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February 13, 2009

Going Solo; Confessions & Inspirations - Adrianos Facchetti

This is simply a great story of understanding you are a lawyer from day one after passing the bar and acting like one at every opportunity. 

How Ballet Made Me The Lawyer I am Today

Guest Blogger - Adrianos Facchetti

The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” – Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds

You probably read the title of this post and it immediately grabbed your attention. After all, what could ballet possibly have to do with being a lawyer? A lot—just not in the way you might expect it to.

You might be thinking that I’ll discuss the positive aspects of ballet and compare it to the practice of law. Or, if you’re more the imaginative type, you may believe that I’ll write about being a ballet dancer and how it prepared me to be a lawyer (tights and dance belt included).

Sorry to disappoint you ladies. Neither is true.

The truth is that ballet created the opportunity for me to start my own practice. How so?

Well, it all started in August of 2006 when my girlfriend invited me to a ballet she was performing in. At the time, to be honest, the thought of going to a ballet wasn’t at the top of my list of fun things to do on a Saturday night. What can I say? Attraction is a powerful thing. And so I went.

The ballet company held a mixer before the show to engage and attract donors. I went to the mixer and was introduced to an older gentleman who looked like a cross between Kojak and the Godfather. He spoke very deliberately and he asked a lot of questions. He took a liking to me and as we were walking into the theater he asked me a question that I’ll never forget, “Adrianos, I have a collections case. Can you handle it?” My first thought was, “no way! I have no idea what I’m doing! I just passed the bar and the thought of potentially going up against lawyers with 20 years or more of experience without a mentor or anyone to bounce ideas off of is out of the question!”

So I said “yes.” Why did I say yes, you ask?

Someone once told me that in business the answer is always yes. My response that day impacted my legal career more than any other before or since. That older gentleman became my anchor client, which allowed me to start my own practice. In fact, I am still handling cases for him, only now he introduces me to other people as his consigliere. I’m only 29 years old and look what I’ve done for this guy already.

  1. Handled all aspects of litigation in state court (including winning a trial);

  2. Appealed two decisions to the California Court of Appeals;

  3. Filed a case in District Court based on the Religious Land Use And Institutionalized Persons Act and other constitutional claims;

  4. Filed a Petition for Review to the California Supreme Court; and even

  5. Filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court

Working with this client has been wildly entertaining as well. One of his associates was an influential land developer and neighborhood political figure who insisted that we convene at Bob’s Big Boy for key meetings. Yes, the decision to petition the United States Supreme Court that I mentioned before was made over a Big Boy Double-decker!

Another time, after a particularly grueling mediation, opposing counsel squeezed my client’s hand so hard that he made it bleed. The attorney then turned to me and said, “kiss my ***” and stormed out of the room. A month later he offered me a job at his firm. True story!

My point is that you have to make the best of every opportunity and take action. Don’t be afraid! You never know what might happen . . . and let me just speak directly to the new attorneys out there. If I can do it, anyone can. I’m no dummy, but I’m not a genius either.

So go out there, make it happen . . . and support your local ballet company!

Adrianos Facchetti is an Internet defamation attorney in Los Angeles, California. He is Argentinian and Brazilian and speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently. Born and raised in L.A., Adrianos is active in the community and is a member of the board of directors of the Media City Ballet.

200 North Fairvew
Burbank, CA 91505-3523
Tel:  (818) 636-8282
Fax: (818) 332-1255

Blog:       California Defamation Law
Twitter:   @adrianos

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Lisa Solomon

What an engaging story, Adrianos.

I started my practice with my own "anchor client," the Boston law firm where I worked as a paralegal during college. I had been out of law school for about three years when the firm asked if I wanted to work for them remotely (I live in New York), doing legal research and writing for insurance coverage opinions. Though I've since vastly broadened the substantive scope my practice beyond insurance coverage, I still concentrate on providing legal research and writing services to other lawyers.

And, although it's been years since I've done any work for the Boston firm, I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to get my practice off the ground with a steady income from day 1.

Jeena Belil

Very inspiring and funny article Adrianos! You had me guessing about the title for weeks.
You are proof that it CAN be done.

Adrianos Facchetti

Jeena - thanks for reading my post! I was really excited when Susan told me I could write a guest post on her blog. It was totally fun writing it.

Lisa - I'm glad you found my post interesting. Not many lawyers are as lucky as we are, but we're proof that it's possible!


Adriano's, i am reading this from my office in Nairobi in Kenya, Africa. You are very gifted not to mention your sense of humor. I wrote to you earlier in regard to defamation law, though here(Kenya) our law is borrowed from the English Contitution, considering they colonized us, the info you sent me was helpful. Thanks a lot and i look forward to reading some more from you,also i got into twitter because of you.


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