A periodic Q & A session with a Lewis Thomason (LT) lawyer
Lewis Thomason: What has been your greatest challenge as an attorney?
Lars Schuller: Multi-tasking. I seldom have the opportunity to take a relatively complex task from beginning to completion without having to break away from it to address other matters. However, I have found that after I have broken away from a task, when I return to it, I often have a fresh perspective or a new insight that might not have come to me had I avoided the interruption.
Lewis Thomason: What motivates you?
Lars Schuller: A job well done, be it a well prepared trial or motion hearing, a smooth transaction closing, or providing advice that enables a client to make the best decision.
Lewis Thomason: What is the best advice you ever received?
Lars Schuller: Always remember that, no matter how busy you are, every matter that you handle, be it big or small, is the only one that matters to the client.
Lewis Thomason: What is the best lesson you have ever learned?
Lars Schuller: There is no substitute for preparation. Although it is obvious that one cannot expect to succeed in any court hearing without being versed in the facts and law of the case, that is not enough. It is most helpful to also have copies of the key documents and authorities handy for presentation to the judge, even if everything is in the court record.
Lewis Thomason: What’s the first thing you do after work?
Lars Schuller: Go home and greet my wife.
Lewis Thomason: What do you do in your spare time?
Lars Schuller: Exercise. It is energizing; it clears my mind, helps me to unwind, and to prepare for focused thinking. Often, when I am exercising, I develop ideas or solutions to problems. I try to work exercise into my daily life when possible, such as by taking the stairs into and out of the office, using a walk-behind lawn mower, and raking instead of blowing leaves. I especially enjoy hiking, and when time permits, I hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or one of the nearby state parks or recreation areas that surround Knoxville. Continuing a long tradition of Knoxville-based “lawyer’s hikes,” serving on the Knoxville Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee, I recently organized and led a hike at Norris Dam State Park.
Lewis Thomason: When I was in high school, my friends would describe me as ___.
Lars Schuller: Resourceful. At my parents’ beach house, I built a set of patio furniture using PVC pipe and sail cloth. And, I salvaged native and wild exotic plants from development sites to enhance the yard around the home. I harvested transformers and other components from discarded TV sets to power lights and other features of my model train layout.
Lewis Thomason: What was your first job and what did you learn from that experience?
Lars Schuller: My first job for a regular paycheck was at age 14, when I worked for a beachfront condominium on Sanibel Island, Florida, maintaining and improving its landscaping. There, I learned that money must be earned; it doesn’t grow on trees.
Lewis Thomason: My biggest “pet peeve” is___.
Lars Schuller: Lawyers misusing apostrophes. Intellectually, I know that even a poorly written document might contain valid information. But, when I see apostrophes used in appropriately, I find myself discounting the credibility of not only the lawyer who wrote it, but that lawyer’s firm too.
Lewis Thomason: What’s the last concert you went to?
Lars Schuller: The latest performance of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Knoxville, a relatively small city, is fortunate to have two gems converge: an orchestra conducted by a dynamic new music director, Aram Demirjian, and the Tennessee Theater, an old-time movie palace upgraded into a splendid performing arts venue.
Lars E. Schuller joined the firm as special counsel in 2006 as the manager of the firm’s Sevierville office. He now practices in the firm’s Knoxville office, principally in the areas of real estate litigation, real estate title law, real estate transactions, and related matters. He has obtained defense judgments for sellers, title agencies, title insurance companies, and flood insurance data providers in state and federal court actions, and he has prosecuted actions, obtaining judgments and decrees to remedy title defects on behalf of owners and lenders. Also, he has successfully litigated matters involving issues of contract, tort, professional liability, construction law, products liability, premises liability, fraud, insurance coverage, governmental liability, employment law, and landlord and tenant rights.
Mr. Schuller’s transactional real estate law practice includes title examinations of industrial, commercial, and residential properties; producing title opinions and title insurance; all aspects of real estate closings, including: drafting deeds and other instruments; settlement statements; and representation of buyers, sellers, institutional and private lenders. He is a licensed title insurance producer and writes title insurance for First American Title Insurance Company. Further, he represents secured creditors in foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings