FAQ to Mr. Rosenblat
Well, there are actually quite a few. Most recently, I won a trial in which my client was charged with robbing an elderly man who was just walking down the street. I found this trial to be especially difficult because the defense was “he didn’t do it” and I prefer to have a more direct attack on the state’s case. Fortunately, I was able to effectively cross-examine the victim who testified inconsistently with the statements he made to the police. What also helped, was the fact that my cross examination of the victim and my theme of the case were not to attack on the victim, which may have made for good theater, but which could have ultimately hurt the case. I ultimately argued in closing that the victim wasn’t lying, he was just mistaken in his identification. The defendant faced up to 30 years in prison, and as the judge was preparing to deliver the verdict, all of these sheriffs came into the courtroom. It was definitely a relief, when we heard the words – not guilty.
In the civil side of my practice, the case against Stericycle that settled for $26,750,000 is a great example of the collaboration of three different law firms working effective together to achieve this result.
I am also working on a False Claims Act case against Chrysler. After the judge initially dismissed the case, I was able to re-work the case to present in a way that addressed the judge’s concerns, overcame the deficiencies he found, and move forward. The judge denied Chrysler’s most recent motion to dismiss and we are moving forward with discovery.2. What should clients look for in a lawyer?
I compare hiring a lawyer with buying a car. Some clients have relatively simple, not complex issues or problems, which can be dealt with in a straightforward manner, barring any surprises, which in litigation is always a risk. But, what I believe clients are really, at their core, looking for is a lawyer who cares about them, their problems or issues, and their needs.3. What differentiates me from other lawyers?
Primarily, I really care about my clients and how to get a successful result, which includes avoiding collateral consequences both now and in the future. Earlier in my career, I tried different approaches to my relationships with my clients, but this approach works best for me, because having a good relationship with my client ultimately results in a better outcome. It also makes my work more enjoyable and allows me to represent them to my full potential. It is always easier to give your very best to someone you enjoy representing.4. Do I need a “local attorney” to represent me?
Many attorneys try to play this card. It is really an attempt to shrink the geographical area of their competition. However, it rarely makes a difference, unless you are a Chicago lawyer, who waltzes into a small collar county and is rude to everyone. Simply asking the clerk the typical protocol of the courtroom or seeking the advice of a local attorney, will avoid and prevent any disadvantages that a non-local attorney may face in court. I personally, have never experienced any type of adverse decision, based on being an out of town attorney, and I have represented clients throughout Illinois and in federal court in several states.5. What kind of advice will you provide in a free phone consultation?
If it is a complex case, like a False Claims Act case, which is a substantial portion of my practice, the purpose of a telephone consultation is simply to determine if there is any basis to file a False Claims Act case. If there is a basis to continue our discussion, I always recommend and prefer a face to face in office meeting with the new client, since I believe that it is especially important that we meet, put a face to a voice. It is important that we are both comfortable and committed to working together, which could be for several years if a case is ultimately filed.
As for a typical criminal case, again I believe that it is important to meet in person. If someone is calling me just to get a price, I find that is not a good start and it is not the way a client should hire a lawyer, nor is it the way a lawyer should agree to get hired. There are however exceptions, like simple criminal cases, or clients who are out of town. Criminal cases can be very difficult, especially emotionally, on the client who could be facing years in prison. It is also important that a relationship is developed between the client and the lawyer that is based on mutual trust. It’s much better to have a face-to-face meeting then have this type of conversation over the phone. I will often take some time after our meeting to think about the case, the facts, issues, law, and the personal factors which may affect this individual client, before I quote a fee for representation.6. What do you like most about your job?
I really enjoy being a litigator because I find it challenging and fun. It is like preparing for a war. Presenting your argument, posturing, setting the narrative of the case, investigation, or sentencing position. It takes a lot of work and effort to develop an approach that is the right one, for the individual client and case, since every situation is different. In some cases, an all-out attack is the right approach, in other cases, the right approach may be more subtle. We have to know who our opponent is and whether we are operating from a position of strength or weakness. Finally, we have to know what our goal is. Finally, we have to know what our end goal is, what the client wants to accomplish and what approach we will take to achieve it.7. What are your interests outside of the law?
Outside the office, one of my favorite activities is running. I usually run 5 days a week and I have been doing one to two marathons for the past few years. Marathon training can be a grind, so I have been thinking about running more ½ marathons and 10k’s which makes the training more fun since I can do more speed work. I also enjoy spending time with my family and dog, listening to music, and watching movies and TV shows. Currently, I’m trying to catch up on the TV show Scandal.
I am also a big University of Illinois supporter, have season tickets to Illini football, and support the Illini through contributions to the IFund. I am a Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubs fan, and like sports overall, although I don’t have as much time as I would like to follow my favorite teams.
I also tend to read a lot, both fiction and non-fiction books. The most recent book I just finished was Team or Teams by General Stanley McChrystal.