Based on 11 reviews
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I had several issues needing resolution when my "common law" spouse of well more than a decade died. I am not wealthy. Att'y Raphan was recommended to me by a business acquaintance. When I first called to ask if I could see him for a short consultation, he inquired about the nature of the problem(s), & gave me the advice I needed over the phone. The call was about 15 minutes. He said there'd be no charge, but if I needed more advice on this in the future, he would have to charge me, but that he would at that time waive his usual retainer and just charge me for time I actually used. A year later a problem came up and I called for a consultation again. His assistant wanted to schedule it for 2 weeks later. I said it MIGHT be urgent -- though turned out it wasn't -- so she gave me a 1/2 hour slot for a phone call the very next day and gave me a price that was substantially below the usual rates NY lawyers charge these days. I called at the appointed time, he was promptly on the phone, I refreshed his memory from a year earlier, explained the new problems, conversed for about 20 mins. He explained patiently and clearly and anticipated other concerns I hadn't thought of. He advised me how NOT to create the need for unnecessary further legal fees. We finished and I asked where to send the check in the amount his assistant had mentioned. He told me he'd email me the address (which he did within a few minutes), and to send an amount substantially LOWER even than the original one specified. I then thought of another question, so our conversation time crept up to about 25 minutes (I was keeping an eye on the time cuz I know that's how lawyers usually work -- HE never mentioned it). I thanked him, and said "I owe you one -- how about if I send you $X?" which was a little bit more than the very reasonable amount he'd told me 5 or 6 minutes previously. He said "I leave that to your discretion." We hung up, and I remembered one more question, called back, his assistant put him on the phone, and it took about 2-3 mins more to answer. No mention of an additional charge. He mentioned that because he'd sent me an email I would now have his email address should I need to contact him again. I have used lawyers several times in my life -- I'm retired but I had my own business for a while, plus a normal life which lawyers do usually pass through on occasion. I've known lawyers I liked and disliked. Brian Raphan is just a very nice "regular guy" without any of the vices or shortcomings which are frequently attributed to lawyers. He knows his area of specialty very well, and has the integrity and ethics of a good man. I recommend him to anyone, and you'll suspect he's my brother or cousin or whatever when I say this (not the case, met him only twice by phone per above), but my encounter with him was the first time I've ever felt that I was the beneficiary of a great favor when dealing with a lawyer. There are lawyers I would praise for their competence, honesty, and character and Att'y Raphan is amongst them, but but corny as it sounds, he also gets my praise for his kindness and genuine empathy for his clients, which he shows by his actions and tone rather than with words. For these reasons I am actually grateful for the opportunity this AVVO site offers me, to tell others in the hope it helps his business and other people. That's because I was being very straightforward when I told him "I owe you one" -- I really feel that way, and since I like to feel that I pull my own weight and pay my own way through life, I'm happy to recommend such a good fellow, and hope it ends up being a benefit to all concerned. If you deal with him, he's pretty much all business, but based on my own experience on HOW he does business, and the broader perspective he seems to carry over into his business, I think you'll gradually notice that my positive "review" of him above is very accurate.
Brian seems genuinely interested in my claim. He is very knowledgable and knows at which angles to observe the situation. He is attentive, and is a Lawyer I would come to again for Legal Advice. Brian is a great addition to Avvo and has made my experience very positive. I am hopeful that with such wise advice, if I act accordingly - my claim may just get resolved.
I would recommend Mr. Raphan and his firm. I have been a client for over 6 years and can not say enough about how helpful he has been. Fully informs me along the way and I know he has got my back. Extremely valuable for the right advice on revising my Will for the 2nd time after remarriage and planning for medicaid. I am happy he returns my call so quickly as well.
Since 2006, Brian Raphan has handled my legal needs brilliantly: wills, trusts, probate, guardianship issues, a complicated real estate negotiation, and a Medicaid application for my elderly relative. Most important to me in addition to his highly reliable, far-ranging legal expertise is his warmth and patience. Over the years, he has never rushed me or made me feel that I'm imposing on him. That is an unusual trait in a lawyer! He genuinely cares about helping me handle challenges, such as dealing firmly with difficult family members, interacting gently with my 92-year old brother-in-law who has advanced dementia, advising on all aspects of my estate planning, and preparing up-to-date (laws vary by state and change over time) health care proxy and living will. What always impresses me is how thoroughly he keeps his eye on my portfolio and calls me when it's time to update documents or consider new issues that can affect my situation. Also, he willingly consults on my behalf with my CPA and my stockbroker/financial planner, as needed. Whenever I've referred friends to him, they're always delighted with his accessibility, range of knowledge, and warm personality. As head of his law firm, he oversees an excellent staff; when he assigns a staff lawyer to one of my projects (such as the heavy paperwork involved in a Medicaid application), he supervises them carefully, and I never feel "passed off" to someone else. I highly recommend Brian Raphan with no reservations whatsoever.
Brian is everything I could hope for in a lawyer: knowledgeable, straightforward, thoughtful. He gave me very practical advice as to how to handle my mother's financial affairs as her life comes to an end. He explained the various options and said which ones he thought were best (and not necessarily which would earn him the most fees.) It's hard to say how reassured I feel with Brian as my lawyer!
As there is only space for one type of case in the question below, regarding the type of case he handled, he and his staff handled estate planning, an estate tax filing, and adivsed me and my family on several other issues, including those related to aging, wills, and gift taxes.
Mr. Raphan is a very thoughtful and trustworthy attorney. I have always been very impressed with any affair I have brought to him.
I went with my parents to Mr. Raphan (they are clients) because a friend told them they should start estate planning. He pointed out that in their case our needs could be addressed with the properly drafted Will. He explained the pros and cons and my parents revised their Will with his guidance. It saved them/us a lot of time and money. We went back the following week to sign and notarize etc and we were done. I recommend the firm but only met others briefly. Easy to get to from Long Island via Penn Station. Although that may not matter if you live in the city. Maybe the office can use some updating but my parents were happy.
I've been a guardian on several cases --with different firms, etc. Mr. Raphan takes his work seriously and has been more responsive, timely and accurate than others I have dealt with. He's shown himself to be one of New York's finest. I would heartily recommend.
We were very impressed with the professionalism and expertise when Mr. Raphan created a trust for my parents. I went there from a recommendation initially just for a free consultation and he was very patient and explained everything clearly. I had something in mind (and it would've cost us more) but Mr. Raphan advised a better and less costly and tax friendly solution. We all would definitely recommend him. A pleasure to work with.