Posted by Gerie
Brian Raphan has just completed a very lengthy and complicated process of creating a trust for my grandson. Due to my advanced age and medical issues I am not able to really get out easily so we have never met in person and our communication has generally just been via email. Normally that would be cut and dried but surprisingly his messages were always witty and caring. One weekend he emailed me that he was coming into the city and asked if I needed anything, such as groceries etc, which he would be happy to pick up for me and drop off at my bldg. Unexpected to be sure, but much appreciated. There was always a 2-way banter which was charming and I could only describe it as what we used to say of our family doctor - 'He has a great bedside manner', meaning that he took a very personal interest instead of the cut and dried lawyer-ish attitude. That was very important to me. It goes without saying that I was pleased with the way he handled my case, but the icing on the cake was the way he did it and how he communicated with me. He treated me with respect, kindness and caring and in addition he assured me that even though the case was concluded that he would be checking in on me to see how I was doing and let me know that I could call on him should I ever need anything. As I said, unusual and unexpected but very much appreciated and comforting.
Posted by Mary
Brian listened and quickly grasped what would work best for our family's situation. He patiently and graciously walked us through the detailed paperwork and processes to the satisfying conclusion of care for our mother in her own home. He was responsive to our many questions and always provided ethical guidance. I highly recommend him.
Posted by David
Mr. Raphan proved himself to be a brilliant and also caring attorney. A week after I had a phone consultation I was in his office to set up a trust for my children. He was very informative to me and also helped answer additional questions for me clearly regarding issues for my elder parents. I found the fee very reasonable for a NYC attorney. I would recommend him to anyone seeking a fine, smart lawyer in New York.
Posted by Peter
Both Brian Raphan and Matthew Raphan have been excellent to deal with throughout an enormously difficult crisis. They are dedicated experts who really care about their clients, and who are always patient, wise, and a pleasure to consult with. Their generous advice to us in many things has been invaluable, and I strongly recommend them--Peter
Posted by Morry
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.
Posted by Buffalo, NY
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.
Posted by Ben
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.
Posted by Lynn
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.
Posted by Steve
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!
Posted by Sonia
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.