValle, Esq.

Sample Pages

  • Chapter 1 by Laurie A. Mack-Wagner, Esq.
  • Chapter 2 by Paul J. Dunn, Esq.
  • Chapter 3 by Joe Stanley, Esq.
  • Chapter 4 by Kim Boyer, Esq.
  • Chapter 5 by Matthew Meyer, Esq.
  • Chapter 6 by Laurie B. Gengo, Esq.
  • Chapter 7 by Matthew Trapani, Esq.
  • Chapter 8 by Andrew J. Borsen, Esq.
  • Chapter 9 by Adam T. Dougherty, Esq.
  • Chapter 10 by Judge Paul H. LaValle, Esq.


Ten leading attorneys in the United States provide you with valuable insights to navigating your way through various legal needs and share their stories and experiences that have lead them to success in business and life.

About The Authors

Laurie A. Mack-Wagner, Esq.

Counselor Laurie Mack-Wagner graduated with Highest Honors in the top 5% of her class from Florida State University's College of Law in 1994. She is one of the founding shareholders of Mack & Santana Law Offices, P.C., and has been practicing since 1994 in complex litigation primarily in family law and related causes of action. Ms. Mack-Wagner has been named a Minnesota Super Lawyer for five consecutive years (2011-2015) and also named on the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers List for Minnesota for three consecutive years (2013-2015), She focuses on developing creative and practical solutions for clients seeking assistance in family law matters and divorce cases. With her practice based primarily in the Twin Cities area, Laurie frequently teaches at legal education seminars in Minnesota, and is the author or co-author of published articles nationally and statewide. Most notably, Laurie is the co-author of the child support chapter in the Family Law Financial Deskbook, first edition, 2008, plus all the subsequent updates, from Minnesota CLE, and in addition, is the author of the Enforcement and Contempt chapter in the Minnesota Divorce Practice Deskbook, also from Minnesota CLE, new in 2015.

Laurie A. Mack-Wagner, Esq.
Mack & Santana Law Offices, PC
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Paul J. Dunn, Esq.

Attorney Dunn has over 50 years experience in the planning and administration of Estates and Trusts. His law practice is devoted to private clients who want knowledgeable counsel in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, and related areas of taxation. For more information on these topics please visit the Arizona Estate And Trust Law website. Mr. Dunn was awarded his Doctorate in Law from the Ohio State University College of Law in 1964. He holds memberships in the State Bar of Arizona and its Probate & Trust Section. He served as chairman of the Probate & Trust Section of the State Bar of Arizona and was the founding editor of its Probate & Trust Newsletter. Mr. Dunn has also authored nationally published articles on estate planning and tax topics. Arizona Estate & Trust Law, Plc is a law firm established by Prescott, Arizona Attorney Paul J. Dunn to provide individualized legal services to higher net worth Arizona residents in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, and taxation. Arizona Estate & Trust Law, Plc is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality legal services in an efficient, courteous, and dignified manner.

Paul J. Dunn, Esq.
Arizona Estate & Trust Law, PLC
Prescott, Arizona

Joe Stanley, Esq.

A native of Syracuse New York, Attorney Joe Stanley holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the college of Environmental Sciences and Forestry and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Syracuse University's law school in 1981. He's licensed to practice in all New York State and Federal Trial Courts. He's a member of the New York State Bar Association, Onondaga County Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. He is licensed to practice in New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, NYSLTA Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is also Board Certified in Civil Trial Practice by the American Board of Trial Advocacy. Lawyer Stanley specializes in Personal Injury and is an advocate for the injured. He has litigated cases involving car accidents, medical malpractice, product failure, construction site injuries and more. His reputation as a meticulous litigator with a history of success is matched by his ability to connect with his clients personally while fighting for their compensation. He lives in Skaneateles, New York with his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Joe Stanley, Esq.
Stanley Law
Syracuse, New York

Kim Boyer, Esq.

Counselor Boyer is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. She practices in the areas of elder law, estate planning, guardianships and probates. Ms. Boyer received her A.B. degree in Mathematics, summa cum laude, from San Diego State University, and her law degree magna cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law. During law school, she was an editor of the law review and was elected to membership in the Order of the Coif. Ms. Boyer is licensed to practice in Nevada, and is admitted to the U.S. District Courts for the District of Nevada and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Guardianship Association, and is an accredited attorney with the Veterans Administration. She is co-author of the book Alzheimer's and Dementia: A Practical and Legal Guide for Nevada Caregivers, published by the University of Nevada Reno Press. Ms. Boyer publishes a monthly newsletter addressing issues facing seniors and their families, and is a frequent speaker on aging and elder law topics.

Kim Boyer, Esq.
Boyer Law Group
Las Vegas, Nevada

Matthew Meyer, Esq.

Matthew Meyer is a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney who dedicates his practice to defending the constitutional rights of those accused of violating the laws of the State of Wisconsin and the United States of America. Attorney Meyer received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 as a political science major. He received his Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School in 2012, where he was actively involved in the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and the Marquette University Small Claims Mediation Clinic. During his final year of law school Meyer interned with the Wisconsin State Public Defender Trial Office. In October 2014 Matthew Meyer founded Meyer Law Office. The following year he joined Benjamin Van Severen and formed Meyer Van Severen, S.C. Attorney Meyer has received numerous awards throughout his career, including being named by the National Trial Lawyers to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 under 40 Trial Lawyers in Wisconsin. Meyer was most recently recognized by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys as a top 10 Best Criminal Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction. In 2015 Meyer was once again nominated for these awards. Additionally, he was nominated by M Magazine as a 2015 Leading Lawyer in criminal defense. Super Lawyers first recognized Meyer as a "Rising Star" in 2015. Meyer maintains a 10/10 "superb" rating on avvo.com.

Matthew Meyer, Esq.
Meyer Van Severen, SC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Laurie B. Gengo, Esq.

Laurie B. Gengo is the founder and owner of Triangle Law Group ("TLG"), a small boutique law-firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. Gengo is a native of Jamestown, New York, and received her Bachelor of Art Summa Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1980. She earned her law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985 where she also was a Ph.D student in Political Science, and served as an Instructor for the 1985-1986 academic year. Laurie is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of North Carolina and the owner of Trilogy Real Estate Group, LLC, and a co-owner of several real estate investment LLC's. She is admitted to the state bar in Indiana and North Carolina and may practice before the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of North Carolina.

Laurie B. Gengo, Esq.
Triangle Law Group
Raleigh, North Carolina

Matthew Trapani, Esq.

Attorney Matthew Trapani devotes his legal career to representing the seriously injured and their families across the state of Pennsylvania. Located in Allentown, PA, Trapani handles a variety of catastrophic personal injury cases including automobile and tractor-trailer accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, liquor liability violations and wrongful death litigation. Born in Easton, PA, Matthew graduated from Easton Area High School as a varsity football letterman. He continued his schooling at the Pennsylvania State University, where he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees. Throughout his time in law school, Trapani served as a member of the Corpus Juris Society. After graduating from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Matthew could not wait to begin his career representing those who had been wrongfully injured, in order to support his local community. Matthew Trapani is one of the youngest lawyers to become a certified life member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The forum is a group of attorneys, made up of less than 1% of all lawyers in the United States, who have recorded verdicts, awards and settlements of $2 Million or more.

Matthew Trapani, Esq.
Trapani Law Firm
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Andrew J. Borsen, Esq.

Andrew J. Borsen was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and emigrated to the United States in the mid 1990's. Borsen attended New England Law in Boston and graduated in 2003. Borsen's wife Morgan, is a doctor of physical therapy and has her own practice, MORE Physio, which caters to outpatient orthopedic injuries. They both live in New York. Along with his partner, Roman, they are the firm Gambourg & Borsen LLC, a boutique law firm specializing in corporate transactions, commercial litigation, real estate, entertainment and international law. Half of Borsen's work is commercial litigation while the other half constitutes corporate transactions. Borsen is an adjunct professor at Metropolitan College of New York, teaching in the Graduate School of Business. He began lecturing classes, such as Business Law and Employment Law and also instructs MCNY's Constructive Action program. The Constructive Action combines classroom instruction with practical, real world knowledge. In addition to his legal practice, Borsen also invests in Broadway and Music Production. He was involved with On Golden Pond, Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and Cosmic Opera. Additionally, he is part owner of a restaurant called Kitty's Canteen, on the Lower East Side.

Andrew J. Borsen, Esq.
Gambourg & Borsen, LLC
Fort Lee, New Jersey and NYC

Adam T. Dougherty, Esq.

Counselor Dougherty is an AV rated attorney who was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Arizona State University (ASU), earning a B.S. degree in Justice Studies. Prior to practicing law, he worked in law enforcement for over eight years. He graduated from the University of Akron, School of Law and is licensed in all state and federal courts in Arizona and Florida, as well as, the United States Supreme Court. In 2006, he graduated from Gerry Spence's prestigious Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming. In 2015, he was in the first graduating class of the Keenan Ball Trial College in Atlanta, Georgia where he is now on faculty. He lives and practices in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and runs the DOUGHERTY LAW FIRM, P.A. The firm focuses on plaintiff personal injury. Mr. Dougherty has received numerous awards for his legal ability including: Nations Top One Percent, Top Lawyers of South Florida, Who's Who, South Florida Legal Leaders, and he has a 10.0 AVVO rating.

Adam T. Dougherty, Esq.
Deerfield Beach, Florida

Judge Paul H. LaValle, Esq.

Judge Paul Houston LaValle is a graduate of South Texas College of Law and specializes in product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, trucking accidents, aviation, DOSA and FSLA. The Law Office of Paul Houston LaValle & Associates, P.C. is based in Houston, Texas and focuses on product liability, commercial litigation, criminal defense, both "white collar" and "street" crimes, employment law, family law, military/veterans and other legal matters. A lifelong resident of Galveston County, Texas, Judge Paul H. LaValle is the son of the elder Judge LaValle who also served the people of Texas. Judge LaValle is a Life Member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, both are among the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership in the association is limited to only about 4000 attorneys across the United States who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts, awards and settlements. Recently, Judge LaValle was honored by being named as a National Advisor to the Association of Personal Injury Trucking Lawyers of America. Judge LaValle has served in the Military Reserve, and has been active in law enforcement for all of his adult life. He served on the U.S. Customs task force, ran a SWAT patrol, and is licensed as an Arson Investigator. In addition to his law practice, he remains involved on a part-time basis in a successful police agency in what has been called a high-crime area.

Judge Paul H. LaValle, Esq.
Law Office of Paul Houston LaValle & Associates, PC
Houston, Texas

Contributing Author

Randy Van Ittersum
Host & Founder
Business Leader Spotlight Show
Spring Lake, Michigan

In my work, I often have occasion to read inspiring stories from some of the best professional people all around the country. I learn about their hopes, their dreams, their wins, and their losses. I always gather insights and generally develop a new appreciation for the class of folk whose walls are decorated with elegant degrees from esteemed universities around the world. I came to this book with my standard eager interest, but because it was a book about lawyers, I expected more of the usual "get it in writing" kind of advice we've all seen.

Some believe it was William Shakespeare who first laid the groundwork for the "anti-barrister movement." Four hundred years ago in his play Henry VI, Shakespeare offered this prescription for improving the world: "First thing we do is kill all the lawyers." The Bard's position is extreme, of course, but some disdain for lawyers still persists today. We've all heard more than our share of jokes about lawyers. These stories paint pitiful caricatures of ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyers, and less-than-ethical shysters who feed from the bottom of the judicial pond. As you read this book, I expect those stereotypical visuals will dissipate as mine did.

Lawyers Are People Too

The attorneys whose stories populate the pages of this book are real people who give us a new perspective on why their pro-fession is not only noble, necessary, and even constitutionally compulsory, but also how they make this world a more tender place. Surely you jest? Tenderness? Yes, tenderness. These learned men and women are renowned for their bitter battles in the modern-day coliseum we call a courtroom, but the batch of legal eagles whose stories reside herein do a marvelous job of addressing the "why" of it to the extent that I'm swayed to become a platinum member of the Barrister Booster Club.

I've always known that shrewd people can and have salvaged entire fortunes by having attorneys and accountants do their planning for them. As I read this book, though, I realize that even the modestly funded among us have need of and can claim those same victories. By careful planning and forward thinking, lawyers can eliminate contentious litigation later and actually take advantage of all the state laws about which we lay folk don't know. By employing their specialized learning of the intricacies of probate and estate laws, all the wealth a client has been able to amass-however great or small-can be safe-guarded, nurtured, and passed on to the progeny as it was meant to be. It can also be safeguarded from greedy governments that would soak up any dollars left untended by those who simply had no idea of the consequences.

Who needs to read this book? Perhaps you are among the bright-eyed law students who pick up the books in this series as an introduction to sundry specialties within the law. If so, you will be especially pleased with the variety of perspectives offered between these covers. We give you a long look at Estate Planning, Business Law, and International Law, along with new perspectives on Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Criminal Defense, and Family Law.

Should you strike out on your own, or join an established firm? Should you strive for a place in a high-volume firm, or do you want to fledge in a small firm where your experience is bound to be more extensive? You'll find suggestions and personal reflections on each here.

Here also, you will find valuable insight about how to grow your practice long before you even get that coveted Juris Doctorate. You will learn how to maximize your personal and private networks into one big referral-generating machine. You will be reminded how to use technology in order to make every moment of your time count for something, no matter where your travels take you. You'll learn about building relationships with your clients as well as your colleagues. You also will also learn the value of relentless learning and deliberate honing of your skills.

The depth of dedication and mission these men and women share belies the stereotypical image often foisted upon attorneys. Each of the practitioners within this book offers you a glimpse into the "fire in the belly" that marks a truly great attorney. They each talk about the resolve which fuels their own dedication. These people take the meaning of the word ADVOCATE to heart.

In this world, there are people who are honestly underdogs and must play David to the Goliath of gigantic corporations, insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies and, yes, even their own government. Lawyers, armed with an intimate knowledge of the law, step out to save those among us who are without adequate defenses.

These are the people who take giant tire companies and automakers to task for making decisions based upon money, not mortality. In the very recent past, corporate decisions have been made based on a scale that measures the cost of a product recall against the number of human deaths that could possibly occur as a result of a faulty device. It is in this same environment that we find factory and mine workers whose health and future happiness are subject to the decisions of corporate accountants who, so often, choose bigger profits over employee safety.

We hear the personal stories of the lawyers themselves, some of whom immigrated to this country as children with parents in search of a better life. Old-world values live on in these plain people who dedicate their careers to advocating for vulnerable others.

Whether you are a career lawyer or a convenience store clerk, there are lessons in this book for you. Beyond the remarkable dedication to their vocation, you will find among these pages solid business guidance. Each chapter has gems that can enrich your own career if you will put them to work. Consider the value of the others around you and act accordingly. Think about how you can improve your own community and elevate your place in society by being focused on what is the greater good. Learn the importance of developing a reputation for taking on the hard work-to even risk failure-because, after all, if you don't break eggs, you won't make many omelets.

The subjects of billing, client base cultivation, communication, and client expectation are also covered here. And there are lessons for us laypeople as well.

  • Know that do-it-yourself legal documents and cyber lawyers can cost you far, far more than an hour with a flesh-and-blood attorney.
  • There is misinformation on the Internet-yes. Really!
  • Understand that postponing estate planning or the creation of your last will and testament can destroy the inheritance you planned to leave your children.
  • Know that what you hear on television about "Tort Reform" may not be entirely true.
  • Learn how you can protect your own constitutional rights.
  • ...and so much more.

    Perhaps the most resounding of the admonitions in this book is the reminder that none of us knows it all. For my part, I realized that there are serious issues lurking in places I might never have expected to find them. For example, even if your aging parent seems well and intellectually sound, the split-second in which a stroke occurs can change everything forever. A little time spent with an Elder Law expert before the fact can help you avoid countless complications and difficulties in providing for the care of an aging parent. Knowing NOT to sign any offer from an insurance adjuster, no matter how attractive the amount may seem, until you've spoken with an attorney can ensure that your compensation is fair and just in the long term.

    The lessons are many in "A Cup of Coffee With 10 Leading Attorneys In The United States," but the meaning is crystal clear. We no longer live in a world where a handshake can seal a deal. So, yes, get it in writing, but before you do, talk with somebody whose interest is in keeping you safe from yourself and the others who don't always have your best interests at heart.

    Randy Van Ittersum
    Host & Founder - Business Leader Spotlight Show

    Order Now! $24.95