A mid-life career change for Dale Dettmer, 67, has made for one of the longest running law firms on the Space Coast, now called The Krasny Dettmer Law Firm, located in Melbourne. “I was an engineer who went to law school. What I saw in my four years with Radiation, and then with Harris (Corporation), was the good and the bad; I saw that when they couldn’t hire enough people and when they couldn’t get rid of enough people (when the Apollo program ended). I wanted to control my destiny and I can do that in a boutique law firm.

“I am board certified in tax law. I am business law, estate and trust planning and real estate. I call this a transactional practice. I’m still playing engineer, but it’s a different set of rules,’’ he said.

Originally in a firm with Bill Nelson, the situation changed when Nelson was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. “On January 10, 1979, Nelson left and that’s when we merged the two firms; then, in 1991, we had a restructuring. We basically concluded that being a larger firm was not happiness. It’s usually about money,” Dettmer said.

Original partner Mike Krasny, who has trimmed his role, asked and was able to pull his son, Scott Krasny, into the practice. “We have an extremely happy life and from our years in the community we have a strong referral following,” Dettmer continued. “Our focus is taking care of our clients on an individual basis. If you come to see Scott, you get Scott. If you come to see Dale, you see Dale. We’re in touch; we communicate; we solve problems; we’re just there. These are long-term clients.”

And that appreciation has resulted in longevity for the firm. “I think success simply begets success and it starts with treating people correctly and fairly; they appreciate that and they’re very loyal and refer to us. So we’re not trying to take over the Earth. We’re a boutique,’’ he said.