2015 Dues Notice

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2015 NAFUSA membership dues were payable by February 28, 2015. Dues remain at $150 for regular members, $1500 for lifetime and $50 for seniors (fully retired and over 70).

If you have not yet paid your 2015 dues, you are in arrears. Please register on line by clicking on the red link below. You may pay by credit card or mail a check. Please fill out the on line registration even if mailing a check.

CLICK HERE TO PAY DUES AND REGISTER FOR 2015 MEMBERSHIP

 

Todd Jones Steps Down at ATF (Updated March 24, 2015)

B. Todd Jones

On Friday, March 20, 2015, Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement on the departure of Director B. Todd Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobaccos, Firearms and Explosives:

Throughtout his tenure as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Todd Jones has cemented his reputation as an exemplary leader, a consummate professional, and an outstanding public servant.  Since 2011, when I asked Todd to serve as Acting Director of ATF, he has made bold changes, advanced forward-looking policies, and taken innovative steps to strengthen ATF’s investigative capabilities—including ballistic imaging technology that recently played a critical role in the investigation of the shooting of two police officers.  With his guidance, ATF has implemented its Frontline business model—a data-driven approach designed to ensure the agency can focus its resources to achieve maximum impact.  The agency has developed groundbreaking law enforcement initiatives across the country to combat violent crime and bring dangerous criminals to justice.  And as a result of Todd’s leadership, ATF has built a proactive, creative, and effective team that is well-prepared to drive the agency into the future.

 

As a former officer in the United States Marine Corps, a highly talented prosecutor, and a proven leader who has been named a U.S. Attorney by two different presidents, Todd Jones has never hesitated to answer the call to serve his community and his country with exceptional integrity and uncommon distinction.  As the first ever Senate-confirmed Director of ATF, his indelible legacy will serve as an inspiring example for all those who follow him.  On behalf of the Department of Justice, I thank him for his extraordinary service and wish him all the best as he takes the next steps in his already remarkable career.

On Monday, March 23, Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the N.F.L., told the league’s 32 team owners that he would appoint Jones as the league’s new chief disciplinary officer.

Johnson and Purdon Join Robins Kaplan

Brendan_Johnson_WBG-120x170

Robins Kaplan LLP announced on Monday, March 16, 2015,  that Brendan Johnson, shown left, former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota, and Tim Purdon, shown below, former U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota, have joined the firm. They will open and head the firm’s newest offices in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Bismarck, N.D. Johnson and Pardon are also NAFUSA’s newest members, both having joined this week.

Tim_Purdon_WBG-120x170Johnson and Purdon join as partners in the firm’s Government and Internal Investigations Group, and will also focus on further developing the firm’s work with American Indian Tribes. They both join the firm’s Personal Injury Group as well, and Johnson will also focus his practice on commercial litigation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Brendan and Tim to Robins Kaplan, and couldn’t envision two more qualified lawyers to expand our national internal investigations and white-collar crime capabilities, as well as our work on behalf of tribal communities,” said Martin Lueck, Chairman of Robins Kaplan’s Executive Board.

As South Dakota’s top federal prosecutor for five and a half years, Johnson managed a broad range of cases including financial and healthcare fraud, public corruption, violent crime, narcotics, and trafficking. Frequently praised for his work against human trafficking, he was the recipient of the 2014 Shared Hope International Pathbreaker of the Year Award, and more than 30 men were prosecuted for criminal sex trafficking under his watch, resulting in more life sentences than any other federal district. Johnson also was heavily involved in the state’s Indian Country, developing a community prosecution strategy that helped increase prosecutions by more than 90 percent on South Dakota’s largest reservations.

Purdon, appointed U.S. Attorney in August 2010, managed a broad range of cases, and—similar to Johnson—focused much of his work on combatting sex trafficking and violent crime. He designed an anti-violence strategy for North Dakota Indian reservations, which markedly improved communications between the U.S. Attorney’s office and the tribes while increasing reservation prosecutions district-wide by more than 80 percent. He also designed and implemented the U.S.A.O.’s victim-centered strategy to counter the increasing threat of sex trafficking in North Dakota.

Both Johnson and Purdon were nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. They each spent time in private practice before joining the Department of Justice.

“As a longtime colleague and friend, I couldn’t be more excited to continue my partnership with Tim at Robins Kaplan,” said Johnson. “We look forward to bringing our experience to clients nationally, as well as in North Dakota and South Dakota.”

“Throughout my 20-year career as an attorney—both in private practice and as U.S. Attorney—I’ve worked hard to protect the people of North Dakota. The opportunity to continue that mission with the great attorneys at Robins Kaplan and with my close friend Brendan has me excited about the next chapter in my career,” added Purdon.

 

Conservatives Post Statement of Principles on Crime

In a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in partnership with the American Conservative Union Foundation and Justice Fellowship, over 70 of the most influential figures in the national conservative movement, including several members of NAFUSA, have published “Right On Crime”, a Statement of Principles.

In the preamble, The Statement states:

Conservatives are known for being tough on crime, but we must also be tough on criminal justice spending. That means demanding more cost-effective approaches that enhance public safety. A clear example is our reliance on prisons, which serve a critical role by incapacitating dangerous offenders and career criminals but are not the solution for every type of offender. And is some instances, they have the unintended consequence of hardening nonviolent, low-risk offenders- making them a greater risk to the public than when they entered.

 

Click here to read the Right on Crime: Statement of Principles and a list of the signatories.

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Lynch Nomination (Updated March 24, 2015)

Loretta Lynch

On February 26, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. With a vote of 12-8, GOP Senators Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, and Jeff Flake, joined the Democrats on the committee in sending the nomination to the full Senate. The Republican opposition cites the Obama administration’s actions on immigration and her belief in the legality of the president’s executive action on immigration– issues which may lead to a contentious vote in the full Senate.

Lynch has had strong bipartisan support, as shown by the letter to the Judiciary Committee signed by 25 former United States Attorneys. (See January 22, 2015 post)

However, the nomination stalled over a dispute between Democrats and Republicans over an abortion provision in a bill to create a fund for victims of sexual trafficking. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to turn to the matter of confirming Lynch until the sex-trafficking bill got off the floor. As of March 18, Lynch has been waiting 129 days for confirmation, longer than the five previous nominees combined. Senators Corker, Alexander and Wicker announced they will opposed Lynch’s nomination, casting doubt as to whether she will have enough votes to be confirmed. NAFUSA lifetime member Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, is “stepping up his lobbying for Loretta Lynch’s confimation as attorney general”, in a letter to Senator Lindsey Graham, as reported in Politico. Bloomberg Politics reports that Lynch “probably won’t get a Senate confirmation vote until at least mid-April five months after she was nominated, because the chamber plans to spend this week debating its budget proposal.”

Hardin Quoted By IBTimes

Hal Hardin

NAFUSA Director Hal Hardin was quoted in the February 27, 2015, issue of the International Business Times. The article, “Amid Federal Corruption Probe, Andrew Cuomo Administration Purges State Government Emails”, discusses the reported mass purging of email records by the Cuomo administration. The IBTimes interviewed a number of former prosecutors and open-government advocates.

 

“The government belongs to the people and the government has to be transparent,” said Hal Hardin, a former judge and U.S. Attorney who famously investigated Gov. Ray Blanton of Tennessee. “Citizens ought to be able to know what our government is doing. The average email generated by a government owned by the people should be available to the people.”

Click here to read the entire IBTimes article.

Ron Woods Remembers Early FBI Experience

Ron Woods w/J Edgar Hoover

Former NAFUSA Executive Director Ron Woods began his career with the FBI fifty years ago. His reminiscences were published on February 15, 2015, on xboys network, an email group of 3300 ex FBI agents. The photo was taken when Ron was invited to J. Edgar Hoover’s office for a private meeting when he was admitted to the Supreme Court in 1967. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a photo of Ron with the famous fedora.

Fifty years ago today, 22 young males, most in their twenties,  met in an FBI office on the fifth floor of the DOJ Building, where we were introduced to our Class Counselor, GERALD D. COAKLEY, a poster image of an FBI agent and a good man, along with Training Supervisor SI ‘THE SPY’ TULLAI, famous for his involvement in the RUDOLPH ABEL Russian spy case (arrested and convicted in 1957; traded for U-2 pilot Gary Powers in 1962)

We were sworn in, filled out all of the paperwork, took the language aptitude test, and received our official Bureau names.  The next day, 20 of us were on the navy gray school bus to Quantico.  It was never explained what happened to the other two.

In 1965, the FBI was still using its original Academy, opened in 1940 on the Quantico Marine Base. After several additions during increased agent training in WW II and the Korean War, the Academy was then a three story building with a basement, which housed the gym and the gun cleaning room.  We began our defensive tactics and firearms training under GEORGE  ZEISS, a giant of a man and a truly legendary FBI Agent. His defensive tactics training and firearms training mantra was “It’s better to be judged by 12 in the box rather than be carried by 12 in a box.”  Of course, we had all seen him in “The FBI Story” and were eager to follow his instructions. His pistol shooting demonstrations were truly spectacular. He could shoot a playing card in half edgewise by pointing the .38 special revolver over his shoulder and using the stone in his ring to sight in. Another trick was splitting a bullet on an ax and breaking targets on both sides.  In the summer of 1968, GEORGE and KEN BOUNDS were sent by DIRECTOR HOOVER to London to bring back JAMES EARL RAY, who had been arrested there for the April 1968 murder of MARTIN LUTHER KING,JR.

Our firearms training focused on the .38 Special Smith and Wesson revolver, the 1903 .30-06 Springfield rifle (never understood why the Bureau was still using this WW I rifle), the .45 Thompson Submachine gun and the Remington 870 shotgun. The FBI had great outdoor ranges for each of the different weapons. For some of us, this was the best part of the 14 week training.

Our counselor explained to us that everyone must wear a hat while in Washington because DIRECTOR HOOVER believed that all professionals wore a hat with their dark suits and white shirts. We all bought pretty much the same fedora at a clothing store in Quantico. When we returned to Washington, we were the only ones in town wearing hats. When we made the frequent walk from the DOJ Building to the Old Post Office and back to attend classes, we stood out like a sore thumb with our identical hats, dark suits, white shirts and all carrying identical leather government briefcases.  This scene was later parodied in a 1967 James Coburn movie, “The President’s Analyst”

Four of us rented an apartment in Arlington and drove in every day for classes in Washington, which were held in the DOJ Building and The Old Post Office, which was in a terrible state of disrepair before its first renovation in 1977. Our class alternated between Quantico and Washington during the 14 weeks training.  EFRAM ZIMBLAST, JR attended several of our classes in Washington and firearms in Quantico as he was preparing for the television show, The FBI, which started in September 1965.

The most memorable teacher during this period was CHARLIE DONELAN, who led the legal training.   He was very humorous with his melancholic (his favorite word) factual situations calling for a legal solution. He was an excellent teacher. The 20 member class ultimately met and shook hands with DIRECTOR HOOVER in his office, making sure we had dry palms as the DIRECTOR did not like damp, clammy handshakes.  The only time that we observed the counselor become nervous.  A few days later we heard the rumor that in one of the classes, after the ritual hand shaking, DIRECTOR HOOVER had told the counselor to “get rid of the guy with the funny shaped head”. Since the counselor had no idea which agent HOOVER meant, the counselor looked at all of the hat sizes to find one out of the ordinary. At any rate, we did not lose any class member and we chalked the story up to the numerous HOOVER rumors.

We eventually received our first office assignments, following DIRECTOR HOOVER’S mandate that each agent was sent to a different part of the country from which he came; i.e. north to south and vice versa. This was especially so since the NOVEMBER 1964 flare up between MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR and DIRECTOR HOOVER. KING had publicly claimed the FBI was not doing its job on civil rights in the South because all of the agents there were from the South. DIRECTOR HOOVER responded by publicly calling KING the “most notorious liar in the country” and pointed out that his policy had long been to assign northern agents to the South. True to form, the Yankees in our class all got assigned to southern offices and we southerners were sent north. Only one was sent west, to San Diego.

Times were much more simple fifty years ago.

RON WOODS

1965-1968

Cincinnati; Columbus RA; Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA; New York City; San Juan, P.R.

 

 

Dan and Adele Hedges Featured in Texas Lawyer

Daniel & Adele Hedges

NAFUSA Past President (1992-1993) Dan Hedges, and his wife, Adele, were featured in the February 16, 2015, issue of the Texas Lawyer. The article entitled “Love in Law: Legendary Lawyer Couples Talk About Life and Love”, the Hedges were one of two married couples of Texas lawyers profiled in how they have juggled their busy careers, raised families and found time to enjoy each other.

The Hedges first met when they were on opposing moot court teams in law school. Their relationship began when they were both associates at Fulbright & Jaworski in the 70s. Dan served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas (1981-1985) and is currently a partner at Porter & Hedges in Houston. Adele served eleven years on the First Court of Appeals in Houston, and ten years as the Chief Justice of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston, retiring in 2013 to open an appeals and mediation practice in Houston.

Click here to read the article about the Hedges: Texas Lawyer Love in Law Digital Edition 2_16_2015.

 

 

John McKay Reports From Palestine

John McKay

NAFUSA lifetime member John McKay reported in from Ramallah, Palestine, where for the past two years he has headed the U.S. State Dept. (INL) rule of law program supporting Palestinian public prosecutors, police and security services.

U.S. government support for a two-state solution in the region includes strengthening Palestinian justice sector and law enforcement, including crime scene investigations, cybercrime enforcement, leadership training for Chief Prosecutors and case management systems for police, prosecution and security forces.

“Working in Palestine to support human rights based training and applying skills learned while serving as U.S. Attorney has been among the most rewarding assignments of my life,” McKay said.

Leading a team of 50 Palestinian lawyers, former police officers and technologists in the Justice Sector Assistance Project for Palestine, McKay intends to return to his full time teaching position on the law faculty of Seattle University in fall, 2015.

In the first photo below, McKay is at the podium addressing Palestinian law students preparing for the International Jessup Moot Court tournament, for which he provided support and training.

John McKay

McKay took the Palestinian Attorney General to DOJ and FBI in October, as you can see from the bottom photo with the FBI Director Jim Comey.

John McKay w/Jim Comey