Register for Scottsdale Conference


The Phoenician

Registration is open for the NAFUSA Scottsdale conference to be held at The Phoenician October 15-17, 2015. The conference will open on Thursday morning, October 15, with golf at The Phoenician.

NAFUSA has a limited number of hotel rooms at The Phoenician at a conference rate of $325 a night. The conference rate is available three days prior and three days after, assuming availability. Please make your hotel reservation with your conference registration, through the link provided on the NAFUSA registration form. The special rate will only be available until September 14, 2015.


Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Thursday evening will feature a cocktail reception at the Joake Inn at The Phoenician, honoring NAFUSA member David Margolis, as he serves his 50th year at the Department.

Friday and Saturday mornings will feature CLE programs, with a luncheon on Friday. The Friday program will feature an ethics presentation by Professor Marianne Jennings and a two hour panel on “Issues in 21st Century Policing: Protecting Civil Rights and Public Safety”, moderated by Carrie Johnson, the Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk of NPR.

Sally Yates

Sally Yates

On Friday, luncheon will be held on The Phoenician Patio, with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates as the featured speaker.





The Saturday CLE program will feature a dialogue with EOUSA Director Monty Wilkinson and AGAC Chair John Walsh, moderated by NAFUSA President Matt Orwig. The two Bradford Award winners will follow with presentations, and the morning will close with a two hour panel on “Criminal Justice Reform Proposals: How to be Tough and Smart on Crime,” moderated by Judge John Daniel Tinder.

The conference will close on Saturday evening with a banquet and business meeting, featuring Jeffrey Toobin as the keynote speaker. He will speak on “The Supreme Court in the Age of Obama.”


Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin




Liz Geddes and Joan Hartman Named Bradford Award Winners

Each year, NAFUSA recognizes an Assistant U.S. Attorney for outstanding performance through the J. Michael Bradford Memorial Award. The award is named after J. Michael Bradford, who served as a U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas from 1994 to 2001. Bradford, who died in 2003, had a distinguished career in public service, including successfully defending the government against lawsuits stemming from the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian’s compound in Waco, Texas. NAFUSA annually solicits nominations from current U.S. Attorneys for the Bradford Award. Typically, the recipient has handled a significant investigation and prosecution or series of prosecutions that has had a significant impact and merits special recognition.

Once again, a number of exceptional nominations were made by U.S. Attorneys around the country. The Michael Bradford Award Committee was chaired by NAFUSA Vice President Bart Daniel. Its members included Doug Jones, Ed Dowd, Kent Alexander, Don Washington, Hal Hardin, Sharon Zealey, and Rich Rossman. This year, the Board voted to give the award to two AUSAs from separate districts. Elizabeth Geddes, from the Eastern District of New York, was nominated by then United States Attorney and now Attorney General Loretta Lynch, for a variety of investigations and prosecutions resulting in the near complete dismantlement of the Colombo crime family. Joan Hartman, from the Eastern District of Michigan, was nominated by United States Attorney Barbara McQuade, for her exceptional accomplishments in transforming the way the Department of Justice fights health care fraud. The committee and board of directors decided both nominees were worthy of the Bradford Award and declared them each 2015 winners.

Liz Geddes

Liz Geddes

Elizabeth Geddes is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and is currently the chief of the Organized Crime and Gangs section in the EDNY. In that role, she oversees the Office’s criminal prosecutions of members and associates of organized groups who commit crimes including racketeering, murder, extortion, narcotics trafficking, fraud, and sex trafficking. Prior to her current assignment, she served as deputy chief of the General Crimes section and acting deputy chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering section. Geddes clerked for the Honorable Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York. She graduated University of Notre Dame in 1997 and graduated Georgetown University Law Center magna cum laude in 2004.

Geddes has distinguished herself through her work in a variety of investigations and prosecutions resulting in the near complete dismantlement of the Colombo crime family, a violent criminal enterprise that had once functioned as one of the five powerful La Cosa Nostra crime families.  Numerous Colombo family members have been held accountable for multiple murders including the 1997 murder of New York City Police Officer Ralph Dols, a murder that long remained unsolved.
Joan Hartman

Joan Hartman

Joan E. Hartman  is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan and the civil health care fraud case coordinator for that district. Hartman has pioneered the use of data to identify and rank potential health care fraud targets nationwide and to measure the effectiveness of prosecutorial efforts in establishing deterrence and reducing overall Medicare costs by district. Hartman conducts nationwide and district-level training for prosecutors and agents on making the most effective use of data in developing targets and cases. Hartman has previously received a Director’s Award and a Civil Division Special Commendation award for her work in the data analytics area.  In June 2015, Hartman also received a Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Award for Excellence as part of the team that handled the investigation and prosecution of oncologist Farid Fata.

Prior to moving to Michigan, Hartman was an Assistant Director in the Civil Frauds section of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.  She handled trial and appellate matters arising under the False Claims Act and the civil conflict of interest laws, including briefing several cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.  She also handled a broad range of other matters ranging from a trial in the Hague defending against Iran’s claim that the United States breached the Algiers Accords, to a Ninth Circuit appeal establishing the legal status of the Northern Mariana Islands. Hartman is also the author of several Monographs on legal issues that are widely used within the Department of Justice and client agencies. Hartman is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and winner of the Francis Wayland Prize for litigation skills, and she received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University summa cum laude.  Hartman lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, John Rothchild, who is Associate Professor of Law at Wayne State Law School, and her two children, Julia, a senior at Yale, and Daniel, a junior at Harvard.


The other nominees were:

Deborah A. Griffin, SD Alabama, nominated by United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown, for her investigation and prosecution of ZenBio, a producer of synthetic cannabinoid.

James T. Lacy, District of Arizona, nominated by United States Attorney John Leonardo, for his work in rooting out and prosecuting corruption, fraud, and drug traffickers.

Kirk E. Sherrif, ED of California, nominated by United States Attorney Ben Wagner, for his successful prosecution of Crisp & Cole, a high profile mortgage brokerage and real estate firm.

Todd W. Robinson, SD of California, nominated by United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy, for his investigation and prosecution of the Luz Verde RICO case, a violent cross-border criminal enterprise.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, SD of Florida, nominated by United States Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer, for his prosecution of several Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) level cases.

William L. McKinnon, Jr., ND of Georgia, nominated by United States Attorney John A. Horn, for his work in fighting public corruption.

Charles J. Williams, ND of Iowa, nominated by United States Attorney Kevin W. Techau, for his investigation and prosecution of an Indian Country double homicide case.

Matthew G. Borgula and Sally Berens, WD of Michigan, nominated by United States Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr, for their efforts in the successful prosecution o a $46 million Ponzi scheme.

Michael P. Norris, District of Nebraska, nominated by United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg, for his work in an internationally significant child pornography investigation.

David W. Feder and Letecia B. Vandehaar, District of New Jersey, nominated by United States Attorney Paul Fishman, for their investigation of Merrill Lynch’s subprime residential mortgage-backed securities platform and the $16.65 billion civll settlement with Bank of America.

Nicole W. Friedlander, SD New York, nominated by United States Attorney Preet Bharara for her high impact prosecutions in the area of consumer fraud and cybercrime.

Christopher M. Stephens, WD of Oklahoma, nominated by United States Attorney Sanford C. Coats for his work in the first prosecution in the nation involving fraud in the Federal Communication Commission’s wireless Lifeline Program.

Frederic N. Weinhouse, District of Oregon, nominated by United States Attorney Amanda Marshall, for his work as the Project Safe Neighborhood Coordinator for Oregon.

Heather H. Rattan, ED of Texas, nominated by United States Attorney John M. Bales, for her work in dismantling Colombia’s largest cocaine transportation network.

James H. Sturgis, SD of Texas, nominated by United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson, for his successful prosecution of the “Panama Unit”, an elite counter-drug task force.

Debra Kanof, WD of Texas. nominated by United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr., for her successful investigation and prosecution of widespread public corruption in El Paso city and county government.

McKay and Durkan To Co-Chair WD Washington Judicial Selection Committee

On July 29, 2015, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert announced that they have formed a new judicial selection committee to select potential candidates for the seats on the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The committee is comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans from Western Washington, who will be charged with advertising for the open position and screening potential candidates. The committee will then present three candidates to Murray and Cantwell, who will interview them and, if they are acceptable, recommend them to President Obama.  The President will make the final decision regarding selection of nominees and formal nomination.  The senators from Washington state will only support candidates who have been selected by this bipartisan committee.

Mike McKay

Mike McKay

NAFUSA Foundation President Mike McKay and Jenny Durkan, one of NAFUSA’s newest members, have been named co-chairs of the committee. McKay served as the U.S. Attorney for the WD of Washington, 1989-1993, and is also a past president of NAFUSA. Durkan served as U.S. Attorney in the WD of Washington, 2009-2014.

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

Brady Awarded Western Michigan’s Top Alumni Honor

Jim Brady

Jim Brady

Past NAFUSA president James S. Brady has been selected to receive the highest honor Western Michigan University can confer on its alumni–the Distinguished Alumni Award. Brady, office managing member of Dykema Grand Rapids is one of two 2015 award recipients. Established in 1963, the Distinguished Alumni Awards program honors and celebrates alumni who bring distinction to their alma mater through professional accomplishments and who have achieved a high level of success in their careers.

Brady earned a Bachelor of Science in political science from WMU in 1966. He joined Dykema Grand Rapids as office managing member in 2010 to lead the expansion of the firm’s regional presence and bolster its white collar defense practice. Dykema is a leading national law firm with 12 offices that focuses on handling a wide variety of business issues for Fortune 1,000 companies and institutions. After graduating from WMU, Brady immediately continued his education at Notre Dame, earning a Juris Doctor in 1969. Early in his legal career, he was appointed U.S. attorney for the Western Judicial District of Michigan by President Jimmy Carter.

He joined the Miller Johnson law firm in 1981 and was chair of its Criminal Law Group before accepting his current position at Dykema Grand Rapids. Then-governor James Blanchard appointed him to the WMU Board of Trustees in 1987, and Brady served with distinction through one of the University’s greatest periods of growth. He previously also served as a member of the WMU Foundation Board of Directors, holding such positions as the board’s chair as well as chair of its Committee on Directors. Listed in “Who’s Who in America,” Brady has received numerous accolades. He was honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly when the publication included him in its 2009 class of Leaders in the Law. Additionally, he was recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation defense from 2006 through 2014 and has been recognized in “The Best Lawyers in America” editions in multiple practice areas from 2003 to 2015.

Tinder to Retire from 7th Circuit


NAFUSA member John Tinder has announced his retirement from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, effective in August. See “Tinder departs 7th Circuit” in The Indiana Lawyer, July 29, 2015. Judge Tinder served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, 1984-1987, and as a federal judge for 20 years on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana before moving to the 7th Circuit eight years ago. He will leave the bench upon completion of his final opinions which are being circulated among panel judges. He is only 65 but hasn’t yet decided what is next in his impressive career. In the meantime he has registered to attend the Scottsdale conference in October.

Jeffrey Toobin To Speak in Scottsdale

NAFUSA President Matt Orwig has announced that Jeffrey Toobin will speak in Scottsdale on the state of the United States Supreme Court.


Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer for The New Yorker and senior analyst for CNN, is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country. His most recent book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, was published by Doubleday in 2012 and was a New York Times best-seller. The Oath followed The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, which was also a best-seller and earned the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is currently at work on a book about the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst.

Toobin, who is also a noted lecturer, has written several other critically acclaimed, best-selling books including A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President; The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson; and Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election.

Previously, Toobin served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer’s First Case—United States v. Oliver North.

Toobin earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Bob Miller Case to be Featured on the Discovery Channel

Bob Miller

NAFUSA Board Member Bob Miller, shown right, prosecuted a case in the 70s which involved serial murders (18 in all) committed across the United States by a nomadic family. Miller authored a book about the case (“Death Roads”- still available online). On August 4, 2015, Investigation Discovery will air a film about Miller’s case, entitled “Highway to Hell”. The family lived in a car traveling across the country robbing, kidnapping, raping and killing young women who worked in convenience stores.

Troy Eid Analyzes Federal Narcotics Laws v. Tribal Sovereignty


Troy Eid

In an article published yesterday in Law 360, NAFUSA member Troy Eid, shown left, discusses issues surrounding the recent federal criminal raids of marijuana production on the Alturas Indian Rancheria and the Pit River XL Ranch Reservation in Northeastern California which seized at least 12,000 marijuana plants and 100 pounds of processed marijuana.

Eid writes:

A high-profile criminal investigation of two marijuana cultivation facilities on Native American lands in California is a reminder that despite recent U.S. Department of Justice assurances of possible prosecutorial forbearance, tribes considering violating the federal drug laws-even for the sake of much-needed economic development-may do so at their peril.

Click here to read the entire article: Law360 – Federal Narcotics Laws Can Still Trump Tribal Sovereignty.

Troy Eid is the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado and is a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Denver office and co-chairman of he firm’s American Indian law practice group. He previously chaired the Indian Law and Order Commission and currently serves on the Tribal Issues Advisory Committee of the United States Sentencing Commission.


Several NAFUSA Members Support the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015

Tim Heaphy

A bipartisan group of 16 NAFUSA members led by Tim Heaphy, shown left, have signed a letter directed to Senators Grassley and Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging strong support for the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015.



The letter, dated July 16, 2015, begins:

As former United States Attorneys and officials of the United States Department of Justice in both Democratic and Republican administrations, we share a lifelong commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of the American criminal justice system. That shared commitment leads us to speak out in favor of specific proposals to improve the system within which we have worked for so long. Today we write in strong support the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015, which would if passed make the federal criminal justice system both more just and more effective.
Click here to view letter and list of 16 signatories: Letter to SJC re. Smarter Sentencing Act – 2015.07.21.docx-c-1