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Photograph by Jim Salzano

…a lawsuit is really great fun. It brings some interest into life, with coming and going and raging over it.  You will have a great deal to do…” –  Honoré de Balzac, The Country Parson and Albert Savaron

On September 13, 2007 I sat down with my lawyer to sign the lawsuit I call Fein v. The Skush-O’Briens. (To be free to spill the beans about everything and everyone, I’ve changed almost all the names except mine. The spiffy faux noms such as “Skush-O’Brien” are on loan from Damon Runyon.)

Fein v. The Skush-O’Briens was a righteous complaint against the new majority shareholders in the Greenwich Village townhouse co-op where I lived. I had been a happy minority shareholder and board member since 1988. The new shareholders, a family of three, bought into the co-op in 2004 and by mid-2004 had breached a number of co-op laws. They would continue to breach nearly all of them. By 2007 I was forced to sue them.

“I’m so excited!” I spontaneously exclaimed to Miss Billy Perry, the young legal associate who researched and wrote the lawsuit. She looked alarmed. “I don’t know if a client should be excited about suing, exactly,” she said.

I laughed and assured her I was OK. I am so down with the legal system I have a permit to get excited. You see, I’m an expert in the art of lawsuits.

And in Sidebar For Plaintiffs I’ve been telling you everything I know about the whole shebang. I’ve been taking you through many stages of the legal process – including some stages lawyers don’t even know about.

After getting hooked on Sidebar for Plaintiffs, you’ll never look at a lawyer or a lawsuit in the same way again.

On December 29, 2014–seven years after I filed the complaint–my lawyer and I settled the lawsuit for over $900,000, precisely what I had been asking for. The instrument through which the settlement was made was a sale of my co-op apartment to the defendants.

My lawyer asked me, “Are you sure this will be good for you–that you won’t regret it?” I said, “I’m sure,” and, indeed, I have never regretted it.

By the way, your readership of Sidebar has been gratifying. Over the past year, the monthly hits average over 100,000 and have gone as high as 400,000.

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