Interview with Attorney Leonard Matsuk

What made you want to become a lawyer?

I've felt since high school that my calling was to be a part of a process to defend citizens from government abuse. From over reaching, over charging or over punishing us for non-violent conduct increasing made illegal and over regulated. Being a criminal defense lawyer allows me to stand up for the ordinary person.

In your opinion, what sets your firm apart from the rest?

We, myself and legal team, have a combined experience and expertise level of nearly 100 years. My staff has been with me for over 20 years each, and individually are tops in their field of expertise. We have the know-how, energy and experience to understand how the system works and the ability to make it work for our clients. We thrive on getting extraordinary results because we are committed to having satisfied clients.

Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of:

We represented an 18 year old young man wrongfully charged with first degree murder of a class mate. The case, because of the nature of the offense, drew international press coverage. Fortunately, the family had resources to allow us to fully investigate the matter more thoroughly than the police did in this case. Following a two-week jury trial, our client was not only found NOT GUILTY—but we were able to identify the true killers to the police. They were later prosecuted and sentenced for the murder. My client and his family appreciate to this day how fortunate he was to have escaped a wrongful conviction.

What steps do you take to prepare for a difficult case?

We prepare every case as if it's going to trial before a jury. We try to outwork the prosecution. We employ the latest in technology, forensic science and use experts to assist us in working up the case. We leave no stone unturned. Experience and hard work are the key to success.

What advice do you most often give to your clients & why?

We educate our clients on how the system works. Often we spend considerable time meeting and consulting with them. We teach them that the process can be long and frightening but that patience and preparation will usually win in the end. Our staff makes sure all phone calls and e mails are answered promptly. We want to minimize the anxiety and stress.

How do you view your role in the attorney-client relationship?

I am the director. I take the lead role in meeting with and communicating with the client. My staff is there for support. The client knows that I am available to them at all times as needed. I take them through the system and back to their lives.

Tell us about a turning point in your career:

Every day is a turning point because I always learn new things from my clients. I try to appreciate the situation my client is facing and understand that they are counting on me to do my best to help them survive an ordeal that is life changing to them.

Why should a prospective client choose to work with your firm?

The practice of law—especially in the courtroom—requires much training and experience. A good trial lawyer is a "seasoned' trial lawyer, having spent years in court learning the skills required. Law school alone does not give you experience. Like airline pilots and heart surgeons, a client is in much better hands with a pilot or surgeon with considerable experience and seasoning. Over 30 years experience means we've seen practically every type of case out there.