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Profile: War Stories

September 8, 2008 New York Law Journal

Litigation partner Gary P. Naftalis was profiled in a New York Law Journal article entitled "War Stories". The eighth annual installment of this article series profiled some of the top lawyers in New York and lessons they learned early in their careers. Mr. Naftalis reflected on his first trial as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District, in which he was prosecuting an alleged counterfeiter. He confessed he borrowed heavily from 50's television courtroom dramas to set the stage for his first trial performance. The judge, he said, was not one to coddle a young litigator, and he failed to make use of the more experienced senior U.S. Attorney on the team. While he ultimately lost the case, Mr. Naftalis said it taught him a valuable lesson in preparing properly for a trial. In a word of advice to young lawyers, Mr. Naftalis said that no one is born knowing how to try cases and that extensive preparation is key to any trial. He also said that being yourself, and not what you think a lawyer should be, is essential.

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