Barnes & Thornburg
1.What is your area of practice?
I am a litigator within the Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring Department at Barnes & Thornburg. My practice includes representing lenders, creditors, creditors’ committees and financial institutions before state and federal courts in bankruptcy law, equipment leasing issues, receiverships, and related commercial litigation. I’ve also represented clients in disputes involving breach of contract, tort, conversion, and bankruptcy proceedings involving relief from the automatic stay, confirmation, cash collateral, reclamation, and preference claims. Ultimately, through my practice I view myself as a problem solver for my clients. This philosophy encompasses more than superior knowledge of the law, but rather starts with forming strong relationships and truly understanding my client’s culture and goals.
2.Why are you unique??
While I would not consider myself unique, I do think that based upon my background and life experiences that I do bring a different perspective to the table when I work on teams and also with my clients. I was born in Honduras and moved with my family to Minnesota when I was three years old. I grew up in a place that was not very diverse at all. As a newly immigrated child, I made it a very strong priority to blend into my community. I think the strongest quality that came out of this was the ability to connect and build strong relationships with people that I did not have much in common. This quality was further refined when I joined the United States Army at the age of 17. As most know, the Army is a melting pot of people from across the country. This opportunity not only taught me how to be a leader and team-player, but made an early impression on me on how organizations and teams are strengthened by a diversity of backgrounds and values. I am currently a Captain in the Minnesota Army National Guard, heading into my 18th year in the military, and truly would not be the person I am today without it.
3.How did you do it?
I definitely don’t think “I’ve done it”, but I would not be where I am today without the number of people—family, teachers, coaches, and mentors—that have helped me along the way. I firmly believe that success in any profession, is not only a sum of your values and hard work, but also defined by one’s willingness to listen and learn from others. We all need mentors and guidance during the different stages of our life. No one can do it alone. I recognize and am thankful for those who have paved the way for me by being an ally or champion of my career. I have made it a point to do the same with my mentees.
4.What do you do outside of law?
Outside of my practice, I’m heavily involved with the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, currently the Vice-President. As to my hobbies, athletics was a major part of my life growing up, so it is not surprise that I enjoy attending Vikings and Timberwolves games. I also love participating in Cross Fit and just recently completed my first Cross Fit competition. It was a thrill to compete on a team and push my limits to beyond what I thought I was capable of. I also enjoy spending time with friends, traveling, and taking summer evening walks along Lake Harriett with my wife and dog.
5.Who were the people critical to your success and who do you want to thank?
I have had amazing colleagues and mentors throughout law school and my legal career. I am truly thankful to each of my mentors ( who I consider Champions) who took the time to connect me to the legal community in Minneapolis and also took the time and effort to expose me to a wide variety of legal experiences that were essential to opening up doors for my career. My family is also a big reason for my success. Without my mother’s drive and determination to provide a better life for my siblings and I, I wouldn’t be where I am today.