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The Art of Advocacy and Arbitration in High-Stakes Financial Disputes With Erwin J. Shustak

The Art of Advocacy and Arbitration in High-Stakes Financial Disputes With Erwin J. Shustak

June 12, 2024   |   Written by Gladiator Law Marketing
Erwin J. Shustak

Erwin J. Shustak

Erwin J. Shustak is the Founding Partner at Shustak Reynolds & Partners, with nearly five decades of experience in securities, finance, and financial services law. Based in California and New York, Erwin represents institutions, broker-dealers, investment advisors, and victims of financial fraud. With a history of standing up to bullies since junior high, Erwin finds satisfaction in advocating for the underrepresented. He is also an arbitrator for FINRA, skilled in settling sophisticated financial cases, and has a notable track record of solving intricate disputes.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • [1:25] Erwin J. Shustak shares how and when he knew he wanted to be an attorney
  • [2:45] Key qualities that define a successful advocate
  • [3:48] The entrepreneurial aspects of building a successful law practice
  • [10:30] Learning the magic of settling a case as a new lawyer
  • [13:43] Handling complex financial disputes and achieving significant client victories
  • [20:08] How being an arbitrator can shape a lawyer’s perception of justice
  • [23:49] The evolution of securities and financial regulatory law over time

In this episode…

Facing high-stakes financial disputes can be overwhelming for clients. How can an attorney provide effective advocacy and navigate the complexities of arbitration to secure the best outcomes?

According to Erwin J. Shustak, the key lies in relentless dedication and a deep understanding of both legal and human elements. He emphasizes the importance of empathy and strategic communication, noting that successful advocacy involves not just aggressive representation but also wise negotiation. Erwin highlights that observing different styles and asking the right questions as an arbitrator has refined his approach. By combining aggressive tactics with strategic negotiation, he has consistently achieved favorable results. This method underscores the importance of presenting a compelling case while understanding the nuances that influence decision-making.

In this episode of 15 Minutes, host Chad Franzen speaks with Erwin J. Shustak, Founding Partner at Shustak Reynolds & Partners, to discuss the art of advocacy and arbitration in high-stakes financial disputes. They explore Erwin’s journey from a young lawyer to a seasoned arbitrator, the evolution of securities and financial regulatory law, and the critical skills required to manage a law firm effectively.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mentions:

Quotable Moments:

  • “I won’t back down. That’s a skill set not everybody has, and it’s one that serves my clients well.”
  • “It took me about 15 years to become truly mature enough to be an effective advocate, not just an aggressive one.”
  • “If you can’t write, you can’t work here; we hold the highest standards for our product and presentations.”
  • “Every lawyer must really understand what lawyers do; it’s not portrayed accurately in TV shows.”
  • “My work today is driven by the same reasons as when I was in my 20s, and I still find joy in what I do.”

Action Steps:

  1. Adopt empathy in advocacy: Cultivating empathy can improve one’s ability to understand and represent clients effectively. Empathy allows lawyers to connect with clients on a deeper level, fostering a justice-driven approach that goes beyond mere legal representation.
  2. Enhance communication and writing skills: Effective oral and written skills are crucial in arguing cases and articulating compelling narratives. Mastering these skills ensures clarity and persuasiveness in legal arguments, often leading to more favorable outcomes for clients.
  3. Gain diverse legal experience: Engaging in varied legal roles, such as being an arbitrator, can provide valuable insights into presenting and resolving cases. Exposure to different perspectives strengthens a lawyer’s ability to evaluate cases objectively and negotiate from an informed position.
  4. Stay informed on regulatory changes: Keep abreast of legal developments, especially in specialized fields like securities law. Continuous learning is key in the ever-evolving legal field, enabling lawyers to offer current and knowledgeable counsel to clients facing new challenges.
  5. Develop a niche expertise: Specializing in a niche area can make one a go-to expert and bring a competitive edge within the legal industry. Focusing on areas like securities law positions lawyers as authorities, attracting clients seeking specialized expertise and the potential for higher success rates.

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. 

To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition. 

To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com or schedule a free marketing consultation. You can also send an email to adam@gladiatorlawmarketing.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01

You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.

Chad Franzen  0:13  

Hi. Chad Franzen here, one of the hosts of Share Your Voice, where we talk with top notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, delivering tailor made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experienced outperform the competition. To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com, where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Erwin Shustak is the Founding Partner of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, a national law firm with offices in California and New York. Erwin and his firm practice in the areas of securities, finance and the world of financial services are one has practiced for 47 years and hadn’t handled securities, financial and business disputes across the country. clients include financial institutions, broker dealers, investment advisors, and financial fraud victims. And oh boy, has he seen it all. Hey, Erwin, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?

Erwin J. Shustak  1:18  

Good to be here. Thank you, Chad.

Chad Franzen  1:20 

Hey, tell me as we get started here at how and when you wanted to become an attorney.

Erwin J. Shustak  1:25

Very young actually. It really, it really, I was drawn to the law. You know, when I was a kid growing up, as most people in junior high school in high school were bullied. It really bothered me that they were victims, and they were people that were stronger or appear to be stronger that would take advantage of them. And I felt that I could best serve people, which is what I wanted to do, by being their advocate by sailing between them. And the people that were trying to take advantage of them or push them around. And that really resonated with me partly, partly, I was thinking this the other day, there was a show on in the late 50s, early 60s with Richard Boon, it was called Paladin, and it was half Gun Will Travel his business card said cable palette in San Francisco. And that’s what he was he was basically literally a hired gun. And I I really, that really appealed to me because people with problems people need came to him. And he was able to offer them a solution. Well, I don’t we don’t have guns, we don’t strap on a six shooter. But we we really are literal, the legal equivalent of hired guns, people come to us when they have a problem. And they want us to solve their problem and stand between them, the people that are causing them a problem. And that really, from a very young age that appealed to me that I was drawn to that very early on.

Chad Franzen  2:45

Did you feel like you had kind of a talent for you know, arguing your case or something like that as well.

Erwin J. Shustak  2:50

I when I was younger, I wouldn’t say that I had a talent for speaking as much I wrote very well. I was a newspaper in high school, I wrote a weekly newspaper column, I did well very well in school. But what I did have is I’m not the kind of person that backs down. So when bullies would come up to me, and I was told that I was thin, it didn’t matter. I wouldn’t back down. And I thought you know, that’s a good, that’s a skill set that not everybody has, you can’t push me around, you could try and maybe I got beat up a few times. And I picked myself up and kept going. But I didn’t back down. And I thought you know, that’s a good skill set that not everybody has. And I think that would serve my clients very well. Having somebody that in a very professional, very ethical way, just doesn’t back down doesn’t give up. And we that’s what we do. We just keep coming.

Chad Franzen  3:42 

Very nice. So you knew you wanted what you wanted to do and the reasons why you wanted to do it. How did you kind of get started then in the legal industry?

Erwin J. Shustak  3:48

i Well, I grew up I’m a little older than most than you certainly I graduated law school in New York in the mid 70s. And the law was a different profession back then. Different business. We still do the same thing today. But there was no technology back then. No FedEx, no computers, lawyers weren’t. I was with a very large firm, a very prestigious firm in New York. And I was a very fast typist was my father. My mother wouldn’t let me take mechanical power or something like that in school. She insisted I take typing. I said would you know this is she goes to show you what when I grew up what I thought I said, Well, what good is it going to be for me to learn how to type? What am I ever going to use typing? Well, of course, everybody types and I’m a very fast typist and happen since I was in sixth or seventh grade. So it was different in a technological wise, but it gave me the ability to work very closely with the senior partners at this firm, very, very prominent people, former US Attorneys top lawyers in their field, and I really got a sense of how you do things at the highest level of various highest ethical professional level and I really liked it. However, I’m an entrepreneurial person. And after a while, I thought, well, if I stay here for 10 years and really work hard, they’ll make me the 350th or 395th partner, does that really fit my personality? And the answer was no, I wanted to get clients, I wanted to go out and build a law firm. And I really didn’t know how to do it. My father gave me some very good advice. He was a very successful businessman and said, Take your time, you got a 50 years ahead of you maybe longer, learn your craft, do everything you do well, to the best of your ability serve your clients. And sorry, it’s an emotional thing, because my mother died 10 years ago today, and so sorry. for better for worse, my sister reminded me early this morning with a text about that. But he was very, very helpful to me. And I took my time. And I left and I took a very large office on Park Avenue in Manhattan in the 50s. So I had beautiful suits had a big office, very impressive, but I had no clients. So of course, I realized, well, the suits and the office don’t really do much work if you don’t have clients, and I decided I would go out and start to meet people and ask them for business. And the one thing that people want in those days, I think these now as well. They want a Young Hungry lawyer. So pretty much if anybody in those days came in with a $500 retainer, whether it was an antitrust case, or suing Helena Rubinstein and Colgate Palmolive, in a large class action, which I’ve never done before. I was their lawyer, and I never settled the case, lawyers were coming to me, it’s okay, it’s time to settle. I say that’s fine. But you have to pay my client, everything that they’re owed. And many people said to me, or when that’s not how it’s done, you don’t understand. They said, well, then we’ll just try the case. Because I’ve never tried a case before. So start trying cases in New York and across the country, I was doing work for an international, several international unions doing arbitrations throughout the country. And bit by bit people, I’d meet people, they would say, Oh, you do this, you could do this kind of work. And really, those days, I would do anything. And I started to just do it, more and more people came to me, then somebody who had been a few years older than I at this other law firm, came to me one day out of the blue in my office. He’s a very bright guy. He went, went to Cornell, and he was valedictorian of his class went to Yale. He was number two in his class, I think he was a year behind Bill Clinton. And he said, oh, and I want to be your partner. I said, I hadn’t seen him in a long time. I said, Okay, he was I knew he was competent, very highly technical. So we formed a partnership, we started to hire people, I was much better at the business side of it. He was a real lawyers, lawyer, but he couldn’t make business decisions. I grew up with a family of businessmen. And I know you have to make decisions, you have to move on and make another decision. So I was in charge of getting clients running the firm marketing, hiring people and, and he was a really a very, very excellent technical lawyer. So within a few years, we had a number of lawyers, we had bigger staff, we moved to bigger offices, clients kept coming we my commitment to clients was I can’t tell you what the outcome is going to be. But I will tell you, we’ll do our best. And if we don’t think you have a good case, we’re going to tell you, and then you could have to settle the case, because that’s a smart thing to do. That took me a number of years to figure out. So that the firm grew, we merged with another firm, got to the point where I had 30 lawyers and staff and secretaries and a lot of headaches that come with growing a firm. And around that time, i i and two other friends decided to form our own firm people I’d known for years, they also came out of big firms. And we started what is now Shustak Reynolds, some partners that have a different name back then. And we were very successful. They were corporate lawyers, doing very, very large, sophisticated deals. I was litigator so there was a dispute, I would handle it. And then I was an older dad when my son was born. I decided I wanted to move to California. I’d spent a month every year for about 12 years in Santa Barbara. And I said to my partners look I’m gonna let’s let’s open up an office in on the West Coast. We had a national practice. We were traveling a lot. I said there’s big demand for New York lawyers in California. I don’t know that you’re aware. So we looked at different cities and we decided on San Diego which was really just coming out of a big recession for the early to mid 90s. But I could tell the city was was poised for explosion which which is ultimately what happened. move to California hires hired people within three four years half the firm was in California the practice kept growing. Within seven years, virtually everybody was in California and my My partner just didn’t really want to manage the New York office, which was fine. And they went back to work for the lot, the kind of large firm that they had come out of. And then the practice just grew, I brought in more people, more partners. And, you know, we kept it in the manageable size, because beyond a certain point, it gets very unwieldy. And we’re still doing it. I’ve been doing it for 45 years, in this firm, and I’m very proud of our reputation and the people we work with and the standards that we we hold ourselves through.

Chad Franzen  10:30

Yeah, that’s great. So it sounds like it’s been quite a journey. At what point you know, when you were you were out there kind of talking to people trying to get clients and you were a, you know, a young hungry attorney. And you thought to yourself, like I’ve, like, I’m good at this.

Erwin J. Shustak  10:46

It didn’t come right away. Believe me, I worked literally seven days a week I worked during the week on weekends, I would take my car and motorcycle driver lives in the village and I would go to Midtown, I literally was in the office seven days a week. Late and I’d come home for dinner go back. I just thought that if I worked harder and smarter than anyone else were as smart and as hard as anyone else. I would learn how to be a good lawyer and I would get results. And we started to get better and better results. I then did learn the magic of settling a case which, you know, it’s not it’s not a heroes, you know, just trying every case doesn’t really make sense after a while. And I learned how to settle cases and negotiate deal with other lawyers in a very professional way. And clients kept coming back, they, especially in California, I would meet with people which I love doing I love to meet with people I’m very quick at an adroit at figuring out their their needs and the solutions. I love that part of the law. That was what I really loved in law school. And they I would ask them why why are you coming to us when we were new to California? And the answer always was, I want a New York lawyer. I don’t want a California surfer guy. I said, Well, I’m from New York, I don’t serve. So if that’s what you want. That’s what you’re going to get. Whether it it means something or not is not up to me to say. But I do think when you come out of New York, and you’re trying cases on your own kids, big law firms and corporate clients. On the other side, I think you do learn a great amount in federal court, state court appeals. And I do think that that gave us a real edge in California and things just really exploded very quickly.

Chad Franzen  12:33  

What drew you to specialize in securities, FINRA and financial regulatory law.

Erwin J. Shustak  12:39

The partner I mentioned before that join me, he was a he was really a mathematical genius, real numbers guy. And I was and he had a lot of clients, young clients that had seats on the stock exchanges. In those days, the American Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, and ESD. That’s all changed. I mean, there’s no really no longer any of these exchanges where people are actually on the floor doing much. But he started to bring in some very, very high profile profile clients. And I and we started to service them. And I realized, you know, this is really interesting stuff. I’m good at it. It’s a niche area, which is, which is always a good area to be in. And we started to get very good results. And people more and more people came to us. And I realized that it was it was great to be in a niche area, it’s considered a specialty. And we were getting better and better at it.

Chad Franzen  13:34

Can you share an example of a particularly complex securities or financial dispute that you successfully resolved? And maybe what you learned from it?

Erwin J. Shustak  13:43

Sure. I mean, I’ll give you an example. And this is just, this is just an example. It was a case that two of my partners actually tried in, in Texas, and I was involved in the strategy and you know, overseeing the case. We we had a number of people that were let go of by a major financial institution. And they were really let go for the wrong reasons. And the investigation they did was flawed. So we had, I think, seven or eight cases of people that were really damaged by being terminated. And we try it was in Texas, the first one we had was in Texas, they were around the country. So luckily we got the best case went to hearings first. And the panel was so devastated by what they heard. The woman there was a woman and a man. The man had a very ill child, he lost his insurance he had he couldn’t take care of his son’s illness couldn’t pay for medicine. The woman never could enter the business again. And we wound up getting not only everything they asked for a punitive damages, substantial legal fees. It was it was a real Grand Slam. That doesn’t happen very often. Based on the outcome of that case. We then had a multi day mediation in our offices in California, with the other side and the Client and we resolve the other eight cases. And because we were fortunate and the the best case, or one of the better cases when first, it turned out to be, you know, many, many multimillion dollar settlement, it was a great for the clients, they were very happy, very appreciative, great for our firm, the fees are very large. And I mentioned that only because that’s an example where that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people that were basically getting taken advantage of and stand up to them. And we did, we did, and we settled all the cases, it was a lot of money involved, they were very appreciative. They wrote us notes. And that means a lot to me, that’s really why I did this, I had a woman I represented worked for a law firm in New York, young woman and she was being wasn’t sexual harassment is just harassment by a young investment banker or a co worker. And we went to hearings on that in the late 80s. And the panel was so turned off by this guy, because I always called the other side first. And then if he asked them questions, he was so calm that so notches that I think we had a three woman panel in those days, which is unusual. And they whacked really gave her a multiple what she was even entitled to because they were so annoyed. And her mother sent me a note and said, I want you to know you took me stood up for my daughter. And I can’t tell you what that means to me and what it means to my daughter. And that’s those are the reasons there’s other cases representing broker dealers and investment firms, where people are trying to they’re trying to take advantage of them. But those are the kinds of cases that really are meaningful to me. People need help, and we help them and they thank us. And I feel a great great deal of gratitude to have able to do that for people.

Chad Franzen  16:49

Yeah, and I bet hearing you know, personal feedback coming straight from their mouth is particularly gratifying. You know, you are a litigator, arbitrator and negotiator. What skills do you find most crucial in each of those roles.

Erwin J. Shustak  17:04

The things that I didn’t study in college are the most important I was an economics major. The you need to understand deals and numbers and the economics the skill set that’s most helpful. Empathy. Communication skills, right, right, written and oral, which I think I have now, after all these years, psycho psychology which I didn’t study, grammar, English, writing those, that’s the biggest problem we have in hiring young lawyers, very, very few people that we meet, can write. I mean, it’s just incredible to me that how much I spend my time I spent teaching people basic grammar, Strunk and White Elements of Style kind of grammar. I’ve probably given out over the years, 250 copies of Strunk and White to young lawyers and said, You have to read this because if you can write, you can’t work here, we have the highest standards of our product and our presentations. And if you don’t learn how to write soon, you got a problem. And I said that to one of my current partners that 18, 19 years ago, when he was a brand new lawyer, he had been a law clerk for the summer joined us. And I said the same thing and gave him a copy of the book, I said, you have to learn to write or you don’t have a place in this firm. And six months later, he was his biting had dramatically improved. He’s one of the best writers in the firm. Now he’s a very, very substantial partner, as a huge book of business. And I’m very proud of but not everybody gets takes the cue not everybody does what they’re supposed to do and learn what we’re trying to teach them.

Chad Franzen  18:39

How many years have you been in the legal industry before you realize that you know, before you realized all those things that you mentioned that you had to know that you hadn’t learned in school yet.

Erwin J. Shustak  18:51

It was a while. I mean, I was I was a young lawyer, 27 years old, up against major lawyers, major law firms, I’d be in depositions in my office on Park Avenue, you know, three, four lawyers on the other side of the table making objections that I didn’t fully understand. And I took me a number of years to realize that your personality, it’s not a question of being aggressive, that doesn’t work. And in New York, people are very aggressive. You have to be whatever you say, has to make sense. So less is more, I think. So when I go into court now, and I don’t wait for my turn. I don’t answer about people. When the judge calls me. Usually the judge is either my age or younger. And they know of us they know our firm. And I know they listened to me because what I say is accurate and honest and truthful. And they respect that and our written product is excellent. So it took me I’d say 15 years to get to the point of being mature enough to really be an effective advocate, not just an aggressive advocate.

Chad Franzen  19:56 

And you have been you’ve been an arbitrator for FINRA for over 30 years, I believe How has how has that experience kind of shaped your perspective on Dispute Resolution? And are there? What kind of challenges have you encountered in that role?

Erwin J. Shustak  20:08

Well, the as far as how it’s been helpful, it’s incredibly helpful. Because as an advocate, you see, I try to see all sides base, but you’re hired to advocate for your particular client. As an arbitrator. I sit there and watch all the evidence come in, I see different lawyers styles, I see different witnesses. And then when it’s my turn to ask questions, I’ll ask the questions that are important to me that nobody’s asked. So it’s incredibly helpful to see how to present the case, from watching it objectively what to do what not to do, that’s, that’s been great. As far as the frustrations, sometimes I’m usually the chairperson of panel because of my legal background and years of experience. The frustration I have is, sometimes the other panelists, they don’t really get the case, they don’t have the training or the experience, or they don’t want to lose referrals are being picked for a panel by the big firms and the broker dealers. And sometimes you’ll sit there and I’ve had the center number of times, and I just don’t agree with you. And sometimes I’ve been able to turn people around, which is almost like, you know, Henry Fonda and 12 Angry Men, which one of the classic go law movies to watch. And sometimes I just say, we’re not going to agree, we can agree to disagree. I’ll just dissent. And that’s what I do. But that’s that’s the frustrating part when I can’t get people to see the nuances that I’m seeing because of my experience. It’s a little frustrating.

Chad Franzen  21:43  

Can you share your perspective on the current state of securities and financial regulatory law? And how has it evolved kind of over the course of your career?

Erwin J. Shustak  21:54

I think it’s you know, it’s funny you say that, because I mean, I was just reading an article about crypto, the minute big issues or cyber cyber fraud, crypto, and the FTC had a report that came out recently, that said last year, the crypto losses were at least $20 billion in the US, and probably as high as 137 billion because there’s a very, very low rate of reporting. I think the Sam Bankman-Fried FTX trials shows you that the regulator’s completely missed, there’s really no regulation. So they tend to play catch up, not they’re not proactively regulating a lot of these things. They’re waiting until the problem happens already. And then say, Oh, well, now we have to plug a hole. You’re where a Tom Gerardi leads disbarred and disgrace lawyer in California that stole millions of millions of dollars from his clients. Well, for years, there were complaints about him that clients said, I never got my money. He’s ignoring me bla bla bla. Well, now the California state regulators have lawyers are adopting very, very stringent measures for trust cats. After he committed all the the perfect he did over 30 years, 40 years. It’s frustrating to me, because we’re oscillators and that it’s made our you know, our work more complicated, just keeping up with the legislation. So I think the reg regulators are, very often they catch up after there’s been a big problem. If there’s been a Bernie Madoff situation or an FTX situation, then they say, Well, we have to do something. Now I think, I would like to see it more proactive than than reactive.

Chad Franzen  23:35

So given that, what, what advice would you give to young attorneys looking to pursue a career in securities and financial law kind of based on based on your journey? I know you’d like to see them become extraordinary writers. What else?

Erwin J. Shustak  23:49 

Well, I mean, I would say this any lawyer, this is not a TV show. No. I mean, it’s a lot of lawyers become very disenchanted with what they’re doing. And they, you know, just fine. They we’ve had we’ve had people leave our firm and become real estate brokers and open up restaurants there, they do different things. You really have to spend your time and get to know what the lawyers do. It’s a very detail oriented business, and professional. And you can’t just write a brief and say, Well, I think this is what the outcome should be. You have to support everything you say. And some people find that very frustrating. It’s not creative writing. You can’t just make stuff up. And when some people actually get into the nitty gritty of being a lawyer, a young lawyer where that’s what they do these detail oriented things they get, they don’t realize what they’re getting into. And I think they get very frustrated. So I think you really have to know what you Why do you want why you want to be a lawyer. What do you think lawyers do? And clerk? We hired law clerks all the time. Some are clerks are in year. You really have to ask yourself what do lawyers do and and have I seen what this firm does or I don’t really want to do that, you have to figure out what you do want to because once you start down a path, you can always change. But it’s better to know ahead of time what you like what you don’t like that what lawyers do.

Chad Franzen  25:11 

How do you keep yourself up to latest developments and trends and securities and financial?

Erwin J. Shustak  25:16 

It is what we do two things we have weekly, every Tuesday at 11 o’clock, we have a firm meeting, there’s too many people to do it in person anymore. So we have zoom meetings every every Tuesday at 11 o’clock. We go through a very specific agenda. And one of the topics is new developments in the law. When people see seeing we share articles, we write articles, quite a lot of articles about changes in the law. So I hear from my transactional partners, when there’s something relevant, they either send it around or bring it up on Tuesdays after meeting she’s and and I read a great deal. I read the law journal, I read publications, I mean, I read a lot. Sometimes people said gee, I I got an email from you at one o’clock in the mornings. Were you in another timezone? I said, No, that’s that’s I don’t really sleep a lot. And that’s just the fact that I’m if I get four to five hours a night, I consider myself extremely lucky. It’s not a nine to five job, don’t just don’t just don’t leave, turn the lights off. And it’s constantly constantly something I think about.

Chad Franzen  26:24

Do you have to kind of anticipate potential changes. I mean, I like I like you predict what the changes might be, you know, future developments or challenges you anticipate in securities and financial regulatory regulatory law.

Erwin J. Shustak  26:38 

When we see a problem develop like crypto has been an example because it’s such a it’s such a popular topics, really, so complicated. I knew early on, the crypto was going to have many, many problems. We don’t really do a lot of crypto cases, we get calls from a lot of people. And I listen to this story. And they just been taken advantage of their money’s gone to another part of the world had been just swindled. When we see a problem area, like crypto, for example, I realized that that was not an area we want to get into. That there really wasn’t much we could do for people. They the old saying in the in the in the art business, especially on the fraud side is the masochist and the sadist always leave the party together. So it takes the two sides, people that think there’s something magical to making money. And if somebody tells them, I can help you make money, you have people who work their whole lives to accumulate money and assiduously work hard to collect the money. And then you have people that are more focused on taking the money than the people that are working hard to accumulate it. So you know, we kind of see trends, and then we ask ourselves, where’s this gonna go? What kind of regulation will come out of it? What’s going on in different congressional committees, and just follow up, follow the threads of what’s going on,.

Chad Franzen  27:53

Are the same things that motivated you to become an attorney still what motivate you 47 years later?

Erwin J. Shustak  28:00

Believe it or not, they do. I’m very tenacious, I don’t. I mean, I will, I am up at night, reviewing documents, rewriting them, I really focus on the quality of what we do. And I get a great deal of satisfaction from meeting people. Sometimes I tell people, I can’t help you, you know, your money’s gone, or you have a problem that I don’t think that we can solve for you. And we’re very honest with them. But I’m still doing what I do for the same reasons that I started to do it. So I’ve had a great deal of success. I’m grateful for that. And that’s very nice. But I still enjoy what I do for the same reason was when I was in my 20s. Now I’m a little older, and I still do it for the same reasons.

Chad Franzen  28:44

That’s great. That’s fantastic. Hey, I have one more question for you. But first, how can people find out more about shoe Shustak Reynolds & Partners?

Erwin J. Shustak  28:52

Our website is probably the best. It’s www.shufirm.com. Years ago, we were one of the first law firms in the country, really anywhere to have websites. In 1993, when our first website, we had email, we’re dealing with big firms. We said just send the documents over by email, they’d say like what’s email? So we’ve been we’ve always been ahead of the curve of technology, because I’m a big believer in leveraging yourself. So they go to the website, they’re going to learn about our firm and what we do and if they need help, please call us.

Chad Franzen  29:28

So you obviously have a you know, a wealth of experience represented a diverse range of clients, banks, defrauded investors. As I mentioned in your intro, you’ve seen it all. When was the last time that maybe you thought to yourself, “just when I thought I’d seen it all.”

Erwin J. Shustak  29:51

Almost every day, but I mean, I’ll give you an example. I just did the paper. It’s that turned out that Michael Cohen, the ex President’s former fixer is lawyers submitted a brief to a court citing cases that don’t exist. And they and they went to the appellate court and said, Do you have this case? And he said, There is no such case three cases. And this came up about a month ago, somebody visits a court and got sanctioned for it. And I thought to myself, I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that people are just making up cases. And as the court is going to want to have an inquiry, who wrote this brief was Michael Cohen writing and you writing it? How did you actually come to make up these cases? And I just just talking to my son the other night, I said, Can you believe it that people are doing this stuff with AI, and they just make up stuff? And these they’re gonna be in a lot of trouble for this.

Chad Franzen  30:41

Hey, or when it’s been great to talk to you, thanks. Thanks so much for your time. It’s great to hear your stories and your perspective. Thank you so much.

Erwin J. Shustak  30:47 

Thank you. It’s been wonderful talking to you. And thank you for giving me a forum to speak, Chad.

Chad Franzen  30:51

Absolutely. Great to have you.

Outro  30:55

Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes, be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.

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