Scott Westheimer is ready to lead
Long-time friend and colleague E. “Keith” DuBose says Westheimer 'lives the oath we took as lawyers every day'
Newly sworn President-elect Scott Westheimer is a devoted father, loyal friend, and committed professional with a heart for service, said longtime friend and fellow Sarasota lawyer E. “Keith” DuBose.
The Eastmoore Crauwels & DuBose partner – known as “Uncle Keith” to Westheimer’s two young children, Ayla and Arie – delivered a heartwarming tribute to his colleague, laced with occasional quips, at a June 24 swearing in ceremony at the Bar’s Annual Convention in an Orlando.
“Scott the lawyer is AV-rated Super Lawyer, Legal Elite, President’s Award winner, I could go on and on about the accolades he has earned as managing partner of Syprett Mshad in Sarasota,” DuBose said.
But, DuBose joked, “I can’t talk enough about the accolades in his resume, he’s done that enough – I’m just glad the election’s over.”
DuBose recounted how the two grew up in Sarasota and attended the University of Florida Law School at the same time, but didn’t meet until 25 years ago, as young lawyers in competing firms only a few blocks apart.
They formed a cross-cultural bond, partly over food, DuBose said.
“I introduced him to collard greens, he introduced me to Matzah balls,” DuBose said.
They cemented their friendship with a shared commitment to community and professional service, DuBose said.
Both men served as president of the Sarasota County Bar Association, and both co-founded the voluntary bar association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, DuBose said.
Westheimer helped DuBose found a program that serves minority high school students who want to pursue legal careers and who agree to bring their talents back to the Sarasota community, DuBose said.
“Scott didn’t do that at a time when diversity and inclusion was popular, he didn’t do it because someone forced him, or for political clout, or anything of that nature,” DuBose said. “He did it because it was important to me as a friend and because it was the right thing to do.”
DuBose also recounted their ill-fated venture, early in their careers, as NFL agents, after convincing their respective partners to bankroll their training in Indianapolis. The adventure fizzled when their first prospect, a promising Georgia quarterback, failed to get picked on draft day, DuBose said.
Westheimer was worried the setback would be career ending, considering the quarterback was engaged to his managing partner’s daughter, DuBose said.
“It’s a good thing Scott is a much better lawyer than he is an NFL agent,” DuBose said.
DuBose described Westheimer’s rise to managing partner at his firm in 2002, where he has worked for 26 years since law school, his election to the Board of Governors in 2013, and his service on the Executive Committee, and numerous board committee chairmanships.
Westheimer devotes so much time to Bar service because he cares deeply about the profession, DuBose said.
“Scott did those things because he’s committed to us as lawyers, he’s concerned about clients and their interaction with us as lawyers, and how that interaction looks,” DuBose said. “He’s concerned about how lawyers are perceived and the integrity of the Bar.”
Westheimer’s superior legal skills, drive, and commitment will serve The Florida Bar well when he succeeds President Gary Lesser in a year, DuBose said.
“He’s dedicated, he’s loyal, he has heart for others, and if he tells you he’s going to do something, you can count on it like a three-pointer from Steph Curry, it’s going to happen,” DuBose said. “He lives the oath we took as lawyers every day.”