My Attorney Bernie
…was a jazzy song written by Dave Frishberg (who also penned “I’m Hip” and other witty ditties) which I first heard at Dick Gibson’s Colorado Jazz Party when my wife and I attended with our guests Joan and Bernie Levine. My wife also enjoyed (but thought it a bit odd) when the Levine’s were our guests for an expensive dinner every year… on our wedding anniversary.
Bernie was my attorney in the sense that he incorporated my little business in 1972, then only billed me for a few matters over the rest of his life until his health kept him from working.
Bernie served a long list of prominent clients whose businesses and success far exceeded my small office. He was my friend and counselor.
Most of our “business” was transacted in one-minute calls that he would always take. I would state my name and ask my question, then he would answer the question and I would say thank you and hang up. Many times, he had the answer before I had finished the question. He never billed me for these. He was practical and frugal. Over the years he bounced around several non-palatial offices downtown.
In life, he invested in his family, trips with Joan, and a lot of weird abstract modern art hanging on the walls of his nice house. He liked jazz and the symphony. He had shelves full of records of each and attended many concerts. He and Joan would fly to New York to see a couple of shows (he had a sweetheart lodging arrangement with his former senior law partner’s daughter).
He always said he did not want to litigate. He was practical and he found ways to solve issues. The saddest day of my business career occurred in 2018 when I tossed dirt from the back of a shovel. I miss him every day.
-Bernard P. Richter 2022