Becky Valentine remembering Rhett Krulla at the FTC:
In 2002, I started in the Bureau of Competition as an Honor's Paralegal. My first assignment was with the Chicago Bridge and Iron team, and one of my first supervisors was Rhett Krulla, a Deputy Assistant Director in Mergers II. Rhett had a reputation for being a hard-nosed enforcer (a few attorneys in the shop even called Rhett "The Viking"), but to me, he was just a believer. Even though Rhett is now at a private firm, it seems fitting to share a few of his moments from the 30+ years that he was at the Commission.
As is true with most litigation teams at the Commission, we worked tirelessly for months on end to put on our Part III case—but no one worked longer hours or harder than Rhett. One of Rhett's most notorious moments was when he calmly looked at his sleepless team at 5:01 p.m. the day that we filed our Findings of Fact and dryly stated that "there is no break between Findings and Reply Findings." No one could deadpan like Rhett, and that refrain kept us going (and laughing) through the end of the litigation.
Rhett really cared about his teams. I remember a big snow storm during our trial that halted metro service and buried my car under 15+ inches of snow. Rhett called several members of the team, including me, to see if we would be able to come in to work. When I told Rhett that I was snowed in, he said "I'm picking up a few other people, so I'll just come around and pick you up in the Jeep." That day, Rhett went to three team members' houses (all over the city) to pick us up and bring us to work. He also saw us safely home.
I worked at the Commission for another 2 years after we wrapped the Chicago Bridge trial, and while I met numerous other talented attorneys, no one made as lasting an impression on me as Rhett did. Rhett taught a generation of young attorneys and future attorneys about working hard and leading by example, in addition to the ABCs of antitrust.