Sean Shaw, Chip Merlin, and Leander Shaw

Last Tuesday night, I held my head in my hands almost crying after Sean Shaw confirmed he won election to Florida’s House of Representatives by a little more than a hundred votes. I could see the relief in Sean’s eyes as well. Waiting for a jury verdict and results from an election have certain similar emotional similarities.

I told Sean that my father grew up a couple of blocks from Hillsborough High School and that area is in the middle of Sean’s district. I thought about Sean Shaw’s father as well because successful fathers leave big legacies to fill. Sean’s father, Leander Shaw, was Florida’s first black Supreme Court Justice and a significant leader in Florida’s Civil Rights movement. Trying to live one’s own dreams while fulfilling self-imposed expectations aimed to please a parent can be as tough task.

Sean Shaw’s current task is to become the best he can as a leader and representative of his community. Later last week, we talked about the huge responsibility he has to those that elected him. Being a great representative is a lot more than showing up for the 60-day Florida legislative session. While some may think that working on insurance matters is Sean’s only priority, I can assure everybody that taking care of the good folks that have placed their trust with him is also where his focus will be.

Insurance is an expertise that Sean Shaw will carry with him. The insurance industry may be pleasantly surprised about some of his views, especially regarding Assignment of Benefit clauses. Both of us have expressed concerns about restoration contractors obtaining complete assignment of benefits when the work performed is only for a portion of the claim and for coverages that have nothing to do with work performed. "Gaming" of claims is not good for consumers of insurance nor the insurance industry.

I am very proud to have Sean as an attorney in our firm and was even more proud as he described how he intends to keep rooted in his community’s interests rather than his own personal and political interests.