Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network. For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Michael Lasky of our member firm, Davis & Gilbert in New York!
In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
I feel privileged to be the trusted advisor on various litigation, employment, intellectual property and business law matters to many longtime clients of Davis & Gilbert, a substantial portion of which are in the media communications or financial services industries.
Who would be your typical client?
An entrepreneurial and fast growing company that is looking for legal counsel to guide them through new regulations, changes in the law and trends to help them grow and stay highly profitable.
What would you like clients and potential clients to know about you?
I try to approach their legal and business problems from their perspective, not mine.
What has been your most challenging case? Why?
Here are two that kept me awake at night. Defending the business model of a well-known worldwide transportation company in a lawsuit seeking to claim that the workers of the transportation company were improperly classified as independent contractors, instead of employees. Establishing that my client’s quantitative program for stock selection was a trade secret which he owned, and which was not unlawfully derivative from the quantitative model used by his former joint venture partner.
What has been your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Perhaps my first oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals which was a case I handled pro bono for the families of four nuns killed in El Salvador in the mid-1980s. The purpose of the case was to obtain records held by the U.S. government concerning the circumstances surrounding the tragic killings of the four nuns. I left the federal courthouse that day feeling as if I could conquer the world.
What do you do when you’re not practicing law?
Serving on the boards of non-profits, including the National Center for Learning Disabilities; singing in my synagogue choir; bicycling with my wife, Peggi; gardening; going to the theatre; reading; planning my next “off the beaten trail” vacation (in excruciating detail); and enjoying being with my 27 year old son and 30 year old daughter.
What would surprise people most about you?
That I manage to do many things when I am not practicing law.
What has been your most memorable ILN experience?
As I begin my third year as an ILN member, I hope and expect my most memorable ILN experience is yet to come. And I look forward to sharing it with fellow members.
What career would you have chosen if you weren’t a lawyer?
To be the next great American novelist….. or a Broadway theatre critic…… or a university president.
If a movie were made of your life, who would you want to play you?
I don’t have a clue. But in my acting days, I had a series of roles as character actors: Loneson PoleCat in Li’l Abner, Donald in You Can’t Take it With You and Dr. Chumley in Harvey. It’s amazing what can be done with good makeup!
How would you like to be remembered?
Someone who made a difference to his family, service to his friends, clients and in the community.