Yeemee Chan: Balancing Justice On and Off the Court – Ladies of the Law

Yeemee Chan always knew she was meant to help people. Family means everything to Yeemee, she is very close with her sister. They are daughters of Asian immigrant parents who brought their family to the United States for better opportunities. For Yeemee and her sister, making their family proud is an ongoing, lifelong goal for them. While Yeemee was in college, her sister had sustained a serious brain injury as a result of a car crash. This was absolutely devasting for the family. Yeemee was with her sister every step of the way when it came to helping her with recovery and even helping out with the legal process. This triggered something inside Yeemee, she realized how important it is for injured parties to not only have strong legal representation but to also have a compassionate, empathetic lawyer that can guide them every step of the way. One of Yeemee’s proudest moments in her career was when she was being sworn in as a member of the Florida Bar. Seeing her grandfather and parents’ faces beaming with pride and joy during this life-changing moment was huge!

During law school, she took a Legal Writing and Research course with Olympia Duhart who became a mentor for Yeemee. “Duhart is the epitome of a strong, determined, dedicated female attorney who balances home and work life and makes it look effortless,” Yeemee said she admires these qualities of hers. As her research and teaching assistant in law school, Yeemee and Duhart stayed friends throughout the years. She learned that by planning ahead, staying organized, and working smarter, you can achieve a balanced life as a female attorney raising a family. Some advice Yeemee has for other women entering the legal field is to be prepared! She says, “I cannot stress how important it is to thoroughly prepare. Whether it is for a client meeting, hearing, deposition, or any other proceeding, preparation is key. Perhaps even more so for female attorneys as we tend to be underestimated by our male counterparts.”

yeemee chan ladies of the law

When it comes to issues with gender inequality in the legal field, Yeemee has had her fair share of experiences. Like many women in the legal field, she has been mistaken for a court reporter or interpreter. She has even walked into a courtroom as the first chair in a jury trial and was mistaken for a paralegal. She says, “I’m not one to make a mountain out of a molehill, so you politely correct their mistake and kick their behind in the legal arena!” Yeemee knows it’s hard not to draw on your own personal experiences, ideology, and values in your career. When she was picking a jury in Broward Country, one of the potential jurors asked the Judge to be excused because she was the sole caretaker of her young grandchildren. As a mother herself, Yeemee knew that the juror would have difficulty focusing on the trail if her mind was preoccupied with the well-being of her grandchildren. She agreed with the juror and asked for her to be excused because it was the right thing to do for her client and for the juror.

Yeemee has an incredible amount of compassion for her clients that steam from her love and respect for her family and friends. She truly believes that in order to be the best lawyer for her clients, you need to be able to have empathy and be able to guide them on the path back to normality after a terrible accident.

About the Author

Michael Feiner
Michael Feiner

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Michael A. Feiner is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 2001, Michael has devoted his practice to representing plaintiffs throughout Florida in various tort and strict liability cases and has successfully litigated cases against national insurance companies, large public companies, and governmental agencies, resulting in tens of millions of dollars for his clients. He has handled all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of plaintiffs, including automobile negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, product liability, dog bites, and sexual harassment. Michael’s product liability case against Microsoft, as well as his representation of victims of sexual harassment and abuse by physicians, has garnered him important media attention at both the local and national levels. Michael is an experienced trial lawyer and successfully argued an appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. In the reported decision Ortlieb v. Butts, 849 So.2d 1165 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003), Michael persuaded the Fourth District Court of Appeal that a directed verdict on liability was appropriate where the defendant did not rebut the presumption of negligence of a rear driver in a rear-end collision.