They don’t wear capes or brightly colored spandex outfits. Their uniforms are a bit more inconspicuous, more like trousers and ties than breastplates and masks.
And although they don’t have any super powers, they do fight injustice. Their weapon — the law.
Winter Park’s attorneys were just named to the 2010 Super Lawyers list. Only 5 percent of Florida attorneys are selected to the list each year.
Attorney Usher “Larry” Brown and Anthony Garganese — the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency and Winter Springs’ city attorney — are both from the Orlando firm Brown, Garganese, Weiss and D’Agresta.
Winter Park Vice Mayor Beth Dillaha applauded the city’s legal team for its work behind the scenes.
“It’s great for the Winter Park community to know what kind of accolades the city attorney is getting,” Dillaha said. “You don’t usually hear about your city attorneys. They’re typically behind the front lines.”
Both Brown and Garganese said they like using their super lawyer powers for good. Practicing local government law allows them to do that.
They protect the city’s rights and assess the risks involved in important decisions before they are made by the City Commission and city staff. It’s not about going to trial and winning or losing, it’s about making sure things are done the best, right way for the city.
“We have the opportunity to try and do the right thing, not just win,” Brown said.
And while both said they are proud and honored to be recognized, that’s not what they think about when doing their work. Rather than wondering what they can do to get the next award, they ask themselves each day how they can achieve excellence in the area of local government, Garganese said.
They do this with an entire firm composed of local government law “sidekicks.”
But, like many superheroes, they aren’t on the clock, all the time.
When Brown’s not defending the rights of the city, he trades the law for music. Back in the ’70s, Brown played harmonica and the keyboard in the country rock band Buckeye Sawmill Garage. They toured Florida and opened for acts such as Jimmy Buffett and Waylon Jennings. He once thought he was going to be a professional musician.
“I still am a musician,” he said, “but I realized early on, my higher and best use might be something else.”
Now the Maitland father of five likes to play piano with his family. He loves practicing with his wife, who plays the cello.
Garganese has unexpected talents, too. The New England native has ice in his heart — in a good way. His one passion, besides law, is ice hockey. He’s played since he was a child, and has been on the men’s league in Maitland for 15 years. Garganese, a Winter Springs resident, said hockey is a lot like law.
“It’s sort of like being a city attorney — you have to be moving at all times,” he said. “And the pucks never stop flying, except the pucks are issues.”
Garganese also once thought he was going to be a professional baseball player, before, like Brown, he realized he could better use his powers for the law. He’s even in the Bryant University Athletics Hall of Fame. Baseball is still a part of his life; he brings his wife and three children to see Rollins College games, he said.
So they’ve got powers, a strong belief in justice, sidekicks and another identity.
Maybe they are superheroes after all.
For more information about Larry Brown and Anthony Garganese and their firm, visit www.orlandolaw.net.