Giovani Mesa discovered his passion for law at an early age. In 2010, Mesa obtained his Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida where he was an active member of International Law Society, Caribbean Law Clinic, and Hispanic American Law Association. During his degree, Mesa also obtained a Certificate in International Law and Book Award for having the highest grade in the Law and Economics course. Upon graduation, Mesa pursued L.L.M, Advanced Studies in International and European Business Law at Leiden University, in Leiden, Netherlands.
Currently, he is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th District, United States District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, and the United States Court of International Trade. Mesa specializes in advising businesses and individual clients in property, business transactions, and related litigation. Specifically, Mesa provides comprehensive legal services in the real estate industry with a focus on leases, collections, and resolution of real estate disputes. Additionally, Mesa has experience in the areas of business law, including the reviewing, drafting and negotiating of contracts, including marketing agreements, licensing agreements, and confidentiality agreements.
How did you get started in law practice? What inspired you to pursue a career in law?
I like to be challenged. During my undergraduate studies, I realized that a career in law will always challenge me in every possible way, especially intellectually. Additionally, I knew this career path would always encourage me to keep learning. Nowadays I am practicing in a number of different areas, and I keep learning something new almost every day. I find this profession to be very demanding but in a good way.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it was the right path? If so, how did you handle that?
I do not accept failure well. So yes, there were some instances when the resolution was not in the best interests of my client; nor, in my opinion, was it a fair one. The good thing with law is that usually, the decision made is not a final one, so you have other options (such as appeals) to overcome unfavorable outcomes. Such aforementioned situations just made me want to work and fight harder.
How did you get your first client?
It was through my first employer after graduation. My supervisor was always there to guide me, so the first client was a great and valuable opportunity to gain experience. School was a great way to learn the basics but I learned so much from my first client. That hands-on experience is irreplaceable.
What is the toughest decision you have had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I have had to make recently is sacrificing my family time and personal life in order to focus on a demanding case. Sometimes a case takes over your life but that’s OK because it motivates you to buckle down and deliver. You know that the case will eventually end and life will go back to normal.
What qualities do you think a good attorney should have?
In my opinion, a good attorney must be knowledgeable and have great analytical problem-solving skills. In order to have this, you must stay abreast of the latest developments in the field. Additionally, great interpersonal skills are crucial. A good attorney’s goal should always be to create trusting relationships with their clients, and hopefully, that turns into long-term work.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Being a lawyer means that you will have many opportunities to help people. I strive to be the best I can so I can help as many of my clients as possible. To achieve this, I work hard. I am also trying to use my knowledge creatively to make the case, and I strive to think outside of the box. I do not shy away from a conflict if that is necessary, however, I believe in the power of negotiations and reaching the most favorable decision amicably.
What has been your most satisfying moment in law?
Since I started practicing, I have had many satisfying moments. It is very difficult for me to pick one of them. Generally, I would say that seeing my work results coming to life and making my client happy are the most rewarding moments. Of course, being able to provide for my family and make them proud is what keeps me working hard.
What is the best thing about your job?
Again, I would not be able to distinguish one thing. I have lots of good items to put on the list. For one, it is people: my clients, co-workers, my mentor, and other individuals in my industry. I love learning from the people I work with and helping my clients. Other benefits of my profession include the ability to pursue a variety of career options in several areas of law, both in the public and private sector.
How do you view the role of an attorney in the attorney-client relationship?
An attorney is the client’s counselor and legal adviser. I believe that it is my obligation to tell my clients the truth no matter how uncomfortable and unfavorable it may be. This way I can give them the best possible advice depending on their circumstances.
What is your typical day?
My typical day at the office, if I don’t have a court hearing in the morning, begins with checking my emails and other correspondence. Then I usually do my legal research and/or writing for the day. In the early afternoon is when I meet with clients and return any missed phone calls.
What books have inspired you?
- My Life in Court by Louis Nizer;
- Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael Hiltzik
- Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being by Martin E.P. Seligman
- And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank by Steve Oney
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
- Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality by Richard Kluger
- Justice Accused: Antislavery and the Judicial Process by Robert M. Cover
What does the future hold for you? What are you most excited about?
Right now I am following your passion and I am very excited about new upcoming opportunities. Though I have litigated for the most of my career, my heart has always been in corporate law, as evidenced by my L.L.M studies in the Netherlands.