The Talent

November 14, 2008 11:31 AM

Dickstein Shapiro Makes DuPont GC an Offer He Can't Refuse

Posted by Rachel Breitman

Mobley For Stacey Mobley, leaving the law behind was like making a clean break from the Mafia. He tried to get out, but they kept pulling him back in.

Mobley retired in July, after 36 years at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, where he had served as general counsel since 1999.  The American Lawyer Lifetime Achiever award winner figured he would fill his days with work on the boards of directors at Howard University, International Paper Company, Wilmington Trust Corporation, and Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited.

But his friend Bernard Nash had other ideas. Over dinner and several glasses of wine, Nash, the head  of Dickstein Shapiro's  state attorneys general practice, suggested his old friend join him in Dickstein's Washington, D.C., office.

"I said, 'Okay, relax and play golf for three months, and then come back and talk to me about a law firm job,' " recalls Nash, who has known Mobley for 20 years and had represented Dupont in a Rhode Island  public nuisance lawsuit regarding lead paint. "He did it for three weeks, and it was out of his system."

Mobley was no stranger to Dickstein Shapiro. The firm is one of DuPont’s tight-knit team of 40 "primary law firms" and won a 2007 Challenge Award from the company for effectively technology use and commitment to minority lawyers. In October, he met with firm leaders to discuss a position as senior counsel that would offer him the freedom to continue to work on the boards and recruit minority law students.

Says Michael Nannes, the firm’s chairman, "We had known Stacey for so long that it was the classic no-brainer. He has stature, vision, and recognition to bring in new business and contribute to our diversity initiatives."

To do this, Mobley will tap into his experience working with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association  and with students at Howard University Law school, where DuPont established a scholarship in his name.

"I'll use offices at Dickstein as a base," says Mobley, who will divide his time between his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and an apartment on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. His work hours will similarly be split between counseling firm clients on consumer protection, antitrust and data-breach investigations, and work on recruitment and program development for minority lawyers.

"At the end of the day, if my efforts at Dickstein can further diversify the practice, the bar will be stronger for it," says Mobley. "Helping strengthen a team of minority lawyers will be my contribution to a profession that has been very good to me."

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