Legal matters, business strategy, and life perspectives from the mind of a non-attorney.
Bachelor of Arts: West Virginia University
Juris Doctorate: University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Married: Yes; Tiffany
Kids: Yes; Mariah, Kyarra, and Alysia
Practice Area: Estate Planning
DiSC Profile: DC Style
“People with the DC style prioritize CHALLENGE, so they want to explore all options and make sure that the best possible methods are used. As a result, they may be very questioning and skeptical of other people’s ideas. They also prioritize RESULTS, so they’re often very direct and straightforward. Finally, they prioritize ACCURACY. Because they want to control the quality of their work, they prefer to work independently, and they may focus on separating emotions from facts.” – Excerpt from Pat’s DiSC Workplace Profile.
Key words and phrases: Explores all options, skeptical, direct, accurate, separates emotions from facts.
Dang. That’s good stuff right there. Definitely the kind of person I want handling my most important affairs. Here is what I will add: I would imagine that many people with this personality type tend to come across very dry, arrogant, or even rude because they have so much knowledge about topics that their clients – well – don’t. Pat manages to overcome that. I don’t know if it’s just a natural gift of his or if it’s something he’s worked on over the years, but he really has this great way of being relatable and knowledgeable, without making you feel dumb for not knowing nearly as much as he does.
KOD: “Thanks for doing this, I really appreciate it.”
PDF: “Are you kidding? It’s my pleasure!”
KOD: “So how long you been doing this for?”
PDF: “Being an attorney?”
PDF: “Since 1997. No wait… ’98. 1998.”
KOD: “So almost 20 years. Take me back through your journey, because if I remember correctly you started out in undergrad at West Virginia and then went on to Law School at Pitt?”
KOD: “How did you end up here?”
PDF: “Took a wrong turn in Indiana.”
PDF: “What had happened was… My parents moved to WI at some point while I was going to school to work for Badger Mining. After I finished school, my fiancé decided we should follow them out there. So we did. And – funny story – the night I took the bar exam she told me she didn’t want to get married.”
KOD: In shock.
PDF: “But luckily I passed the exam on my first try, fell in love with the area, and met Tiffany somewhere along the way. It all worked out in the end.”
KOD: “Wow. Amazing how life goes.”
KOD: “Who’s your favorite NFL team and why?”
PDF: “It’s the Steelers. I grew up in Pittsburgh, around the greatest team that’s ever existed – the Steelers of the ‘70s. I met pretty much all of them in one shape or another – “
KOD: “– How did you meet all of them?”
PDF: “I went to training camp every year with my dad and we would wait around between their dorm and the field. A lot of the guys would stop and talk or say hi or whatever. It was really awesome. I always remember during one of the camps, Theo Bell, who was a wide receiver, took my hat and wore it around.”
KOD: “That is incredibly cool. What a great memory!”
KOD: “If you could go back in time and relive one Steelers moment, what would that be?”
PDF: “Super Bowl 40 when we beat the Seahawks. I was actually at that game, and it was a close game until the end. Really fun to be at. The stadium was mostly Steelers fans because it was played at Ford Field in Detroit, which obviously is pretty close to Pittsburgh. Just a great time. That would be a fun one to relive.”
KOD: “So as a die-hard Steelers guy, do you hate the Eagles?”
PDF: “Yes… I hate the Patriots too… … …”
KOD: “You gonna watch the Super Bowl this weekend?”
PDF: “Yeah. As a football fan I have to.”
KOD: “Who are you cheering for?”
PDF: “The Eagles. I want to see the upset. Also, this Eagles team is a lot more likeable than some Eagles teams of the past. They are the underdogs. If they win, it would be a miracle. So I’m good with that outcome.”
KOD: “Date 1 – Marry 1 – Punch 1: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Rob Gronkowski.”
PDF: “Ummm… Probably marry Tom Brady cuz he has all that money. Punch Belichick because we can’t beat him. And date Gronk because he would be a lot of fun.” Laughs.
KOD: “Truer words never spoken. Gronk would be fun to hang out with!”
KOD: “Did you watch cartoons growing up?”
PDF: “I was a big Scooby-Doo fan growing up, but I hate it now.”
KOD: Confused. “What? Why do you hate it now?”
PDF: “I don’t know. I think it’s the special appearances that they throw into the show. The cameos. Like all of a sudden KISS would show up on the show. It’s just annoying to me now.” Laughs.
KOD: “What’s your favorite ‘90s jam?”
PDF: “Can I pick an album?”
PDF: “Radiohead: Ok Computer. Best album of the decade.”
Here you go >>> Radiohead – Airbag.
KOD: “How many pennies do you think would fit into this room?”
PDF: “None because there shouldn’t be any pennies. They should be discontinued.” Laughs.
KOD: “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?”
PDF: “He says, ‘I’m Sidney Crosby and I’m going to give you season tickets to the Pittsburgh Penguins games.”
KOD: “Wow. Greatest response ever. I love it.”
KOD: “Tell me about 1 person outside of your immediate family that you love.”
PDF: “Hmmm… Kevin Eismann – Epiphany Law.” Laughs.
KOD: “Oh brother. Barf.” Laughs.
KOD: “Why are you an attorney?”
PDF: “I like helping people. Usually they will come in with some sort of problem that they don’t think can be fixed, and when you can fix it for them it’s the best feeling.”
KOD: “What is one thing that you are proud of yourself for?”
PDF: “My kids. It sounds sappy maybe, but I’m really proud of the way they act. They are really well behaved and I’m proud of them for that.”
KOD: “Pretend I’m thinking about hiring you as my attorney to do some legal work for me. What do you bring to the table? What can I take to the bank? Something you know you will deliver on every time.”
PDF: “A great amount of knowledge. I’m going to genuinely care about your problem. And we are going to find a solution.”
KOD: “Pretend I’m a young attorney, fresh out of Law School. Tell me why I should apply at Epiphany Law.”
PDF: “The environment allows you to be yourself. It allows you to feel comfortable. And you get genuine support from others.”
KOD: “How is that different from other places?”
PDF: “It’s usually not a ‘real’ team at other places. People might work in the same building, but nobody is going to go out of their way to help you. It can be pretty cutthroat. Like, you’re on your own, figure it out. That sort of thing. It’s a lot easier to be successful at Epiphany, just because the culture is different.”
KOD: “Give me one thing that people miss or do incorrectly a decent amount of the time when they try to do Estate Planning on their own?”
PDF: “They gift things to their kids without understanding what the consequences really are. So… they don’t understand capital gains, or they don’t think potential liability they are creating by gifting.”
PDF: “The other thing is that when people create a trust or will on their own, they often do it with just one possible outcome in mind. For example, they create the trust assuming that the husband will die first, and the wife second, and that’s it. They don’t take the time to think through all the possibilities. So they plan it all for one scenario, and if things work out that way it will be fine. But if, for some reason the wife dies first, the plan doesn’t work.”
KOD: “That’s really smart advice.”
KOD: “Alright lets finish this off with a little rapid fire.”
KOD: “Cookies or Cake?”
KOD: “Cats or Dogs?”
KOD: “Coke or Pepsi?”
KOD: “Superman or Batman?”
KOD: “Blonde or Brunette?”
KOD: “Horror or Comedy?
KOD: “Bud Light or Miller Lite?”
PDF: “Absolutely neither.”
A huge thank you to Pat for taking some time to chat with me! A super smart guy, and clearly has an awesome personality! I am a bit skeptical of his Coke/Pepsi response, however. If you look closely you will see that he was drinking a Diet Pepsi during our interview…
Thank you once again to all the readers of this blog. [email protected] continues to march on! To subscribe to our weekly content, you can enter your email on our homepage. You can also follow me on Instagram (@kelton.official), where I regularly post links to new blogs, as well as random pictures of my life.