Paul Asker and Gary Per!muter at
heir Farmington Hills law office
Bill Carroll Contributing Writer
To say that attorneys Paul
Asker and Gary Perlmuter
have an unusual professional
relationship and operate a
close-knit law firm is somewhat
of an understatement.
Asker, 46, who is Chaldean, and
Perlmuter, 44, who is Jewish, have
known each other since their Wayne
State University law school days in
Detroit 20 years ago. They finish each
other's sentences and stories, take care
of each other's clients, think the world
of each other as lawyers and praise the
similarity in cultures of each other's
They both graduated from the
University of Michigan and each is mar-
ried and has three sons. Asker is affili-
ated with St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic
Church and Perlmuter with Temple Shir
Shalom, both in West Bloomfield.
And they're both West Bloomfield
residents who went through a whirlwind
of law firms, gaining valuable experi-
ence along the way, before opening
Asker Perlmuter PLC in Farmington
Hills almost three years ago.
"We have somewhat of a symbi-
otic relationship with each other',' says
Asker. "The trust and interdependence
between us is something that's unheard
of in the legal profession. We do our own
work, but we can always rely on each
other to finish the job.
"Keeping nimble allows us to define
our strategy better, which is not just to
bill the client — but to win!"
Adds Perlmuter: "Our close relation-
ship is very rare. We just plain under-
stand each other, often handle each
other's clients — even take care of each
other's family legal needs:'
The Early Y6444Q,
It all began when Asker and Perlmuter
were studying and doing Law Review
work at Wayne's law school.
"I didn't know Gary, but he would
come in, with his lunch, and sit and
read and study for hours without hardly
moving;' Asker recalls."I never saw
anyone with such amazing ability to
read and concentrate for a long period
of time. Even now, he just focuses on his
work like a laser beam; he has fantastic
depth and breadth as a lawyer."
Asker is the first generation in his
family to be born in the United States,
growing up in Beverly Hills (Mich.),
attending Birmingham Groves High
School and the London School of
Economics for one year. His father,
George, a native of Iraq, is a retired
Perlmuter was raised in Southfield,
going to Southfield-Lathrup High
School. Both partners graduated from
the University of Michigan: Asker with
a political science degree and Perlmuter
with a psychology degree. Moving
beyond their undergraduate degrees,
they both pursued law careers instead.
Asker worked for four different law
firms and Perlmuter worked for three
before they joined forces at Asker
Perlmuter. "We became such good
friends in school that we tried our
best to stick together afterward',' says
Perlmuter. "When I was being recruited
by a firm, I would also talk to them
about Paul, and he did the same. We
worked as summer associates together,
and once we ended up at the same firm
full time. We always tried to join a firm
as epackage deal:"
Their own firm now specializes in
business, real estate and commercial
law, providing a comprehensive portfolio
of services to about 500 clients since
inception. The firm has three other law-
yers and a paralegal.
Perlmuter does much of the trans-
actional work, such as e-business and
Internet law, labor and employment law,
construction law, real estate matters,
intellectual property (which includes
software licensing, copyrights and trade
secrets) and many others.
WM Days in Cour
Asker, often working 18-hour days, is
the litigation expert, arguing these cases
in court. "At one point in my career, I got
bored with the inside transactional work
and switched to court litigation, which is
the ideal position for me',' he says.
One of the Asker-Perlmuter team's
biggest fans is Funeral Director David
Techner of the Ira Kaufman Chapel
in Southfield. "I've been involved with
them for the past five years on a compli-
cated case involving a family member
who was the victim of embezzlement for
a significant amount of money,' Techner
says. "Paul has done a spectacular job
trying to recoup the funds. He's a very
efficient, diligent and responsive lawyer.
And if he's ever unavailable, I can get
any necessary information from Gary
"I'm pleased to be in their hands.
The experience also has made me more
aware of the Chaldean culture and how
similar it is to the Jewish religion."
Asker points out there are a great deal
of similarities among the Chaldeans and
Jews. He says: "We're both Semitic, both
sophisticated, both highly educated,
both hard working, both family oriented
— and both Chaldeans and Jews have
fled persecution many times through
"No wonder Gary and I get along so
well together." BC
CHALDEAN NEWS I JEWISH NEWS 9