Monday Profile - Dan Troyka

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Dan Troyka was born and raised in a small town in Mississippi. He attended Princeton University, where he met his wife Claudia, a Romanian author whose family defected from the Ceausescu regime. He received his juris doctor from Boston University Law School in 1994 and worked overseas in a Paris law firm before clerking for the New Hampshire and Rhode Island Supreme Courts. Troyka practiced for five years in the Boston law firm Choate, Hall & Stewart and served as a prosecutor in the Boston Municipal Court.

Troyka has practiced at Conlin, McKenney & Philbrick, P.C., in downtown Ann Arbor since 2003, and focuses on commercial disputes involving real estate, construction, condominiums, landlord-tenant, and condemnation, as well as insurance defense and creditors' rights.

Troyka lives in Saline with his wife and two children, who are in tenth and eighth grades. He serves on the Saline Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of the Foundation for Saline Area Schools.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A day in the family cabin with no electronic gadgets. Make that two days.

What is your greatest fear?Auto-complete in the e-mail address line.

Which living person do you most admire? Elvis Presley.

What is the trait you hate most in yourself? Complacency.

What is the trait you hate most in others? Lack of empathy.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it? We'll have an extra room when the first child goes to college, and we're going to fumigate it.

Currently reading... "Trapped: The story of Floyd Collins" by Roger Brucker. It's about a spelunker trapped in a remote cave in Kentucky in 1925, leading to one of the first full-fledged media frenzies.

How do you feel at 8 a.m. on Mondays? Pretty good. I've taken to catching up on work Sunday evenings which makes Mondays more bearable.

My mother always told me... One day, when your kids are teenagers ...

My favorite item of clothing... something called a beer jacket they hand out to seniors at Princeton. I left mine in a motel in Wawa, Ontario many years ago and still miss it.

What words or phrases do you overuse? "honestly." Makes it sound like everything else you say is false.

What was your most memorable meal? A buffet in Helsinki after a summer of borscht in Russia.

What is your most treasured material possession? My fine collection of refrigerator magnets from National Parks.

If you could do one thing professionally...I would try a plaintiff's personal injury case.

What are your favorite websites? Boing Boing, a tech blog, and Popehat, a lawblog dedicated to exposing copyright and defamation trolls.

If you could have any car in the world, what would you drive? A 1968 International Harvester Scout with manually locking 4WD hubs

Where have you been that you will never return--if you can help it? Zingerman's cheesemaking tour. It was informative, but sure stank!

Favorite Ann Arbor area hang-outs: Michigan Theater, the Arb, Chela's.

What was your most embarrassing moment? Spilling a pitcher of water on my leg in court.

Your proudest moment(s) as a lawyer? Making partner at Conlin, McKenney & Philbrick.

What would surprise people about your job? Honestly (that word again!) how civil the practice is in Washtenaw County ... don't get me started on Oakland.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Sincerity ... not that it's wrong to be sincere, but most people don't care what you "truly" think.

When and where were you happiest? Family trips out west over the last few years. It's amazing how many Michigan people you meet in places like Sedona.

What's your greatest achievement: Raising two kids who are turning in to fine adults.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? You should really take that class trip to Oaxaca. Otherwise you'll still be hearing about it in 30 years.

Do you have spiritual beliefs? I was raised Southern Baptist and drifted away over the years.

What's the oddest thing you ever bought? A plaster armadillo at Chichen Itza.

What would be your ideal job? Law lecturer on a cruise ship. Do such jobs exist?

What one thing do you wish people knew about your work? How much business is generated by irrational people.

Favorite joke: Any joke with the punch line "Willie Nelson."

What one habit do you wish you could break? Cider donuts. Luckily it's a seasonal thing.

What is something most people don't know about you? I design and program abstract board games for a hobby.

What do you wish more people understood? Basic macroeconomics; it's a major driver of public policy.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Elvis, Faulkner, and Muddy Waters.

Who is your favorite character of fiction? Chichikov.

Favorite words: Mellifluous and drawl, preferably together.

Favorite movie: "Election."

What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do 20 years ago? Design a random maze generator.

Favorite place to spend money: Dan's in Saline.

What is your motto? "Don't sweat the small stuff."

Where would you like to be when you're 90? Summer in Harbor Springs, winter in Oxford, Mississippi, if I make it that long.

Published: Mon, May 20, 2013

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