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Sara Kropf Wins Inspiring Not Guilty Verdict for Protester Client in D.C. Street Riot Case

Just before year-end, Sara Kropf and her client got the best holiday gift ever –  an acquittal of all charges.  Sara, a Washington, D.C. defense attorney, was representing a street medic charged with rioting and destruction of property stemming from protests held during President Trump’s January 20, 2017 inauguration. Noting that her client attended the protests armed with bandages, Sara was quoted by Washington’s Tops News as stating, “According to the government, showing up with a fanny pack with Band Aids… is equivalent to the people who smashed the Starbucks window.” Sara’s inspirational closing argument was featured in news articles around the world.  A Washington Post article said Sara focused on a police radio report where a commander identified the demonstrators as “anarchists” and quoted her as stating“[t]his is about politics,” before the six-person D.C. Superior Court jury acquitted all the defendants on the felony charges on December 21. “This is about police and local prosecutors who work for the Department of Justice. And we know who they report to,” she said, referring to President Trump. The defendants included a nurse, a freelance photographer and a college student who were among more than 200 protesters arrested in a police round-up northeast of the White House. During the daylong protest, vandals had caused an estimated $100,000 in property damage, according to the government. Eventually, prosecutors charged 212 people in connection with the protests. Twenty pleaded guilty, and charges were dropped against another 20. In this case, federal prosecutors failed to link the six defendants with any violent or destructive acts. Instead, they argued that they had “provided cover” for the vandalism – an argument immediately challenged by Kropf and her colleagues on the defense side.  For example, they showed that the social media posts and “likes” of a detective who was one of the government’s key witnesses were critical of social protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. They also noted that the commanding officer of the police did not give a dispersal order to the protesters before encircling and arresting them – contrary to the department’s standard procedure. Most importantly, the defense attorneys pointed out that there was no evidence that any of the six participants had broken windows, caused property damage or encouraged others to commit illegal acts. Even before the government presented the case to the jury, Judge Lynn Leibovitz threw out the most serious charge – inciting a riot.  However, it took two full days of deliberations after the nearly four-week trial before the not guilty verdicts were delivered. As Kropf said in her closing, “All the government proved was that these individuals showed up and walked as protesters. And that is not a crime.”  We will always need lawyers and citizens willing to stand up against government over-reach. That is what happened here. What a courageous victory for both Sara Kropf and her client.  Huge congrats! The post Sara Kropf Wins Inspiring Not Guilty Verdict for Protester Client in D.C. Street Riot Case appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Pamela Mackey and Saskia Jordan Successfully Defend Insider Trading Case Filed by the SEC

A decade ago, Roger Parker told two of his closest friends that billionaire Kirk Kerkorian was about to buy a 35 percent share in his Denver-based company, Delta Petroleum Corp.  Five years later, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an insider trading charge against Parker, alleging that the tip he provided generated more than $890,000 in illicit profits. One of Parker’s friends, Michael Van Gilder, pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge of illegal insider trading, while the other friend, Scott Reiman, settled with the SEC, giving back more than $800,000 without admitting or denying guilt. But Parker, who was CEO of Delta Petroleum at the time, faced a civil complaint filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission and spent the last five years fighting the charges. Thanks to the excellent work of his attorneys, Pamela Mackey and Saskia Jordan, partners at Haddon, Morgan and Foreman P.C. in Denver, he was acquitted in a recent federal jury trial. The two-week trial in U.S. District Court occurred after an initial trial that ended with a hung jury.  Van Gilder testified that he did not scheme with Parker to earn a profit and Reiman invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Throughout the trial, Mackey and Jordan argued that although Parker had passed along confidential information to his two friends, he did not profit from the tipping. “They kept the information secret from Mr. Parker,” said Mackey in her closing argument. “He had no information about any trading until the FBI showed up in 2012.” That argument was crucial to the successful conclusion of Parker’s case, since the SEC needed to prove that Parker expected his friends to act on the tip, and that he personally profited from the scheme.  In fact, Parker testified that Van Gilder and Reiman betrayed his professional relationships with them as well as their friendship by profiting from the conversation. Both Mackey and Jordan are experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers who have handled a number of high-profile cases. For instance, Mackey represented Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant when he was charged with sexual assault. Jordan has represented defendants charged with white-collar crimes, SEC violations and sexual assaults; plaintiffs and defendants in civil fraud trials; and professionals in regulatory actions and civil trials. Because so many SEC cases end in settlement, it is encouraging to see yet another case won at trial, especially by two amazing women defenders. More and more civil enforcement actions need to be tested in the court system. As I have said before, anyone can champion a winning theory in a conference room. It is entirely different to test that theory in a courtroom. Congrats to Pamela and Saskia! The post Pamela Mackey and Saskia Jordan Successfully Defend Insider Trading Case Filed by the SEC appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Are We Maintaining Diversity on the Bench? Judge for Yourself

Today, online news channels, TV, newspapers and social media are inundated with stories of women (and men) speaking out against injustices that professional women have had to endure from men in positions of power. But there is a calculated plan unfolding that will have long-lasting effects on the judiciary that is largely unnoticed. It may not be as sexy as bringing down a famous director (or two), or dethroning a political candidate, but one that may be even more important in the long run. While individuals who engage in sexism and vagrant mistreatment of women are deservingly being “outed,” we are seeing a dangerous revival of sexism at the highest level of our government. A recent Associated Press survey found that 81 percent of President Trump’s nominees for federal judgeships are men, and that 91 percent are white. That is the highest percentage of white men in 30 years, according to the news service. Only 11 of 58 nominees to appellate and district court judgeships are women, while 47 are men. All but five of those 58 nominees are white, while three are Asian-American, one is Hispanic and one is African-American. I believe deeply in the importance of increasing diversity at all levels in our legal system, as well as promoting diverse lawyers to positions of power in firms and on trial teams.  However, the importance of diversity is especially true in our judicial system, which must reflect today’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-gender and multi-racial society. The judicial branch holds a unique place in our government. For our system to be fair – and to be perceived as fair by non-white males – we must have judges from all walks of life and with diverse life experiences hearing and judging the cases in our system. The nature of Trump’s judicial appointments in the past year is a remarkable contrast with President Obama’s record. During his eight years in office, 42 percent of his confirmed judges were women and only 37 percent were white men. However, the Republican-controlled Senate blocked all of Obama’s appointments in the last year of his term, giving Trump an opportunity to make far more lifetime appointments to the bench. While we, as legal professionals, don’t have the power to make judicial appointments, we can sound the alarm about sexism and prejudice in our courts. Neither our country nor our judicial system can go back in time to an era when women and minorities were excluded from positions of power in the workplace and in government. Whatever your political beliefs, I encourage you to speak up for gender, racial and ethnic diversity in our courts because it strengthens our nation’s judicial system. It is even more important today because the courts serve as a role model for our legal profession and our society as a whole. Get involved in legal, community and civic organizations.  Find candidates who share your values and offer your support.  That is our responsibility as defenders of a fair and equitable American system of justice. The post Are We Maintaining Diversity on the Bench? Judge for Yourself appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Overcoming the Obstacles to Women Becoming Equity Partners

Women attorneys are leaders in their practice fields, in their families and in their communities – but not in their law firms. Only about 18 percent of equity partners in major law firms are women, according to the American Bar Association’s 2017 survey. That’s remarkably little progress since 2006, when 16 percent of equity partners were women. Another sobering statistic: even “women-friendly” firms that recognize the importance of offering benefits like parental leave and flexible working hours have largely failed to promote women to leadership roles.  Of the 50 firms cited in Working Mother’s Best Law Firms for Women 2017 only 20 percent of all equity partners, on average, were women – the same as the last two years. So, how can more women ascend to the top ranks of major law firms? One initiative that bears watching is the ABA’s Resolution 113, which urges law firms and corporations to create more opportunities for diverse attorneys at all levels, and calls on clients to direct a greater percentage of the legal services they purchase, both currently and in the future, to diverse attorneys. Since passage of ABA 113 in September 2016, a growing number of Fortune 1000 companies have pledged their support, including Walmart whose general counsel, Karen Roberts, has been one of the leaders in promoting this initiative. Recent corporate additions to the pro-diversity list include HP, MetLife and Facebook, which now require 33 percent women and ethnic minorities on its outside law firm teams. It is unfortunate that we need a resolution to tip the scale on these inequities but at least this resolution serves to get to the heart of the issue.  The power or equity in a firm has always been and always will be driven by who controls the business, and this Resolution goes to the heart of that issue. In addition to addressing this push from clients, Big Law firms should look closely at their internal policies and practices to see how they can better tap the diverse pool of legal talent in their firms.  Along with offering family-friendly work-life policies, major law firms should offer a clear path to equity partnership, along with mentoring and coaching support for the firm’s future leaders, specifically as it relates to learning how to capture business.  Both women and men like to know the ground rules for moving up in the firm, and that there is a level playing field on all levels. The most important step in advancing gender parity – and one that is often not discussed in legal article or blogs – is the importance of fostering the marketing and business development skills that bring in new clients.  A woman who is seen as a “rainmaker” is far more likely to be considered for an equity partnership than one who plays a supportive role to her colleagues.  Having the economic power that comes with a robust book of business is the key to break through Big Law’s glass ceiling. If women lawyers continue to focus on that conversation, the numbers will follow. The post Overcoming the Obstacles to Women Becoming Equity Partners appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Alexandra Shapiro leads another victory at Second Circuit

Recently Alexandra Shapiro was successful in overturning the corruption conviction of Dean Skelos, a former New York state senator and majority leader.  Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos, had been charged in 2015 by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) with bribery, extortion and conspiracy relating to accusations that the father’s office pressured a developer, a medical malpractice insurer and environmental company to give his son consulting work that resulted in hundreds of thousands of payments. The father and son were convicted at trial in December 2015. Alexandra represented the ex-senator on appeal and another lawyer represented the son. Both convictions were overturned.  This isn’t the first time Alexandra has been victorious at the Second Circuit.  We have blogged about her seemingly golden touch before in a blog post, Alexandra the Great. The grounds for appeal were largely based on the United States Supreme Case ruling in McDonnell v United States which limited the application of the federal bribery statute 18 U.S.C. §201.  The Court ruled that an official act is a decision or action on a “question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy” and that it must involve the formal exercise of a governmental power, be something specific and focused that is “pending” or “may by law be brought” before a public official.  The Court clarified that setting up a meeting, talking to another official or organizing an event, without more, does not qualify as an “official act” per McDonnell. In the Skelos appeal, the panel found that the jury instruction given in the Skelos case was too broad, and considering the ruling in McDonnell, the definition of “official acts” provided to the Skelos jury could not be ruled harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The Skelos appeal ruling was instant big news and reported in the New York Daily News and in the New York Times, where Shapiro was quoted as stating that Dean Skelos was grateful for the ruling and that “[w]e believe that as events unfold, it is going to become clear that this is a case that never should have been brought.” Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. attorney for the SDNY has already indicated that the office intends to retry the father and son and was quoted in the New York Times as stating, “We look forward to a prompt retrial…” Oddly enough, even former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who no longer would need to comment, felt compelled to weigh in on the ruling on Twitter. Regardless of what the future holds for this case, this victory lap is sweet and another well-deserved win for Alexandra Shapiro, who has her own firm Shapiro Arato, in New York City.  Alexandra continues to be at the center of many of the most influential white-collar appeals in this last decade and she continues to be a shining example of the great work that women are doing in our field. The post Alexandra Shapiro leads another victory at Second Circuit appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Susan Brune Prevails in “Impossible to Win” Securities Case

Leave it to a powerful woman in the investment world like Lynn Tilton to appreciate the value of a fighter and seasoned trial lawyer like Susan Brune.  Lynn Tilton, the owner of Patriarch Partners and frequently dubbed the “Diva of Distressed,” is a well-known private equity investor.   She invests in companies that are in severe financial distress, with the aim of turning them around to profitability.  From 2003 to 2007, she raised more than $2 billion via structured finance vehicles known as collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). By nature, Tilton doesn’t shy away from a challenge.  When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) came knocking in 2009, it was no surprise then that she turned to Brune, an experienced white collar securities lawyer, to represent her during the investigation and then to help her defend against the charges. In 2015, the SEC charged Tilton and Tilton’s company, Patriarch Partners, with a matter relating to their operation of three CLOs known as the Zohar Funds. The SEC sought approximately $240 million in disgorgement, in addition to fines and a lifetime bar from the securities industry. The agency chose to file the charges in the SEC’s administrative forum.  Tilton decided to take the case to trial, insisting that the highly sophisticated investors had been fully informed about the investments.  Going to trial against the SEC is a risk for any client, but in administrative proceedings the odds are particularly stacked against respondents, who have only limited discovery rights and less due process protection than in federal court. The trial was held before Administrative Law Judge Carol Fox Foelak in October and November of last year.  Brune worked closely with co-counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, which had amassed a large team.  Together, they presented a convincing argument on behalf of Tilton.  During the trial, Brune did a scathing cross of two fund “victims” and conducted the examination of Tilton when she took the stand in her own defense, testimony that spanned almost four days.   The defense that Brune had developed over the years that Tilton had been under investigation played out as planned and led to the dismissal of the case. In a 57-page order, the judge stated that Tilton didn’t hide anything from her sophisticated institutional investors – thus ending Tilton’s long battle with the SEC.  “While respondents did not maximize the ease of finding it, they also did not conceal — omit to state — material information such as the amount of interest actually being paid and the interest rate and principal on the portfolio companies’ loans,” Judge Foelak said in her ruling. This complete vindication is a huge victory for Tilton and for Susan Brune, who has been fighting alongside Tilton for eight years as the SEC investigated and then filed charges. “I am thrilled that she has now been fully cleared,” said Brune, whose past victories include the high-profile acquittal of a Bear Stearns hedge fund manager in a federal jury trial. Like Brune, Tilton was ecstatic to get the verdict. “I have never been one to accept injustice or cower in the face of challenging obstacles, and I knew the truth would ultimately prevail,” Tilton said in an interview.  “I can only hope that this vindication will deter the future abuse of power that comes with government overreach.” “People told me my case would be impossible to win,” Tilton said in post-trial interview on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” as she reflected on the power of the SEC.  And, as she told Bloomberg News, she looked to Brune and Gibson Dunn because they were “willing to get in there and fight.” I think that before this victory, many would have opined that this was an impossible case to win in the SEC’s administrative court proceeding.  Not so, at least with this defense team. The post Susan Brune Prevails in “Impossible to Win” Securities Case appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Women Play Leading Roles in Volkswagen’s Defense

It is apparent that Volkswagen AG understands the value of having women attorneys in lead defense roles.  Sharon L. Nelles, a New York partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s litigation group, has served as lead and national coordinating counsel for Volkswagen advising the German automaker on the $14.7 billion resolution with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and also in the multi-district consumer plaintiff committee over diesel emissions. In addition to Nelles’ involvement in the criminal case, two women partners at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s New York office – Olivia A. Radin, who focuses on white collar and complex litigation, and Linda H. Martin, a member of the firm’s dispute resolution practice –  were also key players on the three-firm legal team that worked out a plea agreement to settle the DOJ criminal charges earlier this year. More recently, Nelles and two of her partners at Sullivan helped Volkswagen AG successfully stop the DOJ’s attempt to turn 25 million pages of discovery material related to multidistrict litigation in California over to GSK Stockman, a German law firm. At issue was whether a pretrial order in the U.S. diesel emissions civil case –Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation – bars the sharing of discovery material with attorneys litigating against Volkswagen outside the U.S.  The DOJ argued that GSK Stockmann was the “model plaintiff” and entitled to see the discovery documents. However, there are 1,600 plaintiffs suing Volkswagen in Germany, making it almost inevitable that information from the 25 million pages would be made public – a clear violation of the pretrial order, according to VW’s U.S. legal team. “In fact, there is nothing in [the order] authorizing a law enforcement or regulatory agency, including DOJ civil, to share the MDL production with non-U.S. private counsel for use in a non-U.S. private securities lawsuit against VWAG,” said the company in a statement. On September 15, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline S. Corley, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, agreed with Volkswagen’s legal team and denied the DOJ request to share the MDL information with the German firm. Volkswagen’s team that argued against this DOJ overreach in a civil case included Laura Kabler Oswell, a partner in Sullivan’s Palo Alto office and a group leader for the firm’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practice, who was recently named a “Rising Star” by Law360 after two big litigation wins in other matters. Suhana S. Han was the third Sullivan partner on the litigation team, which included three male partners. A partner in the litigation group, Han’s practice covers commercial litigation, including securities matters.  It is almost unheard of for the women on a corporate defense team to equal or outnumber the men. Kudos to the women of Sullivan & Cromwell and to all the women involved in lead roles defending Volkswagen The post Women Play Leading Roles in Volkswagen’s Defense appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Women Lead Counsel Needed

There is growing focus on the disparity between women and men in lead counsel roles.  A new study was released by the New York State Bar Association that affirms this fact but also found that the rate of inequality increases as the complexity of the cases increase. This is important because generally these cases are the most lucrative cases.  The study is entitled If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in the ADR.  The report found that women hold lead counsel roles only around 25% of the time but in cases with five or more parties it drops to 19.5%. The survey conducted by the task force found the following: Female attorneys represented just 25.2% of the attorneys appearing in commercial and criminal cases in courtrooms across New York. Female attorneys accounted for 24.9% of lead counsel roles and 27.6% of additional counsel roles. The most striking disparity in women’s participation appeared in complex commercial cases: women’s representation as lead counsel shrank from 31.6% in one-party cases to 26.4% in two-party cases to 24.8% in three-to-four-party cases and to 19.5% in cases involving five or more parties. In short, the more complex the case, the less likely that a woman appeared as lead counsel. The report went on to say the “[o]ne bright spot is public interest law (mainly criminal matters), where female lawyers accounted for 38.2% of lead counsel and 30.9% of attorneys overall.  However, in private practice (including both civil and criminal matters), female lawyers only accounted for 19.4% of lead counsel. This task force report is not the first time that the gender gap between women and men in lead counsel roles has been reported. In 2015 the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession issued a report titled First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table.  We had posted about the ABA report here. The New York State Bar Association recommended many ways for the judiciary and legal community to focus on the gender gap and encourage change.  Although I agree that it is important for the legal community to become more cognizant about this disparity, I don’t believe simply encouraging change is the real solution to the problem. I believe a significant factor in the gender gap is reflected in the drop of women in lead counsel roles in public interest cases from 38.2% to 19.4% in private cases.  This highlights the blaring problem that women face in the private sector relating to getting business. If we continue to rely on others to provide us lead counsel roles, from the judiciary to male partners, these stats will remain stagnant like they have for years. The general rule in private practice is that the lawyer who originates the business controls lead counsel and first chair roles.  The answer to equalizing this disparity is women focusing on business development.   This is the real solution to turning these stats on their head. The post Women Lead Counsel Needed appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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Interview with Penny Cooper, “Champion of the Marginalized”

Penny Cooper has a real and enduring legacy, as is reflected in the documentary about her life and work entitled Penny: A Documentary Film. Penny practiced for 36 years in San Francisco after graduating from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1964 and is now retired.  She was a “lawyer’s lawyer” and was one of the first women criminal defense lawyers to try a major white-collar crime case, but she would tell you she preferred defending people charged with general criminal offenses.  She argued before the United States Supreme Court, which is rare for any lawyer, let alone a female.  She was known for her cross-examination skills and a long list of wins and high-profile acquittals; yet in-spite of this she has a keen understanding of the most important aspect of what it means to be a criminal defense attorney, that is that “[i]t’s not just the drama of going to court and objecting and winning or losing, it’s really managing people’s lives when they get into difficulty or trouble.” The documentary aptly described her as a “champion of the marginalized.” Penny was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame by the California State Bar’s Litigation Section in 2010, with long-time law partner, Cris Arguedas.  It was such an honor to interview one of the true legends of the criminal defense bar. I feel so lucky to have had an opportunity to have met and listened to this true defender, who forged a path for many of us to follow. I hope you will be as inspired by Penny Cooper as I am.   How did you get interested in criminal defense and what kind of cases did you handle? I am a product of the 60’s. I graduated from law school in 1964 from Berkeley.  The fall of 1964 was the free speech movement. We were just getting the civil rights amendment passed.  It was an era where everybody felt strongly one way or another about civil rights and criminal defense.  It was the only thing I was really interested in. I practiced for 36 years and I handled every kind of case.  My greatest day of practice was when I was coming home after having handled a traffic case for some guy who owned a winery who had entered the freeway the wrong way and was ticketed. I was representing him and I got the case dismissed because the law had been repealed. That same day, as I was driving home, I learned that we had won our case in the United States Supreme Court – United States vs. Merchant, 480 U.S. 615 (1987). This is the best way to express the breadth of my practice. I did everything from handling a traffic case in a little municipal court to arguing and winning a case before the United States Supreme Court. Without question, you were a pioneer for women in the field. What was it like to be one of the few women in the field when you started and did you know at the time that you were opening doors for other women in criminal defense? I have a very close female friend whom I went to law school with, and we laugh about it all the time because we didn’t even know what feminism was and we didn’t realize we should have been treated differently. We were just treated the way we were and it was really bad, but we just kind of laughed at it and soldiered through.  The dean of the law school was William Prosser, who was one of my teachers and he didn’t believe that women should be in law school – period. In my section, there were 90 people and only 3 women – and he didn’t call on women because he just figured it was a waste of time. In that era that’s just what people believed. Nick Johnson, who was another professor and who later became Lyndon B. Johnson’s head of the Federal Trade Commission, believed that it was so ridiculous to have women in law school; he said he was going to treat women equally — so in our class he called on man – woman – man – woman. Then we had a professor who transferred from Harvard, named Raoul Berger, and he would say “now stand up like a man and recite.” And we just took it all.  And we kind of laughed about it and still laugh about it.  It was only years later that we realized we had a right to expect something else. In law school we even had a segregated conference room where we would take our breaks and the men were someplace else. I remember when JFK was assassinated, we had to get permission from the dean to be able to watch the television, which was located in the men’s conference room. Here we were at Berkeley, the bastion of liberalism, which wasn’t so liberal back then. So, when I entered the public defender’s office there was only one other woman at the time but she was on her way out. The guy who hired me, the public defender, told me he didn’t really think women belonged in that office because it was like sailing down a sewer in a glass bottom boat. ...
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Cristina Arguedas Presented with 2017 White Collar Criminal Defense Award

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and Stetson University College of Law presented Cristina C. Arguedas with the 2017 White Collar Criminal Defense Award this last weekend.  It was an honor to be there and witness both the presentation and her acceptance of the award. Cris Arguedas was awarded this prestigious honor for her work in the FedEx case.  The successful defense of FedEx can only be described as a hero’s tale.  The irony that this defense was spearheaded by a woman and a small team isn’t lost on me. It’s amazing when you really consider the consequences of this win.  Not only is this one of the few times that a corporation has dared to take on the United States Government in a criminal prosecution.  But to consider that the herculean task of defending a corporate case of this size and magnitude was accomplished without an army of lawyers – which is typical in a corporate white collar case – not only speaks volumes about Arguedas but of the importance of mounting a defense at all.  More often than not the army of lawyers aren’t challenging the Government or forcing the Government to trial, but rather are working their way to a negotiated settlement.  It really doesn’t matter how many lawyers are representing a corporation if the evidence remains untested. As I have said before, it is easy to champion a winning theory in a conference room; it is a far different thing to champion it in the courtroom.  And that is exactly what Arguedas did in the FedEx case. The case completely imploded within days after the trial started. I am personally proud that this historical victory was led by one of our sisters in the field.  I have previously shared how much I admire Arguedas – and I am not alone.  She is without question one of the legends in the field.  Barry Pollack, President of NACDL, presented the award and gave a wonderful speech in which he imagined that legends in the field would have their own trading cards that we could collect, with trial victories and stats on the back. Since Arguedas was inducted into the Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame in 2010 with Penny Cooper – another legend – his analogy was more than appropriate. As would be expected from Cris Arguedas, she accepted the award with grace and humility.  She didn’t take the opportunity to bask in the limelight but rather spoke passionately about the dangerous landscape of corporate criminal prosecutions, which has amounted to nothing short of Government bullying of Corporate America.  She shared with us the amount of pressure that she shouldered to fight against the baseless charges that she confronted in the FedEx case and the amount of painstaking preparation that went into the defense.  Indeed, the trial judge took the unusual step of concluding, on the record at the time of dismissing the charges, that FedEx was “factually innocent.” Arguedas’ acceptance speech was emblematic of everything that makes her great.  She is a true defender in every fiber of her being.  She is a fierce advocate.  The takeaway is that it does not take an army to fight an injustice lobbed by the Government.  Rather, it takes the spirit of a lion and the courage to strike back in defense. It’s that simple. The post Cristina Arguedas Presented with 2017 White Collar Criminal Defense Award appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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