Legal Eagles 2021: Michael Schiavone, Schiavone Law Group

Even if someone is guilty, they still need proper representation. Mike Schiavone is proud of always providing that representation. For him it is all about connecting with his clients and ensuring that justice is done.

Photo by Blake Crosby

Criminal Defense

Why law?

“When I was in college in the ‘60s there were a lot of things happening in the area of justice and it just seemed a natural place for me to go to law school. I still think it is the best decision I ever made and I still love being a lawyer.”

Why Savannah?

“I grew up in Florida and went to law school in D.C. A few of us went down to Georgia to take the bar exam. After I passed, I was traveling back down to Florida and just happened to stop in Savannah. I saw this city for the first time, and it just bowled me over. It is a beautiful city steeped in history, yet you can get to the country or the beach very quickly. I think it is the best location on the East Coast.”

secret to success

“I think my secret to success is my commitment to communication with my clients. As lawyers, we provide a service, and it is important to remember that. I listen to my clients, return their phone calls promptly, and constantly keep the lines of communication open. When a person comes to see a lawyer, they are either in trouble or there is some type of serious matter that weighs heavily on them and they need to know they are being heard.”

Even if someone is guilty, they still need proper representation. Mike Schiavone is proud of always providing that representation. For him it is all about connecting with his clients and ensuring that justice is done.

It’s Schiavone’s ability to understand and communicate with all people that is his best quality. “The first thing I learned in law school was that a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows how the judge thinks,” said Schiavone. These communication skills are critical in the practice of law and one must have the ability to deal with clients, prosecutors and other lawyers. “It’s all about doing the best for your client, which means you need to have the ability to get along with everyone involved,” he added. Schiavone has defended over 50 major murder cases, some of them with national attention, and has basically done everything that a criminal defense lawyer can do in the practice of law. The pinnacle of his career? “It’s not so much a pinnacle but rather that I was able to get my practice up to a certain level and keep it there,” Schiavone said.

A feat that still reminds him of his own beginnings and being inspired by seeing new lawyers coming out of law school and seeing them with the same enthusiasm that he did when he first graduated. “It is that enthusiasm that keeps the practice of law interesting and I have never lost it. We need good, honest, ethical people to be lawyers,” Schiavone said.

But keeping up enthusiasm can be hard in the face of dealing with prejudice—the biggest challenge he faces—of the court, on the part of the prosecution and on the part of the public. “The key to defense work is to see that the individual receives due process which basically means a fair playing field,” said Schiavone. “As a defense lawyer, all I ask is that the court be fair and prosecutors seek justice, not just a conviction. •

Schiavone Law Group
1111 Bull Street
Savannah, GA
912.232.2646
shiavonelawgroup.com


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