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After 22 years as a government prosecutor, Richard Cutler is switching sides. Cutler, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of California since 2005, joins 1,000-lawyer Dechert’s Silicon Valley office in late August as an of counsel. He’ll be putting his trial skills to work in the firm’s white-collar defense practice, said Frederick Herold, a Silicon Valley Dechert partner in that practice. “We’re trying to expand our white-collar litigation practice and were looking for a guy like Rich who was in the U.S. attorney’s office,” Herold said. “We’re always looking for experienced litigators who can stand up in court and handle a case, and Rich has been doing that for a long time.” Cutler said he has mixed feelings about leaving the office. “I’ve had some of the best experiences and some of the worst experiences there,” he said. Cutler has also worked for the U.S. attorney’s office in Orange County, where he prosecuted some white-collar cases. He also worked, among other places, at the district attorney’s office in Santa Clara and the Department of Justice where he focused on environmental enforcement. In San Francisco, he worked on a prominent gang case. Cutler comes from a family of famous lawyers. His brother, Bruce Cutler, gained notoriety representing mob boss John Gotti in the 1980s, and his father was also a criminal defense attorney. Cutler said he was attracted to Dechert because of its “vibrant” white-collar practice, which does a lot of work defending pharmaceutical and life sciences companies in off-market labeling and fraud cases. Although it was the opportunity that drew him to the firm, Cutler, 50, said the money won’t hurt. “Living in this area, having a baby, having a mortgage, and having a wife at Stanford are all elements that are not quite satisfied by a government salary,” he said.

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