In January 2010 partner Jim Magazine brought to our firm his mentor and friend attorney Sam Newman. From outside appearances, Sam was an older Southern gentleman who had been practicing law for thirty-four years.
Born in Bleecker, Alabama, Clayton Samuel Newman, “Sam” grew up in St. Petersburg, FL and graduated from Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport. After graduation, he spent four and a half years in the U.S. Navy which included a tour of duty in Vietnam on river patrol boats. Upon discharge, Sam obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science Education at the University of South Florida and earned his Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law in 1975.
So what could this guy do at our firm? As a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and National Board of Trial Advocacy Civil Trial Lawyer, Sam clearly had the credentials of a smart, experienced attorney. But how would this seasoned, experienced and older gentleman move in this fast-paced world of practicing law? At 64 years old, Sam was older than anyone working for our firm.
But Sam could run his files like a smooth, fast, oiled machine. He loved practicing law and being an advocate for his clients. Sam had strict procedures on how his files worked. These procedures would sometimes drive the paralegals crazy due to the fast pace. But Sam wanted his clients’ cases resolved because he deeply cared about his clients. Most importantly, Sam’s clients knew he personally cared about them, their injuries and their cases.
Sam had a huge heart and although he pressed paralegals about scheduling mediations on his cases, he truly cared about each and every one of his girls as is shown in the memories from our staff.
“Sam’s humor was unique and he was a go-getter…always looking for the next mediation. He was also very caring and took the time to listen, discuss and share with me during some difficult times in my life. Sam, you are greatly missed…I will never forget you.”
“It was always a treat to find Sam in our New Port Richey office. He always brought a smile and conversation. I will always treasure our conversations about family, kids and work. When Sam asked about my kids, he always spoke of them by name. Sam is dearly missed and will always be my favorite Dude.”
“Sam was the kind of man you hope you marry, have as a father or as a best friend. He was always honest and true in every way possible. Sam was not only a wonderful man but a tremendous human being with a big heart. He was the kind of person that would give his all in every aspect of his life. Sam was a fighter with a great sense of humor, even if you disagree with his political views. He was and will forever be our “Super Sam.”
“Sam always cracked me up! Many times I’d be up front in the morning when he would come in. He was a ray of sunshine offering a joke of some kind, but tough as nails when he needed to be. He loved to brag about years ago how good looking he was with his long hair looking like Rob Reiner aka Michael Stivic.”
“I am not someone who gives people hugs, but for some reason, every time I would see Sam, I would immediately give him a hug (maybe it was that big smile on his face). I learned a lot working with Sam, when it came to his cases, he set his standards high on what he expected from his paralegal. No matter how many questions I asked him, he was always patience & willing to teach (and I ask a lot of questions). He was definitely my favorite attorney to work with. It didn’t matter what Sam and I were talking about we would always end up laughing. Sam reach out to me when I was going through a scary time in my life, this speaks volumes of his character.”