Sometimes we interview someone, and we have to let it marinate for a while before we sit down to tell their story in our online publication. And, sometimes over the course of that period, their lives change and so does their story in small ways. Such is the case with Romy Kaplan, a Houston Criminal and Defense Trial Lawyer, who was a solo practitioner when we met with him and is now practicing with the firm, Looney & Conrad. But, that change does not alter the fact that his story is compelling, and his motto is true:
Things happen for a reason; the shame is not finding out the reason.
Things Happen for a Reason
The Kaplan’s met in college at the University of Texas, and it was the perfect love story, except for one thing, Mark Kaplan had a kidney disease and had just started dialyses treatments right before he met Cindy. But, that didn’t stop the two from having a love affair that lasted for years and brought two children into the world, Romy and Micah. Romy grew up with his father being ill his entire life and knowing that he could die, but Mark had an incredible attitude about being sick after all things happen for a reason.
Romy’s mother taught him how to remain strong, and his father taught him a love of theater. From his parents devotion to each other during the good times and the bad times, he learned perseverance and love. When Mark became too ill to work, Cindy picked up the reins and went to work every day. For Romy, he can look back at all those afternoons he got to spend with his father and realize how lucky he was to be able to develop that bond with him and have that time with him. He had what most of his friends didn’t have in his relationship with his father, and he didn’t look at his father’s illness as a detriment, after all, things happen for a reason.
Romy’s dad was in the hospital for three out of the four years that Romy was in High School, and he has been gone for 11 years. When Romy got the call, he was Arizona at school, and he rushed back to Houston and had an amazing moment with his father as they said their final good-byes. His father refused pain medication until he was able to see Romy one last time. He wanted to be fully present that last time they were together, and Romy will always treasure those moments together, after all, things happen for a reason.
Romy Kaplan has a smile that could melt an iceberg and a way about him that makes you feel at ease and want to be in his presence. Growing up, he was diagnosed with ADHD and admits he was not a great student. He was involved in musical theater, sports and BBYO and although he wanted to go the University of Texas because his grades weren’t great, he wasn’t accepted and went to the University of Arizona where he was involved in theater there.
After he had graduated, he had done some work for Stan Schneider in the summers and realized that maybe law school was where he should go, but because he had never been school focused, of the 30 Law Schools he applied to he was only accepted to one. With a clear mind and good intentions, Romy went to Law School and was put on academic probation after the first semester. He was told that very few students ever make the cut after this, but Romy Kaplan had determination and drive, and nothing was going to stop his dream.
Proving to everyone that he could succeed, and the only one that had been standing in his way was himself, he not only graduated, but he also graduated at the top of his class and moved back to Houston to begin working for Stan Schneider, who was his mentor and friend. He learned that the process matters more than the outcome from Stan, and he learned the psycho-dramatic method, but he wanted to strike out on his own, so he did, and he started his firm.
Although it’s tough to be a solo practitioner in a city filled with attorney’s, what has set Romy Kaplan apart is that he never judges his clients and truly believes that everyone deserves a fair trial. Romy Kaplan has had papers published, loves to help out kids who have been incarcerated, speaks to kids at schools about drugs and alcohol and jail, represents those accused of wrongs and is a real person who is a good guy, and we find him just vibing.
Romy’s advice to kids today?
If you are a mouthy kid and like to argue, don’t stop. Channel it and research and come to your opinion. Find a balance between who you are and you can become.