On the Pulse…Culturally Speaking

Defense Digest, Vol. 24, No. 1, March 2018

By Christopher E. Dougherty, Esq.*

This is the second piece in a series discussing the positive culture of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. As I noted in the previous segment, I want to share observations and reflections about our firm from attorneys who have worked in other law firms. Their perspectives are worth noticing because of their valid basis of comparison.

Below, I append remarks made by our former shareholder and colleague, Gary Kaplan. Gary retired from our firm in 2017, and he made these remarks at a retirement gathering in Wilmington, Delaware. Gary tried about 50 jury trials of varying types in his career. He handled a wide variety of litigation also—premises liability, medical malpractice, motor vehicle liability, asbestos, construction and civil rights. Gary worked in the City of Philadelphia law department and was the managing attorney of Goldfein and Joseph’s Wilmington office before joining our firm. I share his final sentiments about Marshall Dennehey with you. We extend again our warmest wishes to Gary in his retirement.

Retirement Speech 

By Gary Kaplan, Esq.

Thank you, Howard [Howard Dwoskin].

First, I thank everyone for coming here this afternoon—especially those who have come down from Philly. In particular, Tom, Chris, Liz, Howard, Matt, Linda and Sandy. I’m flattered that you all came down to wish me well, and I am touched that you’ve taken the time to be here.

I consider myself lucky. Please, don’t think of me in any other light. Coming to my own retirement party/happy hour made me think back over my career. I grew up playing as many games as I could find involving head-to-head competition which required strategy—Risk, Chess, Bridge and Pinochle to name a few. It seems as though I was constantly playing and enjoying games. So, to find a career where I could actually be paid for playing what I call the ‘game of law’ actually wasn’t simply lucky . . . but wonderful! I am very fortunate.

I was also very fortunate to spend the last ten years of my career here. Marshall Dennehey is a wonderful place to work.

As Howard pointed out, I have worked at various legal practices before coming here. I have worked at a firm of 60 or so attorneys in Philadelphia called Cohen Shapiro; the Philadelphia Solicitor’s office; a small firm in Philly and their satellite office here in Wilmington. Collectively, they provided me with a perspective that most don’t have the benefit of.

At the shareholders’ meetings, we hear how much money is put back into the firm to provide us with the latest technology at our desks. If you could hear of those enormous sums, it would astound you.

Or, if you could attend one of Howard’s and Matt’s [Matt Schorr] marketing meetings in Bethlehem—to hear how the firm not only solidifies its base of clients, but seeks out new opportunities across the country—it would open your eyes to a world which most of us never see.

Alternatively, if you could just take the time to read motions and briefs prepared by colleagues from other departments—whether it be Lori’s [Lori Wolhar] motions or Art’s [Art Aranilla] briefs, to name a few—it all vastly separates us from the other places where I have worked.

I again consider myself most fortunate—for not simply being given a glimpse of how the firm actually operates—but being here with an appreciation of what sets our firm apart from so many others. We are all fortunate to be here.

*                             *                             *

As for my future, I don’t know what I will do. However, I can tell you that currently, I no longer awake by 5:45 in the morning but closer to 7:30; I don’t spend two hours a day commuting, but I do spend an hour and a half riding a bicycle; and, I can even take naps if I want to without feeling guilty! What I do know about my future is that whatever I do, it won’t be measured by six-minute intervals.

Lastly, l thank Lori [Lori Forsythe] for putting this evening together and for all her help through the years. I thank each and every one of you for enriching my life here in some unique way, and publicly thank my best friend, who happens to be my wife for 31 years, for not only putting up with me at times of trial, but through all my recent medical ordeals.

Thank you.



Defense Digest, Vol. 24, No. 1, March 2018. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2018 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact tamontemuro@mdwcg.com.