Q and A with Florida Representative Charles McBurney

1.          Tell us something about yourself that isn't readily apparent from your FL House profile.

Rep. McBurney: Since I originally did my profile, I have become a grandfather.

2.          Why did you decide to become an attorney?

Rep. McBurney: I saw the movie "Inherit the Wind" as a child with Spencer Tracy as Clarence Darrow and decided that being a lawyer would be better than working for a living. 

3.         Who is the most interesting lawyer you've worked with?

Rep. McBurney: There are so many, but I'll choose my former boss at the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville, Ed Austin.  He was the very model of integrity and courage, a true "John Wayne" figure.  All of us at that office looked up to him not only as a lawyer we'd like to be, but a person we'd like to become. 

4.          How has being a lawyer helped you in your work as a legislator?

Rep. McBurney: Being a lawyer is tremendously helpful as a legislator and being a legislator has been very helpful as a lawyer.  As a lawyer who is a legislator, you focus on the details of legislation and the ramifications of how even a single word can make the difference between a good bill or a bad one, much more than a non-lawyer.  A lawyer is also trained to spot issues that many non-lawyer colleagues just don't have the background to do.  As a legislator, you see the larger picture of how a bill becomes law and that can be very helpful in the practice. 

5.          What can Florida Republican lawyers  do to help the legislature in the future?

Rep. McBurney: Probably the biggest contribution, particularly to me as Chair of Judiciary, would be for the Florida Republican Lawyer's Association to serve as a resource on legislation or for ideas regarding possible legislation.  Florida Republican lawyers are some of the best and brightest in our state and their input and expertise would be extremely valuable to the process.