Have You Met?

Don’t let the fact that A. Craig Fleishman is one of the best divorce attorneys in town scare you, he also happens to be one of the most compassionate souls around with a warm heart and a tireless concern for people in need. 

His lovely fiancée, Layne Hunt, glowingly raves:  “He is such a delightful, humorous, intelligent, caring and loving man! - And of course I’m not biased…”  Layne adds: “Craig is somewhat shy about his accomplishments.”  Therefore, it’s up to us to sing his praises.  As laid-back as Mr. Fleishman is, “still waters run deep” and when you talk with him, he’s noticeably worldly and bright. 

Not everyone might know that Craig served in the Army, achieving the rank of captain and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.  Fleishman humorously says: “That’s when I knew I wanted to become an attorney - after being shot at, it was much safer.”   

In addition to divorce/domestic relations, Mr. Fleishman’s practice involves: Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Professional Liability Litigation, Insurance Defense Litigation, Business and Insurance Law, Personal Injury & Employment Law.  He is well-recognized nationally in all these areas.  Mr. Fleishman is a skilled lecturer and writer and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law. He has also served as a column editor for The Colorado Lawyer and has contributed articles to the National Law Journal.  He was chosen one of the top 25 legal malpractice attorneys in America, and Mr. Fleishman has been listed many times in the Denver Business Journal Who’s Who in Law. Fleishman has also been given the highest possible rating for excellence of practice and ethical standards in law by numerous institutions.

When it comes to Mr. Fleishman’s community and charitable work, he’s totally invested in giving of himself.  Craig has served as Chairman of the Board of The National Conference of Christians and Jews. He has served or serves on the Boards of the Colorado Bar Association, Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Rose Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital, the Anti-Defamation League, and the AMC Cancer Research Board.  He served as a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association. He chaired the Colorado Bar Association’s Professional Liability Insurance Committee for several years, and he served on the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Government and Community Affairs Advisory Committee.

Just like his soon-to-be bride, Layne, Craig has experienced the devastating loss of a child.   His 23 year old son, Jason, passed away the day after graduating from college after contracting meningitis.   Craig and Layne have been very strong and courageous as they help each other through the pain and grief of such tragedies. They both believe that the best way to make something positive come out of something so heartbreaking is to become involved in helping others and live a life of purpose.  Craig and Layne will affirm their love and devotion for each when they say their vows this November.

The solid and accomplished Craig Fleishman has a gentle spirit and is easygoing - and a comforting figure to be around.  Maybe it’s because he has indeed faced some difficult times and knows how to reach out to others.  When it comes to legal matters, rest assured, he knows his stuff and is the reliable and right person to have in your corner.

Who is the most interesting person you have ever met?  Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister of Israel.

What word best describes your life right now? Fulfilled.

What charitable organizations are you most involved with at this time?
Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Anti-Defamation League, Kempe Foundation, & Beacon Center.

Is there a nonprofit event you really look forward to attending each year?
I-CON Awards. It is always fun, with great entertainment, decor, and food. Most importantly, it transfers most of the ticket expense to multiple charities designated by the guests.

What are your fondest childhood memories?  Growing up. Actually, two things: First, being a horrible batter, and then hitting a triple when I was eight years old on a little league team. Second, at age 15, bicycling 1,200 miles in six weeks through England and Scotland.

If you could have an hour conversation with someone famous, who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln. If he was unavailable because of a theater commitment, then Winston

In your opinion, who is the greatest lawyer in history?
  Many would choose Clarence Darrow. I would choose Samuel Lebowitz. He represented Bruno Hauptmann, the Lindbergh kidnapper, and was instrumental in obtaining civil rights for individuals charged with serious crimes. Of approximately 124 individuals charged with murder, he was able to get all but one (Hauptmann) acquitted or a reduced charge conviction. Read Courtroom, by Quenton Reynolds, about Judge Lebowitz’s career as a trial lawyer.

How do you keep from getting emotionally involved in difficult cases? I remind myself that clients come to me because they want a focused, objective, analytical, and creative advocate. If one’s emotions control one’s case or one’s life, he will be less effective and successful. I owe to my clients the very best representation I can accord to them.

What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
  I love to learn and experience. Recently, I had the good fortune of being able to visit Australia. I saw an incredible fireworks display in Sidney on New Year’s Eve, spent a couple of days in the wine country, scuba dove the Great Barrier Reef, and trekked, on foot and camelback, a portion of the Outback. We also had a dinner under the stars with an astrologist pointing out all of the constellations of the southern hemisphere.

What’s the best advice your parents ever gave you?  “Go to law school. You’ll never regret it.”

How do you stay so passionate and committed to what you are doing in the community? Only narcissists believe the sun revolves around them. To give back to society is tremendously fulfilling and truly the moral duty of all those with the time and resources to do so. H.L. Mencken once said, “A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” The same can be said about those who take and never give.

What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today?
The mean-spirited interaction between politicians which often results in paralysis instead
of problem solution. The inability of our political leaders to identify significant problems and work together to develop viable solutions to them. This, coupled with the intrusiveness into individuals’ personal lives by the media, has certainly dissuaded competent, bright individuals from entering public service.

When does someone know when it’s time to move on in a relationship?
Tip-offs include: (1) closing your eyes while they are still talking; (2) when good deeds are not followed by “thank yous” or expressions of appreciation; (3) when lies or insults or lack of consideration occur in even limited quantities; (4) when one is taken for granted constantly; (5) when they are not there during your tough times; and (6) when she says, “Do I look fat in this dress?” and he says, “Yes.”

Is there a special “aha” moment in your life when you knew “I get it now!”?
I was about eight years old visiting a relative who lived north of Detroit. All of the neighbors were Christian. I was from the Jewish ghetto in St. Louis. It was cloudy that day. When rays of sun burst through, one kid said, “Look, the rays of Jesus.” I returned home and a week later, it was a cloudy day. The rays broke through, and I exclaimed to my friends, “Look, the rays of Jesus.” One said, “No, the rays of Moses.” I said, “Aha, I get it now.”
Is there a saying, motto, or “words to live by” that is your favorite? As Polonius said to his son, Laertes, in Hamlet: “And this above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, then canst not then be false to any man.”

How does one hold onto their true self and still become successful?  First, define for yourself “What is success?” If it is money, one can adhere to one’s beliefs and principles and still be paid handsomely. If it is successfully representing victims of negligence, prejudice or intentional wrongdoing, the euphoric satisfaction one derives is often indescribable and totally fulfilling.

What is your favorite book? Magazine? And - movie of all times?  Books - Tie - Catch 22; Shogun; Magazine - The Week; Movies - Several Ties: High Noon, Shane, The Magnificent Seven, Pulp Fiction, Bridge on the River Kwai, Casablanca, A Shot in the Dark and Twelve Angry Men.

What is the biggest challenge you have ever had to deal with?  The death of my son, Jason, coupled with unilaterally raising my son, Gavin, who is now 11 years old.

What do you like the most about yourself?  My compassion and commitment to my family, friends, and clients, coupled with my principles and desire to be there for all those for whom I should be available and committed.

Would you say you are living your true dream and destiny?
  Yes. I am blessed with a profession which permits me to help defend companies and individuals in need of a creative, fair, hardworking, and successful attorney. I derive a great deal of satisfaction in meeting and exceeding my clients’ goals.

What do you think molded you into the person you are today?
  My mother is a type A personality who, at age 87, teaches English to Chinese doctoral candidates. She is incredibly bright, driven, cosmopolitan, and a gourmet cook. My father was a hardworking entrepreneurial businessman with tremendous ethics. He loved politics
and was a moderate in his beliefs.

What do you love most about making your home in Colorado? 
The weather is generally wonderful, the people usually polite, and not pretentious, and we usually have at least one sports team which is competitive and interesting.

What is your favorite restaurant in Colorado?  Tie - Del Frescos (best Osso Bucco on the planet); The Palm (best carrot cake on the planet); and Briarwood (best cioppino on the planet).

When you were a young boy, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?

An FBI agent. I thought carrying a badge and a gun would give me power, security, and
be a babe magnet. Then I grew up.

Is there something you still want to learn how to do in your lifetime? Be a competent and entertaining magician.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Being awarded the Bronze Star in Vietnam and raising wonderful children.

What’s in the future for Craig Fleishman?  If I could see into the future, I would go to the racetrack. I hope it is health, happiness, financial security, a healthy libido, grandchildren, and trading-in the SUV when Gavin turns 18 years old.

How do you want to be remembered by future generations?
  A great, loving, and  supportive dad and husband - having lived to be 110 years old.