well-known tampa criminal lawyer goes civil. what’s it like on the other facet?

rick terrana has defended dying row cases, but he these days joined “for the people” morgan & morgan.

tampa – for greater than 30 years, attorney rick terrana sat in court next to defendants accused of crimes everyday and terrible.

there was eddie lee sexton, the ohio circle of relatives patriarch investigators say dominated his kids with mental and sexual abuse and ordered a homicide to hold the family secrets. there was adam davis, charged with killing his teenage female friend’s mom and leaving her body within the woods.

over time, terrana was a fixture in hillsborough county’s criminal courtrooms — until he recently surprised courthouse regulars with massive news. at sixty one, he changed into making the pass to handle civil instances on the regulation organization of morgan & morgan, a special world from the one he’s recognized his complete prison profession.

raised in tampa and knowledgeable at jesuit excessive and mercer law faculty, terrana talked with the tampa bay times approximately his past due profession change, what’s distinctive and what’s fantastically the equal.

how many instances have you defended to your years in crook law?
oh gosh, i’ve tried approximately 2 hundred jury trials. i’ve defended … within the thousands it’s got to be inside the course of 35 years. i’d have one hundred cases at any given time.

which of them stick with you the most?
adam davis, who just got off death row. that was one in every of my maximum enjoyable moments, getting him off demise row after i positioned him on demise row (as his protection legal professional.) that become the most effective (death) penalty phase i ever misplaced. and it became the one that afflicted me most.

in the end those years, did you get uninterested in criminal law?
whilst you do crook paintings, you need to have a hundred% complete ardour or you’re now not going to be proper at it. and that’s what led me to be successful. i was just losing that ardour. everything became converting a lot with the system. the old days of relationships with prosecutors, it changed into a misplaced factor.

how did you find your manner to morgan & morgan?
i spoke with a couple of fellows over there and fell in love with the culture.

i assume (the corporation) appreciated the value of my trial revel in. i’m cushty telling stories, and that’s what a tribulation is: a story.

you need to want to strive instances. that’s what i’ve finished for 35 years.

have you attempted one in civil court docket but?
i did. a vehicle twist of fate case. a client become injured while he become rear-ended. we settled the case on the third and very last day of trial. paid us exactly what we wanted.

so turned into it as enjoyable as a now not responsible verdict?
it in reality become. it changed into satisfying after residing with the consumer a couple of months and expertise the case and seeing the struggling he’s gone thru over the past 4 years. back surgical procedures …to carry that guy to full justice become very fulfilling.

what form of law are you training?
civil trial regulation. i used to be employed to try premise liability instances, slip and fall, any kind of production accidents, negligent protection. injuries at eating places. you can’t believe how many people stroll out to their automobiles in this metropolis and they fall into grease traps.

what’s your day like now in comparison to how it was once?
it become at the point wherein it was a lot more laid returned inside the criminal practice. i used to be used to it. there’s now not a aspect i didn’t recognize a way to do or get executed.

now i’m in an entire new international of lingo, an entire new e book of regulations and approaches. it’s been very challenging.

this is a fantastic encore profession for me, as i’ve been calling it.

you don’t should go visit customers on the jail anymore, right?
(he laughs.) i would instead were hit on the top 3 times an afternoon than to visit that prison each day. the logistics of all of it. signing in, waiting.

i am going in my office and excluding a short lunch. i don’t exit till i leave inside the afternoon. and i really like it.

is it fancier than before?
no. quite simple.

changed into it suitable to get returned in courtroom?
oh yeah. i like being in courtroom and attempting cases. i don’t miss all the perfunctory hearings. typically we’ve accomplished away with those on the civil facet. no longer once have i seemed in court for whatever apart from a tribulation.

what you’ll name fame hearings in criminal (courtroom), they have got case control meetings in civil (court), and it’s all video.

so what’s the simple distinction in what you do now?
in crook (court docket) we’re speaking approximately liberty. in civil we’re speaking about compensating humans.

does it feel less important?
no. it experience just as critical.

do you get dressed differently?
you don’t must get dressed so conservatively. there’s a bent in criminal cases for jurors to look at a defense attorney in a real fancy in shape and say, oh, this defendant says he’s no longer guilty (however) have a look at his fancy attorney with a huge watch that he paid lots of cash to.

i don’t think you have to worry about that on the civil aspect. all the attorneys look top and your purchaser’s in a specific function. you don’t have a consumer accused of killing humans or robbing a person.

you’ve were given a man injured. most jurors can put themselves in that position at one time or another in the course of their lives.

what do you leave out?
without a doubt, there’s now not a whole lot that i leave out. if i study my career, i quite much finished what i desired to perform.

crook regulation is amusing. you’re butting heads in the courtroom. you’re looking to persuade one juror each time.

every trial’s a tale, civil or crook. if you’re snug telling testimonies, you’re going to be a terrific legal professional. it’s nonetheless a combat, it’s just a lot extra information.

what’s surprised you?
i went from (being) one lawyer to (considered one of) 880 lawyers.

the sources available are simply exceptional. that’s some thing i’ve truely favored. they team of workers you up.

(in his crook practice) i had the equal (assistant) there for 20 plus years.

it’s been a sincerely exceptional lifestyle for me but it’s been a surely cool subculture. i’ve never labored downtown as a long way as having an office there. i’m in the paintings global now.

(due to the fact using downtown can take time) i recognized actually quick why everyone brings their lunch. my spouse offered me a yeti lunch box. i haven’t used it yet.

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