Popular imagination places trial lawyers in a class by themselves. From Perry Mason and Rumpole of the Bailey to Boston Legal and Raising the Bar, every case turns on flashes of brilliance, telling evidence and high drama. Sounds like fun. For the right person.
The lawyers at Friedman Gaythwaite Wolf are the right people — for winning real life cases in real courtrooms. Each of us has devoted our careers to litigation in the public and private sectors, and we have combined forces to form a law firm devoted solely to trial work and complex litigation.
A passion for trial work
Harold Friedman began his career in real estate law, but soon realized his true passion was trial work. As Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, he spent five years prosecuting criminal cases and representing the United States in a variety of civil matters. An accomplished and avid fly fisherman, Harold decided in 1975 to move his young family to Maine. His quality of life decision turned out to be a pivotal career decision. Harold thrived in Maine’s judicial environment where excellent federal and state court judges allow litigants to get to trial quickly and efficiently. And he benefited from the opportunity Maine offers trial lawyers to handle a vast variety of cases, from personal injury cases and professional liability matters to insurance coverage litigation and commercial disputes.
As Harold’s reputation grew, he began trying cases throughout New England and the Northeast. In 1984, he realized his dream of starting his own law firm focusing exclusively on trial work and complex civil litigation. Friedman Gaythwaite Wolf was born.
“Learn from the guy who loves trying cases.”
Martha Gaythwaite was one of the original members of the firm when it opened in October 1984. Having clerked in a busy federal trial court, Martha knew she wanted to be a trial attorney. But she was unsure about leaving her position as a litigation associate at a large, well-established law firm to take a chance on a brand new business. It was Martha’s mother who convinced her that the real risk was not accepting Harold’s offer. “If you want to become a trial attorney, you better learn from the guy who loves trying cases.” Not surprisingly, Martha’s mother was right.
Within a few months, our client base had grown substantially and the firm needed more attorneys. Karen Frink Wolf had just graduated from Syracuse University School of Law, where she was on the National Trial Team and Notes and Comments Editor of the Syracuse Law Review. She had relocated to Maine with her husband, a Portland native, and was intent on a career in the courtroom. She became our first new associate and 26 years later heads the firm’s Professional Liability practice group.
It’s all about the team
Over the years, we have been fortunate to recruit other attorneys who share our passion for trial work. They’re not just passionate trial attorneys. As illustrated by their profiles, they are also interesting individuals who bring unique perspectives and eclectic backgrounds to their work.
FGW prides itself on its teamwork. We believe our success at trial is directly proportional to the team approach we take on all of our cases. We are fortunate that many of our paralegals and secretaries have been with the firm since our formative years. At last count, our support staff had over 120 years of combined legal experience! Our team members have been, and remain, our greatest asset.