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David Anders may seem like the boy next door, but if you’re a powerful executive with something to hide, you might want to move to another neighborhood. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Anders this year won the conviction of former WorldCom Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers in an $11 billion securities fraud case. Last year, he helped win a guilty verdict against Frank Quattrone, the former Credit Suisse First Boston investment banker. These victories have gained Anders much attention and made him a prized commodity among private firms seeking top talent for their white-collar defense groups. But Anders says he is staying put at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, at least right now, and he remains level-headed about his wins, a quality that he says works in court, too. “I try to appear fair and even-tempered and respectful of the court and of my adversaries,” he said. “My goal is that I want the jury to trust me.” His ability to keep grounded is what caught the eye of Mary Jo White, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who hired Anders back in 1998. She now chairs the litigation group at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. “He’s totally committed to being the right kind of prosecutor,” White said. “That means doing your job properly but not having the power go to your head.” The trial against Ebbers focused on whether the government’s key witness, WorldCom former Chief Financial Officer Scott Sullivan, falsely accused Ebbers of fraud in order to reduce his own sentence. Another important question at trial was whether Ebbers, known as a micromanager, could have failed to know of the massive fraud occurring at his company. Anders, with prosecutor William Johnson taking second chair, faced Reid Weingarten of Washington’s Steptoe & Johnson, who represented Ebbers. The jury found Ebbers guilty on nine counts of securities fraud and related crimes. Ebbers is appealing; sentencing is set for next month. Becoming a federal prosecutor was always his goal, Anders said. After graduating cum laude from Fordham University School of Law in 1994, where he was editor of the law review, he went to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett of New York for a year in its litigation department. He then clerked for U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan. In 1996, he joined Davis Polk & Wardwell and in 1998, he became an Assistant U.S. Attorney. When he is not prosecuting, Anders spends some of his time as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law, where he teaches legal writing. In fact, the day he won the conviction against Ebbers, he had to rush off to yet another trial, albeit one with a little less pressure. He was presiding over Fordham’s moot court competition, along with Chin and Johnson, his fellow prosecutor. Anders loves to play sports and has been a “loyal member” of the various softball teams where he has worked, he said. He also runs about 20 miles each week and plays golf. “Extremely likable” is how Chin described his former clerk. “David is a star at whatever he does, whether it’s playing softball, teaching a class or trying a case.”

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