Since earning my law degree in 1986, my career has been characterized by two key tools of legal resolution: litigation and negotiation. I started out as a trial lawyer in a litigation firm, handling my own cases, including trying many to conclusion before judges and juries. I represented clients of all levels in a variety of disputes, including commercial issues, intellectual property cases, personal injury matters, and medical malpractice claims-whatever the issue, I learned the issue and then I litigated it. Because most cases settle, I also settled many. Early on, I recognized the waste and expense inherent in litigation, where the litigants failed to comprehend the true stakes of their cases until very late, sometimes too late.
Mediation, by contrast, focuses on bringing people together to resolve conflict through discussion and compromise before all the money is spent. I saw the opportunity to serve the Bar and the community as a mediator and have been doing it ever since. I have served as a court-appointed mediator for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia since the earliest days of the program in 1991. I have also mediated many cases for others and counseled my clients through mediation.
My experience in litigation and mediation has enhanced my legal knowledge and given me a broad perspective on the legal and practical issues you might face. I am a better litigator because of my mediation experience, and vice versa, and both have led to counseling small businesses and conducting transactions. This diverse background enables me to size up a situation quickly, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances in the courtroom and across the negotiating table, and adjust my strategy as needed. The law is a people business, navigated with knowledge, skill, and experience.
-Small business law
-J.D., College of William & Mary, 1986
-A.B., College of William & Mary, 1981
-District of Columbia, 1988
-U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1999
-U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 1999
-U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Columbia, 1999
-Arlington County Bar Association
-Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 1996