History of the Firm
The webmaster asked the other day for a “History of the Law Firm”. I looked around and she was looking at me for a response. I have seen various and sundry histories as I researched the use of other law firms. Those histories tend to be that the law firm is the besttiest, most diverse and efficient to handle a myriad of legal matters. This history will be nothing of that sort. So, if you are reading this history, you may stop now.
The firm was founded by my father, Harry E. Gaylord, after his graduation from Stetson University in 1936 with a Bachelor of Law. By the way, when J.D. was offered to replace the Bachelor degree for the sum of $100.00, he said “thank you very much, but I will remain a Bachelor.” I paid the $100.00, but he never displayed this newly acquired honorary J.D. He became the youngest mayor in the United States at age 21. He, as many of his generation, had the interruption of the Great War during his career, then proceeded to practice law until his death in 1992. He was always referred to as “Mr. Harry” with the fondest of respect from both bar and bench – the local Atticas Finch. I remember on one occasion we decided to purge some ancient files. On a Friday afternoon, he drew the first file from the cabinet and proceeded to spin a tale of the case for an hour. Not to be outdone, I did the same. We purged four files after an afternoon of hard work and never did that again.
I joined the firm in 1971, after completion of law school at Cumberland Law School as a Juris Doctorate. I became board certified in Wills, Trusts and Estates in 1988, and have retained my certification from the Florida Bar since that date. We had several partners through the years, but after his death in 1992, I remained a sole practitioner until 2005, when Michael J. Rogers joined me, practicing primarily in Estate Planning, Probate, Trust, and Guardianship Law.
Mike is a graduate from Stetson Law School in 1994. He practiced as a sole practitioner until we joined in 2005. Mr. Harry and Mike have something in common – they were both born in New York – but we won’t hold that against them. Mike and I have something in common. We both have Juris Doctorate degrees. I don’t think Mr. Harry will hold that against us.