#197 – Lessons from the Courtroom With Dara Rosenbaum

You know, success is not something you accomplished alone with your door closed. You know, with your head down. Success is something that, you know, there’s plenty of work to go around for everybody. I think competition is way overrated, I think that collaborating with people and connecting with people, you know, when when it’s not even something that you need, it’s just something that you enjoy or something that you feel is an investment is probably the greatest advice that I would give in terms of what you know, how to, how to achieve success Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode today we have Dara Rosenbaum, Dara. Welcome, nice to be here. It’s nice to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do. Sure. So I’m a business law attorney in new york. I’ve been practicing business law for about 20 years now professionally was sort of born and bred a trial attorney and did a lot of work in the insurance defense field. So hired by insurance companies to defend their insurance and all sorts of property damage and personal injury and wrongful death kind of cases.

And the transactional business law work and the litigation business law works sort of came naturally from that uh started developing great relationships with clients and they started asking me lots of questions that had nothing to do with the insurance defense case I was working on and more about formation or partnership or other dispute matters that they wanted to have some advice on. So sort of very organically grew a transactional litigation business law practice and it’s uh it’s it’s wonderful. I love it. I love helping business small businesses form and grow and profit. That’s sort of my, my passion, glad to hear it. And thank you for the introduction of all the things that people ask you about. What what’s your favorite thing or priority when you when you come on as a guest? What do you like to talk about the most? I mean I think a lot of the things that people struggle with in business have to do with relationships. So their internal relationships, how they deal with their employees, how partners deal with each other, how owners deal with each other and then also external relationships.

So what’s the relationship with another contractor or with a client or customer? I think a lot of the issues that sort of come up across my desk are issues that deal with relationships in some way interesting. And from a legal perspective, um what would you say that mistakes are around the topic of relationships? I would say not not sort of setting the boundaries and setting the framework early. So if you’re starting a company with a partner with another owner or thinking you might bring one in later, you want to set up that right framework. So often owners come to us and say we need a partnership agreement and you know, we have some things we want to sketch out and I generally have a lot of things that I can bring to them to say, Have you thought about this, what happens if this happens? What happens if one of you wants to retire? What happens if one of you becomes disabled? Uh, there are two of you, how are you going to break a tie or if you’re voting on something if you’re 50, 50 um, you know, how are you going to deal with disputes? How are you going to make decisions about whether to pursue opportunities?

So those are the kind of things that I think people don’t generally think about, especially in the kind of the internal relationships. And then the external relationships are things like, you know, how do you deal with your vendors? What happens if something needs to be canceled or prices rise and you want to incorporate that into the contract? What do you do about, you know, changes in delivery times and things like that. So there’s lots of features of both internal and external relationships that I really help the clients think through and provide for because I think the best time to hammer out all those details is before anything goes wrong, when everyone is still getting along and and eager to work together as opposed to when some dispute has arisen. So my guess is when you get a blank stare in response to those questions, what do you advise people to do? I generally give people sort of a checklist or a sort of a think sheet beforehand before we talk. You know, think about all these things. It’ll be a more efficient use of our time if you and your partners think through these things, for example before you know before we sit down and start and start thinking about how to draft a document or if there are other people, you know if you’re gonna if you’re a business owner and you’re gonna come to me and say we want to redo our vendor contracts And you need to speak to for example your bookkeeper about how things are being paid on what schedule they’re being paid, what pain points your bookkeeper sees, get that information before we start.

So I think that I helped to avoid the blank stare as best I can and if I get a blank stare I just ask more questions. I mean I’ve been deposing people for over 20 years so I’m pretty good at kind of teasing out that information that somebody might need to provide to me even if they’re not quite sure what it is. Well, one of the things in prep for our conversation that you’re happy to talk about I think is life lessons from the courtroom. That sounds interesting. Would you share? Yes. Yeah. So there are lots of things that we sort of see in the courtroom that you don’t you know that could apply it in life. One of my favorite ones is you know the phrase we use is the barrel rolls sometimes you’re on the top and sometimes you’re on the bottom. So you know you may see an adversary that you are going to see a number of times and sometimes you have a strong case and sometimes you have the weaker case. Sometimes you’ve got a strong position because for example you’re representing a business owner and you’re negotiating with the G. C. And generally they’re the business, the building owner has the most power in that relationship. Sometimes you’re going to be the subcontractor and the other side is going to be the general contractor and you know that you’re just not in a position of strength.

Sometimes you know you’ve blown a deadline, it happens. Um or you need some more time for something more likely where you need an adjournment of something or you need some more time to discuss something or research something. The way you treat people in the courtroom is really vital again about relationships. Really vital to having a strong position when it comes to needing some more time needing some more information. Um everybody at some point in time it’s going to need an extension of time is going to need somebody to accommodate them. If there’s been an error in the document is going to need somebody to be understanding about a change in schedule for example and those are the kind of things that I think sort of really relate to life. Um, it’s, you know, I think you want to be able to tap into those resources and tap into that network for people who have been kind to, um, in terms of networking, connecting, especially you’re talking about, you know, being kind to people and having a good relationship with people so that if you need something from them, you already have that basis and it’s not going to them for the first time and asking for a favor and also not going to them and asking for a favor when you’ve been unkind or you’ve been difficult or you’ve been accommodating to them because they’re not likely to give it to you.

Coming onto the topic of, let’s say, I mean the most common, I think legal issue that happens in my business anyway is non payment. So, and then the decision the decision we have to make is um, is this worth the amount of time it’s going to take to actually get that back if you will. So, and the question is a roundabout way of asking, how enforceable is a contract, in your view? It depends on the language and it depends on what the circumstances are, and hopefully you have a strong contract which provides for payment terms and either payment terms by milestone, for example, you know, it’s a for example, building a building. You know, we’ve reached this particular point. The entire structure is framed. There’s this milestone payment due and that’s been documented or it’s a manufacturer and a distributor where there’s a certain shipment made and what kind of terms and what kind of terms of the payment going to be there? Uh Is it payable when it leaves the factory?

Is it payable when it arrives at its look at its destination? Those are all all things that kind of factor in. And I think just sort of generally the best way to, to resolve the best way to kind of address the payment issue is not to have it in the first place. So I generally like to try when I dropped contracts to have payment up front to some degree. So if somebody is going to have, you know, an expenditure of materials that has to be covered in an initial deposit or an initial an initial payment so that at least that’s covered. Um and I work with the clients to understand, you know, what’s your risk here, what’s going to happen if, you know, if they decide not to make that last payment. So we generally try to structure things so that there are deliverables that everybody agrees on the deliverables that it’s all documented and that the payments are made in accordance with that, I don’t like generally if I can avoid it to have a contract where the deliverable is done and then there’s a payment due because that’s when some people try to get out of paying.

So have you personally ever received any or had any issues regarding nonpayment or do you pretty much always get paid based on what you do. I would say we generally get paid on, on retainer. So generally we’re holding the money in an escrow account and then transferring it to our operating account when we’ve done the work, we’ve certainly ended up with situations where, you know, the client kind of gets ahead of us and we’re doing, there was more work that particular month than we anticipated. And now, you know, they’re into us for some amount of money and it’s uncomfortable. I mean it really is uncomfortable to say to a client who you’re developing a relationship with or have a long relationship with. Hey, I really can’t do any more work for you until you pay, especially if you’re in the middle of a negotiation or some kind of settlement or you’re in the middle of legation. So especially in litigation, we can’t just stop working. We actually have to make a motion here to withdraw as counsel, which of course is an additional expense. Put the client in an uncomfortable position and not something you want to have to do. So the routine is really important. And I think some of the bookkeeping around that is what’s really critical.

So, um, I’m gonna go with no on that, on that summary. I would say, I would say it has happened and I have had to, um, I’ve had to definitely put people on like a payment plan, you know, okay, I understand that. You know, we don’t have enough of a retainer to cover this and they’re going, I can’t, I just don’t have it. Okay, fine, let’s do it like, you know, a third of this month, the third next month and a third of the month after that. But keep in mind that we’re gonna be limited on what we can do while we’re trying to get you back up to zero. But it does come back to what I would say. Generally I think it should be generally if we have that issue, it’s probably our fault, I mean we just didn’t stay on top of it enough to know that we needed to get a further retainer. Yeah. What I was going to say was it comes back to your framework um comment around what are the milestones? So um yeah, if you, if you’ve gotten that far down the road and that’s an issue, then it’s, it’s based on the initial contract that you referred to, right, correct and staying on top of it.

So it’s one thing to have a contract, it’s another thing to abide by the terms of the contract. So if you say, you know, you’re gonna build monthly, but you’re going to build, you know more frequently than monthly. If the retainer is running low, then obviously you need to be the one who is responsible for saying, hey, this retainer is running low, we need to be replenished because very rarely is the client gonna contact you and say, hey, I think I owe you more money any misconceptions about what you do. Oh gosh, tons. Um, I mean, you know, there are very few other professions if anywhere there are, you know, like a whole whole field of jokes about them. I think the portrayals of lawyers on tv and in movies and I mean it’s much more interesting to see somebody slamming their hands on the table and screaming and badgering a witness or yelling and an opposing party on the phone than it is to look at what I do every day. Um, it goes back to relationships. I mean most of my conversations, even with adversaries, even in hard fought negotiations or hard fought cases are very pleasant and I may have a professional disagreement with somebody and I may, we may just, you know, fight it out about something, but I’m happy to have a cup of coffee with them and some of them become my friends.

So I think that the portrayal of lawyers is generally as very aggressive, um, very confrontational, a little difficult to talk to and you know, sort of somebody to be feared. And I think the other thing that’s, that’s negative for us is that as soon as you get a lawyer involved, it’s gonna be really expensive and I think that it’s, it’s nice when I can have a client understand that you can, you know, if you if you pay things up front and you get the framework set for whatever relationship you’re trying to form or addressing whatever kind of dispute early, it’s gonna save you money in the long run. So I think that there’s there’s lots of negative, lots of negative portrayals of lawyers out there. What’s your impression of business owners in general, in relation to, let’s say, knowledge of law? I would say that most of the business owners that I come into contact with our experts in their area, you know, whether they’re landscapers or their builders or their manufacturers or their graphic designers. Moviemakers. I mean, I deal with everybody in every industry.

Um there are experts in that and my sense is for the most part, law is sort of an annoyance. Um it’s sort of, do I really have to do this, you know, can I just pull it off the internet? Um do I really have to go through this, you know, negotiation of all these terms? Do I really want to do that, that loss to them as sort of an irritation? It’s, you know, maybe necessary evil, but they don’t really want to deal with it. It’s an expense. They just don’t want to incur I so I think that, you know, I deal with people who are very smart who are very accomplished in their area, very driven entrepreneurs, very driven small business owners who haven’t been educated in law and haven’t seen as much as I’ve seen in terms of what other people have done right and wrong. So they look to me for guidance certainly and look to me for advice and a little bit of mentorship. But I think generally business owners in terms of law just would rather not. That’s how I would describe it. And what are the ramifications of being to re say uneducated on the topic of law? I think it’s a very classic. You don’t know what you don’t know. So if you want to google and find a contract online and it looks good, um looks good to you and somebody signs it and you put it in the folder, you don’t realize what isn’t in there or what is in there.

That’s problematic. Um, a lot of those issues come up around insurance, indemnification, which is really just the transferring of risk to another party. Um, you know, those issues that people don’t necessarily think about, like I said a little earlier, my job is to sort of help people think through all those issues because I’ve seen so many businesses either make mistakes or do things right in terms of dealing with what could happen and you know, I’m trained, uh I’m sort of a grammar nerd by nature to see in the words of a contract or the words of an agreement or negotiation, what could happen like okay here, you know, for example, um I have a client who’s contract always said Payment will be made within 30 days of, of receipt, you know, 30 days of the deliverables. I said within 30 days could be either before or after you okay, getting paid 30 days later. Like, Oh no, I meant before. Well then it shouldn’t be within 30 days of because that could go either way. And it’s a, it’s a silly example and it’s just a proposition, but it’s the kind of thing that could have an impact on their cash flowing on their business.

So I think that putting your head in the sand about insurance or indemnification payment terms. Another thing I see a lot of scope of work. So you want to obviously define the scope of work as in a detailed manner as you can, you don’t want to make it really, really restrictive, but you want everybody to understand by looking at the document what the work was supposed to entail because you don’t want to get into a situation, we call it either scope creep or something mushrooming. Well, well, this wasn’t really defined. So I think you have to, you, you know, party I contracted with have to give me X, Y and Z. You’re saying, well that’s not how I read it to be. So there’s a lot of work that goes into crafting that scope and if it needs to be changed along the way, doing that in a way that’s documented so that people don’t have disputes or problems over what their expectations are. Their expectations may be completely aligned in the beginning, but if it’s not written the right way when somebody wants to either change it a little bit or weasel out of it or sort of take advantage of an an ambiguity, that’s certainly something that they can do if it hasn’t been written right?

You gave me the example of the 30 days payment. Have you got any other examples that you’re particularly proud of in relation to the work you do? I would say scope is a big one and I think I mentioned that is that, you know, defining, I think one of the things that I do in the scope area of the contract is use it sort of as a sales tool. And I think that that you know, I had somebody kind of, you know, joke that if you can make a contract, a sales, a sales tool that you can do anything and I like doing that because after the pitch has been done after the conversations have been had, what the client is left with is the contract and you know, after the bells and whistles and fanfare of the pitch or of the sales presentation, they’re left with a number on a page and that can seem really intimidating or it can seem excessive or it can seem like, I don’t know, I don’t know if this is worth it and what I like to do in the scope section is really have it as a, as a sales tool, you know, we’re going to do this and we’re going to do this this way and this is who we are, so you know, you’re going to have access to this type of, you know, so, and so with 30 years of experience in graphic design is going to provide these, these number of things over this period of time with this opportunity for edits and changes so that you really have sort of a sales device where somebody can look at that, that seems like a lot for what for what I’m paying for that.

So it’s obviously not used car sales and you don’t want it to sound like that, but I sort of always explain it as, you know, we’re going to do this for the low, low price of, because this way somebody feels like they’re really getting a good deal. I also always tell my clients to over deliver. So if you know that you’re going to give somebody ate designs right down that you’re gonna deliver five because when you deliver eight you’ve gone above and beyond and nobody’s ever gonna complain about that, You know, if you’re gonna deliver, if something is going to be available and deliverable in 45 days, you know, make it 60 so that if you come in at, you know 45 or even 50 you’ve over delivered. So I think those are two of the things that I really work on in terms of scope is making it, you know, sort of making it a sales tool and a sales device and also sort of managing expectations so that my clients can always seem to be going above and beyond interesting because it kind of works as a buyer’s remorse um tool as well in that circumstance, have you always been um do you always know that you wanted to do this type of work?

I actually spent all of all of my sort of early years in school and junior high school and elementary school actually wanted to be a corner. I thought it was like the coolest job in the world. I wanted to do autopsies and do forensic pathology. And there was a show on here where there was a, he was a coroner but he also would travel around the world and interview people and get the evidence. And I thought that was a cool job not realizing that that’s like a coroner and a private detective and you know, private investigator and all those other things. So my family said um derek sometimes they’re just dead and there’s no you and you’re never going to go jetting around the world to catch the bad guy. You’re just going to write a report. Um And my great grandmother at the time said, I don’t know that people are gonna want to be friends with the person who touches dead bodies. I’m sure she was wrong, but it had an impact on me. Uh, so between that and the fact that math and science were not my strongest subjects, I switched over the law pretty quickly and new from probably the latter part of high school from the debate team and the mock trial team.

That law was sort of where I was going to go and at what point did you become a business owner 10 years ago? So, um, so started 20 years ago with my business partner. He actually hired me 20 years ago. Um, after after 9, 11 after I had lost my job because the firm I was with didn’t have enough business and I had been the last in. So I was the first out after thinking it’s been, you know, I’ve only been doing this a year. I’ve had things were pretty good. I had my office, I had, you know, a window and then kind of had the rug pulled out from under me and somebody I worked with said, well, hey, my girlfriend’s boss is hiring. I want to go talk to him. I was like, you know what? I’m just so rattled right now, maybe I’ll go become an interior designer and we’ll go do something totally different. I don’t, I don’t know. And a day later I said, you know, maybe I should just go interview with this guy because who knows, and I need a job because I’ve got rent and expenses. So went to interview with the man who was now the tailor to Rosenbaum and Taylor because he hired me 20 years ago and 10 years ago we left the firm we were at and decided to form this firm and couldn’t be happier really.

So um in that instance, um Miss Taylor is an employee at that time. No. Mr Taylor was my boss scott. Taylor was my boss. Okay. And you decided to, so he hired me and then, and then we became partners. Okay. Yeah. I just meant in the previous job he was, yes, he was, he was, he was, he was a partner in the other firm um functionally an employee like me. Yeah, okay. And um what was the process like of going into your own firm versus being an employee? We were able, thank goodness. And we’re very, very blessed to be able to take our clients and our and all of our relationships with us. So it was the way that the other firm was structured, we sort of had our own clients and our own team, so we were able to kind of travel around the country, shake hands with everybody and you know, tell them we’re leaving early to go out on our own and they were very supportive. Um and the senior partners that are old firm were also very supportive. So we were very lucky in that, in that, in that respect.

Um, we made some good decisions. I think early on we went into executive suites which were already furnished, already had internet and all we had to do was bring our computers and our files. Uh, we also used a professional employment organization which handled all of our payroll, handled all of our health insurance, did all the sort of HR and back office things that we didn’t know how to do and then sort of over time have, you know, gotten our own office space and hired people in house to do all the things that we had support on in the beginning. But it was sort of a gentler way to come into business ownership. So it sounds like that was a bit of a rush at the time. Is that accurate to say or not? No. We took about four months from the time we decided to get everything ready. And our plan was sort of, we were trying to accomplish something every day with the idea, you know, every day we’re going to, you know, whether it’s pick a name or pick a logo or decide on our corporate structure or find errors and omissions malpractice insurance. So we tried to kind of do something every day. I think what we underestimated was that as we grew, we are going to have to, you know, deal with different personalities, deal with being managers and being, you know, in charge of things like HR and hiring and firing.

I think we’ve certainly made a lot of mistakes in the hiring department. Um, we didn’t really understand exactly what we needed. We knew who we were and we worked together fantastically. We’ve actually never in 20 years had a dispute, but we didn’t really understand what we needed in terms of the people who were just overly optimistic. We meet somebody and assumed there were a lot like us and had the same work ethic and had the same attention to detail, and that was not necessarily the case. And how do you mitigate against that now? We are a lot more careful in our screening process. Um, we’re a lot more careful in our interviews. We really kind of ask detailed questions. We get into a lot more the substance. You know, if somebody says, I’ve made these types of motions or have negotiated these types of contracts or represented these types of parties, We ask a lot more questions about what they do, what they’ve done, what the issues are. Um, what kind of things have come up and that tends to reveal to us how much experience they actually have and whether they’re just putting words on it on a resume or whether they’re really, you know, they’re really experienced in the area that they want to be.

And it’s to me it’s all about honesty. You know, I’m happy to train somebody, I just need to know that going into that somebody I need to train. And there are people who come here who have more experience in other areas and less experienced in some areas. And we’re happy to train. It’s just difficult when somebody comes in and says, you know, I know these things and I’ve been doing them for years and then you find out that that’s actually not the case or they’re a nightmare to work with. The reason for the nightmare to work with that. Is that a personality cork sometimes can be, um, charming in an interview. But when you realize that you’re going to be dealing with it day in and day out, it becomes, let’s call it less charming. The reason for the, was it a rush question was because, um, when you said that you were, you were in employment with someone and then you decided to start your own firm. I was just thinking of The Good Wife. So have you seen it? Oh, it’s a good show. Um, and it really was, you know, we, we certainly were not. We didn’t broadcast what we were doing. Um, we, you know, told everybody sort of when we needed to tell.

Um, so we weren’t broadcasting it, but it wasn’t hostile, which was actually just lovely. I mean, we went to the senior partners and told them, you know, about two weeks before a month before. Okay, this is what we’re doing. And they said, well, we’re surprised you guys didn’t do this earlier. So that was very supportive and it’s honestly the kind of the same path that those two gentlemen had taken when they left, you know, 40 years earlier, a different firm and formed the firm that I was working at. So I think everybody sort of recognizes that it’s an if someone takes an opportunity, somebody is looking to do something little bit differently. You know, we went from a firm of 30 attorneys, most of whom, you know, neither one of us picked to work with to just the two of us and building a team the way we wanted to, like I said, many, many mistakes along the way in terms of team building. Um, but we’ve got a great, a great group here now and it’s people I genuinely enjoy working with. Would you say you’re a successful individual? I feel that way. I certainly feel that way. I think I am. Um and I think that, you know, one of the things that I feel makes me successful is my adaptability because, you know, the world changes clients, climates for things change.

Um, you know, clients change. So I think one of the things that’s been great for us is that we’re small and we have six attorneys here, so we’re agile. Um, we don’t have to go to a big management committee if we want to take on a new opportunity um if we want to, you know, offer something to a client that’s a service, that is not something that we have traditionally offered, but something that we know were competent in, we can do that without making it a vote. Um you know, among a big group of people. So I think that the adaptability and agility is sort of what has made the firm successful and I feel like I feel like a successful leader because I’ve sort of managed all of those changes, shifts, landmines, whatever you would call them. So I got a one off the profile, which is what’s one piece of advice about success you can share. I would say that tap into your resources, so meet people, you know, even if they can’t do anything for you in the moment or you can’t do anything for them, Meet and learn about people and connect with people because there are very few of us doing something that nobody has ever done before.

So there’s always people out there and I’m amazed that when you kind of, when you get vulnerable enough to ask for help and just share a challenge that you’re having. It’s amazing the connection you get with people because they’re willing to share that they’ve had a similar challenge or are having a similar challenge and can either offer some device or can sort of, you know, work with you through it because they’ve seen it. So I would say that, you know, success is not something you accomplish alone with your door closed, you know, with your head down. Uh success is something that, you know, there’s plenty of work to go around for everybody. I think competition is way overrated. I think that collaborating with people and connecting with people, you know, when when it’s not even something that you need, it’s just something that you enjoy or something that you feel it’s an investment is probably the greatest advice that I would give in terms of what, you know, how to, how to achieve success. I like this one because I’m very intrigued to know what your answer will be and it’s high, how has being a mother changed you as a lawyer and a business owner, I am softer than I was, I think um I think I’m also more intentional about my time, I think that for many years, you know, my my job with my focus and my firm with my baby and I think that, you know, having a now three year old at home just makes me a lighter person.

Um and I think it also, I think it’s also led me to be kinder, I mean I’ve always, I think known the innate value of relationships and being, you know, being kind and treating people well and acting in good faith, but I think having, you know, having my daughter has really heightened that for me because, you know, I would always want her to be treated kindly. Um and I don’t know whether it’s pregnancy or what, but I do. I feel like it’s softened me in a lot of ways and I’m much more empathetic. I think I’ve always sort of had a bond with my clients and always understood, you know, what they need from me and how to ask the right questions. But I think I have even more of a connection now and maybe it’s because I’m raising a little person. Well, thank you for the answer. It does make me think about that. You know, I think it’s, you know, I wasn’t I wasn’t expecting anything particular, I was just intrigued. It does make me think about who you might be. I mean, this might be a preconception of mine, but who you might be on the other side of the table against.

So, opposing counsel for lack of a better language on my part. How do you deal with someone who doesn’t have that philosophy and is out for out for blood, if you like. Mhm. I try to be disarming if I can. Um I try to very much stay true to my own personality. I mean, I have often used the line like, have we met before and, you know, it’s like, well then you can’t hate me yet. You know, let’s give me give me give me a little while and you can hate me then, but you can’t hate me for no reason. Um or you know, I had an attorney many years ago who introduced himself by, you know, sort of like sticking out his hand very aggressively and introducing himself with his name and my father is so and so and his father was a very prominent attorney and I said, oh, nice to meet you, I’m Daria Rosenbaum and my father’s Mark Rosenbaum and he said, who’s Mark Rosenbaum? So I don’t know who’s your dad? And he obviously expected that I would know who his dad was and I certainly did, but I just kind of wanted to, you know, just knock him off a little bit. I wanted to just make them a little either uneasy or you know, get like half a smirk out of him to kind of ease the tension.

So I try to be disarming when I can, I also try to be as logical as possible. I really try. I have, my clients are often emotional about what they’re going through or what they’re working on. You know, if it’s their business, it’s, you know, it’s very personal to them and they get emotional about it and if they have a dispute or, you know, they’re struggling because things are not working out financially or for a variety of other reasons, they’re very emotional. I try not to be when I deal when I’m very sympathetic to them, but I try not to when I deal with the other side, so I’m not going to, you know, be unnecessarily aggressive, you know, I’ll be zealous, but I don’t need to be unnecessarily aggressive. So I try not to adopt the attitude of the person on the other side and I try to sort of disarm it as much as I can. And there are some people you just can’t, I mean they’re just, you know, they’ve they’re they’re intent on being pit bulls and that’s just what they want to do. And you know, I think sometimes you have to just write it off as like, well that’s who that’s going to be and that’s not going to be my most pleasant matter that I’m handling. But you know, I do my job. So I would say that if you can disarm them or at least, you know, maintain your own personality, you don’t get off those calls or out of those meetings and go like, oh, I was embarrassing.

Why did I do that? Yes, better to decide who you’re going to be than let someone else dictate who that’s going to be right. I like that. I like that. And I think in real in reacting to somebody who is not behaving the way that you want to, you don’t want to I mean, you know, to borrow a baseball analogy, you don’t want to swing at a pitch in the dirt, you don’t want to get down and dirty with somebody you because when it’s not necessary, I just want to kind of maintain your cool and maintain your, you know, your ethics and your approach to things. I would say, well, I’m sure that is a great analogy, but it’s lost on me because I’m UK, I’m afraid very good point. Alright, can I come up with some other kind of, it’s fine. You made a great listen, if someone’s watching you and you don’t you don’t want you want you don’t want to chase it, you want to just, you know, you wait for your pitch, you don’t want to chase the ball. That’s, you know, it’s all the way down in the dirt. You want to just, you don’t want to let somebody drag you down to their level is probably a better way to say it if I’m not using the baseball analogy, but very good point. That’s that’s fair. I have to come up with some other sort of more universal analogy for that.

Some of your biggest business challenges so far, I would say, I mean, you know, the last two years have been tough. Um, you know, courts have been much slower here. Um, courts have been doing things largely virtually, there are some courts that are doing things in sort of a much more abbreviated way, so they’re not involving themselves in the cases as much as they would ordinarily things were taking a long time. I think managing client expectations, there has been a challenge. Um, just figuring out strategically what makes sense to get to the right result as quickly as possible without dragging something through court. So I’m always a fan of either mediation or negotiation and even arbitration, which can be binding um, if we, if it’s at all possible. So, you know, I try and there’s sometimes a case where I proposed mediation very early on, I spoke to the client understood the issue and said, you know what this needs to be mediated. This is just crying out for mediation. And it took us about 2.5 years before the other side said, you know what I mean? You mentioned mediation about 2.5 years ago.

It’s probably a good idea and I think it’s because we’re all recognizing that the courts are not fully up and running and are not working as efficiently perhaps as they had before. And then you’re not getting the same time with the judges or with the court staff that you had before. So I think it’s, it’s sort of led us to practice a little bit differently to advise the clients a little bit differently. And to really again, like I said, be adaptable to this is going to look a little different, but this is how we’re gonna get it done. So I think that that’s really been the most recent big challenge I’ve had to deal with and what you’re looking to achieve your goals going forward. Any thoughts there, I would like to continue supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. Um, I think that there are many people, everyone’s calling it the great resignation, many people who are looking to leave something corporate and go out on their own. And I’d really like to see us partner with those, those people early in their process to help them make that transition as smoothly as possible. I mean, I love thinking about the fact that when I help an entrepreneur or a small business owner, but I’m helping the whole family that, you know, there are, there’s maybe a spouse or maybe Children who are or, or parents who are relying on this business to be successful and I take that really seriously.

So I think for me what my goals are to do even more of that work. Um, in terms of the firm, I’d like to see it grow a little bit, I don’t really want it to be where six attorneys, I could see getting to 10. I don’t see getting much, much bigger than that because I like the family feel we have, I like the hands on approach. We have, you know, I like being able to walk into somebody’s office and kind of, you know, brainstorming issue with them. I don’t want us to get so big that we lose that personal touch. Um, but it’s just maybe from a little bit bigger and I’d like to just sort of continue that work supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses because it’s it’s so rewarding to me and hopefully it’s really rewarding to them as well. And in terms of something that those particular people can take away from this conversation and implement, what would you advise them to do, I would say build your network, you know, get in touch with people whether there are people who are at the same level of growth as you are in a small business or an entrepreneurship or solo Preneurship, people who are a little bit more experience for people who are a little less experienced, it doesn’t even have to be your industry, it’s just people who are like minded who are doing similar things because like I said, it’s amazing the resources that people will be willing to provide.

You don’t have to get online and start looking for the right payroll company or how do we do this or where do you get that from, where, who is your insurance broker? You can, you can ask people because they’ve they’ve likely vetted a lot of people and a lot of professionals that you might want to work with, you know, they may have dealt with similar challenges to you, whether it’s payment or whether it’s contracts or its relationships or it’s HR finances any of those things that somebody else has been through it. So I think just my recommendation is to open yourself up to those relationships, be willing to take the advice and mentorship of somebody with more experience and be willing to mentor somebody who has less experience because there’s always so many opportunities to learn in those, in those instances and I think that there is such a valuable relationships to draw on when you have a challenge. You know, if you can reach out to a group of people, whether it’s an organized group or you’re sort of own ad hoc group to say this is what I’m going through. Anyone else have an idea on this, You’d really be surprised at how willing people are to help. And I think that having that network just makes everything in being a business owner a lot easier.

Sometimes I do ask for closing thoughts, but I think that’s that’s pretty good as a as a closing thought for the day, if people want to get in touch with you or correct with you, where do they go? The best way is linkedin. So Dara Rosenbaum on linkedin or our website for the for the firm is RosenbaumTaylor.com. And I’m always happy to connect with new people and I always take my own advice which is to get to know people learn from people and, you know, really create, create a web of people who are sort of in your sphere so that when you need to make a referral or you need to get a recommendation or you need to tap into somebody else’s experience, you’ve got that there for everyone watching. Please review the links in the description and Dara, thank you for being a great guest today. Thank you so much. This was wonderful.