PLF – John J. Pankauski – Estate and Probate Litigation
I was born in 1967 which was an incredible year. Elvis got married, my Red Sox had the impossible dream team, they won the pennant, and my boyhood idol, Carl Yastrzemski won the Triple Crown. I was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the Witch City, right next to Peabody, Massachusetts where I grew up. If you’re not from Massachusetts, you probably call it Peabody which would not be the correct way to pronounce it. Growing up in New England, not surprisingly, I’m a big Red Sox fan, also love the Patriots, the Bruins, and the Celtics. I played a lot of baseball, a lot of hockey, a lot of lacrosse, and a lot of football growing up. Being on the North shore was a blast except for the weather and I absolutely love the weather much more in Florida. And I feel that since I’ve moved here, I have kept my interest in sports. I play softball, I play tennis, I love biking, I love swimming, and I love being outside down here. I also support the local teams here in South Florida. Our firm has season tickets to the Miami Marlins as well as the University of Miami men’s Basketball Team. I studied Liberal Arts and Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I graduated in 1989 and then went on to study Law at Suffolk University on Beacon Hill in Boston. I took the Mass bar and passed that. And them I came to Florida, where I got a graduate degree from the University of Miami School of Law. They have a graduate program there and I obtained a Masters of Law or an LOM. And I also then took the Florida bar and passed that. In fact, this year will mark the 20th anniversary that I’ve been admitted to practice Law in the state of Florida.
My parents lived in Massachusetts their whole life and they wintered down here in Jupiter, Florida for about 20 years. They were the products of European immigrants. My grandparents came over from Poland and Lithuania at the turn of the last century and instilled in them a great work ethic and lots of thrift. My folks were born in “the ’20s,” survived the Great Depression and poor families, and also survived World War II. In fact, my dad and all my uncles served in World War II. My dad actually volunteered for the Marine Corps at age 17 and turned 18 while he was in boot camp. And he was shipped overseas to Guam, where he stayed until 1946.
Here in West Palm Beach, my law practice is literally a couple blocks from the main courthouse and I’m very lucky to be working with a small group of exceptional serious litigators, just talented individuals. And our practice is not limited to Wills, Trusts, and Estates, but the Disputes, Litigations, and Appeals. And it goes hand-in-hand with my background and my experience because after my formal education, I moved to Palm Beach County and worked not far from here, on Royal Palm Way, in Palm Beach, working for Trust companies. And that experience was incredible because you got first-hand experience sitting on committees, assisting with discretionary distributions from Trust, distributions of Principal and Income, dealing with investments and what assets a particular Trust or an estate should hold or can hold. And from that, I got the idea and the motivation to open a boutique law firm, solely dedicated to disputes and litigations in that area of the Law.