The practice of law-what lawyers do-has not changed much since I was admitted to the Bar. Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series. But the delivery of legal services-how, by whom, and under what structure those tasks are performed- is undergoing a tectonic shift.
Legal expertise was what law firms required. Little else. But that has changed. Legal delivery now has three key components: legal expertise, business process, and technology. Add to that a fourth element: integration- how is law, business, and IT melded to produce positive results, mitigate risk, and contain cost? That’s not what lawyers were trained to do. And it is a delivery gap that must be bridged. That’s why I founded Legal Mosaic. Because after many years as a trial lawyer handling bet-the-company cases for Fortune 500 companies and foreign Governments,
I know something about legal service delivery and the client perspective. This extends to the C-Suite and Boardroom. And I know some things from the consumer side, too. I served for a decade as a federally appointed Receiver of a large international business and oversaw lawyers around the world. I appreciate the challenges and frustration of General Counsel with multinational portfolios. Having served as outside General Counsel to three excess and surplus lines insurance companies, I also learned quite a bit about managing outside lawyers and implementing novel fee arrangements that aligned attorney and client interest.
I’m not a techie, but I was an early adopter of technology in the national law firm I founded and managed. And that carried through to my founding one of the early legal process outsourcing companies. That ante was upped substantially when I co-founded Clearspire, a ground-breaking law firm and legal services company that developed a cutting-edge, proprietary technology platform as well as a new model for delivery of corporate legal services.
I’m a great believer in project and process management. We practiced it at Clearspire, and I devised and teach a course at Georgetown Law called “Project Management for Lawyers.” My view is that project management is one of the foundational elements of refashioning the delivery of legal services. I apply these four decades of experience to consulting with corporate legal departments, service providers, investors/new entrants in the legal vertical, and progressive law firms.
As a recovering trial lawyer, I’m all about results and proof, not puffery and supposition. I believe in metrics, clear language, concise documents, customer value, and efficient service. I tend to like my clients, too. That comes with age and self-selection.
I’ve been recently appointed Distinguished Lecturer at Georgetown University Law School. I will continue my teaching duties as well as help design the Professional Competency courses and provide guidance on career strategies and placement.
I write a weekly column in Forbes on the global legal marketplace.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
- AUSA, (Assistant United States Attorney- drop AUSA), Civil Division—won 2 DOJ awards for outstanding trial performance
- Tried 57 major civil cases during career
- Lead Counsel in 13 class action lawsuits and numerous MDL cases
- Represented Five Foreign Sovereign Nations including lead trial counsel in Panama litigation (versus Manuel Noriega
- Extensive appellate experience including en banc arguments before 11th Circuit and numerous Federal and State Appellate Courts
- Extensive international/multi-border experience including lead counsel in landmark forum non conveniens cases
- Lead Counsel in numerous arbitrations and mediations, both domestic and international
Managing Partner at BigLaw
- Youngest partner at Finley Kumble
- Asked to serve on the Firm’s National Management Committee
Founder of National Boutique litigation firm
- Founder and Managing Partner of multi-city national litigation boutique firm
- Personally represented more than 60 F500 companies as well as 5 foreign sovereign nations
- Significant innovations: Flex time, fixed price billing, virtual law library, andstrongly diverse law firm (all before new millennium)
- Appointed Permanent Receiver of international aviation parts business by Hon. Richard Owen, U.S.D.C. S.D. N.Y.
- Served for 10 years and repatriated more than $100M
- Oversaw legal operations of company in 4 continents
Outside General Counsel
- Functioned as outside general counsel to 3 excess and surplus lines insurance companies
- Devised innovative outside counsel arrangements (fixed-price portfolio work; reduction of law firms; formulate outside counsel litigation guidelines)
Early adopter of legal technology
- Worked with client, AT&T to create integration between/among 3 offices
- Used T-1 line to create videoconferencing, virtual law library, centralized attendant, etc. (in 1992)
Early Mover in LPO
- Founder of Qualitas Legal Solutions, one of the first to conduct document review overseas utilizing IT and tapping into labor arbitrage
- Co-Founder of groundbreaking two-company law firm/legal service entity regarded as pioneer in law firm/legal delivery system evolution
- Written up in Economist, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Reuters, American Lawyer, and scores of other media sources.
- Co-Architect of Coral, an integrated, web-enabled IT platform
- Principal lawyer participant in architecture of this web-enabled, integrated IT platform
- Managing Director, Clearspire Law
- Georgetown University Law Center – Appointed Distinguished Lecturer at Georgetown University Law Center.
Devise and teach professional competency courses and provide guidance on career strategies and placement.
- Frequent speaker/guest Professor at numerous domestic and international law. Consult with numerous law school deans about the state of the legal marketplace, curriculum change, and employment opportunities.
- Lecturer and advisor to Executive Director, Sheldon Krantz at the DC Affordable Law Firm (joint venture involving Georgetown Law Center, DLA, and Arent Fox to address the “access to justice” crisis).
- Advisor to Founder, Michelle DeStefano at Law Without Walls (University of Miami Law School).
- Regular columnist for Bloomberg’s Law Business
- Featured Contributor, BizCatalyst360
- Regular columnist for Today’s General Counsel (“The Legal Marketplace”)
Speaker and TV Commentator
- Speaker at “Reinvent Law”, as well as at various symposia and law schools around the country and overseas.
- Speaker at numerous global legal symposia and conferences as well as regular commentator on “The Street TV”