Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll offices in Washington, D.C.

Tell us about your biggest win or wins this year.

Cohen Milstein’s Public Client group—a practice dedicated to supporting state Attorneys General and local governments in their mission to protect consumers, patients, workers and public funds from false claims and other deceptive practices—served as counsel for the co-lead state, Mississippi, in the recent $864 million government enforcement settlement between Moody’s Corporation, 22 states and the U.S. Department of Justice. This settlement, together with a $1.375 billion deal reached with Standard & Poor’s (in which Cohen Milstein also represented the co-lead state) in 2015, held the credit rating agencies publicly and financially accountable—for the first time—for the critical role they played in causing the Great Recession.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned practicing law?

Stated demands only paint a piece of the picture—the most important information often resides in the parts that are unsaid. For that reason, listening deeply and asking the right questions before reacting are essential to success. I am a litigator, professor of negotiations, and leadership coach. These experiences have disciplined me to gain a clear and complete understanding of people, their perspectives, and the objective facts.

Answers submitted by Betsy A. Miller, partner and co-chair, public client practice.