By Jerald David August
Q:Let’s start off Bob with your background information, such as why were you interested in becoming a lawyer?
A:My father, Samuel Miles Fink, was a well-known lawyer specializing in international law. He was the senior partner at Fink & Pavia, now known as Pavia & Harcourt. He died when I was 15 years old. All my life, I wished to emulate my father, and so after college, I went to New York University Law School. After years of watching Perry Mason, I thought the only lawyer to be was a litigator. I wanted to join a small law firm and in the pre-computer age, the first place someone looked was Martindale-Hubbell, a book where all fine law firms were listed. I narrowed my search to five or six firms, one of which was Kostelanetz & Ritholz, which had described its practice as “trials and appeals.” In the spring of 1968, I was interviewed by Boris Kostelanetz and Jules Ritholz. I found them both charming and, unbeknownst to me, they had a particular interest in me.In the summer of 1967 I had worked at the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York with an Assistant U.S. Attorney who had another case opposing Kostelanetz & Ritholz. I didn’t know it at the time but evidently they were discussing my possible future employment.