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