As a constitutional attorney, member of the Utah House of Representatives, and Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Mike Lee, Derek has a unique background in law and legislation.
Derek served as a full-time law clerk to the former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third District. After his federal clerkship, he was recruited by Mike Lee to practice law at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Sidley & Austin, where they both practiced both constitutional and appellate law.
A Utah native, Derek and his family later returned to Utah, where Derek ran against an incumbent Democrat for the Utah House of Representatives—the same Democrat who two years prior had beaten the sitting Republican Utah Speaker of the House. After a hard-fought campaign, where Derek worked closely with the Republican Party and countless volunteers, Derek won his election, returning this House seat to the Republican Party where it remains to this day.
While running for office, Derek also spent considerable time working with Senator Lee in his first campaign, planning and hosting numerous town hall meetings all over Utah, and helping him at the Utah Republican Convention.
While in the Utah House, Derek served as Vice Chair of the House Rules Committee, and on the House Judiciary Committee, House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee, and the Subcommittee on Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. He also co-chaired the Occupational and Professional Licensure Review Committee, where he worked to champion legislation reducing the government’s regulatory burden on Utah workers.
As an elected Republican, Derek worked closely with the Utah Republican Party. He assisted with party organizing and fundraising efforts, helped to train Republican candidates, and also attending the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Derek left his seat in the Utah House when Senator Lee asked him to serve as his Deputy Chief of Staff. In this role, Derek also served as Senator Lee’s Utah State Director, where he worked closely with Senator Lee and interacted with Utahns on his behalf all over the state.
Before practicing law, Derek was a musician, and left a career in music for something he reluctantly admitted would be “more practical” — law school. Those who know him know that he has a passion for the arts, and in addition to spending time practicing piano and violin with his kids, he serves on the Board of Trustees for the Hale Centre Theatre, and on the Utah Arts Council.
Derek has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Brigham Young University for over a decade, where he has taught Communications Law and Ethics. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Sutherland Institute, a Utah-based conservative think tank.
Derek currently practices law in Utah, where he represents numerous local and national technology companies on cutting-edge legal, policy, and legislative issues.
Derek and his wife, Emilie de Azevedo Brown, are both county delegates, and have four remarkable children. As hands-on parents, they don’t have much free time, but in what little they do, they love spending it with their children traveling the state, and visiting grandparents in Southern Utah.