SSI Hall of Fame: High 5

Ken Kirschenbaum

Current Status

Managing Partner, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC

Why He’s on the List

  • More     than 30 years providing legal counsel and guidance to the alarm and security     industry
  • In     1979, designed his first standardized alarm contract, a commercial lease (then     used for all installations and services) for a client who agreed if the     fee was less than $100 he would tell everyone to buy it
  • His     standardized contracts have been used by thousands of alarm companies in every     U.S.    state, contributing to the establishment of laws and legal decisions coast     to coast
  • Recurring     revenue features in his contracts encouraged alarm company growth and     increased value, while the defense provisions enabled alarm companies to retain     that growth and value
  • Has     used his Web site to bring the legal side of the industry and alarm     contracts to even companies that might ordinarily be unable to afford an     attorney

Keys to Success

“Commitment and hard work; luck too.”

Becoming Industry’s Legal Counsel

“I wanted to be a clinical psychologist specializing in psychoanalysis, but my image of success came from my father who was a litigation partner for a major Manhattan law firm. I’d visit him, see several associates lined up outside his office to see him and watch his phone ring every 30 seconds. It seemed exciting. When I started my practice and began representing perhaps 20 different alarm companies, my phone rang all the time, too. Thanks to this industry, it still does.”

Most Memorable Moment

“Practicing less than two years, I received a phone call in my office as I was busy packing my files to move into my own office to begin my private practice. It was from a claims rep at California Union Insurance Co. asking me if I’d be willing to represent one of my own clients in a defense case. After verifying that he knew who he was actually talking to, I readily agreed. Of course, I won that case and hundreds after it. I still get excited when hearing from a new client, alarm company or insurance company, asking me to represent them; sort of positive re-enforcement for my self-worth as an attorney.”

How Things Have Changed

“The legal issues have evolved in the same way as the first alarm panel, consisting of some circuits on a wooden board, has changed; it’s a lot more complex. The contracts protect the industry and they are constantly under scrutiny. The industry should be careful to use attorneys committed to the industry. Also, alarm companies have expanded their services, become systems integrators and are no doubt well positioned to prosper in a technological age.”

Something People Might Not Know

Besides his expertise in the alarm law practice, he has been a United States Bankruptcy Trustee since 1977. That experience helped round out his perspective on issues important to the alarm industry. Says if his life had taken a different path he probably “would have invested in a few of the new startup alarm companies that retained his services!”

Reaction to Being Inducted

“I am honored. It’s always great to find out you’re well thought of by those who you respect.”

About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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