Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m a farm boy from Kansas who now practices commercial real estate law in Baltimore. I handle transactions for pension funds, REITs, and institutional investors (both regionally and nationally), and have the good fortune to work with the top talent in the industry. When not representing my clients, I spend time working through the ABA and other groups domestically and internationally to fend off the federal regulation of the legal profession in the money laundering and terrorist financing realm. It may strike some odd that a real estate lawyer would be involved in this effort, but there have been relentless and aggressive efforts by the federal government to impose anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist obligations on the legal profession, and I have been at the forefront of this effort for the last dozen years. That activity allows me to help the legal profession in a meaningful, tangible manner. In my “spare” time, I like being outdoors playing the role of a gentleman farmer (e.g., clearing brush and mowing meadows) and getting back to my Midwest roots, so to speak.
What will you cover at your 2014 Law Conference General Session 5, “Breaking Bad: The Ethics of Dealing with Challenging Clients,” and what should people expect to learn?
We will be discussing how to manage and deal with difficult clients (is there such a thing? Yikes!). Younger lawyers are sometimes asked to represent difficult clients, such as those who engage in bullying tactics that may lead to ethical dilemmas. We hope to provide practical tips on how to manage these types of clients, ethically and otherwise.
What new technologies are you excited about and why?
I chair our firms’ finance committee, and I have an obsession with technologies that allow me to drill into fee arrangements so that we can better understand fee dynamics. I like to employ quantitative analysis to fee arrangements so that we can measure them from different dimensions. Most eyes glaze over when discussing this topic, but I don’t know how we can respond to client fee demands without a thorough understanding of cost structures and techniques to manage transactions.
What is your favorite social network to use and why?
LinkedIn in simple to use and it allows me to keep in touch with colleagues from around the country. Simple is better—for me.
What is your favorite Business or Personal mobile app to use and why?
I like flightradar24, which allows me to track flights flying over my office in downtown Baltimore. Most of the flights are heading to Europe and the Middle East in the afternoon and evening. OK, I know it’s geeky, but it’s a good app to use while daydreaming out the window. It’s amazing what flies over your head on a daily basis! I often wish I were on one of those flights heading somewhere exciting (or not).
How can people reach out to you on social media?
Please connect with me on LinkedIn so that we can get in touch.
What is your best advice for First Timers and/or Next Gen attendees at the 2014 Law Conference?
Soak it in and engage. Make sure to attend the roundtables and get engaged by asking questions and contributing to the discussion. Participation is the key.