Managing Partner, McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, PC
Years in current role:7
What do you enjoy most about being a litigator?
The best part about being a litigator is that we get to tell our clients’ stories. Practicing law is sometimes like solving a difficult puzzle. I enjoy the challenge of trying to find the key fact or just the right case precedent that will support a client’s claim, or finding the right theme to use when putting our argument together, so that we can present the client’s story in a compelling, persuasive fashion. It is most rewarding for me when I am able to distill a complicated topic down to simple, understandable language.
What do you consider your biggest success in navigating the litigation process during the pandemic?
Right before everything locked down and the courts closed, a judge imposed a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) on my clients—an individual and his employer in a non-compete case. The TRO prevented my client from working for his new employer. In spite of the Administrative Orders limiting filings to “essential matters,” we were able to work with opposing counsel to keep the case moving through discovery. Ultimately, I was able to convince the court to classify the then-pending motion for a preliminary injunction as an “essential matter” so as not to further delay the resolution of the motion (while my clients were restrained by the TRO). After virtual oral argument, the court vacated the TRO and denied the motion for a preliminary injunction. This allowed my client to return to work.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?
The pandemic has forced everyone to think differently about certain aspects of the practice. I think we will find more and more attorneys who will want to work from home. Many of us were surprised how technology has really made it easy to work from home. With VoIP phone and VPN, we can work from anywhere.
I also think we may find that remote meetings and webinars are here to stay. Though sometimes I know I feel “Zoomed” out, it is often far more efficient to meet remotely. Virtual court appearances also avoid wasted time traveling and waiting, and result in cost savings for clients.
What trial are you most proud of in your career?
The case that has had the biggest impact on me is an unlikely case. After being appointed pro bono to represent a prisoner in a pending civil rights case, I obtained a verdict in favor of my client against two corrections officers. The jury determined that the defendants violated my client’s Eighth Amendment rights by failing to protect him from a violent assault by another inmate.
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
Most of the community organizations I support as a volunteer involve my children. Last year, while I was working from home, I was able to volunteer with other parents to serve lunch at school. The pandemic changed nearly everything about how the school served lunch, and I was happy to volunteer one day a week.
Both of my children are from Korea, and I have been a long-time member of the planning team for Heart and Seoul Korean Culture Camp, and before that I was involved with Camp Chin-gu.
I have also been an active volunteer with various church boards, and I presently serve as a member of the Permanent Judicial Commission for the Synod of the Northeast – Presbyterian Church (USA).