U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island 2019-2021
Partner at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC
Nexus Property Management™ is honored to share this week’s episode of RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT, a long-form video interview series with influential business leaders who go above and beyond in adding value for their clients. In our effort to solidify our reputation as the Real Estate Investment Authority, we continually work on building relationships across industries throughout the region. This week’s guest is especially masterful when it comes to building and maintaining said relationships. Aaron L. Weisman has been a practicing lawyer in the Ocean State for 30 years. He’s worked under six Attorneys General and in 2018 was nominated by President Trump to become the U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island. After hearing him sit down with Nexus’ Vice President of Franchise Sales, Greg Rice, it’s not surprising he’s found so much success in and out of the courtroom. In addition to sharing background on his distinguished career in public service, having been the counsel of record on over 900 Rhode Island Supreme Court cases, Mr. Weisman speaks of his experiences through a collaborative, empathetic lens that provides a glimpse into how he’s remained at the top of Rhode Island’s legal world for over three decades.
Today, Aaron Weisman is a partner at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC in Johnston, Rhode Island. The firm provides a wide range of legal services with additional offices in Massachusetts and Florida. Prior to his appointment to the U.S. Attorney position, Weisman was the Chief of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s criminal appeals unit, a team he’d been on since he broke into public service in 1991. His experience and resume is unrivaled in these parts and it was an honor to learn from him through this process.
RHODE ISLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL VS. U.S. ATTORNEY FOR RHODE ISLAND: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Alright, so Mr. Weisman does a good job of splicing this out in the video, but here’s a quick summary. The Rhode Island Attorney General and his staff prosecute offenses against Rhode Island state law. In doing so, they present the state’s case against the accused in representing the state of Rhode Island. Weisman’s main responsibilities under this umbrella were to uphold criminal convictions that were appealed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Very often, the facts of the case would be assembled and packaged and the AG and his team would prosecute it.
The U.S. Attorney’s office operates a bit differently. There are 93 districts in the U.S. that prosecute cases that violate federal law. So in this role, Weisman was representing the United States in cases that might cover financial crimes, fraud in its many forms, drug cases, sex crimes, and beyond. A significant difference in this work was that potential cases would typically originate from specific federal agencies (FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS, etc.) and the U.S. Attorney’s office would work collaboratively with those agents to investigate and build their cases together. My guess is that the value that came from being a part of these collaborative teams helps explain why Weisman chose to join the impressive roster of legal experts at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara once he made the jump to private practice.
MORE THAN JUST AN EXPERT: PERSONALITY AND PRINCIPLES MATTER:
If you’re someone who eats up all things legal, you’re going to love this interview. If you’re someone looking for more info about this specific law firm, you’re going to be pleased with what you learn. But most of our regular readers/viewers are looking for content and ideas that they can adopt and apply to their own businesses to find greater success. In this area there are plenty of themes in Weisman’s stories to draw from. Here are just a couple that stood out:
EMPATHY AND COMPASSION:
The most obvious is how empathy and compassion are central to his work. If you’re thinking those two things might not apply to your company, be reminded that we’re talking about those two ideals being central for someone whose primary role for most of his career was to prosecute offenders of the law. Weisman talks about the importance of practicing the ‘Golden Rule’ by putting yourself in the other person’s position and talking about how easy it is to be hard on others but often easy on ourselves. He speaks of the need for more open discussion on issues and how so many criminal offenses are symptoms of hopelessness that has been growing rampantly over the last 20 years. He also goes into some detail about the importance of victim advocate units and a move toward compassion in the federal system (for non-violent offenses) while touting the importance of alternative routes for solving disputes outside of typical litigation (i.e. mediation).
That appreciation of perspective and being introspective also plays to Weisman’s refreshing humbleness. In referring to himself as a “complete idiot when I was young” Mr. Weisman doubles down on the importance of empathizing with young people who find themselves with very few good options (“given bad guidance”). When asked about the biggest lesson he’s learned over his career his first thought highlighted the need to put one’s ego aside for the sake of building relationships and understanding others. That’s an easy enough line to put out there, but it means so much more when coming from someone who has argued cases in front of the United States Supreme Court.
SMALL BIT OF ADVICE:
When asked by Greg, Mr. Weisman had two simple pieces of advice that seemingly can make a huge difference when it comes to any relationship or transaction. First, maintain optimism in relationships. That’s not a surprising one (as noted above). Secondly, write things down. Just a couple lines to record and save what expectations are or what an agreement might be can go a long way in avoiding great legal costs down the road. Keeping that eye on the long term is a principle that Nexus espouses wholeheartedly.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PANNONE LOPES DEVEREAUX & O’GARA LLC:
In Mr. Weisman’s own words, his current team is “very experienced…[they’ve] been around for a while...seen a lot of things… [they] get results for their clients”. They “try to solve any issues clients have in the most cost efficient way”. Based on what we’ve learned about Aaron Weisman from his time on Rhode Island Business Spotlight, we’re very confident that these claims are accurate.
For more information on any issues or questions you might have, always feel free to contact Greg and our team or you can ask questions directly on Youtube under the video. If you’d like to contact Mr. Weisman, you can do so by emailing him at [email protected] or by calling Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC at 401-824-5100. You can also contact the law firm via their contact page.
Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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