By Callan Smith | Rose Law Group Reporter
So, you are a senior litigator here at RLG – do you like to argue in real life or just in a court room?
I like to argue in real life too. I consider myself good natured and I get along well with most people. But I am also opinionated, and I am not at all shy about sharing my thoughts.
What attracted you to the law?
I was always going to be a doctor. I completed the pre-med track in college, including calculus, physics, genetics, and organic chemistry. But despite doing well in science classes, I enjoyed the humanities more. I am very close with my step-father. He was a lawyer, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, and a Federal Magistrate Judge. He helped convince me that I might enjoy a career in the law.
I hear your step father is Judge John Buttrick, did he influence you wanting to be an attorney? I know he ran for Governor as a libertarian – did you get involved politically in his race or others?
Yes, he was a significant influence on my decision. He helped me to start the mock trial club at Brophy, where I went to high school. He was always very supportive of my decisions. I was only 14 when he ran for Governor. I would have voted for him if I could. But I didn’t get very involved in his race or others.
What is your favorite kind of case?
I enjoy a good dispute and I like being in court. But I pride myself in my role as a counselor even more than when I am an advocate. At root, I help people solve problems. If I can offer my clients some wisdom in addition to successful advocacy, those are the best cases.
I understand you do a lot of Firearms Trust work – what does that entail?
Call me and I will tell you more. I am a firearms enthusiast and I enjoy talking to other enthusiasts about my hobby. Basically, the National Firearms Act governs transfer and possession of some of the best weapons, including silencers, machine guns, short barreled rifles, and short barreled shotguns. If you want to legally acquire one of these weapons, there is paperwork to be done. Acquiring the weapon through a trust written expressly for that purpose makes the process a bit easier and protects lawful gunowners against the risk that they might accidentally run afoul of our rather arcane firearms regulations.
I also know you handle DUI’s – do you like that work and why/why not?
I do enjoy that work. DUI cases involve a lot of time in court, much more so than the civil cases I handle. They help me keep my courtroom skills sharp. They also give me an opportunity to help good people facing significant trouble. The way Arizona treats DUIs is draconian. Years ago, I worked as a prosecutor. I don’t think this interview is a proper context for war stories. But without a defense attorney, our criminal justice system makes it very easy for prosecutors to ignore the rights of decent citizens.
What do you do for fun?
It depends on how much energy I have. I own a small collection of firearms and I enjoy shooting them. I lift weights, watch TV (especially HBO), read fantasy novels, travel, SCUBA dive, and enjoy Scotch whisky. I also have a rescue dog, a Rottweiler-mix named Girl.
You like to travel – what is your favorite place?
Amsterdam. I have a world map in my office and also a map of Amsterdam. The city is beautiful, historic, and cosmopolitan. Many people don’t know that it has more canals than Venice and one of the world’s greatest city parks. That said, I also have special places in my heart for Cambridge, England, where I studied for a time, and Rocky Point, which has a special charm.