Defense attorney Jay Tiftickjian took five minutes out of his hectic schedule to sit down and talk non-shop. If you want to get to know him better, read on.
1. Everyone knows about your reputation in the legal community, especially in the DUI defense area, but what do you outside of work?
I spend the majority of my time with my family. People think that because I am a criminal defense attorney that I lead some kind of high-roller lifestyle, but nothing could be further from the truth. I live in a modest house, drive a Honda (by choice), and save for retirement instead of throw money at material things. Most of my vacations are in Colorado because we prefer to drive rather than fly, and when we do go on vacation we budget just like anyone else.
My hobby is playing guitar. I play almost every day, and while I am not a virtuoso by means, I enjoy learning music theory and different styles. I grew up jamming to Metallica and Megadeth, but my musical interests have certainly expanded over the years. I now listen to many styles, including blues, jazz, and country. I’ve become a big Brad Paisley fan and wish I could chicken pick like he does. I still put in the Yngwie Malmsteen CDs from time to time. I don’t play in a band due to my lack of abilities and time, but would like to someday.
2. What types of volunteer work do you do?
I spend a lot of my time and energy assisting other lawyers in different ways. For the past few years I have organized the annual DUI defense seminar for the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. Each one was attended by over 100 attorneys and each made a good profit for our criminal defense bar. I also organize legal training for the Adams County Bar Association.
My favorite day is Friday. On Friday mornings I teach guitar to grade school students at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. I am never nervous standing in front of a jury, but getting in front of a group of 5th graders and trying to keep their attention gives me a lot of anxiety.
3. What is your favorite food?
Pizza. I am from Buffalo and grew up on a steady diet of pizza. My waistline gives it away. I like Mexican food, which I was never exposed to as a child, but nothing beats a good, Buffalo-style peperoni pizza. I am not a big fan of fish but the doctor recommends it, and my wife is from San Francisco. I grew up on wings, pizza and later beer, but she is a wine and fish gal.
4. What is your favorite show on television?
Honestly, I don’t watch a lot of television. It doesn’t keep my interest. When I do watch TV, I watch sports. I would not miss the television at all when the NFL is not in season. Whenever I watch TV or a movie, I fall asleep. Even in a movie theatre, I am out in 20 minutes. I do enjoy some shows that I have watched on DVD and Netflix, such as Breaking Bad, The Wire, and Dexter.
5. If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
I think I would be Superman so I could fly. It would sure cut down on travel time between courts, especially our cases in Aspen. There is some appeal to being invisible too, so perhaps the Invisible Man.