Meet the landlord attorney with a lead foot and a divisive style

Bradley Silverbush's motto is, "Don't brake until you see God"

Jan.January 20, 2017 10:30 AM

UPDATED, Monday, Jan. 23 at 7:33 p.m.: Landlords looking to boot unwelcome tenants have an ace in their pockets, and his name is Bradley Silverbush.

The 60-year-old senior litigation member at Rosenberg & Estis has a reputation as a brash but effective landlord attorney, whose job it is to convince judges to evict tenants. With a passion for fast cars, his motto is, “Don’t brake until you see God.”

The son of a Holocaust survivor, Silverbush put himself through community college, the University of Buffalo and Pace University’s law school before cutting his teeth as a landlord lawyer in the Bronx in the 1980s. Of the “rough times,” he told the New York Times. “I loved it.”

It’s a skill that Silverbush honed in the schoolyard in Syracuse, N.Y., where he’d collect $1 from children about to be beaten up; he’d split his earnings with the bully.

It’s easy to feel sympathetic for his opponents, including an elderly woman with dementia who was kicked out of her home, as well as a pregnant woman evicted a week before Christmas because her boyfriend, a drug dealer, was storing drugs in the apartment. “He can be very aggressive” and has a “pretty substantial ego,” said Fishman Rozen attorney and frequent courtroom opponent James B. Fishman.

But Silverbush, who says he likes to win at any cost, is also an unlikely proponent for rent stabilization. “There are probably unscrupulous landlords that will take advantage of whatever they can for gain,” he said. And not all tenants are innocent, he added. Tenant attorney David Rozenholc said Silverbush is smart and “inventive.” “It’s sort of fun to deal with him,” he said. [NYT] — E.B. Solomont

Correction: A prior version of this story contained a misspelling of Silverbush’s firm. It is Rosenberg & Estis.

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