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Member Spotlight
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On this page we share interviews by Board Member and
Labor & Employment Law Committee Co-chair Tejash V. Sanchala, Esq. 
with WCBA members about their experiences and insights.
The articles were originally published in the Member Spotlight column in
the WCBA's Westchester Lawyer magazine, We hope you are inspired by
their stories!

Tejash welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns.
He can be reached here.

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Michael H. Friedman, Esq.

 

 

Tejash: What is your current job and practice area?

Michael: I am a partner with the White Plains law firm of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, where I have been practicing for 18 years. I practice in the discipline of Trusts and Estates, with a particular focus on estate and trust litigation matters.

Tejash: How did you become an estate planning and estate litigation attorney?

Michael: From 1995 through 1999 I served as a court attorney to the Hon. Lee L. Holzman, then the Bronx County Surrogate’s Court Judge. I gained invaluable knowledge and experience under the tutelage of Judge Holzman and the entire Surrogate’s Court staff, and developed an interest in estate litigation. During my time as a court attorney, I went to NYU Law, at night, and received an LLM in Taxation, with an emphasis in estate planning.

Tejash: What is one of your favorite legal success stories?

Michael: As a court attorney in the Surrogate’s Court, I always enjoyed the monthly adoption calendar and the joy the adoptions brought to both parent and children, knowing that I participated in and helped to facilitate the process. I also get satisfaction from settling estate litigation matters where none of the parties walk away empty handed.

Tejash: Who were some of your legal mentors?

Michael: Judge Lee L. Holzman was a wonderful mentor and I learned immeasurably from both his patient judicial temperament and his vast knowledge of Trusts and Estates law. Also I was fortunate to have Robert G. Kurzman, a founding partner at KECL, as a mentor when I arrived at the firm. Bob Kurzman taught me the practicalities of the private practice of law and was a model for interacting with both clients and adversaries.

Tejash: If you were not practicing law, what would you be doing?

Michael: My kids tell me I should have been a sportscaster, or a late night television host. In reality, if I was not practicing law, I would probably be a teacher.

Tejash: What might people be surprised to learn about you?

Michael: That I also hold a Masters Degree in Teaching.

Tejash: What do you splurge on?

Michael: I try not to splurge, with college and potentially graduate school for three to pay for, but I do tend to splurge on family vacations.

Tejash: What is the best hour of your day?

Michael: Generally between 7–8 p.m., when we try to sit down to dinner as a family and discuss the day.

Tejash: What are some of your favorite movies?

Michael: So many, so hard to choose. I am a big fan of movies, and of all genres. In addition to the classic gangster movies (The Godfather, Goodfellas), some of my favorites include Shawshank Redemption, Marathon Man, and You’ve Got Mail. I also must admit, as the father of three daughters, a soft-spot for the Lindsey Lohan remake of The Parent Trap.

Tejash: What is your favorite meal?

Michael: Anything at Iron Tomato in White Plains. I can be found there most weekdays around 1:00 – 1:30.

Tejash: What are some of your favorite vacation trips ?

Michael: A family vacation to the Beaches Resort, in St. Lucia, when my kids were little. Lots of sun and fun. A winter family vacation to London a couple of years ago was fantastic, and was the first time in Europe for my kids and for me.

Tejash: What are three things you cant live without?

Michael: My wife, my daughters, and pizza!

Tejash: What is one of your favorite things to do in Westchester?

Michael: I love summer sunset dinners at one of the Hudson River-side restaurants. I also like to hike and bike throughout the trails of Westchester.

Tejash: What is the best advice you have ever
received?

Michael: Put down the script and actually listen to what other people have to say.

Tejash: What advice would you give to new lawyers?

Michael: Explore multiple practice areas and, if possible, practice within an area that you really like.

Tejash: What is one of your future ambitions?

Michael: I would like to become certified as a mediator and help resolve disputes.

Tejash: What is your favorite part of being involved with the WCBA?

Michael: I enjoy working with the committed lawyers on the Board and in the Association as a whole to maintain and improve the quality of the legal services that we provide to the community.




 


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