Friedman & Simon - October 2019

LEGAL BRIEF

516-800-8000

FRIEDMANSIMON.COM

OCTOBER 2019

Full of Surprises The Ups and Downs of Founding a Firm

Life can work in funny ways. For instance, in 1989, a good friend and colleague offered me tickets to a Knicks game. However, I was expected to be at an event held by the state bar association the same night. Still, this was a tough decision to make. After all, the late ‘80s were an exciting time to be a Knicks fan — we had the likes of Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley. In the end, one factor swayed my decision. The game was just a preseason match. So, I decided to pass on the tickets and go mingle with fellow members of the bar association. And that is where I met a young, friendly lawyer interested in personal injury law. I had spent three years on the other side, at an insurance defense firm, before becoming a consultant for multiple litigation attorneys. Naturally, this lawyer had plenty of questions for me, and pretty soon, we developed a friendship. His name was Edward Friedman. If basketball season kicked off a little earlier that

where our firm is today, I am far more gratified by the work that got us here. This was the biggest surprise that came with starting a personal injury firm: just how deeply the work would impact me. I knew that representing people who had been seriously hurt

felt hollow, like we’d somehow missed the purpose of what we were really here to do. This case haunted me for a long time until I saw the young woman a few years later.

She was a completely different person —

would be a powerful experience — it’s one of those jobs where you really get to change someone’s life for the better. But I didn’t understand just how much this work would mean until a moment came where it failed to make a difference. I will never forget this case. We were representing a young woman who had been paralyzed in a car accident. The case had been contentious, and our adversaries took it all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court

smiling, warm, and independent. She called my name from across a parking lot and told me to come give her a hug. Shocked, I asked her what happened, and she said, “I just needed time, Roger.” She’d been able to get the treatment she needed and didn’t have to spend her time worrying about medical bills and lost time at work. Seeing her smile was hands down the most rewarding moment of my career. And it’s a moment that gave me perspective. Yes, the firm Ed and I built has the privilege of being able to make a profound impact on people’s lives, but we don’t do it alone. Chiropractors, physical therapists, psychiatrists, MDs, and countless other professionals make the recovery of our clients possible. I have a deep respect for what these professionals and their staff are able to achieve, and I recognize our shared passion for bringing a smile to those who need it most.

year, well, the two of us may not have built the firm we have today. That story’s not the only part of our history that took me by surprise. If you had told me 30 years ago that Edward and

of the United States, but we won and won big. Yet, our client remained in a deep depression. When I visited her to deliver the good news, she wouldn’t even look me in the eye. She kept the blinds to her room closed and wouldn’t get out of

“I didn’t understand just how much this work would mean until a moment came where it failed to make a difference.”

I would build this firm to where it is

now, I wouldn’t have believed you. When we formed our partnership in 1991, it was just me, Ed, and one other individual. From this humble beginning, we’ve grown to include 16 employees working away at our beautiful location in Jericho. But, as proud as I am of

bed. We’d done all we could to make sure her needs would be taken care of, but the truth is that just isn’t enough on its own.

Here’s to making a difference,

516-800-8000 1 ––––-Rog er Simon

I’d never felt so heartbroken over winning a case. Could I even really call it a victory? It

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