Every attorney has a philosophy of lawyering, whether they recognize it or not. See generally Nathan Crystal, Developing a Philosophy of Lawyering, 14 ND J.L. Ethics, & Public Policy 75 (2000). This is my philosophy of lawyering.
Few things in the law are clear, and many decisions require the exercise of discretion. Some legal decisions are as much moral as they are tactical or strategic. I will be cognizant of gray areas, and respectful of clients' values. But if I must choose between what is clearly morally correct and what is merely advantageous, easy, convenient, or popular, I will choose what is right.
As a transactional attorney, I am more often a counselor than an advocate. I advise far more often than I argue. It is thus of paramount importance that I know my subject matter stone cold. Those for whom I work deserve to know that I am deeply schooled in the topic at hand, and they have a right to expect that I will honestly and truthfully speak the law. When I do not know the answer, I will say so, and I will commit to find it.
When I advocate, I will do so zealously within the bounds of ethical behavior, recognizing that my strongest asset as an advocate is the credibility I have built by standing on the other two pillars of my lawyering philosophy. I will not try to sweep negative factors under the rug. Rather, I will plainly face contrary facts and authorities, and I will distinguish them candidly and fairly. In so doing, I increase my credibility, and my arguments become more persuasive.
I am proud to be a fellow of both the American College of Mortgage Attorneys ("ACMA") and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers ("ACREL"). For ACMA, I serve on the Board of Regents, the Corporate Counsel Committee, the Legislation Committee, the Residential & Regulatory Committee (as Vice-Chair), and the Technology Committee. For ACREL, I serve on the Innovation and Practice Committee, the Public Policy Committee, and the Title Insurance Committee.