Welcome to my digital incarnation
For a decade, my anchorages and homesteads were Columbia University and the University of Oxford.
My research interests included foundational issues in mathematics, logic, and nanotechnology on the one hand, and in law and economics on the other. I was excited about emergent theories in quantum cognition, ignorance, paraconsistent logic, artificial intelligence, robotics, and synthetic biology. All this will, at some point, revolutionize the practice of law, and I enjoy engineering remedial instruments for its systemic flaws. Columbia scholars who influenced me included Jonathan R. Cole, Stuart Firestein, Richard Hamilton, Mikhail Khovanov, Dusa McDuff, and Achille Varzi.
In summer 2013, I completed a large research project on empirical and potential novel uses of collateral, funded by the Council on Advanced Value Economics. In October 2013, intrigued by a start-up in which I had been involved, I began post-graduate work in nanotechnology at Oxford under my dissertation supervisor, Peter Dobson, OBE. Along with Robert Carlisle, he retooled my thinking about technology policy, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
In August of 2014 I returned to Columbia to read law. Identifying patterns, transactional mechanics and logistics, and the technology of finance and markets interested me most. Summer work for Chief Judge Beryl Howell in Washington drew my attention to conflicts of interest, public integrity, and the wealth of methods and angles for evaluating controversies. It was Pilates for the mind, epistemology in action. The following year, I spent an equally rewarding summer on frontline practices in corporate and international taxation of elaborate financial structures. It also shifted my educational interest: Alex Raskolnikov challenged and guided me to combine mathematical and quantitative with behavioral analysis and economics to parse tax policy. I served two years as lead research assistant to Anu Bradford on a multi-year international antitrust project. At other times, I assisted with legal research and drafting a successful federal appeal of a capital habeas corpus denial by Bernard Harcourt. Without diverse exposures, the early bird ends up with default options only.
Sciences Po and the Sorbonne imparted a concise aperçu on French and EU law of business governance and innovation. No less memorable during that year was my time perched with a tablet above the souks of Marrakech and as a delegate to the Salzburg Seminar, nominated by Columbia.
Parallel to law school, I wrapped up four years of graduate theoretical and lab work in nanotechnology at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, followed by an LL.M. in Taxation at NYU while working two years full-time in the tax department of a large New York law firm. The firm is an international leader in private equity and hedge funds, and I was ordinarily the sole tax associate on transactional matters. I left to serve as a judicial law clerk to Hon. Danny J. Boggs at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Boggs, a thirty-year veteran on the federal appellate bench, acclaimed polymath and beloved mentor, sat by designation also on the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, hearing cases that offered his team unparalleled insight into judicial decision-making. In those days, appellate minutiae became my intellectual omphalos.
The sequelae of the 2020 pandemic will continue to transform industries for years. Although one of the more conciliatory humans, I joined ‘the world’s most feared law firm’ where I exchanged the relative calm of appellate litigation for the fast-paced dynamic of high-stakes bankruptcy and restructuring work. Threat posture and fearsomeness are, of course, relative: my colleagues are the kindest sort when unprovoked. But they are incredibly effective at their craft. We are trauma surgeons to our corporate clients, sometimes creating new limbs and organs from excess tissue. Structuring significantly streamlined and viable reorganizations or resourcefully unlocking obscured value energizes me mightily. This work strikes a constructive balance between imaginative lawyering and tangible outcomes, creates a cogent passage from vision to result in a high-voltage professional environment, where I can apply ideas boldly with a supportive global team.