Shaun DeSantis always wanted to be a lawyer. His priority is to advocate for people who don’t have the education, training, or the means to handle the difficulties encountered after a personal injury. In an ideal world you shouldn’t need a lawyer to hold others accountable and to obtain just compensation, but in the real world, you do. Shaun says, “I want to be that advocate and to be accessible to people.”
Though it was always his dream, being a lawyer was an atypical choice for Shaun. Growing up in a relatively blue collar family in Salem, NH, most of his family worked in the trades or owned small local businesses. Shaun worked for his uncle’s HVAC company to help pay for his undergraduate schooling at Northeastern University and was the first in his family to graduate college. He says, “I still see myself as that very blue collar, down to earth person who also happens to have a J.D.”
He gives credit to his wife for encouraging him to take the next educational step and go to law school. They had known each other since they were both twelve years old, but didn’t start dating until after college. It was a big decision to take three years and dive into a very intensive program for a law degree, but she said it was something they would do together. Shaun said, “Having her support is what got me there. And I’m better for it.”
Before law school Shaun worked at a firm as a paralegal doing pharmaceutical defense work. In his first year of law school he clerked at the U.S. Attorney General’s Office of Massachusetts doing pharmaceutical prosecution and Medicare fraud. He thought he would eventually get a job in the public sector doing Medicare and Medicaid fraud investigations and prosecution.
Next, to get experience working at a law firm, he started working at Diller Law as a law clerk. Then the unexpected happened. His wife was severely hurt in a liability incident. They found themselves forced into a system that they thought was there to help and protect them, then quickly realized that it didn’t always work that way. Shaun was thrown into the whole world of personal injury law, seeing it from both the lawyer’s side and the client’s side.
When he graduated from Suffolk University with a J.D. degree, Diller Law gave him the opportunity to transition into law right away. He had learned firsthand the need for personal injury lawyers and the positive results that Diller Law can achieve for their clients.
As a natural tinkerer, he likes to deconstruct and rebuild things, either from a mechanical perspective or a legal perspective. Using that process helps in, “finding the flaws in a case or loopholes in the law, that allows you to advance your position.” Cases with nuanced or interesting legal questions are exciting for him, especially product liability cases.
He really enjoys learning new things and watching documentaries on the History Channel contributes to that. His role as an attorney allows him to tangentially become an expert in certain sciences or medicine without having to go back to school. In one case he may be researching fishing rods and in another, like the Red Sox case, it’s about safe net heights and perception/reaction times. He’s also had the opportunity to become a de facto expert in meatball manufacturing and food safety. He says, “That’s something I would never have thought about other than ‘I like meatball sandwiches’.”
Fulfillment comes from his personal interests and professional career. In his personal life he enjoys woodworking and fixing things. “Building something in your garage, fixing a piece of furniture, renovating a room, or even just painting a wall gives you a satisfaction of having a tangible, lasting effect of your labor,” Shaun says.
His professional accomplishments are just as fulfilling, if not more so. Being good at persuasive writing, he really enjoys drafting a legal brief or a motion that is granted on the merits. When Shaun has successfully resolved a client’s case and they get their justice or recovery, he gets a wonderful feeling of satisfaction.
Shaun and his wife Adrienne were married in 1996 and are the proud parents of a Puggle, a cross between a Pug and a Beagle, named Gus. Adrienne is an 8th grade special educator specializing in children with social/emotional needs. They enjoy traveling when they can, both domestically and abroad, especially to Aruba where they were married.