On the job, Gregory P. Brown is a Shareholder in the firm’s Litigation Group. His practice primarily involves construction litigation, representing developers, contractors and sureties in defect cases, contract bond litigation and bankruptcy proceedings related to construction and lending. Greg is also involved in trade secret and non-compete litigation. Outside of the office and the legal profession, however, Greg’s passion is for making a difference in the community – particularly in the lives of children.
The son of a Presbyterian minister, Greg grew up helping his dad serve meals to the homeless at the First Congregational Church of Stamford, Connecticut – the city’s oldest church. His father’s example of striving to impact the lives of so many people was, and continues to be, a compelling influence in his life.
Greg recalls an extraordinarily profound experience when he was a young boy, “One year, two homeless people were found frozen to death on Christmas Day because there were no homeless shelters. When Dad found out about this tragedy, he decided to start a shelter in the basement of the church. I can remember going down to the church to set up cots in the basement and help check people in.”
Greg adds, “He faced tough criticism from members of the congregation who weren’t comfortable with the idea of homeless people sleeping in the basement of their church. But Dad stood up for the homeless and, before long, church members became more accepting and began to help feed the hundreds who came to the church’s soup kitchen daily for what was, in many cases, their only hot meal of the day.”
Today, of the many community activities Greg is involved with, he especially enjoys those in which his own children are directly involved. For example, Greg coaches baseball and is a Cub Scout Den Leader.
Greg also enjoys relating to and working with high school students. For the past eight years, Greg has coached high school Mock Trial Teams at Riverview High School. The teams learn how to put on a trial and compete with other teams throughout the County. In fact, Greg was instrumental in helping to revitalize these competitions. The winners of the County competition use their mock trial fact patterns and argue them in moot appellate district competitions. The winners from each district then argue their cases before the actual Florida Supreme Court. Most gratifying to Greg is that his teams have won the County competition each of the eight years he has been coaching, with one team also winning State and moving on to the National Competition.
Through his involvement with the Mock Trial Teams, Greg has had the privilege of seeing teens from single-parent households with financial hardships rise above their circumstances, excel in their studies, and go on to law school. Greg shares, “It is immensely rewarding when you can teach these kids how to stand on their own two feet and then see the immediate impact upon their self-confidence.”
Responding to the notion that many around the firm have heard about his passion for working with children, Greg quips, “There are many others in the firm who are more active than me -- I’m just better at promoting myself.”
On the contrary, Greg shies away from taking credit for what he just loves to do. In fact, Greg is quick to name those who have also made significant contributions to the Mock Trial Team competitions: Ethen Shapiro, Pat Risch, Erik Matheney and Jeanie Poley.
When asked what advice he would give to new associates, Greg responds, “Rather than feel that you need to find a charitable activity or organization that gives you visibility, look for what speaks to your heart. Follow your passion. That’s the way your work will be the most fulfilling, and the way you’ll have the most impact.”
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