My BigLaw experience was decidedly un-BigLaw-ish. I began working at a firm that handled bet-the-company litigation for large, corporate clients but that eschewed the billable hour and the rest of the BigLaw repertoire. Cases were staffed with small teams of lawyers, and what we lacked in numbers we made up for through technology, effective collaboration, and smarts. This was a great place to start my career. Lean staffing meant early responsibility and daily contact with senior attorneys and clients; right out of the gate I was taking depositions and point person for a part of a large antitrust action. Doing things the way they had always been done, or even the way a certain senior attorney did them, was neither expected nor desired. I was instead told that the client was paying a lot of money for my brain and that I had better use it. My work was rarely dull and scripted, and my days were generally engaging and challenging.
Working at Valorem makes me use my brain in much the same way. Valorem’s entrepreneurial spirit is aptly captured by the old saying that “everything must change, so that everything can remain the same.” What stays the same is the dedication to client service. What changes, from client to client and matter to matter, is how to achieve that result. The tools we use are constantly evolving. That means leveraging the latest technology and also looking to methods employed with success in other fields, such as project management, and asking how they might be transplanted to the practice of law. The goal is to make routine and managerial tasks easier, and the critical, “lawyers’ work” better.
The payoff for me is that I spend no time on busy work, less time on drudge work, and more time on meaningful work. That’s time well spent.
Luckily for me, I gained tough experience at an early stage. I found myself as a young associate taking depositions and playing a key role in the RealNetworks' antitrust case against Microsoft, which eventually settled for around threequarters of a billion dollars.
Now that I know more about practicing law, I am excited to be working at Valorem. This is a firm that's young enough and small enough to allow each one of us to make our own contribution to the firm's personality and success. And with engaging work, small and collaborative teams, colleagues who are not only smart but collegial, and alternative fee arrangements that align our interests with those of our clients, there's a lot to like.
Before joining Valorem, I was a partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott in Chicago. I also served as a law clerk to the then-Chief Judge of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr.
I have experience in a wide variety of commercial litigation matters before federal and state courts as well as in arbitrations. My experience includes matters involving antitrust, securities fraud, breach of contract, insurance coverage, patent, copyright infringement, and appeals. Representative cases include the following: