Defending his Surf

By Hannah Wallace January 31, 2004

Defense attorney Brett McIntosh represents defendants in some of the area's most high-profile criminal cases. But when some free time emerges, so do his wax, surf board and wanderlust.

The Anna Maria Island native has been surfing since he was 12 and made his first surfing trip abroad to Venezuela when he was only 15. "Once I got the bug for surfing, it just never let up," he says. "I love being out there and riding a wave in a faraway place."

The world's a big place with a lot of beaches, and McIntosh, now 36, has surfed many of them, including Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California and Fiji.

Known for his natty custom suits and total concentration in court, McIntosh-who is also the president of the Sarasota chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers-says the same focus applies to catching waves. "It's an adrenaline rush. When you're out there and in control that's all you're thinking about and that's what's so refreshing," he says. "It's a lot like being focused at trial-it's all I think about at the time."

Brett's wife, Patty, doesn't surf but accompanies him to exotic surfing destinations-even when it means sleeping under a mosquito net without air conditioning. And three-year-old Brooke is already daddy's little surfer girl. "Brooke swims and has her own board. She hasn't surfed yet, but her first trip to Hawaii is coming up," boasts Brett.

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