(844) 815-9632

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Joan Meyer negotiates NPA for Swiss Bank Client

Just last week the Justice Department announced that three more banks reached resolutions under the Swiss Bank Program. All three banks entered Non Prosecution Agreements (NPA’s) with the Department of Justice. The financial settlements ranged from over 3 million to 59 million, and totaled approximately 81 million in penalties recovered by the US Government. Joan Meyer of Baker McKenzie represented Bank CIC, which entered into an agreement to pay over 3 million dollars in penalties. Joan is the chair of Baker & McKenzie’s North America Compliance and Investigations Practice Group, and she handles investigations and white-collar matters. A more detailed account of the Swiss Bank Program is described here.  Under the program, banks meeting the following requirements are eligible for a non-prosecution agreement (NPA): Make a complete disclosure of their cross-border activities; Provide detailed information on an account-by-account basis for accounts in which U.S. taxpayers have direct or indirect interest; Cooperate in treaty requests for account information; Provide detailed information as to other banks that transferred funds into secret accounts or that accepted funds when secret accounts were closed; Agree to close accounts of account holders who fail to come into compliance with U.S. reporting obligations; and Pay appropriate penalties. If you read the particulars of the cooperation in the press release and the NPA’s here, you will see that, as a component of that cooperation, the  banks also provided information on individuals — an extra step that was not strictly required. Is this the Yates Memo in action? I am not the only one who is asking those kind of questions, as they are also asked in an interview conducted with the law professor who wrote “Too Big to Jail.” It is certainly food for thought. But most importantly I wanted to congratulate Joan on a job well done for her client. The post Joan Meyer negotiates NPA for Swiss Bank Client appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
continue reading

Mary Chartier is Successfully Defending Clients in Lansing, Michigan

We are always looking for cases involving women defenders in the news. This week I was struck by the fact that Mary Chartier, a criminal defense attorney from Lansing, Michigan, had two stories featured this year – both recognized her for successfully defending clients. First, in early 2015 she represented a client at trial and obtained a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict for an attempted murder charge. The case involved a father accused of shooting the mother of his 2-year-old child during a child custody dispute. Chartier successfully convinced the jury that her client was acting in self-defense after that the mother had stabbed him with a knife. The client was acquitted of all counts. Later in 2015 Chartier won a reversal of a denial of a hearing on a motion for new trial for a funeral home director who had been convicted by a jury of embezzlement and RICO.  Before this issue, she successfully convinced the judge to throw out a number of counts because the wrong victim was identified in the pleadings. The case involved prepaid funeral plans, and the beneficiaries of the contracts were the victims not the funeral home owner. The case was sent back to the trial court to hold a hearing on the ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Chartier was named as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in the Law for 2013, and has been named as one of the top 25 women attorneys in the state. She is a founding partner of Alane Chartier, a woman-owned law firm.  It is always thrilling to see brave women hanging out their own shingle – but nothing gets me more than watching a fellow criminal lawyer who is obviously putting herself out there, and fighting with all she has for her clients. Now that’s what I call inspiring! The post Mary Chartier is Successfully Defending Clients in Lansing, Michigan appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
continue reading

Pay Gap Worsens for Women at the Top

I just read an article titled, “Wage Gap is Worse for Women at the Top,” by Vivia Chen on the The Careerist. Since it requires a subscription, I will try to give you some of the highlights of the studies that she includes in her article. In summary, a new study by PayScale found that “the pay gap widens as you climb the corporate ladder, that men get promoted faster than women, and that women report more negative feelings about job satisfaction, job stress, and communication with their employers.” Lydia Frank, who works with Payscale, addressed the findings in an article for Harvard Business Review and discussed four of the most sticking findings: The gender gap widens as women advance in their careers. This range widens from 2.2% for Individual Contributors to 6.1% for Executives. Leadership training helps women increase earnings, but the same training has shown to help men more. Women need professional advocates. Males with role models see greater salary benefits than women with role models. We also need mentors. Working mothers are making less than working fathers. Frank recommends that companies take proactive steps to correct gender inequity within their companies. She suggests they review compensation packages for employees and make adjustments to cure the gap.  She also advocates for a more transparent approach to discussing pay with employees – which will go a long way in addressing the lack of trust women feel in the workplace. Why do I keep coming back to these statistics? I think there are many women in all levels of positions of power that don’t seem to be moved to action at all. Particularly some women at the top of the legal profession seem indifferent to the overall problems that many women in the field are facing. They may feel that they have succeeded why can’t you? They may feel a lack of responsibility to pay it back through helping other women in the field. The portion of Frank’s piece that most irks me is that even when women have mentors they aren’t advocating for them for equal or higher pay.  When are women going to get the memo that if more women succeed it doesn’t diminish the opportunities for continued success for one of us but enhances us all. Men understand the team approach and pulling each other up, if it has worked for them, can’t the same be true for women in the field? The post Pay Gap Worsens for Women at the Top appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
continue reading

Women in Law: Make Rain or Sink

The Ninth Annual Survey by National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) is out, and the statistics continue to be dismal. Here are some highlights: Women still comprise 18% of equity partnership, only 2% higher than in 2006. Men were promoted to Non-equity partner at a significantly higher percentage than women: Among non-equity partners who graduated from law school in 2004, 38% were women and 62% were men The Compensation Gender Gap has gotten wider: Female equity partners earn 80% of what typical male equity partners earn – which is down from 84%. Women are underrepresented in governance committees: A typical firm has 2 (or fewer) women and 8 men on their highest US based governance and compensation committees. Men continue to outpace women in rainmaking credit: 88% of top ten producers are men and 12% were women, down from 16% last year. Typical female equity partner bills only 78% of what a typical male partner bills Vivia Chen of the Careerist’ article, Women in Big Law are Losing Ground, cited the most alarming statistic about the report: only 37% of Am Law 200 firms responded to the survey. In perspective, 69% of Am Law 200 firms responded in 2008.  Of the 73 participating firms, only 41 firms would even answer what gender its highest paid partners are. So, why aren’t firms willing to participate in sharing their facts about the women in their firms? It’s not likely that the reason is because the numbers are getting better – because they aren’t. This report is highly relevant to women in criminal defense for a number of reasons. First and foremost, many of our colleagues are in big law firms and living out these statistics first hand.  And for those of us in midsize, small, or solo practices, these statistics reflect the reality of where we stand in the legal profession as a whole.  If women in institutional firms are struggling to find equality, it is obvious that it will be equally difficult – if not worse – for those of us in smaller firms. The key takeaway from these statistics is that women need to focus on making rain, or we will continue to sink. I know there are many factors in BigLaw that affect a woman partner getting “origination credit,” but women need to be fighting for those credits and focusing on continuing to originate business.  The women who are able to gain positions of strength in a firm should be reaching back to help the other women learn how to originate business.  Some women are natural promoters, but the vast majority of women struggle at this. Women need to be talking about their businesses, asking for business, and actively networking.  I understand the reasons why women are still struggling in BigLaw are complicated, but we need to focus on solutions. We need to stop waiting around for the person in power to hand us our seat at the table, and start demanding it. When we focus on making rain we have the power to demand our seat at the table. And this strategy works – whether you are in Big Law or a solo practice, so stopping worrying about where you are seated and focus only on increasing business for yourself!! The post Women in Law: Make Rain or Sink appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
continue reading