House of law
When Mark Adamczyk bought a Naples condo in 2006, he joined the homeowners association.
Little did Adamczyk realize that doing so would lead him to build a firm a few years later with law partner John Goede that's known for its homeowners association legal work. Goede, Adamczyk & DeBoest now has 17 attorneys in Naples, Fort Myers and Miami representing about 1,000 associations.
Adamczyk says his strategy is simple. “We return phone calls and we bill fairly and ethically,” says the 35-year-old attorney whose hourly rate is $350. “We're in the service business.”
But more than that, Adamczyk brought new life into a sleepy corner of the law. “We developed software that other firms didn't employ,” says Adamczyk, who prefers to wear golf shirts to work on most days. The software helps associations manage through foreclosures, collections and other tasks.
“They just came on the scene like gangbusters,” says Richard DeBoest II, a Fort Myers attorney who has practiced homeowners association law for two decades and teamed up with Goede and Adamczyk.
“He doesn't necessarily look at the law and take it at face value,” DeBoest says of Adamczyk. “He looked at some of these laws and looked at them like an entrepreneur.”
Adamczyk earned a business degree in college, but he says he was intrigued by a course on the law for business managers. After law school at Florida State University, Adamczyk went to work for a 500-attorney law firm in Atlanta. “It wasn't for me,” he says. “I was more of an entrepreneur. I wanted to develop my own clients.”
Adamczyk moved back to his hometown of Naples in 2005, where he joined a small firm that handled a broad range of cases, from drunk-driving charges to divorce and evictions. “I learned how to do everything,” he says.
With law partner Goede he opened his own firm in Naples in 2010 and combined with DeBoest's Fort Myers practice last year. “I'm not afraid of competition, but they're fresh, they're aggressive, they're using new ways to use the law,” says DeBoest. “They really hit the industry, they made a big, big splash.”
The firm received a huge public-relations boost when one of its attorneys, Todd Allen, foreclosed on a branch of Bank of America on behalf of foreclosed-on clients who held clear title to their home. “We like to have someone make a splash,” says Adamczyk. “That's the mindset we have.”
The entrepreneurial attorney is a father of two children and a lecturer at Ave Maria University's law school in Naples. “I'm fast-paced,” says Adamczyk. “I'm good at juggling a lot of balls in the air.”
In addition to its homeowners association business, Adamczyk's firm also handles business litigation and estate planning. Although he anticipates some growth in the next few years, including possibly opening an office in West Palm Beach, Adamczyk says he's now focused on making sure the internal systems of the firm function efficiently. “We didn't have a firm administrator until recently,” he says. “We don't want to be the biggest.”