Episode 13: Raising the Bar for Defense Attorneys and Carriers Transcript
Note: The Litigation Management Podcast is designed to be heard, not read. Unlike the transcripts, our audio includes tone, emotion, and emphasis that’s not on the page. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. Listen to the full podcast here.
Wesley Todd [00:07]: This is the Litigation Management podcast and I’m your host, the CEO of CaseGlide Wesley Todd. The Litigation Management podcast is where I get the opportunity to interview some of the most successful people and influential people in and around the claims litigation management space. It’s getting hot here in Florida. It’s a Thursday afternoon, I’m in St. Pete jeans in Miami. Today on the Litigation Management pod, I have Gene Kissane. Gene is one of the founders of Cole Scott & Kissane. Which I believe is if not the biggest, one of the biggest insurance defense firms in the country, probably in the world. Yet all of the attorneys are in Florida, which shows you how successful they’ve been and how focused they are. And Gene may look young, but he’s been doing this for a minute. I’m super excited as of CSK Alarm to get this opportunity. Gene, welcome to the podcast.
Gene Kissane [00:58]: Well, thank you so much for having me, blast. Pleasure to be here.
Wesley Todd [01:01]: Thank you. And today we’re going to talk about you know, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to really get into the head of someone that has seen the evolution of Claims Litigation Management and as pretty much every influential claims leader on his in his Rolodex. So we get a ton of perspective here for the adjusters and attorneys in the audience. And we’re going to talk about him helping build CSK and what this latest chapter in the market looks like? Before we get into all that Gene, can you tell us about your background and experience?
Gene Kissane [01:38]: Be delighted to Wes, and thank you for asking. So I’m Gene Kissane, as you point out Wes, with the law firm of Cole Scott and Kissane. A little bit about me. I was born in New York, I was raised there and my father, who was in Claims Management was transferred to Chicago. So we did the rest of our living there. And then I came to school down in Miami, and here I am all these years later. And I made it or maybe my brothers and dad made the determination, Wes. But I decided at some point, I wanted to be a lawyer and specifically a trial lawyer. So I went to law school here in Miami, and I graduated in 1989. And that really is where the story starts of me in my career. There’s a former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Fred Louis. Fred, at the time was a trial lawyer and an appellate lawyer here in Miami. And he suggested to my older brother Joe, you should go intern for Tom Scott, who at the time was a State Court Judge soon to be elevated to the Federal Court. Joe did that. So when it was my turn to look for a summer gig, Joe said you should go to Tom Scott. So I did. And Tom ultimately hired me as his law clerk when I graduated from law school. So I clerked for Tom 1989-90. And at that point, when I was done, Wes, Tom said, what is it you want to do, Judge Scott? And I said, I want to try cases. He said, here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m going to introduce you to Richard Cole. So I went to a firm where Richard was a managing partner, Richard taught me to try cases. And then one day, we’re sitting around in 1997. And we said, what do you think about starting our own thing? So we did precisely that. It was myself, Richard Cole, Dan Shapiro some names, you certainly know. And then Tom came and joined us after having been a Federal Judge and the US Attorney for the Southern District. And voila, there’s Cole Scott and can say no, it’s pretty neat about it was I think it was seven lawyers in 1997. And we’ve now grown, as you said, to be Florida’s largest firm, in how we get there, and it’s all organic growth. So what I mean by that is, we haven’t gone and purchased or acquired. We just got lawyers, train them and some came in already being experienced lawyers. How do we do it? And my wife asked me that, how did you do it? And I say, well, you know what, you put aside the Brad Pitt good looks, and the Jimmy Kimmel personality. Here’s how we did it, man. Gratitude, gratitude and more gratitude to the people that enabled us to do this. And as Tom Scott told me, Judge Scott, Wes, two things, and I tell you man, to this day, I think about it. Loose lips, sink ships, your client’s confidence, which are precisely that. And secondly, and this is very, very important in the insurance industry. Wes, don’t make promises that you can’t or you’re unwilling to keep. So if you promise somebody something they’re relying upon, well, golly delivering. And if you can’t pick up the phone and say, I can’t meet this deadline, I’ve been called to trial. And that person is going to 99.9% of the time, be happy to give you more time. But don’t let deadlines come and go. And its man, and I try to impart this on the younger lawyers, Wes, collaboration and partnership. Collaboration and partnership, these clients who we had the privilege to work for, they’re our partners, man. So let’s act like it, and let’s be in step with it. And here we are. Now, it’s not a CSK infomercial but we’re throughout Florida, we try more cases than any Florida Defense Firm and grateful to be here. And now the final segment of my story Wes, and I really would be remiss to myself and my listeners, I’ve got a wonderful wife. I have wonderful kids, five kids now grown. And I have a faith that doesn’t let me down, man. So thank you for having me today.
Wesley Todd [06:13]: I love that. And as you know, I’m very glad that you made those risky moves in your early in your career, and I’m sure, you could have never dreamed in your wildest dreams, what would become of all of this, but it’s just amazing how good things happen to good people. And I remember my billing number was 256. So I was attorney 256. I think that’s what that means. I’ll just take that, and for what it’s worth. And you know, I still felt like a small firm when I got there in 2009, I believe. It was so collegial. I knew who everybody was, that culture was huge. Arim Magarium he taught me from day one, bad news travels fast, you know, you’re gonna make mistakes, but you need to keep everybody aware of that, because people will forgive you, and we’re going to make mistakes. And, you know, I learned, I was just so fortunate, you know, when I you know, I’m doing my own little comment here, I couldn’t get a job anywhere. It was 2009, the economy just crash. And no one would hire me. And I think that’s exactly why Aaron wanted me was because he could tell that I had talked to 350 firms, and I got rejected by everyone. I was still going for number 351. And I got there and I crushed it, and we crushed it together. And we did really good for the customers and show that you know, character, Trump’s grades and the objective metrics and also the nurturing that and trust that the firm had, and its associates to go out there and figure things out for themselves in combination with the support of all the experienced staff that somehow you guys are able to keep in support. So, you know, your story directly relates to mine. And then like I was saying, before we kick this thing off, I traveled the country when I started CaseGlide. And in every room I went to, they said, Hey, I just talked to Gene last week, or Oh, hey, you know, Gene, and it’s just so amazing the impact that you’ve had. I’m sure it’s so rewarding to be very successful, but also to have a lot of people that are very proud to have worked with you.
Gene Kissane [08:32]: Well, you know what, Wes, I think you really did say that’s just then there’s more than what school you went to. There’s more than what was your grade point average. There’s more than all of these accolades. What is your character? Did you work hard to get here? Do you want to work hard to get here? So I think when we look at CSK and other businesses incorporate this as well. It’s a character driven law firm. I can only choose. I can’t always choose who I’m with. I can only choose to be with whom I want to be, and they’ve got to be high character. They don’t have to be perfect. You know, they can be like me, very imperfect which characters got to be near flawless. And that creates what was, it creates culture. The character creates culture, and its culture here decency.
Wesley Todd [09:31]: Yeah, yeah, that’s fantastic. So I want you know, I could talk to you about the insurance offense market all day long. I’d love to pick your brain on that. What I would like to do is get started with some, you know, giving these listeners the perspective of someone who has spoken with the top. And we are thinking about challenges external to the market and internal. I think the more exciting one is external as far as social inflation, nuclear verdicts, the plaintiffs’ bar getting so powerful. I mean, they always have been, but it feels like they’re even more powerful. And just all the pressures that are facing insurers and TPAs to remain financially stable. And the big piece of that being litigation, what are you seeing out there as far as challenges facing our clients?
Gene Kissane [10:27]: Lot of challenges. You see me pause there, post COVID, something’s different. And some of the challenges that we’re seeing are, as you noted, the nuclear verdicts, the social inflation. I don’t know yet, Wes, and I don’t know that I’ll ever know what’s different now. Then back in January, and February 2020, I think in part that the people who sit as jurors now, there was during COVID, money that was given, and money that was accepted. And I wonder, and I scratch my head, and I’m not drawing good, better in between. Look, we were helping people who needed help, the government helped us. Is there now when jurors sit and listen and then deliberate feeling of give in money to that claimant, who may or may not deserve it. And then we tie that in with the reptile theory. In a little bit about the reptile theory in a nutshell, these lawyers are skilled, to go toward an emotional reactive trigger component of each of our brains, and they dry out this emotion. And that emotion, with these societal conditions that are creating nuclear verdicts are very dangerous now. So we’re seeing, Wes, non-operated tripping fall cases, automobile accident cases, non-operated knees, where the verdicts are $4 or $5, $6 million. So that’s a big pressure man, you know, on the claims professional, and on the trial lawyer, there’s no doubt about it. Some other things that we’re seeing, Morgan and Morgan, what a fantastic story. And here’s what they have in part, they’ve got some awfully good trial lawyers. And where did they get those trial lawyers from? Many of them from good defense firms. Now their salaries doubled. And now they’re in an environment where they’re trying cases. And Morgan and Morgan has built up this bench strength. And I like to say Wes, I’ll put Cole Scott bench strength against any defense firm in this country. Maybe I win it, maybe I don’t, but I’m gonna be in the discussion. What Morgan is creating over there puts a lot of pressure. It does on these carriers, on the MGAs, TPAs, Lloyd syndicates and the lawyers handling cases against them. Why? It’s so important about CaseGlide. Why? Because they have, I mean, in the plaintiff attorneys, I’ll say unlimited resources. Is it truly unlimited? I don’t know when you compare it to maybe some of our resources and cost concerns, it’s not always easy to combat that.
Wesley Todd [13:55]: Yeah, this is massive. Again, there’s what you’re saying is so important. I think you’ve just nailed that. And I’ll just for those almost will use this almost as like a tool here for people to do further research because we can only stay high level. But the other piece is that there is reform going in are being pushed every year. And it’s going to get through that’s going to allow for people to invest, you know, people are already allowed to invest in a case but there’s going to, it’s going to become a you know, hundreds of billion dollar industry that savvy investors can get into soon. It’s already happened in Arizona, it’s happening in Utah. This stuff is pure. It’s like the stock market, you can easily invest in a portfolio of claims litigation on the plaintiff side. And so that we haven’t, we’re going to get there soon. And we haven’t even gotten there yet. And it’s still such a challenging situation for us. And to your point about, you know, raising bring up CaseGlide to this and talk about the resources. They have very good technology, they have very good collaboration. And maybe even more importantly, they don’t have technology that works against them that makes them do like clerical work and duplicative work and manual work to put something in this system, and make sure something goes to that system and follow this rule. They don’t have any of that either. So they not only have good technology, but they don’t have bad technology is probably even plays a bigger role. Might even be why we’re seeing some of our most talented defense lawyers migrate over there. So great insight, you have anything else you want to add to that before we move on? I mean, I know we could go on all day just on that topic.
Gene Kissane [15:42]: Well, you know, yeah, there’s a lot of different factors that burden our side of the fence. Wes, and it’s really something and I’ve spoken to you several times offline about this. You want to get work. You want enough work, but you don’t want too much work. Some lawyers don’t understand too much work is precisely that it’s too much work. I want to be evaluated as an individual lawyer and our law firm, based upon component of fairness. And I think CaseGlide, Wes, I really do gives the law firms that ability, but maybe even more importantly, gives the industry that ability by us from this perspective. I did get a call saying Gene, you know what, we’re looking at our roster of attorneys, and you guys our third or you’re second or you’re fourth or whatever number you are on legal spend. And I would say, yes, but and I want to be appropriate and send it right, Wes, but I’m getting your bad paralysis cases. I’m getting your death cases. I’m getting whatever it is. And the other firm maybe isn’t getting the heavy lifting. So inevitably, my legal spend, but it was less. It’s not an easy message to convey. What is CaseGlide do for us? It gives the industry and indemnity component. What is the legal spend? What is not only the legal spend? What’s the indemnity spend? What was the verdict? What was the settlement? And I think that allows a client to look and assess. Okay, what’s now the complete picture? And you know, Wes, and you know this, I could go on and on for the entirety of today on that point that this industry has, and it’s real money, been so focused on legal spend. That we sort of looked a blind eye oftentimes to the indemnity component, and CaseGlide and what you’ve done, it’s revolutionary. And you’ve not asked me to say this, I want it to be on this to convey that message to our industry, not your industry, not mine, not his, not hers, ours, that now we have a vehicle that will truly allow for partnership and collaboration. But I could go on and on and on, you know is that regardless, let me just comment upon this. So much of the claims professional, these are bright. These are successful people. Their date is going to be spent worrying about, is the budget uploaded correctly? Did they timely submitted? Did they use the right form for the pre Mediation Report for the initial case analysis? And I’ll tell you what, man, if we could take a lot of that clerical time on both sides, meaning the law firm and the claims professional, and put it to analyzing strengths in the case, assessing weaknesses, researching, I’m talking about just a goldmine of time that we didn’t otherwise have. And that’s why I really am such a proponent of the things you’re doing.
Wesley Todd [19:10]: I really appreciate all those kind words, a lot of it, it’s tough, because if you think about it to your point, and it’s amazing to think how successful CSK has been as a results oriented firm, even though the insurance industry wasn’t given the tool to actually see the impact of those results. You know, I was trained to get good results. I was trained to try to win summary judgments and motion to dismiss and things like that, and sometimes trials and the fact that was how you trained all 500 plus of these lawyers, and that should cost more than losing and handing over the keys when the plaintiff asked for them. And the fact that you are still able to compete on expense, even when you’re winning shows you really just how dynamic this firm is. And what I think, you know, my concern was when that was happening for me was, you know, this is when’s it going to be too late? When is the, you know, at what point is, can we not repair things? Can we not bring into talent? Can we not reward the top attorneys? And it frankly, it worries me a lot. I think your support the defense bar support, because defense bars really been hindered by technology, not help for a while now, of course, you have your own internal technology that does wonders, but the technology imposed by the insurance companies for the most part. And you know, for you to remain open minded after decades of really challenging technology issues in this market is incredible, and I really appreciate it. And I think Gene, that every other defense firm that has spent their time being focused on winning would agree, and I think that all claims litigation executives that are rewarded with a bottom line would agree, excuse me, rewarded for the outcome of the bottom line would agree. Are they you know, what’s the combined ratio? And are they you know, the biggest piece of that is the settlement, not the expense. So I do think that it’s to your point, it’s the combination of, okay, what’s the indemnity? And then, is that good or bad? So calibrating that for what was the exposure? What was the demand? What were the medicals? What were you know, what are all the different components of this? And who was the plaintiff’s attorney, and who was a judge? And not really calibrating that outcome. And that’s going to be a team effort, that’s gonna be you and some other leading defense lawyers and insurance industry veteran saying, hey, this may not be perfect, but this is the best way of measuring success in insurance defense, not how cheap they are, but how good they are. And so you know, it’s gonna be tough, but I think the industry is behind it. And I think we’re making a lot of progress.
Gene Kissane [22:13]: No doubt. And you know, what you said, Wes, in so many words, when you were part of a trial team, you were focused on winning of doing the best job you could for your client. And you would get a great win, remember, and then maybe somebody would say you bill too much, right. And then the industry seemed to be looking at that legal spend, and maybe not looking as closely at the indemnity spend. And I asked you this Wes, and our listeners, would you rather spend 100,000 in defense to save 5 million in indemnity, or you’d rather spend 50,000 in defense and then have to pay somebody 5 million in indemnity. Not that it’s universal. And it’s always gonna be without challenge, you could put forth great expense and still lose. But here’s what I’ve seen Wes, and I think you did a little bit too. We went from often times, whether it’s because of E-billing, or whatever the issue, being side by side with our claims partner, who we have the privilege to work for them. And we knew who the enemy was, right? We did side by side. And then with this legal expense in there, put in the right page numbers in your time entry. If you don’t put in the right page numbers, you’re going to be cut, you wonder, is my best warrior by my side any longer, or perhaps not. And I think a lot of the legal litigation management has created something that I personally have been successful in avoiding a friction, friction, and I did this great work but now they’ve taken away a third of what my compensation should be.
Wesley Todd [24:04]: And if I was a plaintiff’s bar that would be my exact strategy, is I would try to come up with some way of just getting my opponents to put the, you know, most the least expensive people on a case. I mean, what you know, the least are getting paid, the least competent they are. I mean, what a perfect recipe for disaster for the insurance industry. It’s frankly, it’s incredible to me you know, that we’re in the situation. We’re in where this isn’t a total catastrophe. And I feel like it’s only because it’s, you know, lawyers govern themselves. And as I was mentioning earlier, the shackles are about to come off, I think and real money people are going to be coming in. And then whether it’s 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, and it’s not going to be you know, they’re going to try if I was Morgan and Morgan, I would try every single case, you know, because their lawyers are like you said competent, talented, and they stand so much to gain, and they have a better incentive structure than most defense firms. I would try every single case. And if they did, I think we’d have some serious financial stability problems in the industry.
Gene Kissane [25:24]: There’s no question about it. And you know, you mentioned the industry, plus, and I’m not here to judge backslap. I’m not doing that to you or this industry. But you know what, without this industry that I’m committed to, that has allowed me to be part of it. There wouldn’t be the US economy. This industry is paramount to the success, not only of this country, but many other countries. And here’s something, Wes, it actually makes me, I don’t know if laughter, or pity, is the right emotion, but we’ll be on the treadmill at night, watching the news, I’ll see a plaintiff’s attorney, you can pick the name, get up there and say, you know, these insurance companies, these insurance companies are sinister. They don’t want to pay you what you’re entitled to hire ABC law firm. And I think I would love to speak to any one of those lawyers who are advertising and ask them. How do you protect your family and your automobile? Well, who has insurance? Well, how do you protect your home from somebody harming your home? And perhaps God forbid it, harming somebody within the home. Well, insurance? Well, if you were to lose your job, for whatever the reason, how do you protect against that? Well, disability insurance, income protection insurance? The fact of the matter is these lawyers, and I say, how dare that, that stand up there and want to mock and attack this industry? You know, somebody should look at where are you writing your premium dollars to win if it’s such a bad industry? If it’s such a bad industry, why are you writing the premium dollars? So I think it’s a fantastic industry. And you know this, Wes, I can go on and on. These folks are under siege, they have to be profitable. You use the phrase loss ratio. Sure, it needs to be profitable. But you know, what, in Florida, are third party bad faith is so extremely unfair toward these companies? There’s cases out there, Wes, that if a company is aware of an accident, and they then tender, their policy proceeds within 21 days, 20 days, 30 days, it’s deemed untimely. And yet the industry has to also work under those constraints, take the social inflation, take the reptile theory, take the nuclear verdicts. And then what do they have? They have this administrative component that is important. And that’s why I said to you, man, you hit a homerun with CaseGlide, because it’s easing that component of it monumentally, so really well, because it led to me let me focus on the case, and all the other stuff is important, but it’s almost self-effectuating to CaseGlide
Wesley Todd [28:22]: Yeah. It’s not rocket science. We got a lot of winners, we have a lot of really talented people on the adjuster and attorney side, and it’s just removing the shackles. It’s not, it was obvious to me because I kind of knew a little, I knew just enough to be dangerous. Five years, it’s a [inaudible]. So I’m gonna, you know, we could talk about this stuff all day, I think you really hit all the good points Gene. What you know, there we have about 7000 people who subscribe to receive this podcast in their inbox. And most of them are young up and coming attorneys and adjusters, it’s just kind of how the cookie crumbles with who’s interested in these things, you know, some go getters. And what I wanted to take the opportunity to do ask him somebody who has built a firm from 3 to 500 and done it in a way where everybody smiles when they hear your name. What advice do you have for you know, adjusters and attorneys, what advice you have for them about how they can make the most of this because I think the sky’s the limit in this industry. I think you know that too. But what would you tell them as far as to how to be successful?
Gene Kissane [29:41]: You know what, I’m going to, man, it’s a good question. And I want everybody to know, Wes, I didn’t discuss the questions and answers. I’m hearing this for the first time and it’s a great question. Wes, it’s a big problem in our industry. Turnover, it’s true in the career side, it’s true in the defense firms. Post COVID, during COVID, more than ever, so what advice would I give? I’m going to proceed that, Wes, by giving you and the listeners this to consider as I’m speaking. When I was a young partner, interviewing associates or prospective, associates like yourself, and they walked in. How many jobs do you think you’ll have? The answer I would hear back is Mr. Gene, if things go right, one, that’s why I’m here. And do you know, now, and this is public stuff, as you can look it up. You know what the average answer is going to be back? 12. So look, your question I’m going to go on too long, is so great. What do I say to folks? Enjoy your life And the old saying, I work to live, I don’t live to work, Wes. But I’m telling you, and I have good days, and I have days that are challenging. But if we have now a job, where we’re surrounded by friends and colleagues, and it’s a passion man, where we’re going to lose, and I’m going to scratch my head someday saying, Maybe I should have went to medical school, and my mom was right you know. But if we have a job that we enjoy, and it’s now a part of our family and our children, in our life, everything goes well. So now what would I say to the younger people, and that’s probably everybody listening. Is, Look, when you fall down, and you skinned your knee, don’t look that way and say who pushed me? Get up. And you’re going to fall again. And I want you to get back up and be afraid, but don’t be too afraid. Meaning by that Wes, you’re gonna go in for the first time, or the 10th time to pick a jury. And you’re gonna have nervousness, but overcome it man, and be that gladiator, he or she standing in the rank somebody far smarter than me said, “It’s not the critic who gets the praise, it’s a bullfighter. It’s the one in the arena who gets it right.” So love what you do. And I mean it, but you got to find it in here. Love what you do, be willing to fail at what you do. And then when you succeed at what you do, let others talk about your success. Have modesty, be the young woman or young man that your parents or those who influenced your life had in mind when they were teaching you and be grateful. And here’s what I say, don’t be in back slapper. When you got bad news to deliver to a client and they don’t want to hear it, oh golly, you better deliver it because that’s your job and you’re sworn to do your job, and have fun.
Wesley Todd [33:06]: That’s great advice. I think, you know, I lived those in just 10 years after he started the firm, I lived all those things. I missed those days of learning and having the, you know, the colleagues in a different friends and very diverse firm. Very, you know, like my group that I started with went on, they all very successful within CSK and outside. I think those things are, and it wasn’t easy. And I’m glad it wasn’t. And then to your other point, it was very interesting that I talked to a lot of friends, you know, and of course, like working hard, like a lot of people are for that anymore, and that’s fine. I mean, for me, I find happiness and working hard. But maybe some people don’t, maybe CSK may not be the place for them. But you know, what was interesting was the families, you know, I had a lot of friends that were around the same year, and they had gone to different firms, and all the partners that those firms had broken families. And I think it was kind of this thing of a particular generation of how you know, just how things were. And what was awesome about CSK is, I can actually look up to everybody, because to your point somehow, even though we’re there on Saturdays, and late on the weekdays still had good families that would come and see us, and people were happy. I don’t know what that trick was, but it worked, and I definitely saw that. And man, I don’t know how you’re able to do it at 250 attorneys how you’re able to do it at 500. I have 35 employees, and it’s hard. It’s hard to
Gene Kissane [34:50]: You know how? Wes, that’s not how I’ve been able to do it. And I mean, this is a small part of a big puzzle. I’ve got great law partners, man, you know, Richard Cole, Tom Scott and Scott Cole, Mike brand, Barry Postman, Michelle Mirallas, Henry Salas, Aaron McGarry and John Coleman, on and on and on, and I’m leaving a lot of people out. There the reason for this success. My legal assistant, he or she is the reason for my success. And you let people know that. And you may recall this, Wes, I don’t know, if you will. A lawyer will come in, stressed out. Bow Belen, you can’t use a word in my office. I don’t want to hear it. I want to talk to that lawyer. How are you going to tell me about one of your cases? How are you going to win it, because I have found this out a few things in my career. If you do a good job, you do it honestly and you do it with a passion, all the other stuff comes along. You’re gonna build your time, you’re gonna make money for building your time, you’re gonna get a bonus. But be true to your core, Man. Be true to who you want to be. And if you got to be pretender, and I don’t think folks listening in are, it’s not the business for you. It’s not the business for that person.
Wesley Todd [36:11]: Right. Yeah, you definitely have to be authentic here. Because it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the truth is gonna come out. You know, whether you like it or not, and you really can’t be successful in this industry overnight. So yeah, I think that’s great advice. I really appreciate it.
Gene Kissane [36:29]: Sure, Wes, Can I add one thing that’s important?
Wesley Todd [36:33]: Yeah.
Gene Kissane [36:33]: If he asked me a question, what would I say to folks, to the younger people, I’ve been blessed, and I sure, hope he doesn’t hear this. I had a mentor in my life, had great parents, great kids and a wife. But I had a gentleman by the name of Richard Cole. You know Richard. He took me from Tom Scott. And Tom said, you gotta go interview with Richard. I had a green pair of slacks. I had an old blazer that I think I last wore in high school. In here, I’m going into Richard, and I had a mentor, who I looked up to every day, who was always courteous to me. He was tough. And you know how tough Richard is. He’s never once raised his voice at me. He never once used a bad word toward me. What he did was he taught me, he had very little tolerance for giving a second lesson. He taught, he appreciated, so young people get a mentor and if that person, he or she is good to you, don’t leave that place, because somebody else is giving you ‘X’ dollars more, don’t do it. Stay with that person or that people
Wesley Todd [37:42]: That’s amazing advice. I totally agree with that. You know, you got, you might have a 50 year career these days. $2,000 in year too, or $5,000, it’s not going to matter. Oh, that’s, I was actually going to ask you about that. So I’m glad you said that
Gene Kissane [37:59]: Yeah, it’s that important to me. So people say the reason for your success, multifactorial man.
Wesley Todd [38:06]: And so you know, that’s a perfect way to end this. Because I know that when an adjuster has 150 claims, and an attorney has 150 lawsuits, the last thing they have time to do is figure out who to listen to and reach out to them and get advice. And it’s really unfortunate, actually, I remember how busy I was. And I’m blessed to have the network and the time. And so now you get to hear these insights just really appreciated gene. I mean, this is the value of a mentor right here, you get this perspective and make decisions that will impact the rest of your life. And this has just been wonderful, wonderful opportunity. Is there a way if anyone wants to reach out to you, like LinkedIn or email any?
Gene Kissane [38:50]: Let me give you my email and to the listeners, and particularly folks who want to visit about these issues, man, I’m not too busy. My email is Kissane, which is my last name K-I-S-S-A-N-E, kissane@csklegal And my direct number at work 305-350-5345, hit me up and I’m on LinkedIn. And it really would be a privilege to visit with folks. And you know, that, Wes, you know, I’m a visitor. I embrace people. Why? Because I think I’ve been embraced by people. And I want to close, man, and I mean, I’d be re-missed. You know, all of the partners that I’ve been fortunate to have, Wes, including yourself, including this fantastic family, no individual names. This industry that I’ve worked for, it’s honorable, they’re highly decent people. They’re very, very, very smart people, and they allowed me and they trusted me. And the advice to the young people, if you say it, you better say it with ability to repeat it in a crowded room. What I mean by that is don’t say it if it’s not spot on factual and gain people’s respect, and give the respect that people deserve when you’re speaking to them.
Wesley Todd [40:17]: Words of wisdom
Gene Kissane [40:18]: Thank you man
Wesley Todd [40:19]: I really appreciate you to reach out to Gene, reached out to me. This has been one of the best Litigation Management podcasts yet. Thanks you. Thank you and let’s do it again soon.
Gene Kissane [40:29]: I look forward to Atlanta. Thanks for including me.