Posted on June 15, 2019 in Blog
In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, Bast Amron has asked each of our lawyers to write about their passion outside the law. This month Bast Amron highlights Peter Klock. Peter joined the firm in 2017 and is a former career clerk to Judge James Lawrence King of the Southern District of Florida. He is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans, and the University of Miami School of Law. Peter’s passion, described in his own words, is the Florida Keys.
Though little more than a stone’s throw away in this age of planes and highways, the Florida Keys are largely taken for granted by South Floridians. We have a world apart right at our fingertips, but we focus on our busy lives and repeatedly put off trips to the Keys until next month, next season, or next year.
I’m Miami-born and -raised, but some of my earliest and fondest memories revolve around this stretch of islands beginning just sixty miles further south. As a kid, I remember running around like a madman outside my grandparents’ house in Key Largo, surrounded by dozens of relatives and friends collecting Easter eggs (my father is the oldest of eight, so we’re a big family). I remember frequent trips down to our family home in Key West, and watching jokers, fire-breathers, and jugglers in Mallory Square with my brother and sisters. I remember enjoying mesmerizing sunsets over the ocean, yelling my heart out in forlorn attempts to collect more beads than my older brother at the Fantasy Fest parades, and then walking around with my father as the parades ended and the streets filled with festival-goers, and spending long, hot summers biking and roller blading up and down Duval Street and all around Truman Annex, playing drawn out games of tag with friends.
As often as we made the long-as it seemed at the time-drive down to Key West, I even have fond memories of yelling out answers in car games and fighting with my siblings from the third row of my mom’s massive Chevrolet Suburban (as the youngest of four, I naturally sat in the place of honor next to the luggage).
As a newly-minted lawyer, I landed a clerkship with one of just three federal judges who hear cases down in Key West, Judge James Lawrence King. For four years, Judge King and I made trips down to Key West every six weeks. Seeing the Keys with Judge King made me view them in a new light-it gave me an appreciation for all the history, struggles, and progress that culminated in what we see today. I also had the opportunity to work and observe several trials in a courtroom setting that would make you feel unstuck in time, to hold treasure freshly recovered from the wrecks of Spanish galleons, and to have long conversations over many dinners with a man I quickly came to deeply admire.
Even though I can see so clearly now why the Keys are such a special and unique place, my familiarity led me, like many Floridians, to take them for granted for a time. After countless drives past the remaining span of the bridge at Bahia Honda and over the Seven Mile Bridge, even those stunning vistas became old news. About six years ago, however, while driving down to Key West with my girlfriend and a group of friends, I watched as our friends from up North were glued to the windows for hours, “oohing” and “aahing” at what I’d considered totally commonplace stretches of blue ocean, decaying railroads, and sandy beaches. Strangely enough, it took me witnessing others’ first glimpses of the Keys to remind me of how amazing they are, and then, in the years that followed, to enjoy the Keys with a renewed vigor and to make new memories in my personal and professional life.
There aren’t many places where the rarity and beauty of the commute alone inspire awe. We in South Florida have a unique natural resource at our disposal, but only as long as we continue to support it and allow it to thrive. The best thing we can do to make sure the Keys are there to be enjoyed in all their glory by future generations is to get ourselves down there often. I love the Keys and I intend to do so. I encourage you to do the same.
About the Author: Peter practices in the area of complex business litigation, with an emphasis on commercial disputes and the prosecution of director, officer, and fiduciary liability claims. He also advises corporate clients regarding compliance with state, national, and international data privacy laws, including various state data protection and breach notification statutes, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the General Data Protection Regulation. Peter also negotiates and drafts vendor agreements, master services agreements, statements of work, and service level agreements on behalf of corporate clients in the technology sector. Click here to find out more about Peter.