Getting to know Tampa lawyer TJ Grimaldi with this week's "10 questions"

TAMPA, Fla - Are you ever curious about the real lives of politicians, celebrities, local newsmakers and athletes?

Each week, ABC Action News asks 10 questions of a Bay area leader, politician or even national celebrity.

After all sometimes, we want know more about them. What's their favorite music? Greatest success? And who do they look up to?

This month a shooting in Wesley Chapel rattled this community and has captured the attention of the nation.

A father was shot and killed allegedly by a retired Tampa police officer after an argument over texting on a cell phone at the Cobb Theatres at Grove 16 shopping center.

Chad Oulson's wife,  Nicole was also injured, shot in the hand, after she unsuccessfully trying to shield her husband from a bullet allegedly fired from a gun being held by Curtis Reeves.

Nicole broke her silence recently in a tearful press conference, by her side, her attorney TJ Grimaldi.

We wanted to feature Grimaldi this week. I have done stories with him in the past and find extremely passionate fighting for his clients cause.

In fact, on his own bio page on his firm's website (McIntyre, Panzarella, Thanasides, Bringgold, and Todd) there is a link for the Chad Oulson fund

The Oulson's have a 22 month old daughter. Nicole reached out to Grimaldi on the advice of friends based on Grimaldi's reputation on past cases.

He has an interesting history. Grimaldi didn't immediately practice law. His path into the legal profession took a few turns,  including working in his family business and teaching.

Grimaldi is from Tampa, born and raised.

He graduated from Berkeley Preparatory School then headed to the University of Florida where he earned a degree in Economics.

Throughout college and from a young age (his first job as you will read below) Grimaldi worked in many different positions at his family owned business the Columbia Bank in Ybor City, a business that has been in his family for nearly a century.

After he graduated, Grimaldi went ton to sales and marketing.

He then decided to go back to where he went to school since kindergarten, Berkley, and teach. He not only taught high school government and economics. He also coached high school football and boys soccer.

Teaching at Berkley seemed the natural course.  He taught there for only two years, but his mother taught for almost 50 years and his mother in law almost 30 years! His wife taught there too for also five years.

But, Grimaldi had a pull towards the legal profession.

In 2002, he decided to go back to school. He headed to Boston and the New England School of Law.

He did quite well, making the deans list.

Grimaldi moved back to Tampa and has been practicing law ever since.

He is married and has two little girls.

I had to laugh when I read his answer to question number five. Name one thing you would change about yourself? He said his hair. Trust me, women would be jealous!
I hope you enjoy his answers. At the end I have provided the link if you would like to help the Oulson family. I also attached the link to one of my prior stories with him.

1. What is your all time favorite movie or song?

Dancing Nancies by Dave Matthews Band

2. Do you have a smartphone? If so, what's your favorite app?

Smartphone - yes. App- ESPN.

3. Who do you count as your mentor?

EC Smith and Judge EJ Salcines

4. What was your very first job?
Bank teller at Columbia Bank at age 14.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My hair!

6. What do you consider your greatest success:

My two daughters

7. Tell me something about you most people don't know.

Frogs freak me out!

8. If  you could have dinner with any 3 people, living or dead, who would they be?

John F Kennedy, Eddie Vedder and Robin Williams

9. What is in your fridge right now?

Naked Juices, beer and lots of leftovers

10. If you could have another career other than what you are doing now what would it be?
Professional European soccer player.

To help the Oulson family you can head to:

My past story involving a family who said there child was sexually attacked while taking an FCAT test!
10 questions is an on line feature I started doing more than three years ago. Many of the people I profile are based on your suggestions. If there is someone you would like to see featured, please e-mail me at  or "like" me on Facebook. To do that just head to a facebook and find me under the favorites tab and click the "like" button.
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