More than 40 years ago I began practicing law in Allentown; and, like most young lawyers, mine was a general civil practice which allowed me to engage in various aspects of litigation, primarily involving business disputes. As time went on my practice focused on the representation of construction contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals. When my children were young they thought I operated a bulldozer, because they would see pictures of me wearing a hardhat at groundbreakings while standing in front of large earth-moving equipment! Needless to say, they were disappointed to discover that I was a mere lawyer.
The combination of knowledge gained while drafting and reviewing contract documents, climbing structural steel, descending into underground storage tanks, and even working as the affirmative action officer during the construction of a high-rise apartment building, together with the perspective I developed while resolving construction claims either through court trials or contractual arbitrations, led me in the direction of rendering proactive advice to my business clients in order to avoid the always costly, and most often frustrating, use of litigation to resolve business disputes. More and more my role evolved not just as “the lawyer” but as a trusted business advisor offering years of experience to clients in addressing a broad range of legal and business issues.
For the past thirty years my practice has focused on estate and business planning and on the administration of estates and trusts, particularly for individuals and families with closely held businesses – everything from the proverbial “mom and pop” operation to companies employing hundreds with locations spread across the United States and into Europe and Asia. One of the most satisfying aspects of my practice is the opportunity to guide families through the process of succession planning; I am proud to say that I represent many third, fourth, and even fifth generation businesses. In addition, I represent clients in the formation of a variety of business entities and represent many clients in the purchase and sale of their businesses.
My estate planning practice encompasses the preparation of wills, revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills, as well as the planning and implementation of sophisticated irrevocable trusts, such as grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts. And, with the assistance of my estate administrator, I settle the estates and trusts for those of my clients – people who so often have become my friends – who have died.
I like to think of myself as a “relationship” lawyer, meaning that I don’t engage generally in casual one-off assignments. My very first client is still with me today, and it is a hallmark of my practice that the core clients I serve have been with me for decades. When I meet with a client to discuss a problem, I never say, “Let’s talk about your problem;” rather, “It’s our problem and we’re going to find a solution.”
This website is intended to be a resource where I can periodically share information and insights that I think will be of value to those I am privileged to serve. I look forward to seeing you in my new office here in the West End of Allentown, so stop by and say hello!