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Q: And you won an $80 million
A: Yes, we have to pursue it. But many
times, in these complicated cases against
very solvent defendants, they play a tough
game of hiding assets, and part of what
we do is track them down. We’re immersed
in holding the government of Curacao
accountable for this. They can hide behind
the shipyard, but we’re not going to
let them. [The verdict] was against the
Curacao dry dock, and now we’re [working
on] getting that judgment to stick against
the government of Curacao and perhaps
the Netherlands as well, because [Curacao
is] a client-state, one of their colonies.
a local South Florida doctor injected
botulinum toxin [into my clients] … tried to
make Botox himself. He got the toxin that’s
used in it from a laboratory in San José on
nothing more than a credit card, and this
is the deadliest substance on earth! You
could have bought a quantity [from the
San José lab] that would have killed all of
South Florida. … We sued the doctor that
injected it, and the California company.
Q: Your clients were paralyzed by the
toxin. What was the outcome?
A: It wound up as a major news story and
ultimately was settled. They have since
recovered to a good degree.
Q: Over the years, you’ve been
Q: Tell me about Margaux’s Miracle
interviewed by the likes of Ted Koppel
and Larry King.
A: All the networks covered the Wisconsin
Dells [case] where the little girl fell—was
dropped—out of the amusement ride and
crashed, landed on her back. I handled
that one and that got a world of publicity.
Before then was the 2004 case in which
A: Eleven years ago, my daughter passed
away. She battled for a year at age 15 with
a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s
sarcoma. She was treated at Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New
York, and after she passed, we started
a foundation, and the foundation has
endowed a research fellowship up there.
We’ve raised, I guess, close to a couple of
million dollars now from friends who’ve
kept her [memory] alive. My friend Greg
Norman, the professional golfer, plays golf
with eight guys for 10,000 bucks a round
and treats them to just a splendid day and
night. Another guy throws in his helicopter
and makes it a memorable flight up to his
private club, and then they might have
dinner at home. We’ve had a lot of events;
we’re having a big one here in Miami, it’s
the Ladies Luncheon. We’re having [U.S.
Rep.] Debbie Wasserman Schultz. So we’re
doing work, it’s ongoing. There’s no money
in those cancers. They’re called “orphan”
cancers. Breast or prostate [cancer] has
unlimited funding, because if someone
were to find a successful medicine,
they would be off-the-charts rich. The
pharmaceuticals are interested in that,
not in a cancer that affects 500—mostly
kids—a year. There’s no real dough in that.
Q: What do you do outside of work?
A: I love fly-fishing and horseback riding.
I have a horse named Champ, a quarter
horse. I’ve got a home on an island off Key
West. It keeps me busy. For years, I’ve had
a place in Sun Valley. I’m not into downhill
any longer. Probably it’s better that I’m just
[doing] cross-country now. Better for the
innocent people on the slopes.
Q: What do you consider the most
important quality in an attorney?
A: I think staying within yourself and being
somebody that a jury would trust. You’re
talking about a minimum of 12 eyes on you
all the time and 12 ears. When you get out
of character and start acting like what you
think a lawyer ought to act like, or like one
that you’ve maybe seen on TV—or maybe
even in a courtroom—and you want to
emulate him, and you become someone
other than who you really are, I think that
juries will hurt you. I think that they’ll
reward people, even if their case isn’t
perfect, if sincerity comes through and they
sense that you’re a good person.