Letters to the editor Featured

10:03am EDT July 22, 2002

I read with great interest your article about the demise of what I considered one of the finest law firms in this city ["Death of a Business," SBN, October 1998]. I am proud to be counted among the list of original clients who stayed until the end.

As I look back over the years I can tell you that you were right on when you said that Stanley Schwartz Jr. was the leader and visionary for the Schwartz firm. The one thing I noticed as the firm started growing was that the priorities began to change a long time before Stanley Schwartz Jr. retired. As with many lawyers and law firms, billable hours became the priority in order to be able to cover expenses and the high salaries. The Schwartz firm was very much typical of what I have seen in many professional businesses. Whether it is greed or just being able to pay the bills, the clients' needs become secondary to the firm's priorities.

Of course, I will say that the client does have some responsibility to know what is going on, but more so than not, we, the small clients, get caught up in the web of too much regulation that creates this environment. But that is another story for another day.

I had tremendous respect for Stanley Schwartz Jr. He was a good friend, and I will always carry fond memories of him and the early partners. I learned a tremendous amount from him. His advice was impeccable.

I also made life-long friendships from the relationship and, to this day, I continue to have as my closest confidant and attorney a former partner of the firm. I hope that the death of this great firm that I grew up knowing as Schwartz and Schwartz will be a lesson to the other "great" law firms and professional groups in this community. You are sincerely missed by at least this loyal client.

Dennis Mellman