David Boies Illustration by Graham Smith

Illustration by Graham Smith

Sometimes it seems that whenever a lawsuit hits the headlines, David Boies, cofounder of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, is at the center of it.

From United States v. Microsoft to Bush v. Gore to Perry v. Schwarzenegger to the Sony hacking case and the Theranos controversy, Boies has established himself as one of the world’s foremost attorneys.

01 What are you listening to these days? The Beatles, Janis Joplin, some Frank Sinatra. 02 Favorite book? The Bible. As a text and for religious reasons. 03 What are you reading now?  I watch television shows more than I read. 04 Do you have a favorite show? The Americans. It deals with an era that is part of my memory but also far enough away to reflect on. 05 Favorite film? The Searchers. Casablanca. The Left Hand of God—it’s a Humphrey Bogart movie. 06 What’s the best film about a lawyer? There are a number of good movies about lawyers: A Time to Kill. The Verdict. To Kill a Mockingbird. Anatomy of a Murder. They all tell you something important about the law and the practice of law. 07 Favorite legal character? Perry Mason—but not of the TV show, of the Erle Stanley Gardner books. The Perry Mason of the books was grittier. 08 Most important rule for winning a case? Preparation and patience. Why patience? It’s about learning everything that you can before you put your stake in the ground. 09 Beer, wine or spirits? Wine. I’d recommend Hawk and Horse cabernet sauvignon—that’s my vineyard. And the 2012 Opus One and 2012 Quintessa are really good wines. 10 Do you have a favorite watch? Not really. I’ve been given watches, and I always give them to members of my family who appreciate them more. 11 What do you drive? My favorite car for many years was a 6.6-liter Trans Am convertible. But I’ve got a Tesla right now, and it is an amazing car. 12 Sailboat or motorboat? Sailboat. I like blending in with the wind and the water as opposed to trying to overcome them. 13 Exercise of choice? Bicycling. Mary, my wife, and I go on at least two bicycle trips a year. 14 Biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? For any parent, it’s dealing with your children, trying to find the right mix between letting them develop and protecting them. 15 Best advice you’ve ever received? “Listen before you speak.” That’s what my father told me and what I told my children. 16 Guilty pleasure? Hot fudge sundaes, fried chicken, watching television—too many to count. 17 Who are your heroes? Jesus Christ. Daniel Webster. Abraham Lincoln. 18 What’s one thing about you that would surprise judges? Maybe how nervous I still get. If you’re doing something that you care about, you’re always going to be nervous. 19 What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned about power? To respect the obligations that possession of power gives you. Power is a trust. 20 How would you like to be remembered? As somebody who cared about his family, and cared about justice.

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2016 issue of Worth.