Z-man May Have 40 Pre-trial Quirks, But He Wouldn't Trade Law for Anything

Discovery with John Zavitsanos

Published in 2019 Texas Super Lawyers — September 6, 2019

My nickname is … Greek, Z, Z-man, Zorbo.

I can’t go a day without … Greek coffee and music.

If you were in my office, you’d … hear loud music, see great art, hear 20 different languages.

My colleagues would be surprised to know that … I actually have a soft spot.

When I was a newbie lawyer I … colored inside the lines.

The lawyers I most admire are … Dick Miller and Walter Workman: the two best trial lawyers I have ever seen (both have passed).

The qualities I most like in a lawyer are … confidence and initiative.

My pre-trial routine is … extensive. My legal assistant actually has a 40-point list of my quirks.

When I started, I wish I knew … sometimes the best lawyer in the courtroom does not win.

My career high point (so far) has been … building the best trial firm in the state.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … unemployed.

When I win a case, I celebrate by … We have some very unique parties (3D cakes featuring people in the trial, video skits of facts in the case, case trivia competitions, etc.).

I almost quit the law because … never. I look forward to every day.

The SCOTUS justice I’d like to meet is … John Paul Stevens.

The SCOTUS decision I’d overturn is … Citizens United vs. FEC.

A different practice area that intrigues me is … absolutely none.

My favorite Twitter feed is … What is Twitter? :)

I can’t believe more people haven’t read … Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield.

My real-life heroes are … my mother and father.

The talent I wish I had is … playing concert-quality piano.

The most fascinating person I ever met is … Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

The craziest thing I witnessed in a courtroom was … a knock-down fistfight in the courtroom between attorneys for the plaintiff and defense.

The movie line I quote most often is … “Everything that guy just said is bullshit.”— My Cousin Vinny

Nothing cheers me up like … a favorable jury verdict.

The most annoying thing about my job is … keeping time.

If I had a morning show, my co-host would be … Murray Fogler.

If I won the lottery, I’d … do nothing different.

My courtroom walk-up music would be … Beethoven’s 9th.

If I had a time machine … I would be a trial lawyer in my prime during the golden age of Texas trial lawyers (’70s and ’80s).
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