VOL. 123 | NO. 41 | Thursday, February 28, 2008
Memphis Law Talk
Rosenblum Prides Practice On Representing Plaintiffs 'The Right Way'
"We are blessed in Memphis to have a tremendous amount of plaintiffs' lawyers that do it the right way. We feel like we do it the right way."
- jeff rosenblum
Name: Jeff Rosenblum
Firm: Rosenblum & Reisman Attorneys at Law
Basics: Rosenblum was named in 2007 to the Super Lawyers list by Law & Politics for a second consecutive year.
Jeff Rosenblum was named to the 2007 Super Lawyers list by Law & Politics late last year, his second consecutive year named as a Mid-South Super Lawyer.
He and partner Marc E. Reisman founded Rosenblum & Reisman Attorneys at Law in 1998. It's an enterprise Rosenblum described as a "real plaintiffs' law firm."
Rosenblum just finished a two-week product liability civil trial, something he had been preparing for over a three-year period. While the verdict went against Rosenblum's client, it wasn't a complete loss.
"I'm pleased that we had the courage and the ability to have our day in court," Rosenblum said. "It only inures to our benefit in the future. It tells defense lawyers that we're not afraid to try a case. It tells the judge that we know how to try a case. ... If I don't lose cases, I'm not trying enough cases."
Q: Define what you mean by a "real plaintiffs' law firm."
A: We want and think we have developed and built a firm that is going to provide people who have been injured ... with the same quality representation as the defendants in these types of cases have been enjoying for years. When you look at the way that I think historically plaintiffs' attorneys have been looked at - ambulance chasers - not typically today but historically, have been the kind of lawyers that aren't willing to put in the type of work necessary to prepare a case for trial. ... We are blessed in Memphis to have a tremendous amount of plaintiffs' lawyers that do it the right way. We feel like we do it the right way. Historically, plaintiffs' law firms and plaintiffs' lawyers have not had the reputation of working as hard, being as smart, being as prepared. And we wanted to change that. If you start filing lawsuits for the sole purpose of trying to get a quick settlement, you're not going to get a fair-market value settlement. And you're going to get a reputation of filing lawsuits where you're not really intending to go to trial.
Q:What is your practice area?
A: Catastrophic personal injury, civil rights and medical malpractice. Our firm does criminal defense. I don't do any.
Q: What size cases do you handle?
A: There is absolutely a need in our community for small cases. I don't want those kinds of cases. We can't be bogged down by handling hundreds of thousands of cases where we can't give the personal attention to each and every client we have.
Personal injury deserves personal attention by a lawyer who is going to be creative, who at the beginning of the case maps out, "This is what this particular case needs in order to prevail." (It's) not the same little checklist in every single case: Let's order the medicals, let's put together a settlement package. Let's send it to an insurance company. There's an absolute need for that type of firm. And the firms that do that, they're great because those people would not be able to get a lawyer otherwise.
Q: You clerked for federal Judge Robert McRae. What did you learn from that experience?
A: I was in that courtroom for the last two weeks. It was special to be in that courtroom. I would, as a young lawyer, work late, go into that courtroom and I was F. Lee Bailey. I would argue cases back then to jurors who were not there. The federal courtrooms that we have are incredible in size and in history. McRae was absolutely brilliant. He was not always patient with lawyers. What I learned in my very first job was that if you do things the right way every day you will gain the respect of judges, which is more valuable than winning a singular case. I learned at an early age that my reputation with these judges was the singular most important thing I had to develop, more so than my cross-examination skills, more so than my closing arguments.
I was his last clerk before he went to senior status. If there was a motion for summary judgment, we would write a proposed order. That was one of our main jobs. Then that proposed order would be read and he would either agree with it or not agree with it. Everybody had computers in 1988 and we were dictating in 1988. He didn't want me or any of his law clerks to dictate a proposed order whereby his secretary would have to listen and type it out. He wanted us to handwrite it or we could type it ourselves. Then when a case would get an appeal, and a lot of our cases were appealed, he would send me these great little notes. He would say, "I got affirmed." And if we got reversed by the (U.S. Court of Appeals for the) Sixth Circuit, he would say, "You got reversed."
Q: Where did you attend undergraduate and law school?
A: Vanderbilt University for my undergraduate degree and I graduated from the University of Tennessee for law school.
Q: Is there a person you would most like to depose or get on the witness stand?
A: My inclination is to say President Clinton or even Hillary (Clinton), just because of the flip-flopping nature; it would be a real challenge. There wouldn't be a straight answer. There are some judges we have that are as kind as they can be and some that have not always been so kind to lawyers.