Derek Loeser featured in Lawdragon Limelight

October 17, 2022
Derek Loeser Lawdragon Limelight

Keller Rohrback partner, Derek Loeser has recently been featured in the popular Lawyer Limelight interview series. In his interview, Derek discusses his early career working for the US Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division, and what drives him to take on large corporations who abuse their power, and where he sees the future of complex litigation going, among other topics.  

An excerpt of the interview can be read below:

Lawdragon: Tell us a bit about the range of matters that you’ve covered in your current practice.

Derek Loeser: I am a plaintiffs’ attorney focusing on mass tort and class action cases. Over my nearly thirty years of litigation work, I have represented individuals, institutions and governments in a broad range of cases in all stages of litigation, including trials and appeals.

LD: What brought you to this kind of practice?

DL: I would say a mix of family background, good advice and serendipity. My grandmother was a lifelong civil rights activist, and I was always inspired by her commitment to her beliefs. A refrain of my dad’s was to find a job I loved since I would spend most of my waking hours working (the wisdom of a neurosurgeon). When I was in law school, I realized that not everyone got this advice (or did but didn’t follow it) when I had my first law firm interview. The hiring partner asked me about my work ethic. I told him when I loved what I was doing, I worked passionately without concern for the time it took to get the job done. He looked pained – horrified, in fact – and said, “What about when you don’t love what you are doing?” That’s when I knew that wasn’t going to be the right place for me.

LD: That’s a great way of thinking. Where did you end up instead?

DL: My first job out of law school was a dream job for me. I was hired through the United States Department of Justice Attorney General’s Honors Program as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division. I traveled around the country with a badge, prosecuting employment discrimination cases on behalf of the federal government.

LD: Why was that a dream job for you?

DL: It gave me the opportunity to help people who did not expect to have a voice. I was also in court and in trial right out of the box, which was a tremendous learning experience.

LD: How does that early experience inform your practice now?

DL: My work at Keller Rohrback has much in common with my DOJ work. I represent people who have been harmed by foes (typically corporations) far wealthier and more powerful than they are.

This is not the practice for everyone, for sure. It’s high stakes and high risk, and, as the saying goes, defense counsel gets paid per hour, and plaintiffs’ counsel gets paid perhaps. It is both challenging and rewarding work.

LD: What makes it so rewarding for you?

DL: I sue large corporations for lying, cheating and stealing. What’s not to like?

You can read the full interview here.


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