ROWE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
Everybody aboard the
it to turn around with the other ships. So did
Rowe’s father, who spent an agonized night
in Times Square, watching the latest news
headlines flash from the Times Tower. But in
the end, the ship landed, and the family was
awarded the right to create a new life.
Hard work shaped Rowe’s journey to
the corner office. He was street-smart.
He worked in factories, drove trucks, took
construction jobs and sweated by the
ovens in a huge wire mill. His father died
when he was 11, so he learned early about
shouldering responsibility cheerfully,
accepting the work and the journey and
all that came with it. And as he rose in the
legal profession, business just seemed to
flow to him. He didn’t want to “sell,” but it
didn’t seem to matter.
“It’s inexplicable,” he says. “You never
know what makes a lawyer attract business.
I remember when I was a young lawyer, we
were all going to dinner parties and cocktail
parties, and I would see some of my lawyer
friends really hustling for business. I didn’t
do that. It’s not that I resented it, but I just
didn’t do it. But I still got calls from people
asking me to represent them. What caused
that to happen I really cannot tell you.
Maybe it’s something about the way you
carry yourself. I don’t know what creates
When it came time to decide on a law
firm, Rowe gravitated away from New York
and toward smaller firms where he could
try a little bit of everything. Greenbaum
was a five-attorney firm based in Newark.
Early on, he handled a lot of criminal work
and won many cases. For a time he even
considered specializing in the area, “but
criminal was a lot of the same—the same
motions and objections over and over.”
A respected litigator, Rowe has taken
on some of the most complex cases in
memory in New Jersey. Focusing mostly
on corporate, business and matrimonial
matters, he has argued and won
construction cases, stock fraud, antitrust,
partnership and corporate dissolutions and
chancery litigation. He is also one of those
people who literally wrote the book—in
New Jersey Business Litigation
the primary source for describing how the
state’s courts deal with business issues.
“Trying a case has to be among the
most demanding things you can do, except
maybe neurosurgery,” says Rowe. “You walk
into a place that is full of enemies, and you
have to convince them all that you are their
friend. It’s incredibly demanding and it’s a
lot of fun and it takes a lot of preparation.”
By nature of their complexity, many of
his cases turn into long, arduous trials.
That’s OK with him.
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