From living large in Vegas to settling down near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Joseph Eckelkamp is one of Hiday & Ricke’s highly-regarded shareholder attorneys.
All his life, Joe has worked hard and played harder. Today, life at Joe’s house ––with three young children, two cats, a fish and a wife of 13 years –– is full of fun. At 47, he coaches t-ball, swims a few hours a week (about 500 miles a year), and likes to read, hike, bike, fish, ski and take his kids to Legoland® on a regular basis.
Joe says he’s passionate about his career and family––and a fan of “all things aquatic––especially the ocean.”
As a boy, Joe’s father was in the U.S. Air Force. While he’s now living in the sunshine state, where he was born, Joe’s family set up home in 17 cities in nine states including California, Nevada, South Dakota, Missouri, Ohio, Arizona and Alabama. Joe says his favorite states were Arizona, Nevada, Cali and Utah.
In his young adult years, Joe worked the casino industry while attending the University of Las Vegas. His mom was a teacher at Nova Southeastern University, which meant Joe qualified for a college discount. On a college-kid budget, he lived with five roommates while he set his sights on a degree in casino management.
When he started out, Joe says, you had to be a good dealer in Vegas if you wanted to be successful. In other words, you “gotta have juice.” And Joe had juice. His “nice hands” meant that he didn’t fumble chips at the casino tables. He worked swing shift and then advanced to the “premium” shift where he was a pro at handling the dice and craps tables.
On a track toward success, Joe was living large. He drove a 1968 Cutlass Convertible and had friends at all the casinos––envision Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever. Joe could score tickets for all the Vegas events and shows––anytime, anywhere. He proudly admits that he still carries an “all-access” pass in his wallet today.
A man of many talents, Joe also played guitar while in grad school. He used to have pets, too. He’d adopt greyhounds from the racetrack after they retired from their racing careers.
When he moved to New Jersey, where his wife’s parents lived, he worked in the casinos there, too. Thinking that maybe the casino life wasn’t quite the long-term career path he should be pursuing, he shifted gears to focus on law.
Now, an accomplished attorney, Joe has been working in private practice since graduating law school and is licensed to practice law in Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Joe joined Hiday & Ricke in 2004 and is currently a shareholder based in the Plantation, FL office. His concentration is in subrogation, collections and commercial litigation.
Joe’s educational background includes a Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University–Shepard Broad Law Center, and a BS degree in casino management, from the University of Las Vegas.
Author – Carolyn Klucha