ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LEONARD FINZ is a former New York State Supreme Court Justice born and raised in New York City. Recognized by his peers as one of America’s preeminent trial lawyers, he is a top-ranked published author of judicial opinions and articles on law and society. Finz’s extraordinary background as a professional musician, singer and TV/ nite club performer, decorated U.S. Army officer, litigator, law professor, and judge provides street-wise grit and a unique experience with human conflict, corruption, and the criminal mind – all fictionalized in Arrowhead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR IN DETAIL
From Professional Musician – to
Decorated U.S. Army Officer – to
Singer and TV/ Nite Club Performer – to
Attorney and Community Leader – to
New York State Supreme Court Justice – to
Law Professor – to
Trial Lawyer – to
Author of Fiction Novels
Professional Musician – at age 8, young Leonard began with formal lessons on the saxophone and clarinet. He was later accepted as a gifted student into the High School of Music & Art in upper Manhattan, traveling four hours a day although he could have attended the high school in his district only fifteen minutes from his home. (The High School of Music & Art is now combined with the School for Performing Arts and located at Lincoln Center). While in high school, he became the leader of the school’s award winning big band jazz orchestra, fronting it with his clarinet styled after Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. Later, Finz was featured with popular professional club date ensembles, performing in almost every top New York City hotel from the Pierre to the Plaza.
Decorated U.S. Army Officer - Finz entered the service at age 18, serving almost four years during WWII. After basic training, he became entertainment director of the base where he wrote, directed, and produced shows for thousands of GIs, being written up by the army newspaper as “born of talent”. Wanting to become more involved in the war, he applied and was accepted into Officer Candidate School and upon graduation at age 20 was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. Thereafter, he was sent overseas to the Philippines. When the war with Japan ended, Finz was appointed Defense Counsel to defend GIs in prison who where awaiting trial. Although only a high school graduate at the time, he tried more than fifty cases successfully and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. Sixty years later (2004), Finz was officially decorated by the Secretary of the Army for his distinguished and meritorious service “and outstanding contribution to military justice”. Pinned by U.S. Congressman Gary Ackerman with the Army Commendation Medal and six other medals at an official ceremony held at the WWII Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, Finz was also presented with the American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in his honor. It was there where he was described by Congressman Ackerman as “A real American hero".
Singer and TV/ Nite Club Performer - Having started his career as a regular performer at the top Catskill Mountain resort hotels, he was signed up by MCA, the largest theatrical agency in the world at the time. Taking on the stage name “ Lennie Forrest”, his first record release was singled out by Billboard and Cashbox magazines as the “Sleeper of the Week,” and forecast as a show biz star of the future. Performing on TV and in nite clubs throughout the country, he was also a featured singer and performer on the then daytime Joe Franklin ABC–TV Show.
Attorney and Community Leader - Using the G.I. Bill to further his education, Finz received both his college degree (B.A.) and law degree (J.D.) from New York University. An active leader in many civic, charitable and professional organizations, he became a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives at which time he frequently met with John F. Kennedy, having been a great admirer of the young president. It was Finz who on the stage of a large arena in Queens County, New York introduced presidential candidate John F. Kennedy to a crowd of thousands at a huge rally in 1960.
New York State Supreme Court Justice - Finz was the youngest judge to be elected to the New York City Civil Court at the time. He was later elected a Supreme Court Justice of the State of New York. Leaving the bench voluntarily after 13 years as a judge, he became a partner in a prominent New York City litigation firm. The hundreds of judicial opinions published in the official case volumes of New York State and law journals, can still be found in law libraries throughout the country.
Law Professor - On the faculty as a full adjunct professor of law, Finz was the recipient of New York Law School’s five year certificate of honor presented to him at commencement ceremonies by Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the late Warren Burger. Finz also taught judges throughout the country as a faculty member with the National Judicial College located at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Trial Lawyer - Based on peer review, Finz is listed in the official Martindale-Hubbell National Law Register as one of “ America’s Preeminent Trial Lawyers”. He is also founder of the law firm of Finz & Finz, a prestigious New York litigation firm now operated by his son Stuart, who is also a prominent trial lawyer. Having tried hundreds of cases representing individuals against giant institutions, he has scored record multi-million dollar verdicts. Finz also tried the case of a DES victim (DES – short for Diethylstilbesterol, a drug prescribed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriage, and claimed to have caused cancer in the offspring daughter many years after birth). He won the first DES case in the nation against the manufacturer of the drug, the final appeal being decided in the United States Supreme Court. The landmark case (taught in law schools to this day) opened the door for thousands of female victims who before that verdict had no legal recourse. The trial and Finz’s efforts were described at length in the published book “DES Daughter” authored by Joyce Bichler.
Author of Fiction Novels - With well over a million words written as lawyer and Judge, the transition to novelist was a natural one. The hands-on personal exposure to thousands of human situations Finz has encountered throughout his many exciting and colorful careers provide a unique fit to the writing of fiction based upon real life experiences. One of its natural by-products is Arrowhead – A Thriller of Corruption, Love and Tragedy, his first published novel. But there are more to come. Soon to be published, is The Paragon Group, to be followed by Denial, The Camper and more.
The author has a bottomless pit of storylines, back-dropped with life’s torment, crisis, love, sex, anger, jealousy, corruption, hate, revenge, and tragedy – the full spectrum of human nature with all of its warts, heartaches and shortcomings.
Again, keep a close watch for Leonard Finz’s next novel, The Paragon Group. It is a chilling contemporary shocker that sets out an extreme plan of treachery in order to carry out the unthinkable, sub-plotted with a deeply sensitive love story.
CAUTION: Be prepared for a tumultuous and harrowing ride!
ARROWHEAD WARNING –
Do not sneak a peek at the ending!