Attorney Highlight – Gina Romanik Mejia
My name is Gina Romanik Mejia. I am from Miami, Florida although I was born in Illinois. I have lived here all of my life and I work for the South Florida office of Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris Ledva & Meyers.
What Is Your Background?
I was born in Illinois, I moved to Miami, Florida when I was two years old and I have remained in Miami, Florida most of my entire life but for when I went to undergrad at the University of Florida, which is in Gainesville, Florida. After graduating the University of Florida, I returned to Miami and went to the University of Miami for law school. Once I graduated, I did a little bit of commercial litigation, but primarily have been working in the defense arena. At this point, I have been at Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris Ledva & Meyers for 18 years.
What Areas of Practice Do You Focus On?
My practice focuses on construction defect litigation, as well as high exposure and complex issue, professional liability premises liability, trucking and auto liability and product defect cases.
What Is Your Most Memorable Case?
Because my practice deals with more complex and novel issue litigation, I have many cases that are interesting. But one of my favorite cases was a case that dealt with a construction company that brought its vehicle to a mechanic to be repaired. It was a mechanic that actually came to the job site, promoted his business and said that he could actually perform this type of work. Ultimately, during the repair of the vehicle, there was an accident and he passed away. But from that point, the plaintiff’s argument was always that my client should bear some fault for the improper repair of the vehicle. And I always questioned where they were going with the case, and not only question that but questioned whether my legal reasoning was appropriate and correct in that case, because I could never understand how any person would say that an individual or company should know more about the repair of their vehicles than a person who was qualified and experienced to actually repair those vehicles. That case did go to trial, and we did get a defense verdict, which not only vindicated my client, but also solidified that my legal reasoning and research was correct and on point. And that was something that the jury and the court did agree to.
What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?
One of my greatest accomplishments was one of my first trials on my own. It was a complex case that dealt with professional liability of an insurance agent. The plan was that I would try the case with a senior partner, even though at that time, I was also a partner. Immediately prior to the trial in that matter, the partner had a personal event that prohibited him from proceeding with the trial. I knew that any court would allow us to continue the trial based on that personal event. In fact, opposing counsel had said he was more than happy to continue the trial. But I felt that not only we had a strong defense in that case, but also that I could try the case on my own. I did proceed and try the case on my own, and it was a great accomplishment because it was a more complicated case. It was one of my first trials on my own, but I was able to sit down, go through everything, question the witnesses, and it was personally satisfying because while everyone had offered to help me, back me up, to continue the case, to go to trial with me. I knew that I was able to handle the matter on my own. And I did proceed to do that and successfully so for our client.
What Do You Like About Being an Attorney?
To me, being an attorney is being able to be the ultimate investigator to solve any type of puzzle that’s put in front of you. Every case to me is different, even if it’s in the same genre, even if it’s a premises liability, a slip and fall, an auto accident – there’s always a different fact or a different detail that brings the case before me. To me, all my cases are like a puzzle. How do I fit the puzzle together, so that I understand the liability? So I understand the damages? How am I going to be able to put that puzzle together for a jury of peers to listen to me to understand what I’m saying, and to believe and agree with my theories, and my puzzle, putting it together and presenting the facts to them in a way which they not only agree to, but to the successful defense of my client.
What Do You Like About Living in Miami?
I have lived in Miami almost my entire life. Besides the weather, which everyone likes, I find that people are friendly and helpful. It’s nice to be near my family, to be near my childhood friends, and to really raise my children in the same type of atmosphere and environment that I was raised in, which I always enjoyed. I love being able to go outside any time of year to walk my dogs, to go swimming, to be outside and do exercises and to really experience the outdoor life when I’m not sitting in the office. So, it really is a great balance for a personal life and a professional life where when you leave the office for the day, there’s always things that you can do outdoors, and you aren’t always cooped up inside.
What Is A Fun Fact About You?
A fun fact about me is I love to do yard work. There’s just something so satisfying about going out and putting together the way your home looks and the way that you can actually go and enjoy the outdoor atmosphere. It’s a personal satisfaction getting things done that get you outdoors, that get you motivated, that get you your heart running while you also are being productive while doing it.
What Are Your Charitable Endeavors?
I am one of the members of our firm’s philanthropy committee. We spend a lot of times throughout the year thinking of ways to help other people in our community. Those things include volunteering at feeding South Florida, where we get together donations for people who are hungry. Last year for Thanksgiving, we handed out turkeys to people who were in need. We’ve done Food Bank collections. I have also done cooking for the Rotary Club of Cutler Bay in which multiple times a month, you’re able to go and actually cook a pre-planned meal where they provide you with the recipe and you’re able to bring that meal to a school which you know will be given to a family that is in need. And a family that is without that would go hungry. I also involve my kids in going there and helping me cook because I think that it’s important to not only give to the community and give to people who are in need, but also have set on to my kids to show them that it’s important to volunteer. It’s important to be involved in your community and it’s important to give back when you’re able to do so.