Daniel Portnoy wasn’t having much luck. For days he’d been tracking his quarry. First he had called his house. Then he began stopping by unannounced, only to be turned away by a woman who said the man he sought was out of town. But now, on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 2, after days of mounting frustration, he finally had his target in his sights.

As Portnoy watched from a parked car up the block, Albert Beveridge III, name partner of the Washington-based environmental boutique Beveridge & Diamond, pulled his silver Acura up to his home in the tony neighborhood of Wesley Heights in Northwest Washington. As Beveridge headed to his front door, Portnoy moved in, but the 72-year-old corporate litigator was too quick for him, doubling back into his car before Portnoy could reach him. As Portnoy ran back to his own car, Beveridge raced down the street to shake his pursuer. The chase was on.