Profile in Brief . . .

Brad Brelinksi
Quick Questions

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Wayne Law grad Brad A. Brelinski is an attorney with Curtis & Curtis, P.C. in Jackson. He concentrates his legal practice on business law, civil litigation, estate planning, probate and trust administration, and real estate law.
Brelinski grew up in the Jackson area before attending Western Michigan University, where he majored in finance. He then moved to Detroit to attend law school.
Brelinski worked for a firm in metro Detroit before returning to practice law in Jackson. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering for local organizations, including the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, and the Cascades Humane Society. He is a member and past president of the Jackson County Bar Association.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
It’s a serious investment of time and money, so talk to as many people in the profession as possible to ensure it is truly something you want to do. It isn’t like “Law & Order.” Trust me.

Favorite local hangouts: Jackson Coffee Co. bright and early, and Grand River Brewery after a long day.

Favorite websites: NYTimes.com; BusinessWeek.com; CrainsDetroit.com; MLive.com; I guess you could say I’m a news junkie.

Favorite app: ESPN Sportscenter. I can easily track the scores and news of my favorite teams since I don’t get a lot of time to watch games anymore.

Favorite CD: What’s a CD?

What is your happiest childhood memory? I was fortunate to grow up on a lake south of Jackson, so the summers were especially fun. We would spend as much time as possible skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, jet skiing; basically any lake activity you could think of, we tried it.

What would surprise people about your job? The amount of time that actually goes in to developing and considering strategies, researching, drafting and ultimately finalizing a brief, contract or correspondence. Clients see the final product, which hopefully is a masterpiece, but it is a lot of work to get there.

What do you wish someone would invent? A flux capacitor.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 2014, without a doubt. My daughter was born on Valentine’s Day last year. I don’t care if it is one of the biggest clichés; it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Why did you become a lawyer? I thought it would be a challenging profession. The law is constantly changing and we, as lawyers, play a part in that by developing and arguing new theories, angles and concepts.

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? “Boston Legal.” Yes, the storylines, cases and results were far-fetched and ridiculous, but James Spader and William Shatner made a hilarious partnership. I have a Denny Crane bobblehead on my desk at work. “Law & Orde” during the Detective Lennie Briscoe years is a close runner-up.

Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional? My uncle, who was a long-time circuit court judge (recently retired), and my law partner and mentor, Phil Curtis. Phil always said, “work hard and do what’s best for the client, and you’ll do well in this business.”

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? The U.S. President. It would be interesting to be the ruler of the free world, but much less stressful knowing that I could hand over the reins after a day. My hair is graying enough as it is.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Probably the top of Haleakala National Park on Maui. We got up at 2:30 a.m. and rode up the mountain and watched the sun rise above the clouds. I was 17 at the time so I definitely didn’t appreciate it as much as I should (especially the wake-up call), but I look back and it was an incredible experience. And to top it off, we then rode bikes down the mountain to the beach.

What did you do last weekend? I went skiing at Crystal Mountain with my wife. I love northern Michigan, no matter the season.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? The ability to read minds. I might actually win a poker game.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? A recent civil trial win where I defended a client in a high-stakes, very emotional case (a family dispute) and obtained a directed verdict on all counts. The win was great, but seeing my client’s reaction and his sigh of relief knowing that he had been fully vindicated, that is what this is all about.

What do you do to relax? Head to the lake for a swim and an adult beverage, not necessarily in that order.

If you were starting all over again and couldn’t go into law, what career path would you choose? U.S. Coast Guard helicopter pilot. I love flying and living near the water, so I would get paid to do what I love and I’d be stationed by the water. Perfect combo. Then I could retire from the service and fly helicopter tours on Maui. Yes, I’ve thought this through, unfortunately when it was too late.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Scuba dive. I’d like to explore all the shipwrecks in the Great Lakes and Florida Keys.

What is something most people don't know about you? I first soloed an airplane at 17 and obtained my license at 18.  I originally went to school to be a pilot, but I decided to go in a different direction.

What’s the best advice you ever received? There’s no such thing as being over-prepared.

Favorite place to spend money:  My daughter’s 529 account.

What is your motto? I tell my clients this often: hope for the best, but plan for the worst.