Partner Carol Rooney on the ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers Executive Board
November 7, 2023
This month’s attorney spotlight highlights a Butler Partner who has played an integral role in helping build the foundations of the Firm, Partner Kathy Maus. As a first, in many ways, and leader, Kathy not only helped pave the building blocks to create success for others but also set an example of what’s possible to achieve. In our interview, Kathy shares the value of past work experiences, her accomplishments, and joys in life, her children being the greatest of these.
What does it mean to you to be a female partner in the legal industry? What has been your biggest achievement/success or contribution to the firm?
Butler is my extended family and home for 30 years (as of September). As the first female attorney at Butler to have a baby and return to full-time employment (and do it all over again 19 months later), and as the first female partner, I was able to help formulate policies and procedures to successfully foster work-life balances for our associates and partners. As a partner opening our first satellite office, the firm constantly gave me an opportunity to spread my wings. To pinpoint my greatest achievement or contribution to the firm is a tall order. I am most proud of my work ethic over the (too many) years, organizational leadership opportunities, trial successes, participation for several terms on the firm’s executive committee, and developing lifelong friendships and a support system with other women (and men) in the firm.
You previously served as a licensed Commercial Liability Claims Adjuster with a national insurance company. How has your experience working in claims contributed to your career as a lawyer?
As a Risk Management and Insurance major at FSU, and working as a licensed commercial liability claims adjuster prior to law school, I gained particularized insight into the inner workings of the insurance industry. That experience proved invaluable in understanding the rigors our clients owe to their own organizations, and what they need from our firm to be able to do their job. Understanding underwriting, coverage and claims handling proved beneficial in my practice areas. It also proved beneficial by allowing me to testify as an expert in numerous cases, which I find rewarding.
You are a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and a recognized Florida Super Lawyer in Insurance Coverage. You’ve also served as Board of Director for the Defense Research Institute, The International Association of Defense Counsel, and President of the Tallahassee Bar Association. How would you encourage young women to develop their leadership skills?
I was a board-certified civil trial lawyer for several terms and am proud of that accomplishment. All of my legal and organizational accomplishments proved very valuable in business and relationship networking to benefit not only the firm but myself personally. I encourage all young women (and men) to take/make the time to become involved. Volunteer and step up to the plate to be recognized. Whether speaking, writing, or merely attending organizational events, these activities provide leadership opportunities and leadership recognition, not to mention the coveted file referrals which will soon follow.
What do you enjoy most about living in the city of Tallahassee?
As a Tampa native (Go H. B. Plant High School!), I could not wait to get back to Tampa following undergraduate studies (Go FSU!). But, after a few short months in Tampa, I was promoted to a position in West Palm Beach and my adjusting territory covered most of the East Coast of Florida. After law school, I only looked for jobs in Tampa, to get back to my family and friends. However, when the opportunity arose to open up the Tallahassee Butler office, I was excited to make the move, especially since we were traveling to Tallahassee 1 to 2 times per month to see my husband’s family who all remain here. Tallahassee is a smaller town, but with collegiate sports excitement and it is a great place to raise children.
You have two older children, Meaghan and David. How does your family like to spend quality time, and have family fun together?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to recognize my children who are my (our) greatest accomplishments in life. Meaghan is now a first year legal associate at a firm in Tampa and David Jr. just finished his first year of law school. We love to travel together when we can make the time to do so, and we are continuing our hunt for the best island vacation spot. Unfortunately, their new adult schedules (and the stupid pandemic) are making that hunt much more difficult!
To learn more about Kathy’s areas of expertise and work, visit her attorney bio.