Meet Zachary M. Altenbach
Zach Altenbach is a personal injury attorney at Farah and Farah in Jacksonville. Having spent years in the Jacksonville Public Defender’s Office, two years in estate planning, time with the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, and even working for a civil defense firm, Zach has seen far more than most. This incredible perspective allows him to see a case from the beginning, analyze it for its strengths and weaknesses, and plan a winning strategy to move forward. If you’re looking for a tough, no-nonsense attorney who knows how to go toe-to-toe with the insurance company to get you everything your case is worth, you’ve found it in Zach Altenbach.
Treated Like Family So We Can Treat You Like Family
At Farah and Farah, despite our size, there is a big emphasis on making it feel like a family. Making our teams feel more tight-knit and more familiar is intentional. We all feel appreciated, which makes it easier to collaborate and combine our shared strengths. When you have this kind of work environment, it’s going to be something the client feels, both in terms of what we can do for their case and them personally, as we’re there for them in their time of need.
The reason why I became an attorney was to help people. That’s my essential role. As accident attorneys, we are working to solve problems and guide people through a process that can be hard to navigate alone in the court system and insurance world. I love that I have the knowledge, skills, and experience to help people through that and get them to the other side.
From Public Defender to Insurance Defender, I’ve Seen A Lot in My Career
I started my career at the Public Defender 4th Judicial Circuit in Jacksonville. I spent nearly four years there with 120 active cases at all times. If someone gets arrested and can’t afford a lawyer, I was the person appointed to represent them. In my time, I saw everything from domestic batteries to attempted murders. It was a challenging and brutal job but a fantastic experience. Many attorneys who practice law never see the inside of a courtroom, but as a Public Defender, I was in court every day. The years there provided me with significant litigation and trial experience that I continue to use to get the best results possible.
After the Public Defender’s Office, I spent two years in elder law, mainly in estate and Medicaid planning. Again, I learned a lot about this area of the law and did a lot of good for people who needed my help, but I missed litigation. That’s when I made the leap to work at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, where you’re helping the underprivileged in our area with an array of legal issues like evictions and consumer law, which centers around defective products and when businesses defraud people. It was a fantastic experience, but I decided to get into the civil side by changing direction again and working at a defense firm.
In defense work, you defend big corporations and insurance companies from litigation. I got to see how the defense side approaches their cases and gained some incredible insights. Still, this type of work really wasn’t where I wanted to spend my career, so I jumped on the opportunity to come to Farah and Farah. I’m happy I had the chance to “peak behind the curtain.” Now, when I talk to adjusters, I know where they’re coming from and can use that to help get better results for my clients.
Florida is My Home and I Grew Up at the Beach
One of my most memorable moments as an attorney was at the Public Defender’s office when my client happened to be a guy I grew up with. While it’s not always the case in that position, through my investigation, I found that this man was truly innocent, and I had to fight for that. It went to trial and was a hard-fought case, but eventually, I got the charges against him completely dropped. Serving my friends and neighbors as an attorney is truly humbling. Being a positive influence in my community is one of the most important things to me and being an attorney gives me a platform to do that every day.
If I’m not busy with my next case at Farah and Farah in Jacksonville, it’s a pretty sure bet I’ll be at the beach—Neptune Beach is one of my favorite spots in town. My wife Kathryn and I are also expecting our first child together, a little girl. Along with tending to our three boisterous backyard chickens, we stay busy with pickleball pick-up games and volunteering at our local church.