Schnipper’s clients are often experiencing some of the most traumatic and potentially life-shattering events of their lives. His passion for justice includes getting “down and dirty” (in the most positive sense of the term) to see that his clients receive the most favorable results possible.
Carrying on the Schnipper Difference
Schnipper discovered the meaning of dedicated service through the example of his father, Robert, who is a pioneer in the ophthalmology field and who has changed many lives for the better in helping numerous people with their eyesight. Another influence was his grandfather, Sidney, who was a firefighter for more than 20 years, who once saved two children by climbing an 80-foot ladder to the top floor of a five-story building, fighting 25-foot flames. The tradition of community service and helping others runs deep in his family. “My role models pertaining to who raised me and who I look up to, speak for themselves. I consider myself very fortunate.”
What peaked his interest in a career in the law was an early interest in crime and justice combined with an interesting personal trait. “I was always told that I was a pretty good arguer. That gelled into a desire to go into criminal law. That has been a passion of mine, getting clients out of unfortunate jams, and giving them second, third and fourth chances. A lot of criminal defense lawyers also branch into personal injury. The two go hand-in-hand because there is a lot of litigation involved, and you are also helping those that find themselves in disastrous circumstances,” he says.
His legal experience as an attorney in civil law firms and in district attorneys’ offices is augmented by work in other fields, which provides him with the advantage of seeing any given legal situation from multiple points of view. He has worked for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, the NBA’s Orlando Magic and in the financial services and real estate industries. “I have a plethora of experience in all facets of life, have represented thousands of clients and, well, really, I have a PhD in the School of Hard Knocks, which is a big reason why I can relate to my clients so well, which is of the utmost importance.”
Hanging Out Your Own Shingle
Schnipper says that it is common for law students and young attorneys not to have a clue of what type of law they want to practice. In his case he knew the path he would take from the start. “Once I made that decision it was like two seconds later, ‘Let’s do it.’ I did not have to think about it. I had sufficient courtroom experience to know that I knew enough and that I had outstanding mentors who I could lean on to where I felt it was the right time. When you go out on your own in any avenue it is a risk and you have to dive head first and be very aggressive, aggressive and aggressive. You have to go for it.”
He expected to experience the inevitable bumps in the road in building a new law firm, saying, “At the end of the day handling cases in a way can be easier than actually getting the cases. They do not teach you in law school how to run or market your own firm. You have to start from the ground up in launching your own practice. Looking back on it, it is tough, but nothing in life comes easy. In the beginning, it is all about keeping the lights on,” he says.
Schnipper believes that good attorneys are also very good salespeople. More than that, he says they are hustlers who attend meet-and-greet functions, hand out business cards, get involved in the community and start building a positive reputation as someone who can get things done. It is not like you are just sitting behind a desk and the phone starts ringing. That is not the way it works.”
Asking for and Providing Help
A significant factor in his current success is his continuing relationship with knowledgeable and experienced mentors. “I was always smart enough to know that if you do not know how to do something, ask someone who does. I have excellent mentors to this day. That is how you get better – you find somebody who is better at it than you are and you learn from them. You emulate them.”
He takes personal pride in passing along that philosophy by helping less-experienced attorneys, by sharing his real-world experience of law and business management, and by providing encouragement along the way.
“Anyone who does not improve their skills even when they have been practicing for years, is missing out. You owe it to your clients to always develop and get an edge whether it is from other more experienced litigators and/or attending legal educational programs/seminars.”
Schnipper is a recent attendee of famed trial lawyer, Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Furthermore, he is a graduate of the nationally acclaimed Bill Daniel Trial Advocacy Program, a prestigious and intensive trial skills program at the University of Georgia which participation is limited to accepted applicants and of The National Criminal Defense College at Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia, which is the preeminent hands-on trial skills training program developed exclusively for criminal defense lawyers in the United States.
“I better be a better lawyer in 2019 than I was in 2018. It is not like we are professional athletes whose skill set erodes over time. In this profession we can and should improve our craft as long as we are practicing,” he says.
He believes that success in court or in negotiation is at its core a team effort. Having played college basketball that approach comes naturally. He combines his role as an attorney with forming strong relationships with his clients to focus on achieving the task at hand. “I love litigating in court. My juices get flowing when I know I have a motions hearing and/or even just being in court for whatever stage of the case I am in for that particular client. The key I have learned is to over prepare. John Wooden, the legendary, former UCLA head basketball coach has a famous quote that has stuck with me, ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.’”
Putting the Icing on the Cake
The ultimate goal for Schnipper is always to get the best possible favorable outcome for his clients. “I love getting people favorable results. I love helping people. I love it when I am able to make somebody’s life better; to get someone out of a jam; or to get someone their livelihood back, whether it is their freedom or a fair financial settlement due to the negligence of others. There is a high I get out of that not only for my own financial reward, but in helping my clients,” he says.
Clients agree with Schnipper’s approach as indicated by his 100-plus five-star Google and Avvo, a preeminent professional rating review website, reviews. “Mr. David Schnipper is most definitely a lawyer that I will be referring people to in the future. I actually found him while conducting some of my own research online for a reputable lawyer. After reading his profile, I proceeded to give him a call. It happened to be Christmas Eve when I first called him for his assistance. I left a message regarding my case never once thinking/expecting to hear back from him until after the holidays. To my own surprise, I received a call back within the next half hour. He was out of town and still took the time to step away from his family to discuss my case with me and what the next steps would be. That is the moment that I knew that I had definitely made the correct choice in picking him to represent me. Leading up to my court date, he was very proactive in making sure to keep me in the loop with everything. I would have to say that my favorite part about his work-ethic was his stead-fast approach in making sure to answer any/all of my calls (he never let it go to voicemail) and replying back to my texts promptly. He was always up front and told me the truth, even if it was not exactly what I wanted to hear. And, he never made any false promises that he knew could not be full-filled. He was 100 percent professional at all times. The icing on the cake – my case was dismissed/all charges dropped!”
“David is a shark! In the most professional way. He really got into my case and made sure I would get cleared of my charges and get everything dismissed! He is an outstanding lawyer and I highly recommend him to everyone.”