Trial Lawyer Q&A Series - On the Stand - McDermott Will & Emery


Step into the mind of a trial lawyer with On the Stand, a Q&A series. McDermott’s cross-practice trial and appellate lawyers reveal what drives their passion for the courtroom, preparation techniques, advice for junior lawyers and other valuable insights garnered from years in front of the bench.

In Depth

On the Stand with Rachel Cowen | April 1, 2024: Rachel Cowen, the global co-head of the Firm’s Employment Practice Group, focuses her practice on various employment discrimination and wrongful termination cases in federal and state courts. She has experience both prosecuting and defending employee mobility and trade secret litigation on an emergency injunctive basis through more than a dozen trials. In this Q&A, Rachel shares the best advice she received as a junior trial lawyer and how it’s influenced her strategy, and the two pro bono cases that had a profound impact on her career.

On the Stand with Richard Salgado | October 23, 2023: Richard Salgado, head of the Dallas Litigation Practice Group, has first-chaired 13 jury trials and presented oral arguments in more than two dozen appeals. He represents clients in complex, bet-the-company disputes ranging from commercial litigation to tort, intellectual property and regulatory matters with amounts at issue often in the billions of dollars. In this Q&A, Richard shares why being a nice person matters during trial, how he helps clients overcome pretrial jitters and why clients should add him to their trial team at the eleventh hour.

On the Stand with Justin Murphy | September 18, 2023: Justin Murphy, a former federal prosecutor, represents corporate and individual clients involved in government enforcement cases, including complex antitrust matters, fraud allegations and all phases of white-collar criminal and related civil proceedings. In this Q&A, Justin shares what he’s learned from being both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, how he prepares his clients for trial, and why empathy and compassion always play a role in his strategy.

On the Stand with Sarah Chapin Columbia | August 21, 2023: Sarah Chapin Columbia, a fellow in the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, has led 17 patent infringement, trade secrets and invalidity trials in federal courts across the country. She counsels clients on overall IP strategy and positioning in several industries, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology, semiconductor, medical device and manufacturing. In this Q&A, Sarah shares why she became a trial lawyer, what common issue she sees her clients face in patent cases and how she uses her differentiated skill to overcome that issue and win.

On the Stand with Michael SheehanAugust 7, 2023: Michael (Mike) Sheehan is the global head of the Firm’s Employment Practice Group. He focuses on unfair competition litigation and has tried dozens of cases to verdict involving large-scale raiding, inevitable disclosure of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and noncompete agreements. In this Q&A, Mike shares what he’s learned from history’s great trial lawyers and golf, how he prevailed through his toughest case and why he always puts his team first.

On the Stand with Paul HughesJuly 24, 2023: Paul Hughes serves as co-head of the Firm’s practices focusing on Supreme Court & Appellate Litigation as well as Government & Regulatory Litigation. He has argued 10 times at the Supreme Court of the United States and more than 70 times in federal and state appellate and trial courts across the country. In this Q&A, Paul shares his career highlights, advice for junior trial lawyers and preparation tactics.