Law Firm Focuses on Defense Base Act Law
Hello, my name is Alan Garfinkel. I am a lawyer with more than 25 years of experience and owner of Garfinkel Schwartz. Garfinkel Schwartz is a law firm that limits its practice solely to DBA Law and helping military veterans, and civilian contractors that support our military.
Unfortunately, the average American doesn’t realize the great sacrifices being made by Americans and supporters abroad who made the decision to work for the United States Government, U.S. Department of Defense overseas in places like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and now Syria.
They live on military bases under very dangerous conditions to rebuild, secure, and stabilize these countries. These brave men and women and their loyal families have sacrificed and work side by side helping the United States Military.
The Veterans Administration Can’t Help
Contractor Care, Compensation Doesn’t Come from the VA
The difference is that these non-military civilian contractors don’t have the same support when they are injured or become ill while working.
Our Background in DBA Law
I’m offering some background on Garfinkel Schwartz to understand our law firm and why we do what we do.
Sidney Schwartz, my wife’s grandfather, became a lawyer about 70 years ago shortly after the enactment of the Defense Base Act. Sid Schwartz had family and friends die in support of U.S. military service during World War II. Helping families of veterans and those working in support of the United States military became his life’s passion.
I remember him telling me that is why he wanted to send his son and my former law partner John Schwartz to a military academy in Jacksonville, Florida.
John Schwartz Practiced DBA Law
John Schwartz was in the ROTC at Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and serving as a Captain and a military police officer (MP). After returning home from military service, John went to Law School and was an editor of his law review.
Over the next 40 years, his life’s work and passion was to help families of military and civilian contractors all over the world making sure they received medical care and lost wage benefits they were entitled to under the DBA Law after treatments and medical care were shut down by the employer or denied by the insurance company.
For a dozen years I worked with John and together we helped thousands of families of injured servicemen and women and civilian contractors obtain disputed benefits they were entitled to under the DBA Law.
This was not enough for John, he wanted the law firm and its dedication to servicemen and women and civilian contractors continue long after I stopped practicing law. So he began encouraging my eldest son Bennett to learn this unique area of law while Bennett was still in college.
Bennett Garfinkel, Grandson of John Schwartz
Bennett was only interested in medicine and the sciences at the time and had absolutely no interest in the law. Bennett was studying to become a doctor, obtained his EMT license and participated in dozens of complex surgical observerships.
But Bennett’s grandfather was persistent and began slowly teaching Bennett as he had me years earlier, by reading him cases, introducing him to clients and their families and showing Bennett how his unique skills in medical research (early in school Bennett won a U.S. Army science award) and vast understanding of medical diagnosis and treatments could help thousands of families due to Bennett’s uncanny grasp of both legal and medical concepts.
A Grandfather’s Wishes Come True
The grandfather finally convinced the grandson after explaining how Bennett’s own significant spinal surgeries and painfully experiencing first hand how insurance companies relentlessly underpay or deny medical bills; and how insurance companies callousness destroy helpless families that serve, protect and sacrifice for all of us all over the globe.
Years later, Bennett promised his grandfather on his deathbed, that he would follow in his great-grandfather, grand-father and his father’s footsteps, attend law school and help families of veterans and civilian contractors supporting the U.S. Military and the Department of Defense.
Grandson to Attend Grandfather’s Alma Mater
Bennett Garfinkel Admitted to Stetson University Law School
So Bennett applied and was admitted to his grandfather’s alma mater Stetson University Law School. Bennett’s law school has one of the premier Veterans Clinics in the world, providing free legal help to veterans and their families. Stetson University law students and attorneys volunteer their time and expertise to support and help Veterans and their families at this respected Veterans Clinic.
Bennett, a legal assistant, and members of our law firm bring a different sort of passion to each and every case we are privileged to handle. You will hear the difference on your first call to the office. The passion is deeply rooted in our own family history.
From our family to yours, helping one family at a time.