“So you are the great lawyer I’ve been told about! But, you are so young! I was expecting an old lawyer.”
With those words, the silver-haired senior-level executive of the customs broker I was investigating for bribery let me know that his guard was down. In fact, he seemed relieved and almost eager to help me, a young lawyer that reminded him of his nephew.
This was exactly the reaction I wanted. We exchanged pleasantries in Spanish over a cup of coffee and proceeded to have a friendly free-flowing conversation. That conversation revealed that his company was bribing government officials in Latin America, he was a liar, and he had no idea that he had just given me the evidence I needed when I went up the chain to confront his boss. He never saw it coming.