New York City Bankruptcy Attorney David M. Friedman on Powerbroker Clients

In the upcoming issue of New York Metro Super Lawyers magazine, we interview David M. Friedman, a rabbi's son from Long Island, who heads the bankruptcy group at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, about his practice, his clients, and which businesses tend not to survive Chapter 11 filings. A preview:

You've represented some serious powerbrokers: Carl Icahn, Donald Trump. How do you handle them?

friedmanlowres.jpgYou have to give it to them straight. Successful people, especially those who have succeeded individually, tend to, like most people, surround themselves with people who tell them what they want to hear. You can't be one of those people. You're not serving your client if you just tell them how smart they are and how they're always right. So I deal with them the way I deal with all of the other clients: I give them my best advice, I expect them to follow it, and if they don't want to follow it, I tell them why they're wrong.

Frankly, I've found that almost all clients appreciate that. That's what they're paying for. You can really hurt a client, like a Donald Trump or a Carl Icahn, if you tell them what they want to hear.

Previous New York Metro Super Lawyers Q&As: