Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Bradley A. Hoppe
May 3, 2022
When Jack Nicholson set his jaw and snarled, “You can’t handle the truth!” in that climactic courtroom scene in “A Few Good Men,” Bradley Hoppe knew one thing for sure: He could handle it.
As far back as he can remember, growing up in a small town near the Pennsylvania-New York border, he aspired to practice law, to trade verbal volleys with opposing counsel.
“I’ve been arguing since I was a young child, my parents will tell you,” Brad says.
With those plans in mind, he headed for the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied the “classic combo” for attorneys-in-waiting: political science and history. He also cemented his legal plans by working full-time during college as a bill collector – a gig he definitely didn’t want for the long term. Clients would dodge him, challenge him, even threaten him.
“It was the kind of job that really helps give you ambition – by demonstrating what you don’t want to do,” Brad says.
Once he got to law school, also at Pitt, he put aside his dreams of becoming a litigator and set his sights instead on corporate law – at least at first.
“I don’t know what it was,” he says. “I took business courses in college and thought maybe I should be a corporate attorney because I wasn’t too comfortable talking in front of large groups of people.”
But it was a temporary shift. When he worked as a summer associate at Buffalo law firm Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP, he realized that transactional work didn’t suit him and that he preferred the more adversarial aspects of the practice of law.
After law school, Brad took a job at Jaeckle and settled in Buffalo, where he and his high school sweetheart (now a retired teacher) began raising a family. The couple has a 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.
During his 16 years, he has concentrated his practice on commercial and employment litigation, including trade secret, restrictive covenant, shareholder disputes, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty and employment discrimination matters.
In 2016, Jaeckle combined with Bond, Schoeneck & King to form one of the largest law offices in Western New York. The Bond Buffalo office now has 37 attorneys. Brad chairs the firm’s Manufacturing industry group.
“It was a seamless transition,” Brad says of the combination. “The cultures of the two firms mixed perfectly. The Bond attorneys in Buffalo were very welcoming, and they came to us (in Jaeckle’s former Avant Building office space), which made it a little easier.”
Outside of the courtroom, Brad keeps busy with the kids. His daughter is into “pretty much every activity imaginable,” including softball, soccer, basketball and violin, while his son plays baseball, soccer and any other sport he can find. And his daughter enjoys cheering on the Steelers with her dad – a tricky proposition in Bills country and with two Bills fans in the house!
When Buffalo hosts Pittsburgh, Brad proudly wears his black and yellow to Highmark Stadium.
“I haven’t had a beer dumped on me yet,” he says, chuckling. “My wife and son are Bills fans, so that does cause a bit of friction.”
An avid outdoorsman, Brad has several half-marathons under his belt and loves to hike.
“There are some great trails in Western New York, the Adirondacks and the Finger Lakes,” he says. “We usually take one hiking trip a year.”
Brad has hiked the Tetons and Yellowstone in Wyoming, and recently returned from a family trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia and Western North Carolina and the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee.
“I love the challenge of it and just getting outside,” he says. “It relieves stress and makes you feel one with nature, just taking in the beauty of it all.”