Monster Case: Baylor Lawyer helping to stop illegal trade of dinosaur fossils from mongolia (Page 4)
The fossils are being returned to Mongolia. How do you feel about the ultimate outcome of this case?
I feel great about it. Mongolia's Gobi Desert is one of the world's most fertile field of fossils. These dinosaur fossils are a part of its rich cultural heritage. This case has generated a lot of attention in Mongolia, as well as the rest of the world, about the smuggling of cultural artifacts such as dinosaur fossils. It has led to more cooperation among governments and increased prosecution in Mongolia. The legal case and the worldwide attention that it generated have certainly had a chilling effect on illicit smuggling activity.
The Mongolian government has decided to open a new museum in the capital city, Ulan Baatar, to house and display the returned cultural treasures. I look forward to being there in May to watch the fossils arrive home.
How did you draw on your Baylor Law training in dealing with this case?
I think Baylor Law School excels at training its students on the litigation tools that are available to solve complex problems. The challenging curriculum forces students to learn how to confront these problems under pressure. While at Baylor, I learned a way to approach matters that I still use today: assess the big picture, formulate a strategy, prepare as much as humanly possible, and then swing with the punches. That is exactly what I did in this dinosaur case.
Can you see yourself involved in similar cases in the future?
I continue to work with the Mongolian government about preservation of its dinosaur fossil heritage on an almost daily basis. Currently, we are working on matters that include players in Great Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, and Japan. We are also reaching out to auction houses, fossil festivals, and online companies like eBay. I also will not be surprised to get a call from some other client if something similar comes up.
What type of cases do you handle other than dinosaur disputes?
I started my practice at a big defense firm doing almost exclusively medical malpractice defense. At the end of 2005, I started my own practice. About 75 percent of my docket is representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases, with the balance being a variety of commercial and other litigation.
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