Spada Law - January 2019

S pada L aw G roup INJURY LAW LLC

THE SLG ADVISOR

617.889.5000 | SPADALAWGROUP.COM

JANUARY 2019

Hitting the Curveball JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT ALL WAS WELL ...

was my staff, who are truly like my family. I have worked with these people for years. They depend on me for their livelihoods, and I couldn’t let them down. The idea of leaving all these people to scatter for a new job was more terrifying than my own mortality. “I was unsure of my future or if I even had one.” Fortunately, the cancer was caught in time. I recovered, and today, I’m proud to say I’m cancer-free. The firm continues to grow, and out of that fog of despair and worry came a newfound enthusiasm for life. I don’t have unlimited time to put my stamp of excellence on my legacy or to put off telling those I love exactly how I feel about them. Every day must be spent striving for excellence while enjoying what’s right in front of me. My situation impressed upon me a higher level of empathy. I’ll admit, there was a time when I’d become jaded. When you work in personal injury law, all of your clients are injured and in pain. After so many years, you become numb to it. Being forced to take a long, hard look at my own mortality was a wake-up call I sorely needed. You’re a better lawyer when you understand what your clients are going through. The fear, the pain, the uncertainty, it can be suffocating. Knowing

They say you don’t know how strong you are until you don’t have any other options. I always thought I was a pretty strong guy. Then life threw me a serious curveball, and I really had to test what I was made of. A little over two years ago, life was chugging along just fine for me. I was healthy, had a great family, and ran a successful law practice with my law partner, Vincent Zullo, who was like a brother to me. Then on the morning of Monday, June 13, 2016, I received a hysterical phone call from a former client who also happened to be Vin’s next-door neighbor. She was sobbing and between her gasps of breath, she only managed to exclaim, “He’s gone!” My partner and dear friend had suffered a massive heart attack. He died at 53 years old, leaving behind a loving wife and two beautiful teenage children. In the weeks after Vin’s death, I was overwhelmed with sadness and worry. After 18 years together, I would have to run a law firm by myself. Each day I passed by Vin’s empty office, the dueling emotions of grief and anxiety left me paralyzed. But this curveball was just beginning to spin. Two weeks after Vin died, I was diagnosed with cancer. In the next 30 days, my life was a flurry of ultrasounds, MRIs, and surgery. I was unsure of my future or if I even had one. I was terrified, a total mess, but I knew I had to keep it together. There were a lot of people who needed me to get through it and come out on the other side. I could see the worry in my children’s eyes. I knew my wife was worried as she watched what my partner’s wife was going through after his death. And then there

someone is there to fight for you can give you strength to carry on. Today my kids have a more present father, my wife a more appreciative husband, and my staff a more enthusiastic and upbeat leader. And I truly believe my clients have a more engaged and empathetic advocate on their behalf. Thanks to the love and support of family, friends, and staff, I get another chance to put my bat on that curveball. And I do not intend to miss! -Len Spada

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