7 Questions with Sam Danon

Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP

Sam Danon

How did your legal career get started? I began my legal career with a clerkship with the Honorable Kevin Michael Moore. I knew my strengths were the ability to communicate with people and the ability to analyze issues; combined with an interest in the business world, that’s what led me to the area of law.

You went to the University of Pennsylvania for both undergraduate and law school. How did a first-generation American from a Cuban family in South Florida make his way to Penn? I grew up in Miami within the community of Westchester. I attended Miami Coral Park High School. Being a good student, I had the drive to push forward and was intent on attending an Ivy League institution. Penn is a well-known school, and has been among Cubans in Miami, and that’s where I set my sights for college.

I did not have legal in my family background. It was not until my junior year that I started to think about a professional career and what I would do after graduation. I was attracted to the business world and the aspect of resolving complex issues while utilizing my people skills, which led me to Penn Law.

Which case that you worked on has had the most impact on South Florida? The most recent case includes serving as the lead U.S. trial counsel for a top European bank in connection with the lawsuits and arbitrations that arose out of the alleged international Ponzi scheme led by Bernard L. Madoff. It’s been years, and it’s still a newsworthy story for us here in South Florida.

What has been your favorite case as an attorney and litigator? Why? I cannot pick just one case as a favorite. I enjoy the diversity of the cases I have been able to handle throughout the years. I am constantly learning about different issues, companies and products with each case, and those are the aspects that keep it interesting and keep me engaged.

Now that you have your own practice and have worked so hard on establishing your career, what are some of your favorite moments, outside of work and the law? Hands down, I love the time I am able to spend with my family. I have been married for 24 years, since 1992, and have four children. I have a son and daughter in college and a son and daughter in high school. My oldest son is graduating from Penn this year. I have a passion for boating and being on the water. Being able to partake in offshore fishing and being with my family, that’s the best of everything for me.

Tell us something that no one knows about you? Most people already know that I absolutely love boating and fishing. I have recently become an avid runner for fun and as a healthy physical outlet. However, my roots were indeed as a varsity athlete when I rowed at Penn.

Why did you choose Pinecrest as your hometown? What ties you to the community? I’ve lived in Pinecrest for 11 years and have resided in the immediate community of Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay since 1999. The reason I chose to live in Pinecrest is because it’s a great community to raise a family. There are great schools and it’s a family-friendly town. I also love the geographic location of the community within the southern part of the county. It has great access to the marinas and to most of the places in Miami.

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