Who's an experienced and respected
securities and business lawyer
based in South Florida--
with a passion for practicing law?
Richard E. Brodsky
1805 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Unit 610
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
I'm not afraid...
... of trying cases,
...of opposing the Government,
...of facing large institutions represented by armies of lawyers.
I've done it all.
I've defended or sued large accounting firms and financial institutions and small businesses and individuals.
I've represented individuals and companies involved in SEC, FINRA and Board of Accountancy investigations and litigation.
I have represented clients in all sorts of business disputes, in both federal and state courts and in arbitrations.
Perhaps that's why I have been recognized by my peers in ranking after ranking of leading lawyers--AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell, recognized by
Chambers and Partners, Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms (U.S. News & World Report), Super Lawyers, and The South Florida Legal Guide Top Lawyers.
I've represented clients
in some of the biggest
of the last 100 years.
A Miami-based international bank steered hundreds of "private" Latin American clients to invest with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, Inc. Madoff claimed to achieve spectacular results investing in the stock market, missing almost every single market drop over nearly 20 years. Madoff was revealed to be a total fraud. Many clients of the bank, including three of mine, sued the bank for not understanding that Madoff's claims were "too good to be true."
A famous Wall Street Big Law firm represented the Bank. While most institutions in the bank settled with their former clients, not this bank. It tried to run their former "private banking" clients ragged. They dragged their feet and did everything they could to delay or prevent their own clients from getting to a trial--typical tactics designed to make their clients beg for a cheap settlement.
There were over 50 different plaintiffs represented by 9 different lawyers. The plaintiffs' lawyers chose me to be "Liaison Counsel." I was primarily responsible for developing and carrying out our legal strategy. I did everything from legal research and brief-writing to deposition-taking and -defending and to arguing in court.
After almost seven years of the Bank's delay tactics, we defeated the bank's motion for summary judgment--meaning that the bank faced jury trials in Miami. Immediately, the bank sued for peace. Every case settled.
ESM Government Securities:
ESM, a tiny government securities dealer in Ft. Lauderdale pulled off one of the biggest securities frauds in history with the active assistance of a partner in ESM's CPA firm, a major national firm. Cities and counties that had placed funds for safe-keeping with the securities dealer lost over $300 million.
Along with a New York law firm, I represented the CPA firm through three years of sustained investigations and litigation. The ESM fraud became national front page news.
I convinced the U.S. Attorney's Office not to indict the firm (the crooked partner pled guilty and went to prison for ten years). I convinced the Florida Board of Accountancy not to take away the firm's license, or that of a number of people at the firm who worked on the audits but did not know of their partner's participation in a fraud. I negotiated the settlement of the SEC investigation, in which the firm's ability to practice before the SEC was preserved. I helped litigate the dozens of civil actions that were settled within the firm's liability insurance.
Most importantly, the CPA firm--composed of hundreds and hundreds of dedicated accountants not involved in this fraud--survived and thrived.
A father and son from Miami pulled off an elaborate fraud that promised (and seemed to deliver) 45% annual returns from expert trading in the "gray market" for grocery and beauty products. Guess what? It was another total fraud.
Investors flocked to Premium Sales from all over. One man, who came to me when the fraud was discovered, raised over $150 million to put into Premium Sales. He insisted he did not know it had been a fraud. He had seen a warehouse full of grocery items and had hired the world's biggest law firm to advise him.
I successfully steered my client through the years of investigations and litigation. He was never indicted, never sued by the SEC, and never forced to pay a penny in damages. On my insistence, the settlement that the Receiver made with the partnerships my client had created to raise the money was carefully structured to permit the partnership to sue my client's law firm for malpractice, which resulted in a $20 million settlement with that firm.
Denver International Airport-a non-fraud!
I played a lead role in convincing the SEC not to file suit over the design and construction of the Denver International Airport.
The then SEC Chairman had said that the Official Statements for the DIA were a "poster boy for municipal securities fraud." The issue was whether the airport could be opened on a timely basis and within budget, based on employing an automated baggage handling system. (The Mayor delayed the opening because the automated system didn't work as expected.)
The SEC Staff investigated the City, the County and the bond underwriters, all represented by Big Law Firms. They all pointed their fingers towards my client, the Program Manager for the project.
I rolled up my sleeves, learned the facts, and proved to the SEC Staff that the Airport could have opened on time with the backup traditional "tug-and carriage" baggage handling system, and that my client acted in total good faith in saying, two years before, that the Airport could open on time and within budget with an automated baggage system.
The result: the SEC closed the investigation. There was no enforcement action against anyone--my client, the City and County, or the underwriters.
So much for the SEC Chairman's "poster boy for municipal securities fraud"!
So is it love or money that
keeps me practicing law?
I think it's L O V E.
Some of the things I love about being a lawyer:
Caring about my clients
Facing difficult challenges
Figuring things out
And if you ask "Who cares whether
you love being a lawyer?",
I ask "Would you go to a doctor
who doesn't love practicing medicine?"
Here's how I practice law.
I give my all to my clients. I think about their cases all the time. Clients want -- and deserve -- a passionate advocate. But passion alone won't do it...it requires hard, painstaking work.
Relentlessness and realism
I fight hard for my clients, but to represent a client effectively you must also be realistic. Every case has two sides. You've got to understand the strengths of the opponent's case and find out how to overcome them, and if your client's path to victory will be a struggle, you must inform the client as effectively and as early as possible.
Litigation is a means to an end: a good result for the client. For some (if not most) clients, a good settlement is better than rolling the dice at trial. But how to get to a good settlement? A great lawyer must prepare to fight to the end. From Day One, a great lawyer works towards figuring out a path to victory and relentlessly pursues it: digging deep into the facts and figuring out a creative legal theory that can lead to victory.
If a good settlement is the best your client can realistically hope for, your hard work is the only way to get one. And if the case doesn't settle, your client is ready for trial.
The judge or regulator--and the other side-- all will learn that if I tell them something, they can take it to the bank. (I don't sugarcoat things for my clients, either.) Being a passionate and effective advocate does not mean being a bully, a liar--or a mere cheerleader.
Any lawyer can be a loudmouth. But smart people see through such behavior and discount anything that that kind of lawyer says.
I've always found that "the truth and nothing but the truth" is a far more powerful and effective weapon than bluster.
I Know What it is to Make a Payroll
I'm in business. I expect to be fairly paid for my services. But I don't view my client's case as my business opportunity, and I know what it's like to make a payroll. So I work with my clients to arrive at a fee and billing structure that meets both their needs and fits their budget.
And don't be afraid to use
a solo practitioner.
Don't hire only a solo if your case is so big you need an army of lawyers.
But few cases truly need an army of lawyers. For those few cases, I'm not your lawyer.
But even if there's a lot of money at stake, you can safely use an experienced solo practitioner.
You may or may not get the same quality of work from a Big Firm as from an experienced solo. Who knows? But you'll probably pay more and you may be dealing with lawyers you never heard of.
Let's face it: firms with lots of associates and junior partners may be tempted by their economic model to use as many lawyers on your case as they can. I've been there.
But when you hire an experienced solo lawyer, you'll be dealing only with the lawyer you hired, there will be little or no wasted time, and no one else will be billing time on your case.
So you want to know something personal?
I was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1946. My dad was a lawyer and my mom an English teacher. I graduated from Brown University in 1968 and Harvard Law School in 1971.
I've been married to Peggy since 1972. She's a retired lawyer. We have two grown children, Jane and Ben, and five grandchildren. (Email me if you want me to show you their pictures.) Jane and Ben both went to law school and married law school graduates. See a trend here?
My legal career started in 1973 in Washington, D.C. at the SEC Division of Enforcement. We moved to Miami in 1981, and I've been in private practice--in small, medium and large (international) firms--since.
I was a solo practitioner for almost all of the time from 1995 through 2022. I preferred being my own boss and being able to focus my practice on one thing--serving my clients as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible. I have recently started slowing down but remain involved in cases of my choosing.
For fun, I follow politics, read a lot, play golf and write. I have published four law review articles since 2019, all dealing with various aspects of the securities laws, and several earlier in my career.
Peggy and I love to play with our grandchildren, do The New York Times crossword puzzle (she lets me do Monday to Wednesday and gives me a chance on Thursday) and, the situation permitting, travel.
I am active in civic affairs. I am a Trustee of the United Way and I was a member of the City of Miami's Finance Committee from 2012 to 2018. I have also been active in supporting candidates for public office.
I also do a blog, focusing on the law, politics and baseball. It's called http://www.splendidspitter.blogspot.com. It's named (loosely) after my boyhood hero, Ted Williams.