It’s easier to follow the crowd than to be your own person. Follow your instincts and fight for better results.
Juan Monteverde is an attorney based in New York City and is the founder and managing partner of Monteverde & Associates PC. His practice is a national class action law firm that focuses on issues of importance to investors and consumers. The firm often represents shareholders in situations where they have incurred financial damages as a result of corporate fraud or misleading advertising. The firm has a history of excellence in its work and has been successful in cases that have been appealed at levels up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Monteverde often handles cases in which he advocates for shareholder rights. This work includes a number of high-profile mergers where he sought to maximize shareholder value. He also regularly works to improve merger transactions in the process of representing his clients.
Mr. Monteverde contributes his opinion on a variety of topics upon request or when he has insight into a situation of public interest. This work has included regular speaking engagements at ACI, PLI, ABA, and other conferences centered around mergers or executive compensation. He’s also produced extensive written work in the form of articles pertaining to executive compensation and securities litigation.
He has been selected by Super Lawyers as a New York Metro Rising Star in Securities Litigation and has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Top Rated Lawyer. He received his B.S. in Finance from California State University of Northridge. He received his J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law where he graduated cum laude.
Where did the idea for Monteverde & Associates come from?
After a decade working in a number of firms and running my own department in the last firm where I was a partner, I felt I had a strong foundation and was ready to take the next natural step of starting my own firm.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
If I am awake, then I am working. My day starts with the Wall Street Journal and a dark cup coffee, because knowing the news matters in every business you are in. After I always review everything that needs to happen in the near future and make sure we are on track to meet all deadlines before getting to the office so I hit the ground running. Once I get to the office, I spend my day either reading and editing briefs with conference calls sprinkled throughout the day, or I am in court or taking a deposition.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am an executor. If I have an idea, I don’t hesitate, I roll up my sleeves and I make it happen. I find that being structured and organized keeps me from wasting time and getting off track during the day.
What’s one trend that excites you?
We are shaping how the Exchange Act works in merger & acquisition cases, and I am excited to see that we are going to be able to protect shareholders by recovering money when they are shortchanged in a merger.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am very organized and disciplined when it comes to my work.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Work hard and connect with other professionals. Networking is crucial for growth professionally. I would also tell myself that there is no room in law for doubt and hesitation and that you shouldn’t be discouraged when rulings and court decisions don’t go in your favor. Just continue to fight for your client.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It’s easier to follow the crowd than to be your own person. Follow your instincts and fight for better results. Most people find it easier to follow the crowd than to be your own person. I feel strongly that it’s better to follow your instincts and fight for better results, even if you end up bucking the crowd.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read everything. Read everything you can. I read daily, everything from business newspapers and business books to current and classic novels. I try to carve out a brief period of even the busiest days to sit down and read. It’s relaxing, helps to improve my language skills and introduces me to new ideas. To those people who say they don’t have time to read, I suggest starting with just 15 or 20 minutes a day. Everyone can find that much time.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Don’t go home until you are done with all your work. I start each day with a prioritized “to do” list that I’ve created before I arrive at the office. I start with the most important items and work my way down until I’ve crossed everything off. I’ve learned over the years to be realistic and to not put more on the list than I’m capable of completing well.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It took me a while to delegate and outsource certain administrative tasks. For example, I created my first website so I had to learn basic programming, which prevented me from spending time on other money-generating matters.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Take advantage of technology and the internet to get business ideas. You don’t have to reinvent what others are doing. With the internet, it’s easy to see what’s working for lawyers in your field in other parts of the world.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I arranged a laser tag outing with my family. There is no better reason to work hard than to be able to spend quality time with my wife and kids. I try to set aside at least one evening a week to devote exclusively to my family.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of Bloomberglaw.com. The site consolidates all the important law news in one place, so I can easily see what’s been happening at the Supreme Court and other courts around the United States without having to visit a half dozen websites. I visit Bloomberg Law every day.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Collection of all short stories from Ernest Hemingway. It gives you a wonderful perspective on how the world was during the last century. I’m also a fan of “Don Quixote” by Miguel Cervantes. It is very inspirational book because sometimes you must fight things others do not or cannot even see. Even if you fail, the fight can be a noble one and can serve to give meaning to your life and work. It’s a timeless lesson.
What is your favorite quote?
Hunter S. Thompson: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.