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“I could not have been more thrilled not only with the results, but especially by the careful and outstanding strategy that you personally developed in the handling of my very difficult and complex case, to which you handled…” J.C.

Dear Dov,

I checked out my testimonial on your firm’s website and I must say I was very impressed with myself and what I had to say about you and your colleagues at your firm. As I am a tense and somewhat anxious individual by nature, I was surprised at my own relaxed ability to give you and the others the best and most well deserved testimonial of which I am capable, and all of it impromptu.

As a lawyer, I always found that I should have been an appellate lawyer, but I was not given that opportunity at either Cravath or Davis Polk, where I started my career. Young lawyers there are simply placed in the department of the firm where lawyers are needed at the time, and as I had top grades in real property law (A+ in each of 4 courses and two lengthy term papers by the Dean, A. James Casner, and by the well-known and highly distinguished trusts and estates professor, Austin Wakeman Scott), I was placed in the trusts and estates department at both firms, especially unusual in that I am Jewish and those departments handled affairs of top drawer, old monied Gentile society people, at a time when Jewish lawyers were few and far between at those firms.

I found that while I am pretty good at speaking or arguing cases on my feet, my forte is the written word. My legal briefs were said to be good as they come, and that observation was reduced to writing on my behalf by the late Surrogate of Kings County, the Hon. Nathan R. Sobel, one of his generation’s most distinguished jurists and a former counsel to governors Roosevelt and Lehn. At Harvard Law School, first year students were required either to participate in a moot court competition, or in the Williston Competition, which consisted of writing briefs on appeal in legal cases developed by the faculty. Peter and I teamed up together in the Williston Competition – the firm of Paine & Cohen, and we came in second out of some 75 other teams in the competition of 1960, so that was my first – and successful – experience as a lawyer.

Even so, I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to speak well on behalf of you and your colleagues. If anything, my remarks were somewhat understated. Believe me when I tell you that neither Davis Pols nor Cravath had anything on ALB, P.C. and both Peter and I could not have been more thrilled not only with the results, but especially by the careful and outstanding strategy that you personally developed in the handling of my very difficult and complex case, to which you handled not only professionally but personally.

Consequently, I am very happy that you found my comments to have been worthy of your firm’s web site and I can assure you that if called upon to do so and on behalf of any of your prospective clients, you can depend upon it that I am more than willing and able to amplify my remarks on your behalf to any prospective clients who might wish to contact me. So please tell Adam that neither you nor he should hesitate for even a split second in calling upon me to speak on your behalf if you feel that I can be helpful to you in securing any such future clients.

I meant every word that I said, and with a full heart and great appreciation –which Peter more than shares– for the outstanding job that you all did to save my home –now with but a little over a week to go before my “probationary” period of good behavior shall have come to a successful conclusion.

As you know, I was very surprised by the manager’s call to me of last month, specifically passing on to me the observations and congratulations from Mr. O’Connor, the principal sponsor of this condominium, who complimented me for being a “model tenant” which certainly and happily surprised me, as I have the capacity for being a pain in the neck without realizing it. Coming from O’Connor, after 4 years of lawsuits against me, I was thrilled at the progress I made as a human being, for living up to my obligation to you, your firm, and to Peter Paine, for having placed such confidence in me and for battling tooth and nail against some very long odds to save my home of now some 43 years.

Talk about learning from experience the hard way –but learning and learning well; (as you know, I was always “good at school,” very little else.) Given that progress and at my age, I guess there is hope for just about anyone, considering the progress I had during and after my limited participation in my case that Adam required –that you all required– of me. I simply cannot thank you enough for the splendid –outstanding job– that you did for us. Believe me when I tell you that both Peter and I truly believe that it was worth every penny of your very careful and meticulously prepared statements. Neither he nor I could possibly have asked for more.


Jimmy Cohen



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