Hi, my name is Andrew Weltchek. I’m a partner in law firm of Cohen, Hochman, and Allen. I represent individuals and businesses in New York City who own property and have problems. They need to negotiate a deal, close the sale, resolve the dispute, perhaps go to court, perhaps not.
Often people will come to lawyers because they’re in a fight. But there’s seldom do we think about why we’re in the fight. Very often it’s simply because we’re angry. Somebody attacked us. Somebody took something from us. Somebody threatened us or our loved ones. Or we just think that we’re going to be able to get something. We’re going to be able to accomplish something that we feel like we need to do.
But we also seldom think about what the cost of the fight is. And that’s the role that the lawyer very often has to play. I used to work with a guy who said, We don’t practice real estate law, we practice real estate therapy. And when it comes to fighting, sometimes that’s what needs to be done. Because the other thing that we seldom think about is what is the cost of the fight. We find ourselves in the flight. We feel we must do it and cost comes second. But not if you’re going to be able to pay your lawyer.
And more to the point, quite aside from a lawyer’s self-interest, not if you want to end up better off than when you started. You have to think about not only what is the cost of losing, perhaps because nobody wants to face that. But in fact, very often you have to. But also the cost of winning. How much justice can you afford? How much effort and time and money will it take for you to accomplish the resolution of this fight?
Very often, the best thing that I can advise for people to do, the best help that I could provide is to help them to avoid a fight. To take care of business before it reaches a point where it’s going to cause a conflict. Or if you are faced with a conflict, trying to find a way to reach a resolution that doesn’t involve demanding results from the court. Because the court is — especially in the pandemic — is not available to help you very often and very seldom able to do so very quickly or efficiently or at a reasonable price.
So if you find yourself in a fight, you want to find a lawyer who is going to help you end up better off than when you started. Thank you. I’m Andrew Weltchek, a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Hochman, and Allen, and you can reach me on my cell at any time, 973-223-4567, thank you.