The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, February 11, 2004  

Over and Done

“Case dismissed!”

Actually, it wasn’t quite as dramatic as that, and the case wasn’t dismissed. Rather, the lawsuit was withdrawn by plaintiff’s attorney earlier today.

An abrupt change of heart, a sudden paroxysm of rationality on the part of the attorney or the building manager?

No, instead, the speedy and professional dispatch of this suit came through the good efforts of Philadelphia lawyer Lionel Artom-Ginzburg, of Solomon Sherman & Gabay, not only the most likable attorney I’ve ever met in my life, but a smart and engaging man who with amazing agility sent the other side cowering into the corner where it belongs.

So there will no fireworks, or at least no opportunity for pyrotechnics, in Philadelphia Municipal Court tomorrow. (Well, there probably will be lots of craziness in court tomorrow, but thankfully none of it will involve me.)

Now, I have to admit, for all of my smart-mouthed bravado about all this, and though I knew I had a strong case, I’m still relieved. Cut me some slack . . . I’ve never been hauled into court before.

(That’s not entirely true. I was once involved in a bizarre civil suit in Washington, two related suits, technically, and more precisely, one in Washington and the other in Arlington, Va., in one as a defendant in a purported class action -- I know, weird, huh? -- and in the other as one of several plaintiffs, with the opposite side in both cases being, if you can believe this, and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, my employer. The litigation was settled, to the ultimate satisfaction, I think, of but one supremely selfish individual. And perhaps that’s why he’s rich and I’m not.)

Treading on unfamiliar ground, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, and a judgment against me on the attorneys fees alone, which as of today appeared to me to be the primary matter in dispute, would have hurt me badly. Okay, I was a little scared. More than a little, to tell you the truth.

“Get a lawyer,” they always say.

And they, whoever “they” are, are right. Get a lawyer. And if you ever need a lawyer in Philadelphia, I know a terrific one: the aforementioned Lionel Artom-Ginzburg. You’ll be in good hands.

Thank you, Lionel.

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