“He gave me a feeling that you could… stand up for what you believe in, no matter what.”
Vera Wilson and Janet Mcloyd (Part 3), Commercial tenants and members of the Save Harlem Association
Q. Could you briefly explain the situation or problem that lead you to seek legal help?
A. Janet McLoyd: Well, basically the reason why me and my sister here had to seek legal help was due to the fact that we had received a letter in the mail stating that we had to vacate our business within 120 days. And when we received that letter we were very devastated, you know, and we didn’t know what it was about. Once we read the letter it had stated that the property was bought for $50 million dollars and like I said, we were very devastated receiving that letter because we still had a lease. A lease that we can be on the premises for at least another three years so we couldn’t understand how this was happening. Basically not only did we receive a letter, other businesses in the area had also received a letter too that we all had to vacate the property and that the property was bought for $50 million dollars.
Vera Wilson: To a new developer, yeah.
Q. How did you hear about Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. or how did you meet them?
A. Well, basically we met Adam through another business owner who was Victor. I don’t know Victor’s last name. He was an architect, a couple of doors down from our business and he introduced us to Adam.
Q. And what were your first impressions?
A. Vera Wilson: Well, when I first met Adam and saw Adam I looked at him as a young intelligent realtor and I was just amazed. His approach to us – he was really serious and he actually was very confident with what he does.
Janet McLoyd: Well for me, I need to comment on that. When I first saw Adam, I was like, Oh God – here goes another rip off – you know – and that was just my feeling about lawyers. Not only, I had other legal matters in my life with lawyers and I really didn’t trust them. I felt that this is another lawyer that is just going to basically b-s us, take our money and we aren’t going to get anything accomplished. So I was very, very afraid and untrust, is that the word to use – you know – I really didn’t trust. So that was my first impression when I met Adam.
Q. Was that impression later proven wrong?
A. Janet: Sure it was
Both Vera and Janet: Sure it was. Yes, it was definitely proven wrong.
Janet: I can at least say even though I had doubts, my daughter, she was like “Mom” he is an excellent lawyer. She had seen something in Adam that I didn’t see. And you know I was like – like I said again – I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to retain him but from the time that my daughter had seen Adam and heard him speak she was very, very much impressed with him.
Q. Was there anything notable about Adam’s strategy? Maybe something that was integral to his success?
Vera: Of his strategy? Wow, what could I say? I often wonder did he have a strategy or plan because I wanted to know. But you know from time to time when we were going to court and I realized, I said, Adam had something up his sleeve because the way it’s going everything is turning out really well, so he must have a really good strategy and later on I found out he did. And I was amazed – it worked out for the best.
Q. Did you see Adam argue?
A. Both Vera and Janet. Oh, yes we did. Yes we did. We did see Adam….
Vera: Yes, very stern and fight for what he knows best and what he really feels – you know – that’s really right.
Janet: Well what I liked about Adam when I saw him fight, he was a no nonsense lawyer, you know. He didn’t just sit back and not work for what he believed in. He was a hard worker, his firm – the firm was very hard working – his team – very hard workers – very serious – you know – his strategy was excellent. He was the type of lawyer that never let you know what he was thinking. He really, really surprised me and when he came out with his strategy even though we had doubts – well, I had doubts – his strategy was really excellent. He was very impressive in the courts and we were just like – Wow, he is really, really good.
Vera: And he is very serious about what he does. And the team they work really late nights which I was really surprised. When we use to come in here sometimes in the evening we would see the team really working hard and late, which is really good, but that means that they are really serious about what they are doing.
Janet: Not only that, he also had put together a rally and he had a lot of the TV reporters come out and interview; what was taking place with our lawsuit, he put a lot, a lot of his hard work into it and it was really, really moving.
Q. So, on the day you won the injunction, can you describe Adam’s performance for me?
A. Vera: The day we won the injunction? Well, I remember the day we won the injunction Adam was like well – no – the day we won – the injunction – I am thinking about the day when the attorney told us we didn’t get an answer yet – okay. The day we won – I think we spoke to Adam over the phone.
Q. It was exciting?
A. Vera: Of course it was exciting. I was happy to hear that we won. Yes, I remember hearing it over the phone and to a lot of the other neighbors that were also a part of this lawsuit. We were all very excited.
Q. Were you surprised to get the injunction or to hear that you got one?
A, Vera: Yes, we were, we were. I was surprised because the attorney they had too was pretty good, so…
Q. What kind of law firm were you up against?
A. These were big developers. It seemed like there were two or three lawyers?
Top notch lawyers.
Janet: From my understanding – they were from the State of New York and it was very, very powerful, you know. The day that we were told – I was told that we won. I was very, very excited because I really didn’t know what was going to happen. It was very stressful, the long wait, not knowing what was going to happen, but Adam kept us with a lot of hope and a lot of faith even when we were feeling that – it wasn’t going – you know – we weren’t going to win. So I was really, really excited when we heard that we won.
Q. So, I understand Save Harlem reached a settlement? Obviously, that’s what we are talking about. What are your plans for all the money that you are receiving?
A. Vera: What our plans? Well, we are looking for another location right now. And we plan to move into a new location and we are also going to try to open more than one location.
Q. Any other last comments you want to add before we are done?
A. Janet: Well, basically I just want to say, like my sister said we are also planning to take the money that we won and to relocate and to open another business but, this would not have been all possible if it wasn’t for Adam. It was a very emotional ordeal that we were going through. I am still going through a lot of feelings right now even though we won. I am delighted and like I said again, this wasn’t – if it wasn’t for Adam, this would not have been possible because I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was a lot of time and a lot of money spent.
Vera: It was well worth it.
Janet: It was well worth it but it was also a struggle so my belief was what could they have possibly done to us that they weren’t already doing to us – these developers – so we didn’t know whether we were going to win or not. We put our trust in God and we put our trust in Adam, we believed in Adam and for me, Adam made me feel – he had gave me a feeling that you could – you know – to just don’t walk away – to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what. Like, a lot of the other business owners they just gave up, they settled for a little bit of nothing. A lot of them didn’t get money to relocate or to open another business and Adam just gave me a strength – a feel of – you know – just of hope and not to give up – and that’s what I believe. He was an excellent lawyer and I am very, very happy that we retained him and I am looking forward – I wouldn’t choose another lawyer. Any other legal matter – God forbid – that you know…
Vera: Who wants another lawyer!!!
Janet: You know – another legal matter, Adam is the man!! Vera: He was very good!!
Janet: He is very compassionate, he showed a lot of compassion – he was really. It wasn’t like just get the money and just like -forget about you – he worked – he actually worked for what…
Vera: He believed in….
Janet: He really, really worked for us and he really was concerned and I love him to death for that, and like they say all lawyers are not the same, and that’s what I got from him. You can trust somebody, and today I have faith.
Vera: Yes, and she said it all. But, yes, again I can say that Adam Bailey is a very, very good realty lawyer and I will recommend him to just anybody.
Q. Do we your have permission to post this on our website?
A. Vera and Janet: Of course.