[FEATURE] David McDowell, Partner and Director of Rose Law Group Litigation Department, talks baking, recipes and life on the farm

David McDowell

By Callan Smith | Rose Law Group Reporter

Each week The Reporter will be featuring a member of the Rose Law Group team. This week we spoke to David McDowell, via email. He’s a Partner and Director of our Litigation Department.

So, I have to ask, there comes a couple points in time each year where you ask the firm if anyone wants eggs. Do you live on a farm? Don’t you live in Scottsdale? And in any case, those chickens must wake you up really really early each day?

I live in Scottsdale and thankfully Scottsdale permits residents to own a small number of chickens (as long as your HOA doesn’t object). I grew up on a farm and learned that connection between your efforts and the food you eat as well as how much better fresh eggs and vegetables taste. So, I am glad to now have enough property, so we can have chickens and a garden. We actually just planted our summer garden after harvesting the winter garden in March.

You are a partner and the director of the litigation department. I can imagine that managing your department is always quite dynamic but managing people who fight for a living has to be… challenging? What is your management style?

Lawyers are intelligent and trained to see both sides of an issue – so it isn’t as much of a challenge as you would think. The key to managing anyone is to hear them.  My management style is to listen first and then ensure they understand the reasons why the firm choose the path it did.  Because of our training, lawyers can generally accept either side of an argument as long as there is a reason and they feel they are heard and understood.

What is your favorite kind of case?

One that challenges me.

You’ve been a lawyer for a number of years, but if you think back that far why is it that you decided to become a lawyer? Have you found the career is what you had expected all those years ago?

My grandfather was general counsel and a CPA for a steel producer. I followed his footsteps into business and the law. My business degree has helped me as much as anything I learned in law school.

The profession today is not what I expected, and it has changed a lot since I began practicing 20+ years ago. In many ways the profession has improved – it has gotten more responsive to client needs and it is no longer an end in itself but it still lags behind the speed at which businesses move – which is one thing I like about Rose Law Group’s focus on insanely fast customer service. We now strive to provide service at the speed at which businesses move.

What Makes Rose Law Group litigation department great?

Smart, dedicated lawyers who love the law and finding creative solutions to problems.

David shared a picture of this amazing cake he made. Yum!

I have seen some photos of what I think must be your hobby – baking. Could you share a few recipes with us and let us know how did you get into it? And how do you improve your skill?

I started baking because I have a sweet-tooth so if I saw a photo of a particularly yummy cookie, cake, or pastry I wanted to make it, so I could eat it.  I improved my skills in baking, just like in everything else in life, by practice and experimentation.  I also learned to bake differently after moving to Arizona – this dry climate and heat changed a lot of my formulas and changed things like baking times or the amount of liquids that were required to keep things moist.

David’s cream puffs.

Some of the cookies and cakes I make most frequently for my family don’t have recipes anymore – when I started baking them years ago I followed a recipe but over the years I have added things, taken other things away or made alterations that were never written down so now I just do them by memory.

I love a good sugar cookie and am continually working on improving my recipe, my current version is:

Beat in a large bowl 1 cup unsalted softened butter, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped orange zest. Beat until very light and fluffy. Add 1 tablespoon of milk, and one beaten egg and beat until just combined. Gradually add 3 cups of flour, 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix at low speed until the batter pulls away from the bowl.

Divide the dough into 2 or 3 sections and pat into 1-inch circles, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Take out one portion at a time and roll to 1/4-inch thickness – try not to add any flour during the rolling process because it will make your dough tough

Bake on parchment lined baking sheet at 375 until slightly golden – generally 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the parchment from the baking sheet when the pans come out of the oven to avoid continued baking.

But no sugar cookie is complete without a frosting or glaze. Because we have lemon and orange trees, I like to incorporate a little citrus into my glazes. Glazes are easy – 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or half water and half lemon juice – just add enough liquid so that your glaze spreads smoothly without being runny. Recently I have been making my lemon glaze with my homemade limoncello.

David’s red velvet cookies.
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April 2018