1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


The way I remember it, it was a Monday morning, about 9:45, when my intercom rang. "Mr. Silver" is here to see you," the receptionist announced.
"Who?" I inquired, while thumbing through my desk calendar.
"'Richie Silver'," she robotically replied.
"I don't have an appointment with a 'Richie Silver'...or with anyone else for that matter. Hold him for a minute, I'll get back to you." In a panic, I immediately dialed my assistant's extension. "Vanessa, who's 'Richie Silver'?"
"Is that a trick question?," she snidely retorted. "How am I supposed to know?"
"Vanessa, I was wondering if you had scheduled an appointment without telling me."
"Listen," she snapped, "in the five years I've been working for you, I've never done that. So, why would I start now?... Right? What do you want from me?"
"Ah," I stalled, "go out and tell this guy that I'll be with him in a few minutes."
Seconds later Vanessa was back on the intercom. "You've got a 'live one' out here," she whispered with nervous laughter. "He's not a happy camper...you're keeping him waiting."
"What's his story?" I asked, knowing that I could always count on Vanessa's catty penchant for sizing up my visitors with incredibly minute detail.
"Well...he's this good-looking guy, in his late forties, early fifties. He's short and slightly stubby. He's wearing a really expensive-looking, blue pin-striped, double-breasted suit, complete with a red handkerchief, black suspenders, and patent leather shoes. If you ask me, he's a little overdressed. By the way, the "get-up" had to cost him at least two thousand bucks. Oh, his fingers were only recently manicured, and...he's married."
"Vanessa," I interrupted, "I didn't want his vital statistics, I want to know why he's here!"
She stuttered momentarily, "He said he was in the neighborhood and wants to talk to you about a case."
"Let him in." I muttered in total frustration.
Moments later, the man who had been so accurately described entered my office with exaggerated flurrish.
I rose to welcome him into my office and motioned for him to take a seat. "Mr. Silver, how may I help you?"
"Lissen," he said with an undeniably unique cadence. "I'z come ta spick wit ya 'bout dis heer sitwation datsa prubblim."
"Oh?" I cautiously queried. "What 'problem' is that?"
"Dis heer ten-nant wanz outta his liss and weez ain't gonna let 'em do dat, yuz see?"
"What do you mean?" I reluctantly asked.
"Heez gonna try to brick his liss, but youz gonna stop him, see? I'z heard yuz goes ta Court, and dat yuz can get sum judge to stop dis heer ten-nant from leavin."
"Well," I interjected, "it's not that simple. In fact, forcing a tenant to comply with a lease could prove to be a lot more complicated than that. Injunctions are difficult to secure, particularly in the type of situation you've just described. No judge is likely to stop a tenant from leaving space. Based on what you've told me thus far, the Court will probably find equitable relief inappropriate since you will probably be able to recoup money damages."
As I continued with my analysis and questioning, I was able to ascertain that my mystery man was a "self-made" millionare from Brooklyn, New York.
"Ferrara? Nice name. Yuz I-talian?" He inquired with a smile.
"Italian-American," I responded. "Born in the U.S. of A."
"Ferrara. I'z tink I know ya fam-milly. Yuz in da bissnez?"
"I don't think so..., what 'business' are you referring to?"
"Truckin' 'n cartin'."
"Definitely not." I quickly replied. "I'm just an attorney."
"Dat's ok, kid, you just gotta help me 'fore dis turns worst. Yaz capice? Yaz gotta try dis fa me! Yeh, dis'll be difcult, but, lez givva try!"
After discussing additional case-related particulars and the terms of the firm's retention, I requested an opportunity to review all of "Richie's" documentation.
"This lease is unsigned!" I gasped.
"No prub-blim," he calmly retorted with a slow and majestic wave of his hand. "He ain't gonna deny it."
"The lease doesn't have a commencement date and doesn't even cite the amount of the tenant's rent." I continued.
"Not ta wurry," he regally and calmly consoled.
As I continued reviewing the documents, I stated, "Look Sir, you don't even have a description of the space the tenant occupies or the amount of square footage allocated for his use! I mean, the tenant's name isn't even filled in!"
"Baloney!" He continued to shout, "Dat jerk knows! He'z in dem der space! Da bum knows how much space he'z got and what he'z supposta pay! Listen, yuz askin' me too many questins! We nevva gotta round ta signin' da stupid ting, O.K.? Just get me dat order from da judge, udderwise someone's gonna ta be pushin' daisies."
The entire exchange was surreal. I pictured myself on a movie set in Hollywood. And it felt like I was living out a scene from "Goodfellas." But, as I returned to reality, I concluded that this was only an instance of life imitating art. And a poorly written version of the "screenplay" at that--unfolding right before my very eyes.
"Weez don't truss lawyers." He advised as he reached for his handkerchief. "In fakt, wez truss no-body. Ya heard me?"
As an agitated Silver wiped his perspiring brow, I replied, "That's probably a sound policy, ... but I don't think I can assist you."
"Iz dat so? Well, weez see 'bout dat." He rose from his chair, and exclaimed rather dramatically, "No-boddy! And Iz mean no-boddy, says 'no' to Richie S.!"
With that, "Richie" abruptly left my office, not to be seen or heard from for the balance of the work day.
Later that evening, as I exited the office building, a husky young man greeted me by name, quickly grabbed me by the arm, and guided me to an awaiting vehicle.
"Get in, Ferrara," ordered a familiar voice. It was Silver. "Weez gonna have anudder tahk." Before I could blink an eye, I was pushed into the rear of a plush blue Lincoln and immediately blindfolded.
"Weez gonna go for a ride," announced an adjacent passenger. "Richie's real mad. Yuz made him mad. He hates when ya lawyers tells 'em he ain't gotsa case. He gets like, mad."
Paralyzed with fear, I remained silent.
"Weez takin' ya to da 'facility' and weez gonna 'process' ya," warned another anonymous voice.
"Let's do him here!" Excitedly exclaimed another.
"This is not real," I reassured myself. "This can't be real."
"Oh, dis is real, kid..." Richie S. happily confirmed. "But itz nuddin' pursnal ... dis heer is juss bissnez ... just bissnez."
Still blindfolded, my remaining senses became intensely acute to what was happening around me. I could hear the beginnings of a metallic "click," then another. The sensation of helplessness was overwhelming.
Suddenly, without warning, I could see shades of light and began to hear a cacophony of recognizable sounds. From what I could tell, it was a young woman's voice interspersed with chirping sounds. "Am I dead?" I inquired.
"It's 6:30 A.M.," the disembodied voice responded. "It's partly cloudy, 35 degrees, the temperature is expected to go up to a high of 50, with the possibility of rain and thunderstorms...."
Once again, I had been saved by my trusty old clock radio. It was time for work.