Trendsetters - July 2007
Jamie Billotte Moses
“It’s just absolutely stimulating to be arguing about the law and how it applies to a particular case,” says Orlando appellate and real estate attorney Jamie Billotte Moses, 37, a California native who came to Florida after graduating from Notre Dame’s law school. “In eighth grade I said I wanted to be a lawyer to correct all the injustice in the world. Then I realized what it is. I like to think I’m doing a little bit. I would love to be a judge.”
“I’m enjoying it ?— in some ways more than I thought I would.”
Carlton Fields, CEO, Tampa
Lots of lawyers can complain they took a beating figuratively from a judge, but how many can say a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice literally gave them a black eye? Gary Sasso can. While clerking for Justice Byron White, once the NFL’s leading rusher, he and White were in a pickup basketball game and both went after a loose ball. “He had hands the size of Virginia hams,” Sasso recalls.
A Miami native, married for 35 years to a girl he met in high school, Sasso went to college and law school at the University of Pennsylvania before clerking for White. After eight years at a D.C. firm, Sasso and his wife, Karen, moved to Tampa to raise the first of their three daughters.
He joined Carlton Fields, rose to head its litigation department and became CEO last year. “I’m enjoying it — in some ways more than I thought I would,” says Sasso, 54. He explains he likes getting to better know the firm’s lawyers outside the litigation department. He also found he likes meeting with clients and hearing about their business challenges and dealing with the firm’s business challenges. “I feel I have to stick my head above the trees and see the whole forest,” he says. The 260-lawyer, seven-office firm has more than $110 million in annual revenue.
The business of law has changed immensely in recent years, Sasso says, and “we’ll probably see greater changes in the next 10 years than we have in the last 10.”