In the world of celebrities, law, and lobbying, David M. Schwartz, Esq. is a known commodity. With three decades in the courtroom as an accomplished trial attorney, and now over 10 years also lobbying on behalf of clients small and large, Schwartz has earned himself and his lobbying group, Gotham Government Relations, a reputation for getting things done.
It is said that with regard to laws and sausages, it is best to not see them in the making. That is unless it’s your job to shape them before they are placed on the grill. Schwartz is that influencer, who helps his clients in Albany and Washington, D.C. craft legislation and navigate bureaucracy, in order to meet their legislative priorities and goals. He is the only practicing trial attorney who also serves as a registered lobbyist in the State of New York.
As an attorney, Schwartz has handled hundreds of cases in the court of law and has led dozens of cases before the jury. So, it is accurate to say that his expertise is both in a law’s crafting and its application. Known among his colleagues in the field as equally passionate as he is aggressive, Schwartz’s tenacity separates him from a crowded and renowned field of New York trial attorneys.
With a juris doctorate from New York’s Fordham University and an undergraduate degree from Tulane University, Schwartz’s experience is varied across many industries. Politically speaking, he has represented clients ranging from large-scale corporations with a plethora of legislative interests to smaller nonprofit organizations that rely on government funding to serve the underserved.
“I’m not a Democratic lobbyist or a Republican lobbyist. I dislike both parties equally,” Schwartz quips. “My goal is always putting together a winning coalition to either pass legislation or defeat legislation, be it on the state level, or in the counties and towns, we are constantly at hearings in all the different regions, arguing for the interest of our clients.”
His trial skills have been an asset in this arena, he says, utilizing his acute knowledge of the law to make small changes to legislation that have large impact. Trust has been placed in Schwartz’s lobby shop to accomplish goals, such as but not limited to, keeping Walmart out of New York City, ceasing the sale of illegal cigarettes in the marketplace, and stopping No-Fault Insurance Fraud in New York.
“I’ve passed hundreds of pieces of legislation for private clients in a multitude of industries,” he says. “Whether it’s passing legislation or pushing to block legislation, I am in the trenches, educating elected officials on the issues at hand, and informing them of some of the unintended consequences that come along with certain pieces of legislation that have been introduced.”
“For me, it’s all about advocacy,” he adds. “The three pillars are advocacy in the court of law, advocacy in the courts of government in the legislature, and the court of public opinion. I’m an advocate in each of three of these arenas on behalf of my clients.”
While limited by confidentiality, Schwartz alludes to additional legislative pushes that he and Gotham are leading, with an impact that will be felt from Buffalo to Montauk.
In the next few weeks, Schwartz says that big changes will be coming at Gotham, with expansion plans to be announced soon and get underway immediately.
“Obviously, the legislative session is very intense, where things get passed and blocked,” he says. “Just as much work, if not more, gets done outside of Session, though. We are hitting elected officials in their district offices, hitting agencies, and at Gotham, we are all over the place pushing our client’s issues.
“We like to set things up for Session, so if we want to pass a piece of legislation, we are working with our clients all summer to make sure that on the first day of Session, with a sponsor, co-sponsors, this legislation is ready to go,” he continues. “Most of our clients are businesses, who are just looking to survive in the City and State of New York, as well as on Long Island.”