Life, for Kotler, has been a lot like shades of blues, but don’t let the color fool you. Unlike the connotation of “blues” conjuring images of being “down in the dumps,” Kotler’s upbeat nature, engaging smile and energetic lifestyle lends itself more to a brighter, lighter hue—maybe yellow. But Kotler has chosen blue, and paints his life in vivid shades.
“I entered the world on an Airforce Base in Tachikawa, Japan where my father, a flight surgeon, was stationed. We left when I was two, so I don’t have many personal memories of the land, but I have retained several pieces of oriental art my parents collected,” said Kotler.
Two such pieces, a carved wooden trunk and a hand painted silk scroll, are among his favorites. Though the base is no longer active, Kotler stated that he’d like to return to Japan someday to see the islands, the place of his birth, and experience all the excitement and majesty Japan has to offer.
“I feel like I’ve reached the pinnacle to which every attorney aspires—I’m a partner in a law firm, and have a great working relationship with each colleague and our hard working staff. I couldn’t be more satisfied professionally,” stated Kotler.
Partner in the firm Schwartz, Gold, Cohen, Zakarin and Kotler, P.A., he operates his diverse practice from a second floor office in his firm’s building just south of Palmetto Park on Boca Raton Boulevard. Kotler obtained his BA degree in 1985 from Villanova University School of Commerce and Finance then went on to study law there as well. He received his law degree in 1988, and subsequently became a member of the American, Florida, Pennsylvania and District of Columbia Bar Associations. He serves his clients in a myriad of areas—real property, banking, business and corporate law, bankruptcy, medical malpractice and civil litigation.
“I love the diversity of my work,” he stated. “Many attorneys find a specific niche and stick with it. I would find that boring. It’s a lot of work to keep abreast of all the new laws affecting each area but I enjoy learning and being able to apply that knowledge in my practice.”
Outside of his demanding practice, Kotler is an instructor of and holds a third degree black belt in Aki Juitsu. “I also enjoy golf, tennis, playing basketball and coaching youth basketball,” he stated. And if you rise early enough you can probably find him wiggling his toes in the sand as he expresses forms of Tai Chi on the beach in Delray before heading to the office. After hours four days a week he’s at the gym pumping iron and getting a good cardio workout. Acrylics are his medium of choice as Kotler relaxes in his Delray Beach town home, brushes in hand. Using bold primary colors he paints contemporary pieces on canvas and sometimes uses photographs to enhance a mixed medium composition.
“To compliment my artistic creativity I’ve taken classes in interior decorating and art and connoisseurship through adult education at the local community school. They’re great classes and I’ve really learned a lot,” he said. Indigo. Deep tones from a sax mingle with those of guitar, drums and piano all forming a cacophony of jazz, rock, and top 40’s. The music, sometimes accompanied by vocals, is played in a makeshift studio in a warehouse rented by one of the band members. Kotler plays keyboard.
“We’ve just been practicing up until now but as soon as we have enough songs for three sets, we’ll start playing gigs,” said Kotler. “We’re hoping that will be towards the beginning of the year.”
An early 40-something, Kotler could well be one of Boca Raton’s most eligible bachelors, yet he yearns for the day when he can say goodbye to his single lifestyle. “I really do look forward to getting married again and having kids,” he said. Until then, Kotler will continue to enjoy his diverse life of law, music, martial arts, sports and art—a life that is as blended as his music in Shades of Blue