Much ado has been made recently about Amazon’s Long Island City venture. For better or worse (or we may never know), it seems that Amazon and New York have moved on from each other.

Here at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP (hereinafter, “CMM”), on the other hand, we have been able to succeed where Amazon has not, and our “HQ3” in Nassau County is open for business. As I write this article/post/op-ed or whatever it is, I stand proud as a member of the CMM Westbury legal team! Stay tuned for my next post, In Defense of Plaintiff’s Lawyers (if “they” let me publish again), to hear more about me and my journey.[1]

CMM is a different kind of law firm and business organization.  As a relatively new part of the team, coming on seven months now, I am settling in, and have had an opportunity to make a few observations: 1) young talent thrives here; 2) if you are not at the table, you are on the menu; 3) Joe Campolo commands a room like nothing you have ever seen; 4) we know why we do what we do (thanks, Simon Sinek); and 5) nobody works harder than we do.

This is not to say that other firms, companies, and businesses fail to match these observations. To the contrary, I have seen several who do just that and are extremely successful. But there is some magical formula here of leadership, a devoted following, openness, self-motivation, and an absolute need for success that draws clients and employees in like a black hole of hard work and happiness, and keeps our legs moving forward like a running back through a crowded line of scrimmage.

So what’s the difference between CMM and Amazon? How are we moving forward in the New York metropolitan area, while Amazon, a bona fide behemoth, was unable to close the deal?  In a phrase – embrace, don’t displace, your neighbors.  CMM’s unwavering devotion to its community is a reflection of its own success. Do good work for your community, and bring your community up with you.

For example, CMM recently participated in the Brentwood Job Shadow Day, hosting high school students interested in legal careers, and announced a $450,000 gift to support scholarships and programs at the Staller Center for the Arts.

CMM’s legal work also embodies its community mission.  Recently, a reputable property developer came to CMM partner Patrick McCormick and me with a solvable but taxing (pun intended) property dispute, causing a road block (pun not intended) in the development of a local property. The client’s problem boiled down to a simple point of tension: a neighbor. The prior owner of the property was involved with a land dispute with its abutting neighbor where each quite literally coveted the other’s property. Their dispute prevented our client from moving forward with its project. CMM was able to step in, and with minimal court involvement, solve the dispute on all sides, allowing our client to move forward with its project.
This case presented one of an infinite number of “simple” problems between local people and businesses where the involved parties are unable to solve on their own. Instead, they call in the problem solvers, the fixers, the litigators.

In this case, as in our business, problems can often be prevented or solved through embracing neighbors, working together, supporting one another, for a mutually beneficial result. Amazon had to learn it the hard way, but many locals felt that Amazon was not supporting or embracing their community needs. Agree or disagree with that analysis, if the community did not feel supported, Amazon could not have succeeded.

The lesson for today, thus, is that most problems can be solved through mutual understanding. Whether it is two entities disputing over adjoining property, or a business expanding its horizons, the needs of all involved must be met for all to succeed. Fortunately for us, CMM works hard with its neighbors to assure mutual benefit, and works hard for its clients to assure an effective end result at an unbeatable value.

[1] Please email me with reinforcement so that I can continue to write for the CMM blog!