My name is David Rosenfield. For over 15 years, I have been a white collar criminal defense attorney at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, a mid-sized law firm in New York City. I was a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey in Newark, NJ for 12 years, where I prosecuted a series of securities and bank fraud cases. I recently watched Justin Paperny’s interesting and insightful video entitled “12 Questions to Ask a Lawyer,” was intrigued, and thought it would be worthwhile to give my take on those questions. In my view, perhaps the most important of the 12 questions is the question, “Is this more than just a job for you?” It is. Indeed, it has to be since my clients’ liberty, and often their financial viability, is at stake.

I’m proud of the work that I do as a criminal defense attorney, just as I was proud to represent the government for many years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. While it’s certainly necessary to prosecute those who commit crimes and defraud individuals or the government, it’s just as important to defend individuals being investigated for or accused of crimes. One of my most important jobs as a criminal defense attorney is to serve as a check against government overreach, which at times is a real issue. Not every criminal investigation is appropriate, and not every prosecution is justified.

My work as a criminal defense lawyer is much more than just a job for me for a number of reasons, such as the following:

• The stakes for my clients often could not be higher because their very liberty may be at stake, the potentially devastating impact on their families is an issue, and the likely adverse financial impact must be considered.
• Not surprisingly, my clients and their families often face significant emotional and psychological issues.
• My clients are often scared and confused, don’t know what to expect, and may face intense pressure from the government to quickly cooperate and cut a deal.
• The government has unlimited resources, and my clients don’t.

Given the foregoing, how could my work as a criminal defense attorney not be more than just a job for me? I see myself as not only an attorney for my clients, but also, at times, as their confidant, psychologist, and friend. Having done this work for decades, I have learned how to attempt to best assess each client’s situation – such as reaching out to the prosecutors, reviewing the available evidence and debriefing the client. I then give the client my preliminary thoughts on what is going on, the issues faced, and the best way to consider proceeding. I fight as hard as I can for my clients, stand up to the government when necessary, protect my clients, and work hand-in-hand with them.

I love what I do, and really enjoy working with my clients and helping to guide them through whatever situation they are facing. I can be reached at drosenfield@herrick.com, 212-592-1513.

David Rosenfield

The views expressed in this article are solely my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of my law firm, Herrick, Feinstein LLP.

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