While technically not in continuous operation in Brevard for 50 years, Charles R. “Bud” Stack was raised in Melbourne and moved the firm from Miami to offices built on the actual downtown lot on Strawbridge Avenue where he lived growing up.
It all started with Stack getting an interview with Robert King High, former Miami Mayor and later a gubernatorial candidate. “When I went with him in 1962 we named the law firm High and Stack. I had been out of law school two years and I wanted to get into the plaintiff’s field, because I have a lot more compassion for injured people,” he said.
The firm grew, but unfortunately Bob High, at age 43, passed away from a heart attack and that changed everything, Stack recalled. “He was our senior partner. I was only 31 years old and I took on the mantle of senior partner; at that point we had seven or eight lawyers,” he said. The firm opened an office for a time in Ft. Pierce and initially started having lawyers commute to Melbourne, he recalled. “We actually purchased a second-hand Lincoln limousine and were able to set it up with all the office equipment we needed in the back seat. Consequently we could ride up here and do all our research and make phone calls, dictate or do whatever we wanted to in the car,’’ he said.
By 1986, Stack convinced Lazenby to build in Melbourne. And the move has worked out. “It’s certainly a change in atmosphere from Miami. There are a lot of reasons I like it here. The geographical area is far less challenging than Miami. You can get where you want to go a lot quicker. And the acquisition of good clients is much easier here. In Miami, our law firm competed against at least a thousand lawyers,” he said. Yet that competitive edge served them well in Melbourne.
Stack split up with the Miami group and took the name with him in 2005. “We’ve maintained our reputation over the years because we keep track of our cases and more than half of our clients are people who have been represented by us before. We came up here and really worked hard,” Stack said.