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Lawyer’s motto: Life is short, laugh often

Pasquale DiMassa Jr.Disproving a commonly held notion that lawyers do not have a sense of humor, northeastern Ohio lawyer Pasquale DiMassa Jr. has made a side career of stand-up comedy.

“I’ve always wanted to be a stand-up comic, and people kept telling me I was a natural and should give it a try,” DiMassa said.

DiMassa did not expand his audience beyond family and friends until after he’d faced surgery for a golf ball-sized brain tumor. Keeping a promise he made to a fellow attorney to go for his dream after the successful surgery, DiMassa took his act on stage at Cleveland Improv in 2005. Since then, he has built a comedy résumé that includes numerous appearances at comedy clubs and festivals across Ohio and the United States, and he has donated his talents as emcee for more than 100 charitable events.

At his day job, DiMassa is the managing partner of the O’Brien Law Firm Co., LPA in Independence, Ohio, where he applies his legal knowledge to litigation with an emphasis on commercial issues. Speaking about how his stand-up experience aids him in his legal career, DiMassa stated: “It helps me to be a better communicator, which is the most important skill for any profession, but especially in litigation. Whether the audience is a jury, comedy club patrons or a professional group, being comfortable communicating my message is the crucial task.”

DiMassa earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to that, during his undergraduate studies at Baldwin Wallace University, he met his mentor Charles Burke. With Burke’s guidance, he learned skills that have served him well in his career. “His guidance instilled my work ethic and character,” DiMassa said of his mentor. “I still hear his words today: ‘Don’t ever cut a corner, you’ll pay for it in the long run.’”

DiMassa cites a positive attitude, faith and family for his ability to undergo two brain surgeries, fight cancer, continue his legal practice and launch his comedy career. He credits one particular family member for fueling his passion for life: “My eight-year-old son Alex is my rock, and being able to experience the world through his eyes inspires my comedy slogan: Life is short, laugh often!”

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