Ah, the pleasure of a big, multinational firm.
After four decades running a criminal defense firm, Miami attorney Donald Bierman thought he would join up with giant Greenberg Traurig come the new decade.
He didn’t even get to start.
Conflicts arose between his clients and those represented by Greenberg.
Bierman instead will join the boutique litigation firm of Waserstein Nunez & Foodman, requiring a move across the Miami River from the Brickell district to downtown Miami.
"I’m back to the smaller culture I’m used to where conflicts are rarely a problem," he said.
It took only two cases in which Bierman’s client interests clashed with the mega firm to sink the relationship before it even got started, he said.
Bierman was interviewed in the last five minutes he had with the firm he started with Miami criminal defense attorney Neal Sonnet back in 1970. He was heading out the door for a two-week vacation.
Partners Ed Shohat and Ira Loewy are joining Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine in Miami. The remaining partner, Sharon Kegerreis, is heading to Berger Singerman.
Bierman waxed nostalgic about the time he interviewed President Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell for a case involving wiretapping. The Watergate break-in had occurred but had not been yet been reported by the Washington Post.
Bierman said he planned to ask Mitchell if he had ever authorized any illegal wiretaps but never got around to it.
"No doubt his answer would have been ‘no,’ and that would have been another perjury charge," Bierman said.
Still, the famously foul-mouthed Mitchell spoke of his deposition to Nixon on the infamous Oval Office audio recordings, saying, "I was in Miami being cross-examined by two hoodlum lawyers."
Mitchell served 19 months in federal prison for perjury and obstruction of justice for the Watergate cover-up.