The following was written about in VoyageMIA on February 14, 2019 in an article titled, “Meet Darren Heitner of HEITNER LEGAL in Fort Lauderdale.”
Today we’d like to introduce you to Darren Heitner.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Darren. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
When I graduated from law school in 2010, I did not even know that I would be practicing law. I attended the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) because I had a passion and interest in legal studies, but my heart had been set on being a sports agent. I thought that I would use my legal education to help me reach my goal of representing professional athletes. However, that quickly changed once I left Gainesville and moved to Fort Lauderdale.
I had previously been asked by a law firm, prior to graduating from law school, to provide advice as to how to best build a Sports Law practice. I had no practical experience other than an internship at a sports agency and creating a website focused on the sports agency industry (at SportsAgentBlog.com). Yet, that firm wanted my assistance. That same law firm asked me to lunch as soon as I moved to Fort Lauderdale after law school.
I took the meeting, informing the partners that I was planning on focusing my time on the continued development of my startup sports agency. However, they insisted that I come in the following day to check out their operations. I had not planned on it, but I ended up becoming an associate at that firm for a year, mostly assisting the firm with its main insurance defense practice while spending spare time building my own book of business focused on sports and entertainment as well as intellectual property concerns.
A year after starting at the law firm, I was off on another adventure. I had been asked by a prominent entertainment lawyer in Miami to come help him create a new law firm and jumped at the opportunity. I worked hard to grow the firm and ultimately became a partner prior to leaving to create my own law firm after three years. Four years into practicing law, I was no longer a sports agent and no longer an employee. I was off to build my own law firm.
In June 2014, HEITNER LEGAL was born. It has been a wonderful experience from the start. I was told by clients that they fully trusted my transition and would support me throughout. That has absolutely been the case since Day one.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Fortunately, it has been rather smooth in operating HEITNER LEGAL since 2014. There have certainly been trying cases and tough clients, and I have learned to conduct just as much diligence (if not more) on potential clients as they do on my firm and me. We have never been sued nor threatened with a lawsuit, and have clients that absolutely love and appreciate our service.
For instance, one client recently purchased ad space in Times Square just because he appreciated everything we have done for him. Advertisements featuring HEITNER LEGAL were featured everywhere in Times Square, which was a joy to see. More on that here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6493091736779321344
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about HEITNER LEGAL – what should we know?
It’s easiest to break down what HEITNER LEGAL does in three buckets: Sports/Entertainment, Intellectual Property, and Business Law. We handle simple and complex transactions for a variety of individuals and businesses.
The firm also has a plethora of experience handling civil litigation as well as arbitration matters. We are very unique in that we have worked within the inner confines of all major professional sports players’ associations and had a grasp for the nuances of the types of disputes that athletes and agents experience.
Additionally, we have worked with many actors, musicians, producers, etc. in the world of music, TV, and film. When it comes to intellectual property, we have filed over 300 trademark applications in the U.S. and filed applications in more than 20 countries abroad.
We have handled very complex copyright and right of publicity issues as well. I am most proud of the reactions we receive from our clients. When they tell me how much they appreciate our services, I am driven even further to keep grinding. Communication certainly separates us from the competition in the legal services industry.
Every client receives my personal email and cell phone number. I get calls, texts, WhatsApp messages, and emails non-stop throughout the day and clients have come to expect immediate replies. Additionally, we are proud of the fact that our clients love us. In fact, we have branded ourselves based on same. See more here: HeitnerLegal.com.
Do you feel luck has played a role in your life?
We have a joke within my family that I have a horseshoe lodged up my ass because it seems that I get lucky non-stop throughout life. I’m not a believer in luck or fate, and I refuse to answer whether there is actually a horseshoe inside of me. But I have made the horseshoe the symbol of my law firm!