Jeffrey Sklan doesn’t waste a beat, even over a bite

March 3, 2010

Jeffrey Sklan and I had a moment to catch up at lunch the other day. The hook was, I had to sit through a sentencing on a contempt hearing he had prosecuted. The proceedings were in Judge Hank Goldberg’s courtroom. Baby Daddy had been convicted of 15 counts of failure to pay court-ordered child support, after succumbing to what Jeffrey has trademarked…SUDDEN INCOME DEFICIT SYNDROME. Upon entering the courtroom, Baby Daddy was staring at me as if I had funny hat on. Sklan, never missing a beat, tells him, “Oh, this is my brother”…Baby Daddy did not buy it…he continued to stare, like I was a ham sandwich and he was hungry.

Virginia, Judge Goldberg’s charismatic clerk, advised the parties that the lunch hour was 6 minutes away. Jeffrey said, “I only need four. What will I do with the other two minutes?” After daddy exchanged a significant cashier’s check, Sklan graciously agreed to dismiss the matter, in toto, while simultaneously computing the attorney’s fees that should apply. For such an excitable guy, his presentation was unusually terse and calm. It was over by 12:58.

As we walked out of the building he said, “John, if you waste a bench officer’s time, your client suffers. Get to the point and don’t repeat yourself.”

Not bad advice. But not as good as what followed.

Eventually the lady behind the counter got the orders straight and we overate at the Grand Central Market. I was in the mood for a lamb sandwich, Jeff ordered a burrito with extra beans, ouch! And Jeff speaks Spanish with a Jewish tone, it is great, you have to be there. I was lamenting the general state of the fathers who produce a bunch of kids and then weasel out of their obligations. “Are people getting dumber or is it my imagination?” I wondered out loud.

Jeffrey was laughing and then proceeded to tell me how, when his own nephew graduated high school and was hoping for a new car, Jeffrey offered him a different gift. “At first he was kinda skeptical, John. But, I told him he would thank me later…”

“So what was it, a used car?” I asked.

“No, I got him the new car. But I made him get a vasectomy first. He’s thanked me ever since.” Sklan has great timing, just as I took another bite out of my lamb sandwich, I had a visual of this “transaction.” Jeff you are right, timing is everything, next time I will tell you about my time in the embalming room just as you cut into the medium rare filet.

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