Attorney Brian D. Perskin recently sat down with Crain’s New York Business for an interview that delved into his 25 years as a New York divorce lawyer. Among the topics covered were best serving clients, the need for change in the family court system, and the overall changing landscape of divorce law.
Among the revealing points was Attorney Perskin’s process of only taking on clients he knows he can best serve. “I turn down many more cases than I take. Many lawyers take anyone. Divorces are expensive, and some lawyers are never able to do the amount of work they promise,” he told Crain’s, adding “That’s why clients get pissed off.”
On his careful care of his clients’ fragile state during the divorce process: “You realize for these people it’s the worst time in their lives. I know it’s going to get better for them… I also don’t take it personally. Clients can scream at me and I’ll call them up 10 minutes later and ask, ‘Are we OK?'”
Attorney Perskin also talked about his early career as a public defender and how that experience taught him about the unpredictability of the courtroom. He recounted the story of defending a client accused of illegal gun possession that took an unexpected turn when the arresting officer took the stand. “One thing I’ve learned over 25 years is that even if you have the toughest case in the world and you think you are going to lose, you don’t know what the judge will do. That is why people settle cases.”
The Changing Landscape of Divorce Law
Attorney Perskin also took time to address how divorce law has changed in the time that he’s been practicing. “In the past, you needed to prove a reason for getting a divorce. Just because you weren’t happy didn’t mean you could get one,” he says, also adding, “For instance, if all the assets were in one person’s name, then tough luck. Now anyone can get divorced if they are unhappy.”
He also recognized that the system is not perfect and that further changes could help efficiency and families who need swift legal action. “In New York, this lack of uniformity [in procedure] is clogging the system,” he admitted. “Real cases of domestic violence are not processed fast enough. Once that’s worked on, our jobs will be so much easier.”
Read the entire interview with Attorney Perskin at Crain’s New York Business here.
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