Talking Mentors with Adrian M. Pruetz

pruetz-headshot.jpgIn the latest issue of Southern California Super Lawyers magazine magazine, we talk with IP and business litigator Adrian M. Pruetz of Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro. The Q&A, "Wanted: Shades of Grey," is online. What follows is the first of two blog-exclusive excerpts from the interview.

Who was your mentor?
I had a few mentors.

At my first law firm, Whyte Hirschboeck, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin... God, I haven't seen him for years. There was a guy named Peter Stone who I thought was just the best litigator I've ever seen. We worked together on all kinds of things.

When I moved on to Morrison & Foerster, Haley Fromholz was someone I really admired. There were a lot of things I learned from him--particularly how to represent a client well and not let cases have a life of their own. He was very good about controlling [cases]. What a lot of attorneys do is write a million letters, and things that don't advance the ball much for your client. I learned ways to handle cases from him that were useful. I also felt he was an excellent trial lawyer and litigator, so I tried to understand how he did it, tried to pick up what I could.

Both of these guys are well over six feet and I don't look anything like them and couldn't possibly have their trial demeanor. But just on the intellectual side--just the way they approached things--was very helpful.

I think every young lawyer coming into the law really needs to decide who they want to watch. You learn a lot by doing. But in the beginning you learn a lot by watching how other people handle situations.