Is Addiction A Choice?

I was recently asked what has disappointed me the most as an addiction and recovery awareness advocate. Without out a doubt, it is the number of people in and out of the legal profession who view addiction as a choice and moral failing.  A illustration of why it is not is the first time I […]

Striking A Sober Balance In Your Holiday Party

I know what you’re thinking. It’s early November. We just started daylight savings time. Thanksgiving is still weeks away. Why in the world is Brian talking about holiday parties? The answer is simple.  As a law firm HR Professional,  Law Firm Partner, Bar Association Executive Director, or simply the designated party planner, now is the […]

The Legal Profession Has Lost A Recovery Warrior

On October 18, 2017, the legal recovery community lost a tireless advocate and wonderful human being with the passing of Michael Cohen.  Michael was the Executive Director of the Florida Lawyers Assistance Program. I met Michael when we sat on an ethics panel together. I was honored when he agreed to be interviewed for my […]

The Death Of Texas Appellate Judge Due To Alcoholism

When the tragic death of former Justice David Lewis of the Texas 5th Court of Appeals was first publicized, there was a lot of speculation around what happened. We now know. His death was due to the ravaging effects of alcoholism and artery disease. He was only 66 years old. A tragic end to a once […]

My First 12-Step Meeting

When I walked into my first 12-step meeting (Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well-known) in April 2007 fresh off a two-day drug- and alcohol-induced blackout, I’d being seeing a psychiatrist for a few years. My view on therapy was simple. Admit nothing. Talk about nothing consequential, lie when necessary. Get my antidepressant prescription. I sometimes […]

The “Insanity Of Addiction”

Just about anyone in long-term recovery has a story that we look back on, roll our eyes, chuckle, and use as a gauge of how chaotic things were in addiction.  It may not have seemed funny at the time, but finding humor in my recovery is important to me.  Here is an anecdote that I […]

Dealing With Relapse

Brooke is a first-year law student. After four years of long-term recovery, she relapsed. She is back in recovery, while also continuing to pursue her law school studies. Here is her story and the lessons she learned. February 15, 2014, was the day I got on my knees in my living room and did exactly […]

Reflecting On My First Year Of Marriage In Recovery

I am about to celebrate my one-year wedding anniversary. On October 20, 2016, after over 10 years dating Amanda as I repaired myself in recovery — and in doing so, repaired the broken trust so common in relationships strained by addiction — we got married in Florence, Italy.  I married the woman who has witnessed me at […]

It’s Ok To Say, “I Don’t Drink”

I have recurring dreams. Scenes from law school, struggles with addiction, are all in re-run. These dreams are vivid and colorful, like full-length movies played out in my subconscious. One particular dream begins as I arrive at a social event. Maybe a law school happy hour or a state bar convention. I’ve been drunk at both. […]

Some Advice On Dealing With Failure

There are several certainties in life. Death, taxes, and people failing the bar exam.  No one knows the third certainly better than I, having taken the Texas exam three times.  I know the disappointment, depression, and feelings of shame and failure that can accompany not seeing your name on that list. The stress may be […]