I didn't know exactly what kind of papers I could make, but I had a sense all the players would play ball. The Albanian would play because he wanted to get paid, the landlord would play because he wanted to get paid, and the creditors would play because they wanted to get paid. I also figured the landlord and creditors would prefer happy Egyptian to shrugging Albanian.
I was mostly right. Mohammed arranged some "private financing". In the military they call this "don't ask, don't tell". He had enough money to do what the landlord wanted....pay five months back rent and accept an assignment of the old lease. I actually negotiated a five year extension for Mohammed, conditioned upon him paying the first years rent on time, which he actually did.
The creditors were a little harder. I told Mohammed to try to negotiate with them, but if any of them gave a big problem, to have them call me. One call went like this......
"Counselor, I understand you represent the Egyptian pizza guy on Jamaica Avenue. My name is Vincent. I represent the Scarola Flour Company."
"Oh, are you their attorney?"
"No, let's just say I take care of business for them."
Hmmmm.....Sometimes when your client has financial problems you help them prioritize their debts. Something told me Scarola Flour Company was a priority creditor. Mohammed agreed, and told me Vincent had assured him that if he paid what the Albanian owed ($1200), and if he made his future payments on time, Vincent would not visit him any more. Mohammed adjusted his budget and brought me $1200 for Vincent.
"Will you make a paper with him Mr. Barry?" he asked.
"I don't think Vincent goes for papers, and I don't think we need papers with him."
So, I took care of the business with Vincent, and papers were not needed.
We also got the Albanian to accept three years of notes on the amount he and Mohammed had originally discussed, with payments to start in six months. The Albanian had a lawyer who may have been Croatian. I couldn't tell, between his accent and his grunting. At least he could get the Albanian to talk. At the closing I asked them what language they spoke to each other. The Albanian shrugged, and the lawyer grunted. Mohammed then whispered to me...."Who the fuck cares."
Mohammed seemed to be doing OK as a pizza man. About two years later, he called and told me he was selling the pizzeria to "two Peruvian guys". He said, "This time I want you to make the papers from the beginning."
So, we set out to sell the pizzeria to the Peruvians.
Next.....Law & Pizza (Part 3)