When I wrote last week about some phone calls with aspiring mogul Scott Rothstein, his mostly nameless detractors came out of the woodwork. And Rothstein says one of them went way too far.
Last Thursday morning, Rothstein called me and claimed that he received a threatening phone call Thursday morning from a Pulp "follower." He said that the caller said he was protecting me and that if he didn't leave me alone, it was curtains for him and his family. There's more to say about this, but it will be later. Rothstein hasn't returned my last couple of phone calls, and right now I want to honor his request to keep some of it out of print.
Obviously, it's hard for me to believe someone would make a call like that, but I have to take Rothstein's word for it. Obviously, any such phone call would be reprehensible. Rothstein said he was shaken up and might need an earlier-than-usual cigar, but he seemed to be taking it all in stride. "We had our fun," he said of our previous phone calls and the ensuing blog post. "We did our thing." When I said we should discuss the post (he'd claimed in the comments that there were some falsehoods in it), he brushed off the suggestion.
There's no doubt that his line about being the Jewish Avenger was funny, maybe even classic. But here's the thing about Rothstein that his critics don't like to admit: He's stood up to a lot of scrutiny, and he's stood up to it well.
Sure, someone who hits the big time like Rothstein is going to get tongues wagging, but don't believe any of the talk without proof (which at this point translates to: Don't believe any of the talk). The guy has his hand in several businesses and owns a thriving law firm. Don't hate him just because he can buy the Versace mansion. That he went ballistic on me makes for an interesting story, and you can take from it what you will, but it certainly proves that Rothstein cares immensely for his work and friends.
I write this because a comment was posted recently that I think can be used to balance for the vitriol that was spilled last week. It's an interesting take, and it's allegedly from a lawyer in Rothstein's firm, Rothstein Rosenfelt Adler (RRA). I'm always skeptical and will always be vigilant watching the firm's political interests, but I think it's time for a whole lot of people to start giving Rothstein the benefit of the doubt. Here's the brunt of the comment, which was anonymous (it jumps):
RRA was nothing like any place I had ever worked. It is what I call my "legal utopia." It isn't just a place to work -- it is a second family. Everyone there is respectful, kind, hard working and smart ashell. I don't know how SR managed to assemble such an amazing group of people, but if you knew them like I do - you could [understand] why Scott is so successful and attained that success so quickly. I am excited to get up and go to work every morning. When you walk through the many halls of RRA there is a buzz and excitement in the air. When you walk by people are talking about cases and the LAW - they are excited by the law and what they are working on. There is no drama or office politics - everyone is a team that works TOGETHER. I've never seen anything like it. RRA has literally changed my life. I was ready to give up my life long dream to become a lawyer and because of RRA and SR it is even stronger than it was before. Not only has my faith in the legal community been restored, but my faith in humanity has as well. RRA not only takes care of its employees, but gives back to the community in so many different ways. I just don't understand why any would want to vilify a man who has done so very much for so many EVERY day. He has given millions of dollars to help those less fortunate and his generous spirit is contagious. Not a day goes by that someone at RRA isn't doing something charitable to make Fort Lauderdale in particular a better place. I could list the organizations that SR contributes to, but this post would go on forever. It is pure and simple jealousy that fuels the ugliness people spew at Scott's direction. I would bet that the people who write these hateful posts have never even met him. Most of you are lawyers who probably started your practices the same time he did and are green with envy over his success. Most of you were probably born with silver spoons in your mouth and had your daddy lawyers make a phone call to get you into law school because your GPAs and LSATs were sub par because everything has always been handed to you. It kills you that Scott built his fortune on his own. The truth is Scott Rothstein has done more good for this town than anyone. He creates jobs and provides livelihoods for hundreds and hundreds of South Floridians and he provides the backing to go after formidable adversaries of the world that bankrupt a lesser law firm.