E: What motivated you to become an attorney?
CD: My father was an in-house attorney for The Upjohn Company for many years. I think the inspiration came from him initially.
E: What elements of your background prepared you for your current role?
CD: I think my 12 years of government experience doing mostly white-collar work, combined with many years in private practice, help me understand issues from different sides. That, combined with having tried a number of high-profile cases, gives me an ability to effectively assess complex matters and advocate on behalf of clients.
E: What do you enjoy most about your work?
CD: I enjoy working with dedicated legal and compliance professionals around the globe who are passionate about helping their companies prevent and solve problems.
E: How do you feel what you do contributes to the success of your company and its culture?
CD: When I arrived at MoFo a bit more than a year ago, I was able to join a team that was already doing great work for various multinational clients, and I think I was able to add to the depth of that team with insights into enforcement and practical advice about compliance, investigations, and resolutions.
E: What’s your biggest challenge?
CD: Since leaving government, I now appreciate much better the challenge of making important business decisions with imperfect information. Giving advice in those circumstances, without the benefit of hindsight, is probably the biggest challenge.
E: What have been the turning point moments in your career?
CD: My biggest turning point would be when I paid off my last law school loan with my associate bonus in 2001 and then, minutes later, quit my job to accept a position as a federal prosecutor in Miami. It was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.
E: What are your aspirations for the future?
CD: Having just entered private practice recently, my principal aspiration is to continue providing advice and counsel to companies and individuals that keeps them out of trouble in the first place or gets them out of any trouble in which they find themselves. I would also like to remain engaged in thought leadership related to white-collar enforcement, particularly the FCPA, as I believe much work and analysis remain to be done on that front.
E: What is your definition of an Attorney Who Matters?
CD: My definition would be: An attorney whose advice, insights, experience or accomplishments place him or her on the short list of attorneys whom clients call when it comes to their most important or pressing issues.
E: What’s your best advice to your peers (i.e., tips and best practices) and young, aspiring attorneys?
CD: My advice would be the same to both: As an advocate for your client, your credibility is everything. It can take an entire career to establish it and a single act to ruin it—so behave accordingly.