Richard Marmaro

Firm: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
Law School: New York University School of Law
Clients: Merrill Lynch & Co., Greg Reyes (Brocade Inc.) and Jeff Weitzen (Gateway Inc.)

As a law student, Richard Marmaro envisioned a career negotiating deal memos and closing major financial transitions. But his plans changed not long after he began practicing.

"I originally wanted to be a corporate lawyer," Marmaro said, "until I worked at a Wall Street law firm doing corporate law early in my career, which convinced me I wanted to be a trial lawyer."

Marmaro was in a federal courtroom in San Francisco recently, representing Brocade executive Greg Reyes in the first criminal stock options backdating case to go to trial. Reyes was found guilty of securities fraud earlier this month.

Marmaro was attracted to the drama and challenge that trial work provides. He has defended executives such as Reyes and companies charged with all sorts of financial improprieties over the past 23 years.

He represented the former CEO and Chairman of Columbia Savings and Loan, who was charged with bribery and fraud by federal authorities. He describes the executive's eventual acquittal as one of the highlights of his career.

Mamaro is also proud of winning summary judgments against the SEC for a Gateway Computer executive charged with fraud and a former director at Fidelity National Financial accused of insider trading.

Marmaro knows the other side, too. He was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and served as assistant chief of the criminal division early in his career.

During his tenure as a federal prosecutor Marmaro successfully prosecuted many individuals and companies on business-related crimes, but today he sees his primary role as "helping people and companies fight the awesome power of the federal government."

Jessica Yuan

Tom Holliday

Firm: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Clients: Doug Dowie, Ray Jinnah and Toyota Motor North America Inc.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I enjoy the challenge in the courtroom and the daily challenge of trying to provide the best advice and defense to a client. In my area of practice those efforts are often more difficult because by the time we get involved, the client has undertaken certain actions which simply cannot be undone.
Most Interesting Case: U.S. vs. Doug Dowie, a public relations executive who was found guilty of over-billing clients.
Most Challenging Case: U.S. vs. Congressman Jay Kim, who pleaded guilty to accepting illegal donations.
Best Career Moment: Representing an innocent defendant who had been wrongly accused and winning.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a curator at a museum.

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