I was a debater in high school. I enjoyed the analytic quality of legal work, of taking apart arguments and putting them back together again and putting them with facts.
Do you prefer your current defense work over being a prosecutor?
I really enjoyed my time as a prosecutor. Everyone you meet will tell you those were the best years of your career. But when you work for a client, you do try in some ways to put yourself in the client's shoes -- to understand the problem. In some cases, people have made bad decisions, and as a lawyer, your job is to protect them from those decisions. It's very satisfying.
How has the industry changed since you started?
One change for sure is companies are much more cost conscious, particularly from the business side of law. Law firms have definitely felt the recession. It hasn't been good for lawyers except for firms that do foreclosures and bankruptcy.
On a serious note, is there any film or television show that fairly depicts lawyers?
What's that movie with Paul Newman -- "The Verdict?" That's pretty good. We used to say that "CSI" was the worst thing that ever happened for prosecutors. A jury would think that crime scene people always find the piece of evidence that solves the whole case. [On most shows] there was always some witness on the stand who breaks down and admits he committed the crime and that the defendant is innocent. That almost never happens. If it does happen, it's not because they had a crisis of conscience. It's because a lawyer worked hard to find something inconsistent with what witness was saying.