I was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. During high school and college, I worked at a car dealership, washing cars and doing errands. I worked at a bakery, making dough for pastries and bagels. I also worked on a production line for a large cosmetics company. At those jobs, I worked side by side with people who made careers as laborers and took great pride in their work. Many of my co-workers had multiple jobs, not necessarily because they wanted to, but because they needed to earn enough money to provide a good standard of living for their families. From these experiences, I developed a strong affinity and appreciation for hard working families trying to make ends meet.
After college, I took my first “white-collar” job at Sotheby’s, in their subscriptions department. There, I worked alongside many young women who spoke frankly about the challenges of balancing family with the demands of the corporate world. I began to see clearly the stress on quality of life caused by the demands of corporate America.
In 1994, I moved to San Francisco. Prior to attending law school, I worked for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), a temporary staffing agency, and for a prominent venture capital firm. At the AAA, I was introduced to the arbitration process and saw first-hand how mediation could yield great benefits to the parties involved in a dispute. I also witnessed the strategic maneuverings of attorneys hoping to gain added leverage for their clients.
Throughout law school, I focused my studies on litigation. During my first summer, I worked for a law firm that was in trial on a large age discrimination case. I was able to evaluate the effectiveness of cross examinations, direct testimony, and closing arguments. The experience also allowed me to evaluate jurors responses to differing styles of examination. I found trial inspiring and knew that I wanted to be in the courtroom. Shortly thereafter, I secured an “extern” position in the San Francisco Superior Court system, reviewing and researching motions filed in the “Law and Motion” department.
During my time working at the court, I learned from the judges and the legal research attorneys about the important elements for specific motions and how to present a clear and concise point to the court, which is generally overwhelmed with paper. There, I worked on all types of cases and saw first-hand the importance of motion practice. In that same year, I also sat on a jury and experienced trial from the other side. I learned about the deliberation process and watched carefully how different personalities can sway the jury’s perceptions of the facts that ultimately determine the outcome.
Following law school, I got a job at a small litigation firm where I was immediately thrown into all aspects of the litigation process: depositions, mediations, motion practice, and client relations. That in-depth, hands-on experience offered me the kind opportunity to develop and hone my skills few attorneys get so early on in their careers.
After several years of working for others, I formed Bayer & Borlase with my wife, Heather Borlase.Top of Page