Attorney David McCarville is a director in our trusts, estates and wealth preservation practice group where his work focuses on estate planning and administration, real estate and corporate succession. Since 2019, however, he’s gained national buzz for his thought-leadership on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, especially as it relates to helping clients in storing and transferring value using distributed ledgers, digital assets and smart contracts.
We recently had the pleasure of talking with this forever curious lawyer in regard to these rapidly-emerging technologies, as well as the current state of his life in the law.
Your thought leadership in the rapidly evolving Blockchain technology field has quickly made you a very high-profile attorney at the firm. Talk about its implications in your trusts & estates work, as well as your experience now teaching the subject at ASU.
We work closely with the professionals who serve our clients in the wealth management and financial services industry. The rapidly increasing investment of human and financial capital in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is just one indicator that a paradigm shift is happening in how value is stored and transferred. Understanding how and why these changes are occurring is important for us if we are going to help our clients also understand how to embrace and take advantages of these changes.
Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, seems to have jumped the shark with the boom of NFTs and Elon Musk appearing on Saturday Night Live calling Dogecoin ‘A Hustle.’ What’s the reality – and where do you see this technology going?
Cryptocurrencies and NFT’s are still in the very early stages of building and testing the infrastructure and applications that will transform how value is stored and distributed. We are increasingly moving into a digital age where digital assets that are native to the internet will become more prevalent and more convenient for governments, businesses and consumers around the world to use.
You obviously have a BIG brain – have worked around the world – and now, are enjoying a successful career in the law. What would you tell your younger self – or a current law student – about careers in the legal profession?
There was no talking to my younger self (LAUGHS), but I would say to current law students that this is a very exciting time to enter the legal field as technology advances will continue to drive new and innovative opportunities for lawyers who can adapt.
Talk about your biggest failure. How did you pick up the pieces? And what did you learn?
My biggest failures are the result of assumptions based on sentiment and emotion rather than fundamentals. Fundamental decision making requires more thought to ascertain what is true from facts and evidence. Picking up the pieces required understanding how to be more discerning in my decision making and learning that trust has to be earned regardless of sentiment and other factors.
Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life?
My mother, JoAnne, who showed me that experiencing adversity in life should not change your character. She was a kind, diligent, resilient person who was blessed with “intestinal fortitude.”
What are you reading, or streaming during this post-pandemic phase of our lives?
I’m reading The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by John McBride thanks to our Diversity and Inclusion Book Club. It is a great book about a black son’s tribute to his white Jewish Mother that raised him and his 11 siblings in New York city during the 60’s. I highly recommend. It is a clear departure from my normal non-fiction books which are primarily military history.
For military history fans, I’m currently enjoying Frederick The Great, The Magnificent Enigma by Robert B. Asprey and Scipio Africanus, Greater than Napoleon by B.H. Liddell Hart.
We are also enjoying streaming Young Rock, Ted Lasso and Derry Girls.
As Father’s Day approaches, talk about the BLUR of raising four daughters – and what have your kids taught you?
My wife, Judy should get the credit for raising our daughters, and she has done a remarkable job, especially through the pandemic. My daughters have taught me to reevaluate many issues that have really changed how I view and interact with the world around me in a more conscientious way. They are teaching me to be more disciplined and discerning in what I think, say and do. This is not just political correctness, but understanding what harm can come from failing to reflect on what I am thinking, saying and doing. I’m very impressed with their generation and how they see social justice and environmental issues.
Okay, your family is hosting a lavish masks-off dinner party. Name the three people – from any time in human history – that you’d invite.
My family has many dimensions, so here are three that I think would be interesting dinner guests for all:
1) Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus. Roman General and Consul who defeated Hannibal and is arguably one of the greatest military commanders and strategists in history. He was effective at developing strategies, while also creating a peace treaty with Carthage that lasted for 50 years.
2) Joan of Arc. I find her story unbelievable and would love to hear from this mystic, saint and incredibly charismatic leader. I would love to hear her side of the story, and how a 16-year-old peasant girl led French soldiers to multiple wins over the English.
3) My mother JoAnne. The more I learn about her life and the things that she overcame, the more in awe I am of what she accomplished. I would also like to watch her interact with Joan of Arc and Scipio.
Here’s to David McCarville, and all of the legal professionals who are early-adopters of emerging technologies – now helping to continually transform the practice of law.
For more information on one of the largest private client and estate planning practices in the Southwest and California – representing individuals, families, business owners, nonprofits and trust companies in a range of sophisticated trust, estate, litigation, business and tax matters, please visit click here.