New York, on 19th September 2005
Dear Mr. Leitman Bailey,
It is with great pleasure and appreciation that I write this note to you. Having met you, my hopes soared that a life-long dream of owning my Mother´s apartment would come true. That I came to knock on your door was the start of my good fortune, having been recommended to your law firm, by a client whom you had successfully represented. He had a candy store and part of the sweet deal that you got for him, was in the proceedings against him, he came out not owing rent for over a year plus a substantial buyout. To get a good word out like that, in the middle of the street where I met this businessman, meant that you and your team at Adam Leitman Bailey Law Firm were meeting the needs of plain folk as he, as well as me.
You represented me with all odds stacked up against me. Wanting to purchase my Mom´s apartment which has been our home in New York for 36 years, meant a pile of paperwork. I am particularly grateful to your employee´s constant phone calls and his keeping me informed as to what was going on. Not only was this an uphill battle, but I also often thought not winnable. I had gone to another law firm here in Manhattan and after paying $5,000 -for nothing- I was advised that this case was too complicated and not to waste my time or theirs.
That´s when I met you at your office. You were eyes and ears to my story. Your employee was assigned to work with me and we went step by step. I know the number of phone calls he placed to my home, over 30. I taped them, hoping one day to write an article on the energy and personal interest at all hours, that your employee took in representing me. Never telling me that it was easy, your employee would finish always saying to me, “…hang in there!, we are doing our best!”. Indeed your firm was doing its best and after putting up a stiff upper lip, tons of resistance and producing documentation and thorough evidence, the other party agreed -it sounds so easy!- to sell me the apartment. With your employee present, I proceeded to have an important and humane encounter with the other party, where we shook hands and agreed on the deal. May I also add, that there was a lot of respect on both sides, and I could feel the other party´s acceptance of me. Everyone came out winning, but most important, I did.
I came to New York in 1969 as a Cuban refugee. The apartment at stake has been our home since then, when we were making our way into the American way of life, with its dreams and all the effort one has to pour in to achieve what one really wants. It is in the building that my grandparent´s lived their last years, where cousins, aunts and uncles made their first homes in the USA: where all the memories of starting over are planted. I had my Mother´s blessing to buy it and you made this family wish come true. Unheard of when one starts out as a refugee in a foreign land, I plan to hand this apartment over to my great nieces and nephew. You and your professionals have made it possible, that a family shaken from its Cuban roots, have a reference called home in New York City.
By writing this, I do wish to stress that your attorneys and assistants are more than mere law professionals, they are human beings whom I can relate to! My thanks to David, for having gone to closing with me, for Lauren, who accompanied me through the entire loan process and would constantly be on top of me reminding me where, when and why. Their kindness and their sincerity made also a difficult and cumbersome path, less thorny with a positive end in sight.
If I were to mention your law firm and describe it to anyone, I would identify it as the place, where the word “no” has no place. Where people with energy will sit with you and will find a way to make no, become a yes. May I congratulate you on your choice of professionals, may I also thank you for not having turned me away and for having also had the kindness of seeing that indeed, this purchase was financially sound, but so much more important, one close to my heart.
With best wishes for you and those at the Adam Leitman Bailey Law Firm,
CARMEN MARIA RODRIGUEZ
Daughter of Victor Rodrigue-Abreu, the person who informed President John F. Kennedy of nuclear missiles in Cuba, inciting the Cuban Missile Crisis