INITIAL CONSULTATION FREE
Integrity, Willingness To Work, Ability.
Consultations available in Clearwater, St. Petersburg
Criminal Trial Attorney, Civil Family Litigation.
Martindale-Hubble "AV, Rated"
Billy Pontrello P.A. concentrates on criminal
defense, DUI defense, Family Law, Divorce, Child Support,
Modification of Alimony & Support. Criminal matters include
DUI manslaughter, drug charges, sexual assault, robbery, theft,
white collar crimes, computer crimes, abuse allegations, and
all felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile crimes. Injury matters
include automobile accidents, negligent security, and other
injuries caused by the negligence of others.
by Patrick Gaffney
from The Clearwater Bar Association
res ipsa loquitor
For the Clearwater legal community, Columbus
Day has been celebrated for the past seventeen years through
the institution known as “BILL PONTRELLO’S COLUMBUS
DAY PARTY.” Both the party and its host have a colorful
past. It falls on the second Monday in October and commemorates
the landing of Columbus in the Bahamas in 1492
As for the party, it had its beginnings in
1980 and has run continuously since that time. Bill was one
of a handful of attorneys who regularly put on annual parties.
He says the practice of law was different then. The legal
community was certainly smaller. Lawyers and judges weren’t
as concerned with “hardball litigation,” and there
was more of a feeling of camaraderie within the profession.
Within this framework, Bill decided to host
a party. Given his Italian heritage, he chose Columbus Day.
Although working for Spain, Bill points out that Christopher
Columbus was indeed an Italian. Although the party has known
many venues throughout its history, it is presently held at
the Turtle Club. According to Bill, the party is “in
recognition of Columbus and the great Italian tradition of
food, fun and music.”
As for Bill, he was raised in Chicago by
his mother and his maternal grandfather, who immigrated from
Italy. He learned early the hardships of life. At age 10,
his mother died and he was sent to live with his father, who
at that time he did not know. At 17, Bill joined the Army.
After serving in Vietnam and receiving an Honorable Discharge,
he returned home. Bill states that he had to “beg”
his high school to let him back in. Of course, the school
complied. Interestingly, he applied to the police force in
a suburb of Chicago and was rejected because he was under
the age of 21.
As a result, he went on to college at Southern
Illinois University, where he received his degree in 1969.
Throughout his college years, Bill worked at a succession
of full time jobs to finance his education and support his
family. Bill’s daughter, Dominica Nicole, was born in
1967. She will graduate this spring from the School of Visual
Arts in New York with a Fine Arts degree. In 1970, Bill moved
to Florida to attend Stetson. Since 1973, he has developed
a successful practice in the areas of criminal and civil litigation,
personal injury and family law. Throughout the years, Bill
has been active in the Bar Association. He has served as Secretary
of the Clearwater Bar Association, as Chairman of the Sixth
Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee and has served on an
Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee.
Earlier this year, Bill vacationed in Italy
for a month. He relates that he just wished to relax and visit
with a friend. In the short time he was in Italy, he became
part of the “in crowd.” He points out that he
also became an expert driver. He traveled to two wineries
very close to Rome and spent at least one weekend at Positano
on the Amalfi Coast and some time at the Isle of Capri.
Note, however, that Bill has never lost his
sense of humor, which is summed up in this, his description
of his Columbus Day party:
in 1492, Christopher Columbus (an Italian
explorer) left Spain not knowing where he was going; arrived
here not knowing where he was; returned home not knowing where
he had been, and he did it all on borrowed money. Just
488 years later. Bill Pontrello (an Italian attorney) came
to Clearwater not knowing how; stayed not knowing why. and
practiced law, all on borrowed money!
ATTORNEY AT LAW
619 Chestnut Street
Clearwater, Florida 33756
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision
that should not be based solely on an advertisement. Before
you decide, ask us to send you free written information about
our qualifications and experience.