GETTING TO KNOW: David Kramer

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

David Kramer is a principal at Gemini Risk Partners LLC, located in Bloomfield Hills, an independent professional liability insurance brokerage specializing in professional liability insurance and risk management for law firms across the U.S. Gemini Risk Partners is the exclusive partner for SwissRe’s legal professional liability program for small Michigan law firms.   

A former practicing attorney, Kramer uses his legal background to assist law firms of all sizes with insurance placement, policy structuring, and risk management. Prior to entering the insurance industry nearly 15 years ago, Kramer practiced law at prominent firms in Washington, D.C. and Detroit.

A resident of Bloomfield Township, Kramer is a graduate of Cranbrook and earned his B.A in Honors English from the University of Michigan. He received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School. He serves as a board member at Franklin Hills Country Club, as vice president for Hebrew Free Loan of Metropolitan Detroit, and is a member of the board of directors for the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit. He previously served as board chair for Orchards Children’s Services. Kramer also was recognized as a Crain’s 40 Under 40 in 2010, was the winner of the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit Wetsman Young Leadership Award, and will receive the Advocate Award from Orchards Children’s Services in May 2018.

What would surprise people about your job?

That working with lawyers to procure insurance is intellectually stimulating and a great deal of fun! 

Why did you become a lawyer?

I come from a family of lawyers (my father practices and my grandfather practiced for many decades) so it is in my blood. I have always had a legal mind and thought my talents would translate well into law.

What’s your favorite law-related movie?

Given that I deal with lawyers and the law all day, I tend to stay away from law-related topics for pleasure but who can resist “My Cousin Vinny?” I always smile when I think of Joe Pesci talking about “Two yutes.”

Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional?

My grandfather, Hyman Kramer, who built a successful law practice after immigrating from Russia with no money and no knowledge of the English language; and my father, Michael Kramer, who is respected for solving problems by seeing the big picture and not getting mired in the weeds.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?

My kids, considering their biggest source of stress is how well they are doing on the video games they play online with their friends. 

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?

First, go for the right reasons. That means not going because someone else told you to or you think it will make others happy. If you do not have a reason to go, do not bother. If you do go, understand a law degree is helpful in careers outside of practicing law. My law degree helps me a great deal in my work in insurance.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?

I am proud of being able to use my legal training and experience in private practice to advocate for lawyers and law firms in the professional liability context every day.  

What do you do to relax?

Read insurance policies (just joking). I enjoy playing golf and tennis, reading about history, participating in community service, and traveling with my family.

What other career path might you have chosen?

I am 6’5” so certain career paths such as a racing jockey or a flight attendant were not possibilities. My vertical leap is about 3 inches so an NBA career was out of the question. I would have pursued something sales related as I enjoy interfacing with people and helping to provide a solution to a problem. Of course, the only fun sales jobs are those where you believe in what it is you are trying to sell.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?

Do your best in everything and do not be afraid to try new things. You learn the most from your failures.  

Favorite local hangouts?

Phoenicia, Luxe and Market in Birmingham; Takoi and several new restaurants in Detroit; Ford Field (I am a long suffering Lions fan).

Favorite websites?

My favorite is www.geminiriskpartners.com of course! I frequently visit the Free Press and ESPN, and news sites including The New York Times.

Favorite app?

Delta, given that I travel a ton for work and pleasure.

Favorite music?

I listen to a bit of everything but my favorite band is Coldplay. I am ashamed to admit I know a lot of Rap and Hip Hop lyrics from my kids—none of them suitable for print here.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

Playing one-on-one basketball with my dad in the driveway for countless hours.  

What is your most treasured material possession?

My grandfather’s monogramed pocket squares and a copy of my mother’s ferry ticket from Europe to the United States after she and her parents survived the Holocaust. 

What do you wish someone would invent?

The ability to teleport from place to place.

What has been your favorite year so far and why?

I am still waiting for the year when the Lions win the Super Bowl but I may be long gone by that time. I loved my third year of law school when I already had a job lined up and was able to enjoy living in Washington, D.C. and hanging out with my now wife and many of my closest friends from GW Law School.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve been?

Jerusalem, given the history, culture, and religious significance.  

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Unlimited leaping ability—then I would have had a far more distinguished basketball career.  

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?

Overcome a fear of heights.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I interned in the White House, worked for a member of Congress on Capitol Hill, and started a PAC, all in my 20s.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Abraham Lincoln, Bobby Layne, and my maternal great-grandmother

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Discover and utilize your strengths

Favorite place to spend money?

Men’s clothing stores 

What is your motto?

Treat people well and good things will happen to you.

Which living person do you most admire?

Bill Gates, he revolutionized the world through business and philanthropy.   

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

From a business perspective, creating a successful practice and then buying that practice and creating a standalone business.  

What is the most unusual thing you have done?

I am not sure that the character and fitness folks at the State Bar would like for me to divulge that information.

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