ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: Daniel M. Coyle

 

Sequor Law Attorney, Daniel M. Coyle, shared his insights about the role of Cryptocurrency in the legal industry on this month’s Attorney Spotlight.

 

What practice areas do you focus on?
I focus on creditor’s rights, asset recovery and bankruptcy, with a focus on cross-border issues. I represent creditors of all types, whether institutional/non-institutional lenders, trade creditors, or judgment creditors regarding debts ranging from commercial loans to fraud claims. I assist with national and global asset recovery asset efforts as well as wholly-instate efforts and I am practicing in state courts, bankruptcy courts and federal district and appellate courts.

 

What has been your experience as a member of the International Committee for NAFER?
It has been rewarding to have conversations and share panels with a broad range of experts in the area of financial fraud. My first exposure to cryptocurrency came from my involvement with NAFER.

 

What types of issues have emerged regarding the interactions between the developing legal landscape of cryptocurrency, including NFTs, and well-established areas of law?
We as asset recovery lawyers have been forced to face the reality that the current tools that the law gives creditors and fraud victims are not tailored to these types of assets. We need to attempt to fit these types of remedies—many of which were created by the common law and only later codified—into the pursuit of an asset that is intangible. The ease and speed with which these assets can be transferred outside of a given jurisdiction is also an obstacle.

 

In your opinion, how has your work in asset tracing, creditors’ rights and your various other areas of practice been affected by the rise of cryptocurrency and its related matters?
Cryptocurrency is an entirely different asset class that was difficult to categorize at first. Only recently have some jurisdictions determined that cryptocurrency is property. More and more fraudsters and litigation targets have the ability to—or are—holding cryptocurrency assets. Additionally, the rise of cryptocurrency has spawned entirely new types of fraud/thefts and/or ways of executing fraudulent schemes/thefts. Asset recovery practitioners are still trying to keep up and/or stay a step ahead of fraudsters, but this space is constantly changing due to new innovations, both innocently in the technology (i.e., new blockchains and tokens being created) or less innocently (i.e., new types of fraudulent schemes).

 

Given that most of your work is on an international scope, does the anonymity of cryptocurrency help or hinder the processes involved in your multiple areas of practice?
Cryptocurrency is not truly anonymous. It is quasi-anonymous. It also would not matter if my work were international in scope or not, given that cryptocurrency, by its nature, is cross-border. Tracing it can be done on the public blockchains. However, obtaining information from off-ramps as well as obtaining remedies regarding these off-ramps is where the cross-border practice aspects kick in. Practitioners must develop a close network of professionals in other jurisdictions to be prepared to use the litigation tools in foreign jurisdictions quickly.

 

Given your tenure as Counsel at Sequor Law, what is the most important thing you have learned? 
The power of time management, organization, and having a system of tracking tasks. The practice can be overwhelming given all that there is to do and developing, implementing, and executing a system to approach tasks in a linear way is crucial.

 

What inspired you to study law?
I enjoyed writing and debating as well as taking a logical approach to addressing problems.

 

What is most significant about being a lawyer in this day and age?
Dealing with the constant need to be available at all times and to provide answers/responses immediately. My suggestion is to avoid the temptation to constantly check email and feel the need to respond right away. So much of what makes the practice of law is analyzing issues and strategizing solutions to problems. Unless the communication is urgent, don’t succumb to the temptation to interrupt the more important tasks by stopping your flow of thinking, writing and researching to respond to each email immediately.

 

What advice would you give to young attorneys?
The first few years of practice are hard and can be a grind. Find a place that supports and fosters your growth, even if the compensation is lower than somewhere else. Learn as much as you can and if you feel a pit in your stomach or fear about being assigned something new and/or unfamiliar, understand that this feeling is to be expected and that in order to grow and improve, you need to embrace the “sink or swim” nature of the practice. Also, don’t lose yourself completely in the law; make time for the things outside of the practice that give your life meaning.

 

What do you like most about Sequor Law?
I enjoy the work that we do as well as the level of autonomy and creative control that I have to devise legal strategies, construct arguments and employ tactics to meet our clients’ goals.

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