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Crime in the Suites An Analysis of Current Issues in White Collar Defense

A Blog About Current Issues in White Collar Defense

The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles just took an interesting and nuanced position concerning a very high-profile request for community service as part of a guilty plea. Disgraced plaintiffs attorney William Lerach pleaded guilty in 2007 to a charge of conspiring to obstruct justice and make false statements in many of his law firm’s class actions. He completed a two-year prison term and is in the process of doing a required 1,000 hours of community service. Lerach proposed, as part of his community service, that he would teach a class at the University of California Irvine School of Law on “Regulation of Free Market Capitalism – Are We Failing.” The Probation Office said no – teaching in a law school isn’t the same as working in a soup kitchen. Lerach appealed to U.S. District Judge John Walter. The U.S. attorney’s office did not express a view on the request, but the government drew an interesting distinction in its court papers. Lecturing law students on the mistakes that Lerach himself made, and... Read more

We wrote recently that the very recent Supreme Court decision in United States v. Skilling, limiting the reach of the federal “honest services” statute, may have an immediate impact on the ongoing case against Kevin A. Ring, a former associate of Jack Abramoff. See “Skilling Having Impact on Pending Honest Services Fraud Cases,” July 28,… Read More

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held confirmation hearings for Jim Cole, a partner at Bryan Cave and well known D.C. white-collar defense lawyer, who is President Obama’s nominee for deputy attorney general. During the confirmation hearings, an interesting back-and-forth occurred between Cole and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) regarding the use of deferred prosecution agreements. Sen…. Read More

The D.C. Circuit recently handed a significant victory to anyone with assets in the U.S. – especially anyone under investigation in another country for violation of that country’s laws. As reported on the Blog of Legal Times, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision on July 16 holding that the Department of Justice could not seize… Read More

Lynne Stewart, an attorney who was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to a terrorist group by passing messages to and from her imprisoned client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, to his followers, was re-sentenced last month by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in the Southern District of New York to 10 years in prison,… Read More

On June 24, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its much-awaited ruling in Skilling v. United States, which limited the scope of honest-services fraud. The next step is to look at the lower courts and see how they are interpreting the Skilling decision. After comments made very recently by U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle… Read More

When a U.S. magistrate judge in the District of Columbia issued his ruling in Federal Trade Commission v. Bisaro on July 13, 2010, permitting limited discovery of certain FTC officials regarding an agency subpoena, it had been more than three decades since the D.C. Circuit had found that “extraordinary circumstances” were present that warranted discovery… Read More

Jeff Ifrah, author of this blog, was interviewed today for the Legal Pulse, an online publication of the Washington Legal Foundation. In the interview, Jeff discusses cooperation with the government, federal sentencing, health care fraud, and other current issues in white-collar crime. The interview can be found here.

On July 14, 2010, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group that defends the privacy and online rights of computer and Internet users, served a motion to quash two dragnet subpoenas issued by the plaintiffs in a high-profile New York state court case to Internet service providers (ISP’s) Google and Yahoo. The subpoenas demanded the identities… Read More

The below article is reprinted with permission from the July 19, 2010, issue of the National Law Journal. Copyright 2010 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved. By A. Jeff Ifrah and Rachel Hirsch July 19, 2010 This summer, Richard Berger will be resentenced by a court that now… Read More

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