James M. Sosnoski is an attorney in Meissner Tierney’s litigation practice group. He represents businesses and insurers in a wide variety of matters, including insurance coverage, business and corporate disputes, and non-competition agreements.

Where are you from?
I’m from Lynchburg, a small town in central Virginia.

What was your first job?
Being from a small town, naturally my first job was working on a cattle farm.

Do you have any hobbies?
I have too many and not enough time.  One of them is endurance sports.  Several years ago I started running triathlons.  I started with the mini, “sprint” distance races, and I’ve moved on to the half ironman. I hope to complete a full ironman (140 miles!) at some point.  My wife also keeps five house rabbits, which is my hobby as well by proxy.  They have free range of the house and are basically like cats.  I even got to name our Flemish Giant “Thumbelina.”

What is something on your bucket list?
One slightly silly thing on my bucket list is I want to grow a hedge maze.  Something about having a labyrinth of boxwoods in my backyard is appealing to me.

Why did you become an attorney?
When I started college I was actually a theater major.  But the problem with being a theater major is that you generally have to be able to act.  I can’t.  But I did take some law classes as well, which got me interested in the field and I never looked back.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
It really depends on the day, but most of what I do involves reading and writing.  There’s a lot less courtroom action then movies would lead you to believe.  It may sound boring, but I’m almost always writing about things that interest me, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Why did you choose your areas of practice?
Basically, I found areas I enjoyed and kept working in those areas.  After law school, I worked as a law clerk for four years, which got me interested in appellate practice.  I find it’s a really pure form of legal argument.  There are (usually) no factual issues, and it’s just the parties arguing about the law.  Similarly, once I went into private practice, I gravitated towards insurance coverage for the same reasons.  Insurance coverage involves a lot of pure legal issues about contract interpretation.

What is your biggest achievement, professional or personal?
That’s a hard question, but one thing that stands out to me is being able to finish multiple half ironman triathlons.  I don’t come from a fitness background, so completing a 70-mile 6+ hour race was a big deal.

What activities do you participate in outside of the firm (professional)?
I attend events hosted by our state and local bar associations.  I also volunteer as a moot court coach for Marquette University Law School.

What is your favorite thing about MTFN?
The people.  It is a good, cordial environment, and everyone here is committed to excellence in what they do.

What has been the most impactful advice you have received about practicing law?
One of my law school professors, who was a retired judge, told me that when you make a legal argument, you have to explain why the law makes sense.  As complicated and seemingly impenetrable the law may be, there’s usually a good reason that it is that way.  I find that being able to explain why your result makes sense is a powerful tool of persuasion.  You can sometimes get too caught up in the details of what the law is that you forget to explain why the law is that way.

James can be reached at sjm@mtfn.com. Learn more about our attorneys by visiting mtfn.com/attorneys.

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