Practice Tips: Building Your Personal Brand

Building your brand in a law firm as a young associate is no easy feat. Not to mention, trying to build a book of business at the same time. Richard Segal, however, has proven in his time at Kluger Kaplan, that he knows how to climb the ladder. Rich’s path has been influenced by the firm’s mentorship program, where founding partners mentor new partners and associates to provide them the tools to build and market their practices—something he hopes to pay forward. So, we asked Rich for his advice on building a successful career trajectory.


  1. What did you learn early on in your career that helped guide you on your path to success?
    I learned early on to give more than I take when it comes to climbing the ladder. Join industry and charitable organizations, and attend networking events. In these organizations and within your firm, lend your time with the goal of obtaining a leadership position. Those around you will be impressed that you devote your time for the benefit of an organization and moreover, will perceive you in an authoritative and professional role. Every fruitful marketing relationship starts off by giving—and the return will inevitably come.
    If you happen to find yourself in a networking situation where you know other colleagues in the room, always speak highly of them and praise their accomplishments. Remember, what goes around comes around.
  2. You now work side by side with veteran litigators, handle major class action suits, counsel high profile clients – what have you learned so far from those experiences?
    Walk the walk and talk the talk. It may be easier said than done, but confidence can go a long way. If you doubt yourself, it is easy for others to do the same. Some of the most successful, veteran litigators I’ve worked with have an air of confidence that makes you want to work with them. Be confident, not cocky.
  3. What can a young associate/lawyer do to promote themselves in and outside of the firm? Why is this important?
    Do what comes naturally to you and be authentic with your choices. It’s important to find your strength and stay true to that. If public speaking doesn’t come naturally to you, write articles. If you’ve developed a deep connection to an organization, dive in headfirst. Begin within your personal comfort zone, but don’t be afraid to push your boundaries when opportunity presents itself. Learn to understand your weaknesses and turn them into an active pursuit towards personal growth. When opportunity arises, you want to be ready for it.
  4. As a young partner yourself, how are you helping the firm’s young associates learn the skills you’ve learned?
    I like to encourage associates to do more than just attend charity events or networking events. Take ownership and organize the events yourself. Differentiate yourself. And make yourself seen by demonstrating the qualities of a leader.
  5. Is there anything you learned the hard way? Any missteps you’ve made that an associate eyeing your success could learn from?
    I joined the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce early in my career and quite frankly did not know how to “work a room.” I left many networking events feeling defeated—as if I missed an opportunity to appeal to colleagues and peers more authentically. I eventually realized my story was the key to working a room. My grandparents moved to Miami Beach in 1948, my father was born in Miami Beach, I was born at Mount Sinai, and my son was born at Mount Sinai. Starting to see my connection? While I didn’t know at first how to work the room, if I could do nothing more than just tell people my story, about my roots in Miami Beach, I was connecting. Your authentic story is what will bring you to success.


Richard SegalRichard Ian Segal is a partner and practices in Kluger Kaplan’s commercial litigation and family law groups, assisting clients in a range of business and corporate litigation matters, and matrimonial disputes.

Law360: Plaintiffs Bar Perspective: Kluger Kaplan’s Steve Silverman

Steve Silverman

Steve I. Silverman is a founding member of Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine PL in Miami. He represents individuals and businesses in all aspects of complex commercial and business disputes, including lender liability issues, claims relating to membership interest rights, all aspects of real property litigation, and complex class action cases.

Silverman has experience litigating multiparty cases in federal and state courts in Florida and nationwide. In addition to his complex litigation practice, he is also an experienced appellate lawyer, having handled dozens of appeals in both state and federal courts, both crafting briefs and delivering oral arguments.

Prior to co-founding Kluger Kaplan, Silverman served as chairman of the litigation and dispute resolution department, and as co-founder of the distressed asset group at Kluger Peretz Kaplan and Berlin. He also heads Kluger Kaplan’s electronic discovery group, following the latest trends and case law in electronic discovery issues at both the state and federal levels.

Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of working as a plaintiffs attorney?

A: One of the most rewarding aspects of representing a plaintiff is hearing from my client at the end of the case that his or her goals have been met, that my client walks away from the litigation feeling fully and adequately compensated, and that they feel no stone was left unturned in their representation. Plaintiffs often come to us feeling significantly wronged and harmed. Being able to work through a case with clients to make sure that they feel satisfied at the end of the day after an often difficult experience is very gratifying.

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View from the Bench

Flyer ImageThe Daily Business Review and the Dade County Bar Association are teaming up to host a panel discussion that is set to give attendees an inside look at dealing with media and ethics in the courtroom. “A View from the Bench: A High-Profile Conversation” will be moderated by former Judge Ronald C. Dresnick, who since leaving the bench is now a partner at Kluger Kaplan focusing his practice on complex commercial litigation, white-collar defense, securities litigation and internal investigations.

This conversation will discuss the proper and ethical approaches to handling cases in the courtroom, dealing with TV and print reporters and also the ins and outs of social media. The panel will also feature Kluger Kaplan’s own Founding Member, Alan Kluger, as well as Judge Michael A. Hanzman or Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, Karen Kammer of Mitraniof Mitrani Rynor Adamsky & Toland PA, Katie S Phang of Berger Singerman, Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. or Southern District of Florida, Marty Steinberg of Hogan Lovells US LLP, and Judge John W. Thornton, Jr. of Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida.

To register, click here.  Look forward to seeing you on June 24.

 Daily Business Review and Dade County Bar Association
Proudly Presents:

Flyer ImageView from the Bench: A High-Profile Conversation

Friday, June 24, 2016
Hyatt Regency Miami

11:30 AM – Networking
Noon – Lunch and Program

Join several of South Florida’s most experienced judges and trial lawyers, as they engage in a high-profile conversation on using the media to win your case.  This seminar provides instruction on handling the media, issuing press releases, the advantages of unique disadvantages of media exposure, and an in-depth discussion on when and how your clients should address the press.  The program begins with a networking session of federal & state judges, in-house counsel, and attorneys.

Seminar Panelists include:

Judge Ronald C. Dresnick (Ret.)
Kluger Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, PL

Judge Michael A. Hanzman
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida

Karen Kammer
Mitrani Rynor Adamsky & Toland PA

Alan Kluger
Kluger Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, PL

Katie S. Phang
Berger Singerman

Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr.
Southern District of Florida

Marty Steinberg
Hogan Lovells US LLP

Judge John W. Thornton, Jr.
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida

For more information contact Joanne Beaudry at or

(305) 347-6643  Click to Register

   For sponsorship info. contact Carlos Curbelo or (305) 347-6647

Think You Waived the Right to Jury Trial in Your Initial Pleading? Maybe Not.

By: Justin B. Kaplan

Young litigators are routinely taught that if the plaintiff does not demand a jury trial in its complaint (or counterclaim), it permanently waived this important right.  This time-worn lesson is not necessarily correct, however.  There is still hope.

The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure provide:

“Any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other party a demand therefore in writing at any time after commencement of the action and not later than 10 days after the service of the last pleading directed to such issue.”

Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.430(b).  However:  The Judge “may allow an amendment in the proceedings to demand a trial by jury or order a trial by jury on its own motion”  Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.430(d).  All may not be lost.  Continue reading