Renato Mariotti leaves Thompson Coburn for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner – Crain’s Chicago Business

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Mariotti, 46, also has tried his hand at politics but says he has put that on hold after finishing way out of the money with 4% of the Democratic primary vote in the 2018 Illinois attorney general’s race. This year, he lost a campaign by a closer margin for a seat on the Democratic party’s state central committee.

“I’m pretty focused on trying to make a living,” he says, estimating that he spends more than 70% of his professional time on legal work. The rest of the time he’s on the cable circuit or talking with print reporters or being interviewed on network news shows.

This week, he was on ABC News, CNN and CNBC in the space of a little more than 24 hours, opining on many things Trump and other news of the day.

“It just exploded,” he says of the period after his June 7, 2017, tweet commenting on the congressional testimony of former FBI director James Comey after he was fired by President Donald Trump. Later that year on MSNBC, he opposed lawyer Alan Dershowitz in a mock trial before a jury of law school students over the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian operatives. From 2018 to 2020, he was under contract as a legal analyst for CNN.

Mariotti, who now has 242,000 Twitter followers, has some experience in journalism. He was editor-in-chief of the Chicago Maroon in the late ’90s at the University of Chicago before he attended Yale Law School. He ascribes his ability to connect with the average viewer more to his growing up in Naperville as the son of a high school-educated mother, Maryann, and a father, Rinaldo, who didn’t graduate.

Mariotti went to law school, he said, less because he wanted to be a lawyer than to use a law degree in some way to change the world. Still, after graduation and clerking for a federal appellate judge, he joined a law firm before moving to the federal prosecutor’s office here for nine years in the securities and fraud section.

His bio says he was the lead prosecutor in the first federal prosecution of a high-frequency trader for order entry and again in a separate prosecution under the anti-spoofing provision of the Dodd-Frank Act. In 2016, he joined Thompson Coburn, which, like Bryan Cave, originated in St. Louis.

Bryan Cave merged in 2018 with a U.K. firm, boosting its attorney headcount to a current 1,275 in 30 offices. It says Mariotti has handled government inquiries, whistleblower allegations, internal controls, and board governance and oversight matters.

“He defends firms and individuals in enforcement actions and conducts internal investigations and helps trading firms develop internal compliance programs to ensure that traders do not engage in disruptive trading practices,” the law firm said.

“All that fits in with what we’re trying to do,” says Eric Martin, co-leader of Bryan Cave’s financial services, disputes and investigation practice.

And with what Mariotti is trying to do. Of his tweeting and public appearances, he says, “They were very supportive of that.”

Thompson Coburn in a statement described Mariotti as a “valued member” of the firm and said it wishes him “all the best.”

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August 23, 2022 at 06:19PM

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