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Kenneth A. Ziskin

Estate planning Attorney at Sherman Oaks, CA

5.0   42 reviews

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About Kenneth

Learn Kenneth’s areas of practice.

4
Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    35%
    I focus on all areas of estate planning, from living trust planning to advanced Family Wealth Strategies (sm). PLANNING is the key to what I do. "If you fail to plan (well), plan to fail."

    29 years, 400 cases

  2. Tax
    25%
    I began my career as an income tax lawyer, and have always emphasized income tax planning with all of my clients. It is an essential part of estate planning. I consider income, estate, gift and property tax issues in helping you plan and structure your estate and business. Often, a carefully planned structure can reduce tax exposure while meeting your vital non-tax goals.

    51 years, 500 cases

  3. Trusts
    25%
    Customized living trusts form the core of most good estate planning. They let your heirs avoid probate, they let you choose how your assets will be held, managed and distributed when you are gone, and they provide for management and use of your assets if you are incapacitated. Properly drafted, Trusts can also reduce exposure to taxes and liabilities.

    29 years, 400 cases

  4. Probate
    15%
    When a loved one passes, you need caring help regarding administration of their affairs. If your loved one had substantially all property in trust, you still need trust administration help. If not, we can assist with more formal probate proceedings

    23 years, 40 cases

Over more than four decades, Estate Planning Lawyer and Living Trust Lawyer Kenneth Ziskin has been the "Family Wealth Strategist"(sm).  My BIO is on my website, but my greatest honors come from the reviews I get or the hugs clients give my wife (Hinda, who works with me to provide the perspective of a wife, mother and grandmoter) and I after we complete a project. 

Recently, one of my favorite strategies is one that allows clients to get a step-up in income tax basis without dying!  The income tax savings can be dramatic.

I work with individuals and families to design and implement both Living Trusts and advanced estate planning strategies. Ihelp clients understand and put in place strategies to pass family wealth and his clients' deeply held values to their desired beneficiaries. I always focus on the integration of clients' essential non-tax desires for their heirs with estate tax planning, income tax planning and appropriate asset protection planning to facilitate preservation and passing of wealth to benefit future generations.  

My Estate Planning and Living Trust strategies have saved clients millions of dollars of taxes. While typical savings range from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars, in one case alone, my strategy saved nearly $200,000,000 in taxes (mostly estate taxes, but also income taxes) for the beneficiaries of a deceased parent!  

I also offer caring, personalized probate and trust administration services for those who have lost a loved one.

 

Photos and videos

Why You NEED Advanced Estate Planning NOW
Licensed for 50 years
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 1972
Updated 12/06/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Kenneth

The Ziskin Law Corp
4532 Murietta Ave Apt 101
Sherman Oaks, CA, 91423-5430

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  42 customer reviews
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Posted by Marcia | November 21, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Complicated trust
We have some rental properties that are the source of our income. Our family situation is complicated and we needed our trust to provide for our daughter and her family but prevent her from being able to make any unwise financial decisions. Ken worked tirelessly with us on achieving our goals and making sure that we understood all the intricacies. When we wanted to make some revisions, he was again diligent in making sure that we were making smart decisions. He put in so much time and effort that we were in disbelief when there was no additional fee for his work. I can’t imagine an attorney more caring or dedicated to helping us create the trust we need.
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Posted by Cheryl | June 30, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Inheritance Taxation
Ken was fantastic! He was the first attorney who was able to address my questions with expertise and professionalism. I have spent many hours researching the internet for guidance on my father's estate. Thank you Ken, you are the best!
Posted by Isabel | November 13, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Very Knowledgeable!
As soon as I finished reading Kenneth Ziskin's article in the Oct. issue of AOA Magazine, I decided to give him a call. GREAT decision! My husband and I own a 6 unit apt. building and are the typical mom & pop landlords. We worked very hard all of our lives hoping to leave our two children with the property. Naturally, with the passage of Prop 19, we were extremely worried about how this would affect our children's inheritance upon our deaths. If you have these concerns, please don't hesitate to give Ken a call. He is extremely knowledgeable about his profession, and knows what he is talking about. He can give you great advice! He made me feel as if I had known him for years. Thanks again Kenneth Ziskin, -Isabel B
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Posted by Eleanor | June 14, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Gracious and knowledgeable!
I have read some of Ken’s articles in Apartment Owners’ Association magazine and decided to call him. I own a house that I would like to sell to my granddaughter and achieve as much tax savings as possible. I left that brief message on Ken’s answering machine not really expecting to hear back. Shortly afterward, I received a call from Ken during which we discussed my goals. Ken outlined to me a path we could pursue which I hadn’t previously considered. The next day I had a second phone conversation with Ken expressing some of my concerns. He felt sure we could dispel my concerns and achieve my goal . If I decide to go forward we will draw up a proposal and proceed. During my conversations with Ken, he was always interested in my needs, achieving my goal and maintaining my comfort level. Should I decide to go forward, I know that Ken will be a pleasure to work with and his extensive knowledge of real estate law, will lead me on the best possible path.
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Posted by Robert | March 10, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Gentleman Ken
I had a phone consultation with Mr. Ziskin the other day and I was totally surprised at how involved and in depth his interest and response was with my concern. His explanations were easy to understand and seemingly thorough, very gentlemanly and easy to work with.
Posted by Linda | May 25, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Trust and Estate
I contacted Attorney Ziskin to discuss my mother’s trust and estate. Attorney Ziskin put me at ease at once. He was professional, thorough, warm, and genuinely interested in making sure my needs were met. He helped me navigate through all my questions until I had a clear understanding of my next steps. I sincerely appreciate the assistance Attorney Ziskin provided and would absolutely recommend him. /LL
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Posted by anonymous | March 25, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Ms Isabel Ferrer
What a good human being! So patient, understanding, and kind. Took great compassion towards my family situation and made me feel much more relaxed. We feel that we truly found the right lawyer.
Posted by Jo | January 30, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
knowledgable with thorough explanations
Ken returned my call same day, provided knowledgeable information and took the time to explain. He was friendly and helpful and offered usable suggestions. Really appreciate. thank you!
Posted by anonymous | January 9, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Expert law advice
Attorney Ziskin is a shining star in the elder care law community. I found him to be very knowledgeable and compassionate about my particular circumstance. He is an extremely good listener and has a wealth of experience and expertise in navigating and understanding all the complexities that come with difficult and unique issues that can arise while trying to protect elderly loved ones. I highly recommend Ken.
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
Helping people resolve issues is the most satisfying part of practicing law.
Posted by George K | November 8, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
property tax assessment
Attorney Ziskin was extremely helpful. He was efficient with my time and addressed the property tax assessment concerns in a timely manner, communicating with the assessors office about my issue and obtaining confirmation that vital forms where received and set for review. Kenneth was sensitive to my need to economize and was generous by charging fairly and being considerate and professional, clarifying my options to seek alternative cost saving services pending the complexity of the case.
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
I pay a lot of attention to property tax issues, which can be vital for long-time owners of appreciated real estate. This is definitely an area where the old adage "A stitch in time saves nine" really applies.
Posted by Veronica Barclay | March 5, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Call Kenneth
Was very helpful and informative he gave me free legal information that got me on the right track thank you Kenneth
Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
It was a pleasure to help you, even if the help showed how to resolve a problem without needing to hire me.
Posted by Marcella | December 22, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Best in the West
Ken Ziskin is thoughtful of my circumstances and sensitive to my feelings. He was amazing at protecting my interests during my life as much as after life. I am so happy to have chosen him to represent my estate. He provided me with documents as well an e-copy of my documents. His wife, Hinda, supports the whole effort and is there to help. I appreciate them both.
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
Hinda and I always strive to be thoughtful and sensitive to the needs of our clients. While helping them achieve good technical results and tax savings are important, it is equally important to us to help them understand strategies we implement and get documents in ways that will be easy to reference in the future.
Posted by Jerry | November 10, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Estate Planning
I have been reading Ken Ziskin’s articles in the Apartment Owners Association magazine for a number of years and was always intrigued and impressed by the topics and his knowledge. Ken, and his assistant, Hinda, sponsored a seminar on Estate Planning for Property Owners which I recently attended. Again, there was excellent information presented of the do’s and don’ts on a number of topics such as how to hold title, appropriate insurance coverage, pros and cons of using LLCs, Capital Gains Bypass Trust, and protecting heirs from a variety of issues. As a follow up to the seminar, my wife and I scheduled a free consultation with Ken where we reviewed our situation and discussed a number of points relative to our needs. We already have a trust which Ken was kind to review. Since we have no children our Estate Planning is simpler than most and Ken said that while there would be some benefit to rewriting the trust, the benefit would be negligible. We also discussed several other areas which could stand further examination by my wife and me. Our needs today don’t necessitate significant changes, but it was very reassuring to have a review by a competent, honest attorney. And when our needs change (and they always do!) Ken will be first on our list to consult. I would without hesitation recommend Ken to anyone exploring Estate Planning. You will be well advised!
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
We enjoy using our seminars to help lots of property owners understand their options, and then, for those who want to explore in more detail, provide free consultations. I am not shy in the right case to tell people that their planning looks good enough that they should not pay me to update it.
Posted by Nathan | June 20, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
phone consultation
Was referred (more specifically, highly recommended for his expertise in property tax situations and successes with other AOA property owners) to Ken Ziskin by CA AOA. Ken's consultation appropriately and succinctly guided us. He even directed us so that we probably wouldn't need legal representation. If all doesn't work out with the assessor's office, he offered to take our case. Would highly recommend his services.
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
We are always pleased to help, even when we can tell a caller that he or she does not need to spend money on representation.
Posted by Coral | May 17, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Relieved my Trust has been "Re-stated" by Attorney Kenneth Ziskin
Many years ago I drew up an inexpensive trust and it had none of the provisions I desired today. I went to one of Kenneth Ziskin's "Apartment Owners Association" lectures and decided I definitely needed to make changes to my existing trust. After consulting with Ken, I found out many of the provisions in my existing trust were outdated and not enforceable. Ken helped me make decisions about issues I had never even thought about, and he really cared about my concerns and making my new trust work for my goals, even though he wanted to stress the importance of tax consequences. I got an additional perspective on how to structure the trust from Hinda, Ken's wife who very efficiently helps Ken. I am divorced and single with children of my own and an extended family. (As with many people, it's complicated). I would thoroughly recommend Kenneth Ziskin for Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts.
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
Most of our clients already have trusts and wills, but tax and other changes have made them outdated. Restating the documents provides both tax savings and non-tax improvements, as well as peace of mind.
Posted by daniel | May 11, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
SUPERB LAWYER
soooo good. I consulted with him. He was patient, kind, knowledgeable. Most importantly, he did not rush me off the phone like most lawyers would have.
Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
I love to discuss issues with clients and potential clients. Glad to help.
Posted by Tom | January 19, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Good guy, caring, cost-effective, knowledgeable
I spoke with Ken for 30 minutes at no charge to discuss a matter involving rental real estate, property taxes, and estate planning. He confirmed some things for me, corrected some things about which I was mistaken, offered to represent me at a very fair price, AND referred me to a specialist who could do exactly what I needed at a slightly lower price. As a financial adviser I have had the opportunity to brainstorm with many attorneys for the last 30 years, and Ken brainstormed some really clever issues about this case, and is a super-likeable guy who speaks plain language. Highly recommended!
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
Tom - the experience you relate is exactly what I want to provide for all my clients. Thanks for appreciating it.
Posted by Ankica | September 6, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
honest, insightful, straight forward
Ken reviewed our 10+ year old trust and interviewed us to understand our goals and needs. He provided us with an honest assessment which included an outline of what worked in our current trust and provided guidance on what might be worth updating and why. After further clarification and discussion, we had an actionable plan which included an offer to refer us to a specialist .
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Response from Kenneth Ziskin March 25, 2019
Most of the time, if a consult identifies a need, I hope to represent the caller. But, if I think someone else can do a better or more cost-efficient job, I have no problem referring the client. We get enough clients that getting a good result for a prospect is more important than making money from his or her.
Posted by Tom | July 21, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
great consultation
After reading a fine article Mr. Ziskin wrote in the Apartment Owners Association magazine, I called his office to arrange a consultation. He returned my call promptly and then spent considerable time speaking with me. He demonstrated a depth of knowledge on estate planning and trusts that reassured me that I was getting really sound advice. Mr. Ziskin was easy to speak with and he communicated in non-legaleze, taking the time to be sure I understood the information he gave me. I feel confident his advice directed me in the proper direction and will serve me and my family very well. I recommend him highly.
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Posted by Oren | July 1, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Knowledgable, Honest, Friendly
Had the pleasure of speaking with Ken on the phone. Very knowledgeable and nice. Took the time to speak with me about an issue my wife and I are having with a tenant. Ken is one of the good ones.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 500-600 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • President
  • The Ziskin Law Corp
  • 2007 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • University Of Southern California Law School
  • 1991 - 1994
  • President
  • Kenneth A. Ziskin Law Corp
  • 1990 - 2007
  • President
  • Wall Street Financial
  • 1989 - 1990
  • Partner
  • Rosen, Wachtell & Gilbert
  • 1986 - 1989
  • Managing Partner
  • Cohen & Ziskin
  • 1976 - 1986
  • Partner
  • Kenner, Ziskin, Stein, Kahan & Porter
  • 1974 - 1976
  • Attorney
  • Manatt Phelps & Rothenberg
  • 1972 - 1974
View all work experience

Education

  • University of Southern California Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1972
  • University of Southern California
  • BSL
  • 1972

Legal Cases

  • Estate Planning for Income Taxes
  • Client got an additional $40,000 of depreciation deductions after his spouse passed away, and his children should get more depreciation after he passes away

Associations

  • State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates Section
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Calfiornia Trusts and Estates Quarterly
  • Assistant Editor
  • 2015 - Present
  • WealthCounsel
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • California Sate Bar
  • Member
  • 1972 - Present
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Member
  • 1996 - 2001
  • City of Hope
  • Board of Governors
  • 1992 - 1995
  • Chaine des Rotissuers
  • Member
  • 1988 - 1991
  • City of Hope
  • Board of Governors
  • 1984 - 1991
  • Financial Institutions Committee, State Bar of California
  • Attorney Member
  • 1978 - 1979
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2011
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2010
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2009
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2008
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2007
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2006
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2005
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2004
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2003
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2002
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2002
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2001
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2000
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 1999
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 1998
  • Fellow
  • Esperti Peterson Institute
  • 1998
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 1997
  • Spirit of Life
  • City of Hope
  • 1982
View all awards

Publications

  • Aspen Publishers
  • PLANING FOR THE AFFLUENT
  • 2003
  • Trusts & Estates
  • The Home Security Trust - Better than a QPRT on Steroids
  • 2000
  • Conspectus Current
  • Creative Use of IRC SEction 501(c)(15) Insurance Companies for Closely Held Businesses and Professional Corporations
  • 2000
  • Conspectus Current
  • Sale to a Defective Trust - A Life Insurance Technique
  • 1998
  • WEstern Independent Banker
  • Interstate Banking: Something Old, Something New, Something Blue
  • 1987
  • Journal of Taxation
  • When Will Loans to Employer from Employee Trusts Not Be a Prohibited Transaction?
  • 1974
  • California Bar Journal
  • California's Expanded Close-Corporation Exemption and the Lawyer's Role Thereunder
  • 1974
  • Los Angeles Bar Bulletin
  • Loans to Employer Corporations from Section 401 Trusts
  • 1973
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Family Office Forum
  • Using Private Placement Variable Life Insurance as an Income Tax Favored Investment Vehicle Creative Private Placement Funding Strategies
  • 2001
  • Collegium
  • Beyond 'Till Death Do Us Part
  • 1998
  • Seminar
  • Charitable Planning Beyond the Living Trust - Using Charitable Giving Strategies to Preserve and Enhance Family Wealth
  • 1998
  • Monthly Meeting
  • Strategies for Wealth Accumulation and Preservation after the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
  • 1997
  • Seminar
  • Integrating Transfer and Income Tax Planning through International Insurance
  • 1997
  • Seminar
  • Charitable Planning Beyond the Living Trust - Using Charitable Giving Strategies to Preserve and Enhance Family Wealth
  • 1997
  • Forum Meeting
  • Fundamental Principles for Estate Planning Attorneys
  • 1997
  • Collegium
  • Planning for Retirement Plan Distributions in Community Property States
  • 1997
  • Dialog 1988
  • Strategies for Bankers -- Appropriate Responses to Regulatory Pressures
  • 1988
  • Seminar
  • The Interestate Banking Game
  • 1987
  • Convention
  • Protecting Directors & Officers from Liability
  • 1986
  • Convention
  • Capital Formation for Banks & Protecting Directors & Officers From Liability
  • 1986
  • 7th Annual Institute
  • Permissible Activities Under the Bank Holding Company Act
  • 1981
  • Examiners Seminar
  • New Insider Lending Rules & Other Provisions of FIRREA
  • 1979
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (8)
Given (8)
Endorse Kenneth
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 11
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I was referred to Ken for his expertise regarding a complicated CA real estate/trust issue. He was very knowledgeable, courteous, and generous with his time. I recommend this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Other
"I highly endorse Ken whom I have known for many years as a member of WealthCounsel and who represents the epitome of the skill and expertise required of a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law."
Limited liability company (LLC) Attorney | Apr 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Kenneth is extremely well versed and experienced in LLC liability coverage, the practical consequences of operating an LLC as well as the advantages. He is patient, helpful and will really take the time to teach you everything you need to know and weather it is a good choice given your situation. He took the time (his very valuable time) to give me a complete run down on everything I need to know about LLCs and it was extremely helpful."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 27
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"It's a pleasure working with Ken. He offers his clients a unique combination of knowledge and experience with a personal touch."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 23
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ken Ziskin is one of the highest regarded and most well-respected attorneys in his field. He is intelligent, experienced and hard working. His top ratings, such as Avvo 10 out of 10 and Martindale AV Preeminent speak for themselves, yet he graciously finds time to share his expertise with fellow lawyers."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 23
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ken is a truly amazing and conscientious lawyer with a specialization in taxation. He freely gives his time to help other attorneys with difficult tax and estate planning matters."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ken Ziskin is blessed with a keen intellect and a unique ability to conceive of and to implement innovative estate and tax planning strategies for his clients. He is a very talented attorney."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Ziskin is a tremendously talented attorney who has accomplished great results for his clients."
View more endorsements
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