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Attorney Michael LaGuardia works to give back and continue family legacy

Amanda J. Vicars • Nov 28, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Just as the law governs the behavior of the masses through set rules implemented by social institutions, so does a person's heritage affect their instinct by the blood which courses through their veins. Attorney Michael LaGuardia, a man of the law, is defined not only by his unrelenting dedication to the profession but by the family legacy which drew him to it.

Native to Kingsport, Michael LaGuardia is sole practitioner of his own legal firm located in Colonial Heights. The youngest of nine children, his parents, Thomas and Kathryn LaGuardia, instilled in him an incomparable work ethic and astute drive to reach higher and "give back" through his involvement in the operation of their local supermarket business, Giant Food Markets, Inc.

At the age of 17, Michael LaGuardia graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School. He then attended college at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) while working full-time. Graduating early with a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree at 20, he climbed the corporate ranks of Giant Food Markets, Inc., to become vice-president and secretary of the company by age 23.

When Food Lion bought out Giant Food Markets, Inc., Michael LaGuardia left the company. He became a business entrepreneur in his own right, forming multiple computer companies until deciding to pursue law at the University of Tennessee in 1991. He achieved his Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1994, working for the state as Assistant District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District, upon graduating.

After prosecuting for over six years, Michael LaGuardia opted to leave his coveted state position in 2000 to start his current private practice in Kingsport; giving back to the community which had given to him in his youth.

Michael LaGuardia, husband and father of three, has also served as the first attorney on the Kingsport Drug Court Panel at the request of local judges upon creation of the panel. His law office serves Sullivan, Washington, Hawkins and other surrounding counties; focused in criminal defense, DUI defense, family law, small business law and bankruptcy.

I have a "desire to give back to the community," Michael LaGuardia said, "a tradition that started with my family and distant relatives."

The family tradition of serving the community dates back to the Great Depression when famous New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia strove to be a righteous man of the people, enforcing the law with a strong yet compassionate hand.

For Fiorello LaGuardia, the people of the city and their woes were a welcome responsibility he took on personally. He rode with the firefighters, raided with the police, read the newspaper to the poor on weekends and took field trips with orphans. He was also the first New York mayor to exercise the right to substitute for magistrate judges.

Almost 80 years later, the legacy of the LaGuardia name remains strong; the word itself seemingly synonymous with 'just' and 'kind.' Michael LaGuardia, keeping true to his roots, plans to eventually take a seat at the judicial bench.

"I aspire to become a judge one day," he said. Having previously run for Kingsport Sessions Court Judge in 2006, coming in second out of five candidates in the primary vote count, Michael LaGuardia's day to serve (as judge) seems close at hand.

The law office of Michael J. LaGuardia is located at 4595 Fort Henry Drive. For an appointment, please call 423-239-1000.

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