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A Clan in the Courtroom

Barbara Bensoussan

3 states, 5 offices, 9 lawyers: How the Rothenberg Family became a personal injury empire

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

According to the old saw, if you put two Jews in a room, you get five arguments. But what if you put ten Jews in a room, and nine of them are lawyers — and all of them are immediate family?

Welcome to the Rothenberg family: Allen and Barbara Rothenberg are the proud parents of eight children, of which seven are lawyers, and six work for the family firm, known as The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP. “We used to have debates around the dinner table,” says Beth Halperin, the second oldest Rothenberg daughter. “My father would organize us into teams.”

People often ask Allen Rothenberg if he gave his children any choice about going to law school. “I gave them plenty of choice about it,” he says expansively. Then he adds with a twinkle: “I told them they could go to any law school they chose.”

But it’s not quite as simple as all that. Each Rothenberg child has found his own way into the legal profession, and they aren’t all cookie-cutter versions of each other. Even within the firm, which deals exclusively in personal injury suits, they’ve veered into individual specialties and different populations. Harry, Marc, Ross, and Scott have developed specialized expertise in the complex litigation of automobile malfunction, construction and commercial vehicle injuries, traumatic brain injury, and wrongful death cases. And while most of the family deals with all manner of people, Beth’s Lakewood-based branch of the family firm deals with a mostly Jewish clientele.

It’s not every day you encounter a family who, as Allen Rothenberg puts it, “probably holds the Guinness Record for the most members of an immediate family to belong to the New YorkStatebar.” But this month, Mishpacha was privileged to meet seven of the nine lawyers, who gathered together at theirManhattan office onSeventh Avenue, across from Macy’s.

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