Chuck Otey's Pro Bono Barrister: Praise for Markowitz, LawSub

Marty Should Really Be New York City Tummler! 

While Brooklyn looks forward to the tenure of new Borough President Eric Adams, there is still lingering talk about having outgoing B.P. Marty Markowitz declared New York City’s “Official Greeter.”

Will Mayor Bill de Blasio make this appointment? It remains to be seen, but it seems to us that Marty’s swan song has been sung. In fact the tune, words and all, arrived in the mail last week! The words, to the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas" beautifully sum up the achievements this borough has seen throughout his rein.

It’s rhythmic and accurate, one of the best outgoing literary efforts by an office-holder that we’ve seen. So, as a tribute to Marty, and a salute to the writer who composed it, here is the “The Twelve Years of Marty”:

“In the twelve years of Marty who would have thought we’d see, MTV in Brooklyn, Barclays is booming, Nets playing downtown, GQ (the magazine) said we’re cool, Too Many Bike Lanes, Donna Summer singing, Cruise ships in Red Hook, Tourist destination; FUH-GEDD-A-BOUD-IT. Coney came alive, Foodies all rejoiced, Leaving Brooklyn--Oy Vey, and the hippest zip is one...one...two...!"

Based on the foregoing, and much more, it would seen that the irrepressible very outgoing former B.P. deserves a break from public life. So does wife Jamie. The so-called “Official Greater” post is a stuffy diplomatic sinecure that requires a stuffy bureaucrat, a “proper” person, someone lacking the spontaneity and wit of Marty Markowitz.

In truth, as we’ve said many times here, if he’s appointed to anything, he should be named New York City’s official tummler.

So, what’s a tummler? Googling for help reveals some definitions. One says that “Tummler is a Yiddish word used to describe a person who catalyzes others to action. Tummlers were traditionally hired at Jewish weddings to encourage everyone to dance. It has been most popularly used in reference to comics in the Borscht Belt who warm up the audience, involve them in their shows and spend the week connecting the people staying at these camp-like resorts...”

Another explanation more accurately demonstrates the Markowitz style, seeing a tummler as “A person who makes things happen, in particular a professional entertainer whose function is to encourage an audience, guests at a resort, to participate in the entertainments or activities.”

If anyone has stirred citizens to action the past 12 years, it’s been Marty Markowitz.  I hope we can all agree on this apt title: NYC Tummler In Chief Marty Markowitz!!!

Jordan Tucker’s LawSub big help to trial lawyers

In keeping with the theme of the BBA Internet program, many lawyers are enthusiastically considering the benefits of an idea aimed at the small practitioner. Trial lawyer Jordan Tucker and a few friends have figured out a way to enable beleaguered trial attorneys to get solid professional help, not just adjournments, when faced with tricky calendar conflicts.

Barrister Tucker just may have come up with the right idea at the right time: LawSub! Jordan first mentioned LawSub to us at an Inns of Court CLE gathering. As he explained it, this basic but innovative concept would take advantage of the Internet to ease the workload of solo and small firm practitioner. (And one needn’t be a web wiz to use it!)

Patiently, he outlined an approach which seemed at once practical and valuable. Later, in response to my questions – based on decades of running from Supreme Kings to Supreme Bronx and then out to Supreme Queens in the same day!! --  Jordan forwarded his basic business outline entitled "Introducing a Revolutionary Paperless Resource for Practicing Attorneys.”


Jordan Answers Questions About Use of LawSub

To my first question of who owns LawSub, Jordan responded that LawSub is owned by himself  “and two others...a solo attorney in a litigation practice; and the third is a self-proclaimed computer geek, who is in the business of servicing the computing needs of law firms and others.”

Question Two: Who checks up on other attorneys? “All members are vetted for appropriate licensure. Right now, LawSub is designed to help you with your more routine appearances (i.e. conferences, discovery motions, etc.). A system for more complex matters that requires pre-qualification is (being designed  for the (near future).”

Question Three: Who’s Joining LawSub effort? “As it turns out, the majority of members that are picking up LawSub appearances are regular per diem attorneys who are supplementing their practice. A few are practicing attorneys that have their own case to appear on [that day] and will pick up another(appearance), because they are in the courtroom anyway, so why not make a quick $50?"

Question Four: LawSub is a new idea, and we wonder what are the big problems to date? “There have been no negative incidents so far,” he answered. “Our rules, outlined within the ‘How It Works’ section, read as follows: ‘Accountability: There is an unconditional expectation of professionalism and follow-through (appearing, sending orders, etc.)’”

Question Five: What are the costs of using LawSub? “Posting an appearance is only $55, and $50 is paid per appearance covered,” says Jordan. “As an incentive to join, and for a limited time, new LawSub registrants can post their first case for only $35 and LawSub will pay the rest. Membership is free, there is no subscription and all services are a la carte. The sign-up process is quick and easy, and the web site is intuitive to use, paperless and secure.”

Other refinements are on the way but LawSub is up and running and it works “very well,” another colleague told us. “It saves a lot of money,” the solo practitioner told us, “and a lot of travel!”