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Power of Attorney

Eytan Kobre

He might look like he just stepped out of a chassidic shtiebel, but attorney Duvid Stein’s conduct both inside and outside the courtroom has won him the admiration and professional respect of clients, judges, and opposing counsel alike.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Visitors ascending the stairs to the second floor of the state Supreme Court building in Jamaica, Queens, are met by a most unusual sight: A wall fresco of “Moses the Lawgiver,” featuring an artist’s rendering of Moshe Rabbeinu, adorned with a long, white beard and big, black yarmulke. But visitors to federal courtrooms throughout New York are regularly treated to an equally Jewish scene: a Yid in full Bobover levushrekel, biber hit, and, of course, a tie-less white shirt buttoned at the neck — who seems unusually comfortable in the ornate courtrooms of Manhattan’s Foley Square and Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza. That garb might not raise eyebrows in the visitors’ gallery at the back, butDuvidStein is up front at counsel’s table, preparing to deliver oral arguments before the bench, something he’s now done as counsel-of-record in over 250 federal lawsuits. But don’t think Duvid’s path to legal prominence is a straight line from Boro Park’s Bobover bastion to the rarefied precincts of the federal judiciary, even though he was born in Brooklyn and is one of eight siblings. His journey has been a far more meandering one than that. The Steins lived in Brooklyn in the mid-1960s, where Duvid’s father was doing his residency in obstetrics at the now-defunct Brooklyn Jewish Hospital. WhenDr.Stein got his Vietnam draft notice, the family shipped out to Fort Riley, Kansas. After leaving the military,Dr.Stein reconnected with an old friend and together they opened a practice near Washington, D.C., with the Stein family settling itself into northern Virginia’s middle-class but Jewishly barren suburbs, where the only show in town, Duvid recalls, was “a dinky Conservative synagogue.” Duvid’s father had little formal religious upbringing to speak of, but his mother’s childhood home was religiously typical of the time. Her parents, Hungarian immigrants who had settled in the close-knit Jewish community of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, kept their mom-and-pop grocery open seven days a week, but her father also attended shul each morning, including Shabbos.

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