Once-feared prosecutor now defends firms

What happens when a zealous prosecutor of healthcare fraud turns defense attorney? If the lawyer in question is Michael Loucks, then what follows is equal-yet-opposite zeal on the part of his corporate clients.

As the New York Times reports, Loucks has gone so far as to lament his past prosecutorial fervor, criticize the laws he used to go after misbehaving drugmakers, and agitate for change. For instance, the man whose office stealthily investigated Pfizer for four years, eventually winning a $2.3 billion, record-setting settlement, now says the government should be required to tell companies up front about their investigations, giving drugmakers a chance to police themselves.

Whistleblower attorneys and advocates say Loucks has "gone over to the dark side," calling his career switch "sad." But Loucks defends the move: "While everyone calls it 'the other side,' I'm doing the same thing I've always done, which is zealously representing my clients," he told the Times, later adding, "One man's evil empire is another's home team."

- see the NYT profile