Palm Beach lawyer Jason Guari teaches civics, helps fight leukemia

By Mary Thurwachter – Special to The Palm Beach Post

Lawyers have a responsibility not only to represent clients to the best of their abilities, but to be socially conscious.

So says Jason Guari, a trial lawyer and partner with Scott Murray at Murray & Guari who practices what he preaches. Both litigators teach civics to seventh-graders pursuant to Florida Chief Justice Lewis’ Justice Teaching program.

“We also raise awareness about the perils of distracted driving with high school teens through Students Against Distracted Driving,” he says.

Guari, 45, just completed his first year as board chair of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Palm Beach chapter.

“Our chapter is blessed with committed and talented staff and volunteers — all individuals who have gone above and beyond to raise funds and awareness of LLS’ cause,” he says. To say thank you, he recently treated them to dinner at the Beach Club.

“Now is a great time to be part of the LLS due to the scientific advances in cell-based, immunotherapy therapy,” Guari says. “Blood is easier to test than tissue so LLS’s scientific breakthroughs serve also as a foundation for curing other types of cancer.”

The Palm Beach lawyer has a personal connection to the disease. His wife, Nicole, is a leukemia survivor. He remembers the day he learned of her diagnosis.

“It was the second year in our marriage and she was six weeks into a pregnancy,” he says. They lost the baby. But the good news is Nicole is in complete remission.

The Guaris have a 10-year-old daughter, Lily, and being a proud parent is his favorite job.

“She is kind, bright, and caring — qualities that are a product of her mom’s daily love and support from the nurturing environment of her excellent school Rosarian Academy, he says.

Some of his most fulfilling moments have been coaching fourth and fifth grade West Palm Beach Youth Soccer, he says. “There is nothing better than teaching confidence, communication, teamwork and leadership to young kids.”

Favorite breakfast place:

Surfside Diner right in the heart of Palm Beach. It’s clean. It’s new. And it’s always good.

Surfside Diner, 314 S County Road, Palm Beach, 561- 659-7495

Favorite lunch place:

Cucina. I like the al fresco portion, and the bread is phenomenal. And Nick Coniglio is such a big supporter of Leukemia & Lymphoma.

Cucina Dell’ Arte, 257 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, 561-655-0770,

Favorite dinner place:

Palm Beach Grill. Service is unparalleled. Every time you go, you feel like it’s a celebration. One day I saw Tony Robbins sitting at the bar.

Palm Beach Grill, 340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, 561-835-1077,

Favorite places to take out-of-town visitors:

HMF and CityPlace. HMF is in The Breakers, a beautiful hotel where we got married. At HMF, food and service is always excellent. It’s fun to get dressed up to go out once in awhile. CityPlace is such a unique mixed-use center. We love going to movies there and City Cellar, and kids like to go to the Cheesecake Factory.

HMF, The Breakers, 1 S County Road, Palm Beach, 561-290-0104,

CityPlace, 700 Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-366-1000,

Favorite place to watch the sunrise:

The north end of Palm Beach. When I take my daughter to Rosarian in the morning and we see the sunrise it is the highlight of our day.

Favorite happy hour:

Nick & Johnnie’s. We don’t often do happy hour, but if we do, we go to Nick & Johnnie’s.

Nick & Johnnie’s, 207 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, 561-655-3319,

Favorite place to shop for suits:

Brooks Brothers in The Gardens Mall. Ellen Morris, its general manager, is great and puts on fundraisers for the Legal Aid Society.

Brooks Brothers, 3101 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, 561-775-7750,

Favorite workout spots:

When there is any free time, I’m either playing tennis at the Beach Club or doing spinning/cycling at Velocity.

Beach Club, 755 N. County Road, Palm Beach,

Velocity Cycling Studio, 321 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 561-247-2453,!