Sioli Alexander Pino - Maritime
In a candid conversation with Lawyer Monthly, Kristina Alexander of Sioli Alexander Pino shares the story of her remarkable journey in law. Starting her own firm with her partners, Kristina embarked on an uncertain path, building a successful practice grounded in hard work and exceptional results. She delves into her early career in insurance litigation, which laid the foundation for her expertise in this field. Kristina highlights the innovative strategies that have been pivotal in keeping clients informed and cases moving towards favorable resolutions. She also discusses the advantage of being licensed in multiple jurisdictions, allowing for a diverse range of experiences and tactics to be brought to each case. Balancing a demanding career with motherhood, Kristina opens up about setting priorities and being a role model for her daughter, demonstrating that it’s possible to excel in both professional and personal realms. Her story is one of perseverance, strategic innovation, and the art of balancing life’s various roles.
As a founding member and shareholder of Sioli Alexander Pino, can you describe your journey in establishing the firm and your primary role in the organization?
It’s really been an amazing journey. When we decided to start our own law firm, we really didn’t know what the future would hold. What clients would want to come to a new firm when there were so many established law firms out there? So, we built the firm on the foundation we were already known for in the industry: Hard work and obtaining the best results. We were fortunate in that I and my two other founding partners saw eye to eye on most issues, and we evenly split responsibilities within the firm. Although all three of us are involved in most aspects of the firm, each of us has developed our own strengths and have taken lead roles in various key capacities. For example, I am most involved with the financial, accounting, and marketing aspects of the firm, while my partners are able to focus on operations and strategy.
You have a strong background in litigation, particularly representing insurance companies and their insureds. What led you to specialize in this area, and how do you approach these complex cases?
I had a bit of an advantage beginning my practice in insurance litigation as I was a legal assistant for my current partner “Frank” at my first law firm, which specialized in insurance defense. Thus, I already had the interest and building blocks needed to be successful in insurance litigation when I went to law school. After law school, I clerked and became an associate at a firm that had insurance practice areas very similar to my original firm. I think these collective experiences gave me the confidence to approach complex cases by breaking them up into the simplest issues and tackling each one by one.
In your experience as a litigator, what innovations or changes have you implemented or observed in legal practice that have significantly impacted how you handle cases?
I think innovations and changes I have implemented include developing a system to ensure that clients be kept well informed about the status of their case. By keeping the clients up to date, it also compels my team and I to be proactive in developing legal solutions and moving the case forward to successful resolution.
You have been integral in obtaining many defense verdicts and negotiating favorable settlements. Can you share your strategy for achieving successful outcomes in these high-stakes situations?
The secret to obtaining favorable verdicts and settlements is really no secret at all. It’s largely hustle and focused hard work putting you in a position to obtain the evidence or leverage you need to obtain that defense verdict or favorable settlement.
Being admitted to practice in multiple jurisdictions, including The Florida Bar and the New York State Bar, how does this broad legal reach benefit your clients and your practice?
The fact that my partners and I are admitted to several jurisdictions lets clients know that we are bringing a broad range of experience to the table when we are working on their legal matters. In fact, we will sometimes utilize strategies we have seen in other jurisdictions and implement them in local cases, catching our opponents off guard. By the same taken, our diverse experience means we are rarely surprised by any opposing tactics.
Finally, balancing a demanding career with motherhood can be challenging. How do you manage these responsibilities, and what advice would you give to other female legal professionals in similar situations?
I’ve been able to balance a demanding career with motherhood by setting priorities as a family. On the one hand I have a flexible work schedule which allows me to be present for my family obligations while on the other hand, I am independent and do travel often. While I do often travel or may work late, I will do so after first considering my family’s schedules so that important events are not missed. I have a daughter and want to be a good role model for her. I tell her often that it is okay that I am away traveling sometimes for work and when she’s older it will be okay for her to do that in her career as well. When I am home, I am present and making memories with my family with the resources provided because of my hard work.View in Winners Edition >