UM’s own ‘Doctor Law’ prescribes pre-emptive procedures in book

UM is a research-based institution where professors work on new ideas in their field. Each Friday, we will highlight an area of research spearheaded by a university professor.

Preventative Law for Business Professionals, written by Martin E. Segal of the business law department, is a guide for effective legal risk management. It explains how to use the anticipatory thinking approach when entering legal contracts. Segal’s theory is that if individuals enter situations asking the “what if” questions, and predicting the consequences that could occur, then they will be better prepared if and when they take place.

“In the nation’s increasingly litigious society, plaintiffs and their lawyers are out for blood and money. The best defense is prevention,” Segal read from the inside cover of his new book.

He continued to explain the basics of his work that centers on predicting possible scenarios before they happen.

“If you use the anticipatory thinking approach, you are able to locate and defuse business law potential time bombs,” Segal said. “It’s a strategy for success.”

John Dellagloria, one of Segal’s colleagues for the past 15 years, had a positive response to the book.

“It’s a very realistic, pragmatic approach of what the real world holds in store for people,” Dellagloria said.

Segal decided to write the book based on his day-to-day experiences as a transactional lawyer, commercial litigator, business entrepreneur and risk management consultant to professional business managers.

“Every business has legal implications, and most businesses don’t know their legal rights,” Segal said. “Awareness of potential problems is crucial to creating the best transactions for ourselves.”

All of the proceeds for his book go to the Martin E. Segal Business Law Scholarship. This scholarship was created to give deserving students an opportunity to pursue their undergraduate career in legal studies.

According to his students, Segal applies the same practical principles in his book to his legal teachings. Jessica Nadelman, sophomore, took Segal’s business law class, and described his class as being not easy, but not impossible.

“He was a really nice professor, and you can tell that he really cared about his students,” she said.

Segal received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Florida. He credits his successful law career to his father, who encouraged him to go into the field.

“He told me you can’t go wrong going into law, because everything we do involves the law,” Segal said.

Segal continued his graduate career at University of Miami School of Law, where he was on Law Review and graduated with honors. He has been a part of the legal community for more than three decades and a part of the UM educational community for about 15 years.

“It’s become a full cycle,” said Segal. “I grew up in Miami, followed the Hurricanes since I was a teenager, became a lawyer and ended up teaching at UM. I love teaching, and I really love UM.”

Because of his love for teaching, Segal has won the Excellence in Teaching Award multiple times.

He also writes a bi-weekly column in the Miami Herald called “Ask Dr. Law”, which answers general legal questions.

Khris Parker can be contacted at