Sept. 21, 1999, was David Alan Richards’ 54th birthday. He hadn’t made any special plans to mark the event, and he didn’t expect it to be one of those turning points in his life.
By 1999, Richards, a 1972 graduate of Yale Law School, had become, by any measure, a very successful real estate lawyer at one of the largest law firms in the United States–no, make that the world.
Richards joined Sidley & Austin (which became Sidley Austin Brown & Wood after a 2001 merger) as a partner in 1982. He co founded the Chicago based firm’s office in New York City. He had a solid book of business, and his clients included developers selling homes to the likes of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
That’s why what happened to Richards right around the time of his 54th birthday came as such a shock. He says his life hasn’t been the same since.