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I knew I wanted to be a lawyer when I was 7 years old. It’s all because of the woman who lived next door to me growing up. I called her “Busia,” which is Polish for grandmother, and we were inseparable. Unfortunately, her dear husband died suddenly, leaving Busia with an immigration mess that threatened to send her back to communist Poland. She was sobbing, terrified, and alone. But a family friend who was an attorney stepped in to help. He took care of everything with confidence and compassion. He promised her it would be alright, and he meant it. Busia got to stay in the U.S. and I felt so grateful to the lawyer for saving my “grandmother.” That’s what inspires me every time I meet with a client who needs my help.

Working with a client is not paralegal work. It’s your lawyer’s responsibility. I’ve learned that the most important evidence often comes out when I personally interview a client about their accident. I call this “lawyer work” because it is so essential to making a strong case in court. If a paralegal does this research, it’s not good enough. One client came to us after spending a year with another law firm. He met with the attorney only one time and was passed around from paralegal to paralegal. This man had a broken back, no insurance, and needed medical treatment. We immediately started negotiating with the insurance company, filed a lawsuit, and mediated an excellent settlement for him; all in a matter of months. We also helped him get medical treatment for his broken back from a highly respected neurosurgeon. That’s because we understand that when you are hurt, you don’t have the time or money to wait around for a settlement or lawsuit that never happens.

I am relentless. It’s my job to find every single piece of the puzzle and fit it together until the truth of what happened in your accident is complete and accurate. I follow up on every lead and talk to every possible witness myself. I do this work, not a paralegal. This gives me an enormous advantage in court or during a negotiation. I remember every detail of the case, because I know it inside and out. There’s no better feeling than to sit across the negotiating table and know that I have the upper hand.

Compassion is what helps me fight for the people I represent. As a mother, I understand that after an accident, so much is at stake for the entire family. One client reminds me of this all the time. A single mother of two children was badly hurt in an accident that totaled her car. None of it was her fault, but the insurance company refused to take responsibility. This woman had no car, no money, and no way to get to work. So she walked. She walked in pain for miles so she wouldn’t lose her job. I fought the insurance company to give her a rental car while we worked on her case, because what they were doing was shameful and cruel. This mother was alone in the world and needed help, just like Busia did when I was a little girl. As a lawyer, I know first-hand how much it means to hear the words “everything will be alright.” And every time I say it to my clients, I mean it.

EDUCATION

  • Stetson College of Law, J.D., Phi Beta Kappa
  • University of South Florida, B.A., Dean’s List

MEMBERSHIPS and ASSOCIATIONS

  • Florida Bar Association
  • Sarasota County Bar Association
  • Who’s Who in American Law Students
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • AVVO
  • SuperLawyers

COURTS

  • All Florida Courts
  • United States District Court (Middle District of Florida)
  • 11th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court

SOCIAL MEDIA

To learn more about the legal team at Buckman and Buckman, P.A. go to our Attorney Profiles section, or go directly to Drake Buckman’s attorney bio.