Getting to Know Andrew Schwartz of Gordon & Rees

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success.

You have to love a lawyer who brings his own eggs into work in the morning before defending the industry before a federal judge. Andrew Schwartz may be known for helping overturn the written dispute requirement within the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but there is a lot more to him than just being a staunch representative of the accounts receivable management industry. Read on to learn more about Andrew, just don’t judge him for his choice of football teams. At least they’ve won a Super Bowl.

Name: Andrew Michael Schwartz
Job Title: Partner
Company: Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP
Length of Time at Current Company: One and half years.
Length of Time in Industry: Nineteen years

How did you get your start in the industry?
As a new associate at my prior firm, I was tasked with defending a collector in a small matter in the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County. Through a combination of blind luck and a not very capable opposing counsel, my defense proved successful and my practice grew very quickly.

What is your career highlight so far?
Working on the Riccio v. Sentry 3rd Circuit Appeal to overturn a 21-year precedent in the 3rd Circuit.

When or how are you most productive?
I am a detail-oriented person and deadlines are paramount. I am most productive in the afternoon and evening.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
There are so many industry professionals that I truly admire, but at the top of my list are: Manny Newburger (for his expansive understanding of the law), Matt Jubenville at MCM (for his ability to see the big picture in litigation), John Chiara at Sage Financial (for his commitment to compliance), Peter Garland at Collecto, Inc. (for his industry knowledge), and Michael Kraft at CCS (for his ability to see several steps beyond the case at hand).

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
A personal strength is my ability to listen to the client to better assess their needs, to make sure I am fulfilling their objectives, and my ability to negotiate outside-the-box resolutions.

What do you like most about this industry?
When I am retained, it is usually after a lawsuit is filed. What I like about the industry is that debt collectors are very knowledgeable about the law, opposing counsel, defenses, and the value of claims. The environment of this industry is very professional when compared to other areas of law, where the clients have little knowledge of the claims foisted against them. Additionally, I like the people and have developed lasting friendships.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
Fee shifting. Fee shifting makes sense in the consumer protection arena with the caveat that the Courts police against excessive fees. Unfortunately, the Courts generally fail in this regard. I wish that the Courts would take a more active role in challenging the widespread excessiveness of fee demands as well as unjustifiable rates sought by consumer attorneys.

Describe a typical work day.
My typical work is generally atypical. My hours are long but rewarding. In the morning hours, I typically organize my files, reach out to clients and the opposition, review my calendar and put out “fires.” Later in the day, I tend to focus on tasks, answers, discovery, motions, depositions, hearings and settlements. Over the course of the day, I communicate with fellow counsel, clients and insurance representatives. Typically, I begin work at 8 am and end the day at around 10 pm. On the weekends, I do catch up work and try to get organized for and when possible get a jump on work for the coming week.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would still be practicing law or I would be a teacher.

What is your guilty pleasure?
As a Philadelphian, my guilty pleasure is being a long-suffering Eagles fanatic (admittedly, a step above being a forever-suffering Jets fan… but not by much).

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What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my first mentor in law: “Remember, when you win a case everyone loves you until you lose the next one.”

What are you currently reading?
I have been slowly — too slowly — going back over my college reading list. I am a graduate of the Great Books program at St. John’s College, so the reading list is extensive. I am presently re-reading the Philosophical Essays of Descartes.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you
My wife grew up on a farm and I have become a suburban farmer and official egg supplier of my law firm.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Randi Nine at McCarthy, Burgess & Wolff

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success.

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