Telese B. McKay is a shareholder at Icard Merrill practicing in the field of condominium and homeowner association law, focusing on all issues surrounding the general business of the association corporations, as well as residential development and construction.
What advice do you have for clients for finding the right attorney?
It is not only important to find an attorney that has the background and qualifications to assist you when you need it most, but the best attorney for you is the one that makes you feel like you gel with them. Some clients need hand-holding for those extremely tough times, and others are more independent. Some want to be given their options and they want to choose how to proceed, and others want the attorney to make the recommendation for them. Some need face-to-face meetings at critical junctures, and others can effectively understand the legal advice via email. Choosing an attorney is not only about choosing a firm, but choosing an ally that understands how you work and what you need.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
I appreciate knowing that at the end of my day, I have helped make someone else’s day better or easier because of the assistance and advice that I can give them.
What’s a typical day like?
Starts at 5:00 a.m. with a morning run or workout, goes full speed all day, and ends…never early enough!
What is your greatest professional success?
I was awarded the Gulf Coast Business Review’s Top 40 Under 40 when I turned 30 years old. It reassured me that I was on the right track. More recently in my career, I was awarded Martindale Hubbell’s AV Rating.
What class should you have taken in law school?
Trial Skills. I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be effective. I have to rely on the litigators of our firm to take up that slack.
What book do you recommend?
New York by Edward Rutherfurd. I love historical novels, and this one starts with the first settlement in New York and follows history to current day by telling the story of its historical development through a series of families. I loved it!
What makes you laugh?
My 9-year old son (when he is not making me pull my hair out). He comes up with the funniest things to say at the best times – so witty and beyond his years, but then I catch him dancing and singing in the shower just like he did when he was 3. I have been known to laugh so hard I snort! (Don’t tell anyone!)
What are your three most favorite activities outside of work?
Running, reading and wine-tasting. Did I already say three things? I meant to include cooking, hiking and skiing.
What’s great about living in the Suncoast area?
What isn’t great about living in this area? We have amazing beaches, great food and wine, sports, art, festivals and lots of sunshine. I love that there is always something to do, or nothing at all. A perfect mix of relaxation and fun.
What community or nonprofit organization are you most passionate about?
Anything that benefits children. I am a Court-Appointed Guardian Ad Litem for Children, and while I know that I do offer a helpful service, there are so many other great programs that also help kids get through tough times.