Last week I was named the Best Lawyers® 2021 Criminal Defense: White-Collar “Lawyer of the Year” in Charlotte.
I usually don’t tout such awards. I rely on my reputation and work to gain new clients. But I confess I’m proud of this particular recognition for three reasons.
First, I achieved it from a different angle than prior recipients – I almost exclusively represent human beings in white collar investigations, not companies. There are many great white collar defense lawyers in Charlotte who focus on representing big companies and their high-level executives. I learned a lot over the years from these lawyers. They sometimes bring me into cases to represent other employees. But I focus on representing owners, managers, or employees in small and medium businesses.
Second, this was a plan I hatched 16 years ago. From 1994 – 2003 I defended people in blue-collar crimes in state and federal court – everything from robbery to DWI, from drug offenses to homicides. In 2003 I crafted a plan to try to break into the white collar field. It took patience, hustle, and a willingness to learn. Some of the skills of blue collar defense – cross-examination, independent investigation, listening to clients – translated to white collar. But I kept my eyes open and learned new skills. It’s fun to make a plan and achieve the goal — a thriving white collar practice.
Third, I think Best Lawyers/U.S. News have the best method – peer voting by other lawyers and judges in each field. It feels good to earn this vote from the white collar defense community here in Charlotte.
Enough of the self-promotion. Back to work.