Marty Schutz practicing his faith’s values at law firm

| Susan Klemond | September 15, 2011 | 0 Comments
Marty Schutz

Leading With Faith winner Marty Schutz talks with attorney Paul Flower in their office in Brooklyn Center. Photo by Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

When he joined what is now Flower & Schutz, PLC law firm in 1994, attorney Marty Schutz found Christian values already there because all the firm’s attorneys were Christian.

Though raised Catholic, the parishioner at St. John the Baptist in New Brighton felt challenged to “dig deeper” into his Catholic faith so he could dialogue with his Protestant colleagues.

Schutz, 45, now finds opportunities to witness to them about Cath­olic issues as he also shares the faith through his words and actions with clients and others he meets.

“Oddly enough it’s kind of come full circle where I can witness to them about being strong in our commitment to Mary, not scared to talk about Mary and Mary’s role in the church and my faith,” said Schutz, now a part owner of the firm, which handles estate planning, probate, family law, business planning, real estate and personal injury.

Inspired by his father, who shared his faith in a range of work circumstances, Schutz seeks to live his Christian values in the way he works with the firm’s staff, interacts with clients, approaches legal issues and is involved in the community.

Mutual respect valued

The most important value, he said, is mutual respect.

“The lawyers are not treated any differently than the non-lawyers,” Schutz said. “The wealthy clients are not treated any differently than the less wealthy clients. Everybody’s important. That’s a challenge, but that’s what we try to create, an environment where there’s mutual respect for everyone.”

He also takes into consideration job seekers’ difficulties when hiring and is sensitive to employees’ challenges. Prayer is central to the firm’s operation and especially when other attorneys and staff are in crisis.

“In our firm, God is first and family is a very near second,” Schutz said. “We have very strong family values in our firm from top down, from the senior law partners to me and other lawyers we work with, staff. If there are personal or family issues that come up, we want to address them right away and deal with them as best we can. We’ll pray with staff. The attorneys will get together and pray. We pray for each other’s families. We pray for our clients.”

In working with a variety of clients, decisions involving ethics arise almost daily, Schutz said. Attorneys comply with the Code of Professional Responsibility, but the higher code of ethics consists of biblical principles, he said.

“You’re dealing with the truth —facts, not emotions — so you have to keep people focused on what’s true, what’s really going on here, and it’s really easy to question the truth,” he said. “It’s really easy for people to push the envelope, to stretch things, to not be honest or respectful of others.”

Divorce cases pose challenges, but they also give Schutz opportunities to encourage couples to seek reconciliation through a counselor, priest or pastor. He’s coached clients to work through their problems with forgiveness and repentance, finding that the biggest battle is dealing with lawyers on the other side who want the divorce to go through quickly.

Proud of reconciliation rate

“There’s been a fair number of couples that have been on the brink of divorce, and we’ve encouraged them to basically put those cases on hold to work through the personal issues, and they did and they’re still married today,” he said. “That’s God’s work.”

Schutz “has a reputation in the legal community for being an honest and trustworthy lawyer,” said John Daly, an attorney who nominated Schutz. “Most importantly, he is known as a man of great faith who is very active in pursuing Christian ways of resolving conflict and issues.”

What’s most fulfilling about Schutz’s job is working with a wide range of people, as well as that it allows plenty of time for his wife, Sandy, and three children.

He volunteers with the Judicare of Anoka County, Tax Moot Court at his alma mater, William Mitchell Law School in St. Paul, the Knights of Columbus and a range of parish ministries.

In all capacities, Schutz believes in seeking first God’s kingdom and learning from others’ mistakes.

“God has rewarded us with a good business,” he said. “I think the underlying premise is we’re Christians first and we’re going to treat people the right way, and the rest falls into place.”

Biography

Title: Part-owner of Flower & Schutz, PLC law firm

Parish: St. John the Baptist, New Brighton

Spouse: Sandy

Children: Nicholas, Nathan, Samantha

Activities: Judicare of Anoka County, Tax Moot Court at William Mitchell Law School, Knights of Columbus, parish ministries

Tags:

Category: Leading With Faith