Catching up with Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck, LLP
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Catching up with Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck, LLP

Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck, LLP (“KDV”) is a Mansfield 2.0 certified (3.0 pending) national law firm serving business communities since 1986. Our seasoned litigators and legal practitioners place clients first, think like business people, and provide viable and innovative solutions that offer clients the best resolution possible. 

At KDV, we are passionate advocates for our clients and dutiful stewards of the law.  Equally important, we are committed to advancing our clients’ interests and our practice through the hiring, retention and promotion of lawyers and legal professionals from all backgrounds. To us, diversity is not an end, it is a means by which to achieve the high standards to which we subscribe. For more information on KDV, its practice areas, offices or attorneys, go to http://www.kdvlaw.com.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and recent social justice movement, our attorneys and staff have demonstrated their unflagging dedication to their family, their clients, their colleagues, and their communities.  

 

Brett Scher, New York Partner and Chair of KDV’s Professional Liability Practice Group

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

I learned that the City that never sleeps actually does sleep! I never thought I would see the day when the NY Court system (and the rest of the City) would grind to a halt, but it happened. Our Professional Liability group, however, did not rest. We shifted to remote practice and once we knew everyone was healthy and safe, we pushed ahead on our cases, getting several cases dismissed and settled as the pandemic loomed in the background.

*2. Your family;

Having teenage children who were always on the run and not interested in hanging out with their parents -- the pandemic has been a complete change in their lives. We've essentially spent the last 4 months/24 hours a day together and it's turned out to be the quality time that parents really don't get to enjoy with their children.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

Having to guide both a team at work and two teenagers has been the most complicated set of tasks I have ever undertaken. Switching from direct daily interaction with my team in the office to Zoom calls, remote meetings/court appearances/depositions, and communicating solely by phone/email/texts has certainly been an achievement that we are proud of. At home, I have certainly learned a new level of patience and understanding as we try to support our children as their lives have been upended (even more so than ours).  Even more importantly, as I have worked from home over the past several months, I watched the protests throughout the country that arose after the death of George Floyd.  The more I have read and watched, the more I have come to understand the racial inequality that exists in our country.  Our family has talked about how we can be more inclusive, what we can do to stop the inequality, and what our children can do to make sure that their generation does not perpetuate the inequality.

 

Christopher Nucifora, Co-Managing Partner of KDV’s New Jersey Office

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

I learned that we have exceptional people at KDV. The support and communication from the staff and attorneys during uncertain times is unbelievable. People have stepped up and balanced their work and families, which is not easy. I also learned that we have amazing clients. The overwhelming number of clients that regularly reach out to us to see how we are doing and to reinforce their support for each of us individually and our firm in general is special and will be cherished.

*2. Your family;

I learned that my children are growing up very fast and I am grateful for the family time we have. Having children and putting in many hours at the office, we all live very busy lives. You can sometimes forget how time flies. I cannot imagine having another time like this where we were able to spend quality time as a family without running around in our fast-paced lives. We make the very best of a difficult situation.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

I learned that it is very important to reach out and stay in touch with those that you may not see or talk to on a regular basis. Being supportive to those who need it is foremost. That is relevant to both business and personal relationships. I also learned that I really enjoy the little things in life. Just going to lunch/dinner or having a drink or a cup of coffee to catch up with people is what I miss. The relationships that you build along the way are what makes our lives extraordinary. Finally, I learned that good health is everything. We sometimes take it for granted, but without it we have nothing. We need to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally.

 

Iram Valentin, New Jersey Partner and Co-Chair of KDV’s Professional Liability Practice Group

 

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

How much can be accomplished remotely through virtual platforms, including meetings, conferences, hearings and depositions. At first, I believed these always had to be done in person, but as more parties agree to use virtual technology, it's becoming the norm. Even if the pandemic lingers, work can be accomplished.

*2. Your family;

How many fun things I could do with the kids that deter them from their electronic devices, including just taking walks, playing board games or basketball.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

How experiencing this pandemic has prepared me to perform under difficult circumstances. Hopefully, the pandemic will pass soon, and we will never experience an event like it in our lifetimes, but should there be difficult times in the future, I will be able to reflect on this period and say, "this too shall pass."

 

Ivan Dolowich, Co-Managing Partner of KDV

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

We have been fortunate as a firm that we have excellent technology to continue to service clients remotely. I also have spent a lot more time with attorneys at our firm as well as clients through Zoom which has fostered even closer relationships. Our attorneys, employees, and clients have a lot of courage and grit!

*2. Your family;

We have spent a lot of extra quality time together with my daughters and their significant others as they have been working remotely from our home. We are eating more meals together and even working out together.  While I cannot keep up with my daughters (or future son-in-law’s) working out with them has been fun!  My 82-year-old father had COVID-19 and is very fortunate to have survived. I am very grateful for his strength and courage, as he was able to return to work as a full-time pharmacist.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

It has been very gratifying to work on firm mentoring and D&I initiatives during the pandemic. I have learned more about our employees’ concerns, in particular regarding the tragic death of George Floyd, and how we as a firm can attempt to address those concerns. I have become more sensitized to what is going on with employees, clients, and outside counsel, as result of the pandemic.  Like all of us, the severity of this pandemic has made me realize what is important and how to better prioritize my time with family and at our firm.

 

Jennifer Sherven, New York Partner and Co-Chair of KDV’s Women’s Initiative

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

The COVID-19 pandemic has made me realize that I really can be productive at home even with many distractions. It has also made me realize that I miss the camaraderie that being in the office provides.

*2. Your family;

The pandemic has shown us how resilient our 3 young children are and has even brought them closer together. It has also shown that family time is often more valuable than our many prescheduled activities before the pandemic. We really enjoy each other's company.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

Even though the pandemic has provided significant challenges, I have found the many changes in employment law to be legally challenging and thought provoking. This is an exciting time to practice employment law.

 

Karol Corbin Walker, New Jersey Partner

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

I learned that due to KDV's prior investment in technology, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic did not impede our ability to continue to perform the same high level of excellent legal work for our clients. Having electronic files enabled us to not miss the proverbial "beat." During the remote environment, my team and I, as well as others in different KDV offices communicated more frequently than we previously did.  In addition, while witnessing the horrific public murder of George Floyd, I felt deep seeded emotions, the likes of which I had never previously experienced. While tragic, this incident incited a global movement for equality for the Black community, and spawned a national conversation about race, which is much needed. I was pleased that KDV went beyond issuing a statement condemning racism and conducted a Forum on Racism.  The unity of the protestors, that encompassed various races, gender including sexual orientation, social economic status, and etc., gives me hope that meaningful and sustainable change will occur to eradicate and dismantle institutional racism and injustice in every corner of our society. 

*2. Your family; and

I learned that spending more time with my loving family was much more enriching than I could have ever envisioned or imagined. I am so blessed that the time home has provided me more of an opportunity to be with my groom to whom I will be married 35 years this year. He has truly allowed me to love more deeply.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

I have learned to be more patient and flexible as an attorney and a person. Seeing how fragile life can be during the pandemic, as a person, I have become more grateful for the things that money cannot buy, such as a loving family, friends, faith, hope and resilience. As an attorney, I have incorporated that same sense of gratefulness into my practice and while still a forceful advocate, I now look at certain situations with a bit more compassion.

 

Mary Jo Barry, Co-Managing Partner of KDV’s New York City Office

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

Working from home is quite new for me. I learned I could actually do it and work without distraction when I put my mind to it. Working at home has also provided me with far more time with my family - taking away the hours that used to be used commuting has opened all sorts of possibilities. I have also gotten to know many of my clients on a more personal basis as quick emails or quick phone calls have now lengthened into more personal phone calls. I am also very proud of how professional, hardworking and capable everyone has been - staff and lawyers -- as we all try to navigate the new normal.

*2. Your family; and

My grown sons have returned home to work from home and get away from their small apartments and it has been wonderful to get to know them as working professionals. While not everything has gone perfectly smooth and we have all had to learn to accommodate each other’s work needs and privacy needs, it is a gift to spend this time with my family. My family is also starting to better understand my work.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

I think I have become a better attorney to my clients, a better partner to my colleagues and a better spouse and mother to my family as I have shaken off old routines and expectations and sought balance between home and work (that are now in the same place) to deal with all my work and home responsibilities.

 

Michael Kaufman, Co-Managing Partner of KDV

What have you learned in the past few months about:

*1. Your work;

I had never worked from home before COVID-19 and have enjoyed the opportunity. I learned the key is having excellent communication and being flexible about work times, because people you work with have many different responsibilities, including many individuals that have childcare and parent responsibilities. I also learned that many people were deeply affected (hurting) by the death of George Floyd and I have been doing a lot of reading regarding racial inequality. I learned to have more empathy.

*2. Your family;

This was a unique opportunity to spend more time with my wife and kids. We probably had more dinners together during this period than I had in prior years combined. I forgot how wonderful it is to have regular family dinners. I have enjoyed cooking and we also did a lot of bike rides and puzzles together. I learned to be more patient and to enjoy my down time when it was available.

*3. Your growth as an attorney and person.

Excellent lawyering and mentoring can be accomplished while working remotely. You just have to have strong communication, be flexible about work time and understand people are being affected in different ways. I have become a better listener.