With law offices in nine states and over 30 cities, Morgan & Morgan announced to Historic City News that they have opened a new office in St Augustine. The managing partner of the office, located at 105 South Ponce De Leon Boulevard, is attorney Michael Marrese.
Born in Chicago in 1965, Marrese received his bachelor of science in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He later went on to attain his JD from Indiana University School of Law in 1990 before officially entering the world of personal injury law in 1991.
“I never cared for large corporations,” Marrese, who says he lives for the firm’s motto – For the people – told local reporters. “Many seemed to act like bullies and the little guy got walked on, unless firms like ours spoke up.”
Morgan & Morgan attorneys are leading the battle against personal injury cases across the country, with attorneys like Marrese in St Augustine fighting for the people every single day.
Marrese is a Midwest native and has been practicing personal injury law in the State of Florida for over a decade. Prior to joining the Morgan & Morgan team, Marrese worked for 11 years in and around the Chicago area, focusing on medical malpractice and personal injury. It wasn’t until a competing law firm offered him a position in its Jacksonville office that he and his wife relocated to Northeast Florida.
“Needless to say, my wife and I fell in love with the area,” Marrese says. It was here that he and the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan became acquainted with each other. “I knew John Morgan was who I wanted to work for.”
While still licensed to practice in Illinois, Marrese was admitted to the Florida bar in 2002 and has been practicing in the St. Augustine area ever since. During his tenure, Marrese has dealt with various levels of difficulty when it comes to cases and trials.
“Under Florida law, the smaller the case, the tougher it is to recover anything for clients,” according to Marrese. “I try to act like it is my injury, my pain, and my money at stake.”
And much like his colleagues at Morgan & Morgan, Marrese makes the process for clients as simple, but impactful, as possible. A client is assigned a paralegal and an attorney at the outset, and the attorney remains the one constant throughout the entire trial. This insures a one-on-one relationship between the attorney and the client from start to finish. To provide an even greater personal connection, Marrese shares his personal cell phone number with his clients during the case.
When it comes to transparency, Marrese believes that it is his responsibility to tell the client the “good, the bad, and the ugly,” and not beat around the bush or provide incorrect information.
“Almost always, if I have done my job teaching and explaining what happens to our client throughout the process, then and only then, will they trust you to take your advice,” he said. “Most of our clients want good health and good advice and to be treated fairly by the insurance companies. Insurance companies don’t usually cooperate.”
Despite insurance companies’ actions towards his clients, Marrese has seen a lot of success in the past. He has tried numerous catastrophic injury cases that have resulted in verdicts between $1 million and $6 million.
In the face of many successes, Marrese has at least one tip for those looking to retain an attorney for an accident case. One of the biggest problems he sees throughout his cases is people not remembering or realizing the importance of their past medical history. When a client provides the proper information, Marrese and his team can order the client’s past records and verify any health issues before they testify.
“The client must be totally honest, so that when they give their sworn testimony, it is 100 percent accurate,” he said. “We can take the guesswork out of it.”
Visit the firm’s local office at 105 South Ponce De Leon Boulevard, their website at forthepeople.com/st-augustine/ or call (904) 417-4170.