De Smith Keynoter for NAFUSA Conference

NAFUSA’s 2017 conference will be held at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC on October 18-20, and De Maurice Smith will be the keynote speaker on the final night at the annual meeting and dinner. Smith is the Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).

On August 4, 2011, Smith signed a 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with NFL management, leading the Players through the owners’ 132-day lockout. The new CBA codifies new health and safety protocols for Players, achieved longer off-seasons, significantly reduces the amount of contact during practices, provides for unannounced inspections of training camps, creates the first compliance and accountability structure for NFL medical personnel, and provides the Players’ with their highest share of TV contract revenues in history.

Prior to his post at the NFLPA, Smith was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia and was Counsel to then-Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. After Government service, Smith served as a Partner in the law firms of Latham & Watkins, LLP and Patton Boggs, LLP, in Washington, D.C. where he represented corporations, boards of directors and senior executives in civil and criminal matters.

Mr. Smith is a 1989 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and a 1985 graduate of Cedarville University. He resides in the Washington DC metropolitan area with his wife and two children.

Click here to register for the 2017 NAFUSA Annual Conference

Joe Whitley Joins Defense Team in Winner Leak Case

Joe D Whitley Photo - resized

NAFUSA member Joe D. Whitley, the former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, July 20, 2017, joined the defense team of accused leaker Reality Winner.

Whitley, a partner at Atlanta’s Baker Donelson, filed a motion for permission to appear on Winner’s behalf. Whitley has a long history of government service. President Ronald Reagan named Whitley as U.S. attorney for Middle District of Georgia in Macon, and President George H.W. Bush appointed him to serve as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.

Whitley also served as acting associate attorney general at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington—the department’s third highest ranking post—during the Reagan and Bush administrations. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush named Whitley as the first general counsel of the newly-formed U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he was tasked with supervising more than 1,800 attorneys and combining into a single department the legal offices of 22 federal agencies.

Whitley also has spent time in private practice as a partner at Atlanta’s Alston & Bird and Greenberg Traurig before joining Baker Donelson, where he chairs the firm’s Government Enforcement & Investigations Group.

102 Former US Attorneys Support Wray For FBI

Chris Wray before the Senate Judiciary Committee/ NYT

As NAFUSA life member Chris Wray appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, the Committee has in hand a letter delivered yesterday from 102 former United States Attorneys supporting Wray’s nomination to serve as the director of the FBI. The letter exhibited strong bi-partisan support and included the names of former AG Eric Holder and former DAG and Acting AG Sally Yates.

Addressing Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein, the former US Attorneys wrote:

Chris has a proven track record of following facts and law independent of favor or influence. His legal credentials, law enforcement and national security background—as well as his success in managing and overseeing large complex organizations, investigations and crises— make him an exceptional candidate to lead the FBI. Chris will provide strong leadership to the outstanding men and women of the FBI and discharge the duties of Director with honor, independence, and a tireless commitment to the rule of law. In light of Chris’s exceptional qualifications, experience, and character, we enthusiastically request that the Committee and the Senate approve Chris’s nomination to be Director of the FBI.

 Click here to read letter and list of 102 signatories: USA Ltr in Support of Christopher A. Wray

Justice Edmunds Joins Smith Moore Leatherwood

Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP announced the addition of former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, and NAFUSA member, Robert H. Edmunds Jr. Edmunds to the firm’s appellate group effective July 1, 2017.

“We are thrilled to have Justice Edmunds joining our practice,” said Matt Leerberg, appellate practice group leader. “Justice Edmunds has a proven dedication to the rule of law and is renowned for his commitment to excellence. Our clients will benefit greatly from his insights into the appellate process and his keen strategic mind. The addition of Justice Edmunds solidifies the Smith Moore Leatherwood appellate team’s place as one of the most respected practices in the state.”

Edmunds served as a Justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina from 2001 through 2016. Prior to his election to the Supreme Court, he began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Greensboro, N.C. and later was an assistant United States attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina. In 1986, he was appointed United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina by President Ronald Reagan and was retained by President George H. W. Bush. Edmunds entered private practice in 1993 and earned the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. While in private practice, he was board certified as a specialist in state and federal criminal law, and board certified as a specialist in appellate practice. In 1998, he was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and served on that court until his election to the Supreme Court.

“I’ve been privileged to serve in various roles across the state over the course of my legal career,” Edmunds said. “I’ve seen first-hand the work of Smith Moore Leatherwood attorneys and know why they enjoy such an outstanding reputation. I’m honored to join them and look forward to working with these talented lawyers to expand the firm’s appellate practice.”

Edmunds serves on various boards and committees and frequently contributes his time to the community. He is a member of the board of directors of BarCares and of the North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society. He is also an elected member of the American Law Institute. Previously, he has been an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law. Edmunds is a member of the Greensboro Rotary Club and has donated blood more than 100 times since college.

Edmunds received his A.B. degree from Vassar College and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Following law school, he served as a line officer in the United States Navy from 1975 to 1977. He later received his Master of Law in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP has seven offices and more than 160 attorneys across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The firm’s core practice areas are focused on litigation, business law, health care, real estate, labor and employment, and tax. Additional practice teams include intellectual property, tax, banking and finance, antitrust, business torts, financial services litigation, appellate, land use and zoning, economic development, and transportation.For more information about the firm and its attorneys, visit www.smithmoorelaw.com.

Walt Green Joins Phelps Dunbar and NAFUSA

Walt Green

Walt Green, former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, has joined Phelps Dunbar’s Baton Rouge office as a partner in the firm’s Litigation practice after retiring from the United States Department of Justice with over 20 years of federal experience. Green is also NAFUSA’s newest member.

Green’s practice will focus on white collar defense and government investigations, cyber security, and civil litigation.

As U.S. Attorney, Green was responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in the Middle District of Louisiana, including crimes related to terrorism, public corruption, cyber-crimes, health care fraud, financial crimes, human trafficking, child exploitation and drug trafficking networks. Green also chaired the Attorney General’s Advisory Council’s Servicemembers Working Group. Green also served as the First Assistant United States Attorney, Deputy Criminal Chief in charge of the Violent Crime, Narcotics and National Security Section, Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee Coordinator, Anti-Terrorism Task Force Coordinator and Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator.

While serving as U.S. Attorney, he also served as the Executive Director for the National Center For Disaster Fraud. In this capacity, he worked with local federal and state law enforcement agencies to investigate, and ultimately refer credible leads regarding fraudulent activities associated with national disasters to law enforcement agencies nationwide for further investigation and potential prosecution. Such disasters included Super Storm Sandy and Deepwater Horizon (BP Oil Spill).

Walt Green is highly respected, accomplished and personable,” said Phelps Dunbar Baton Rouge office managing partner Ragan Richard. “He will deepen and expand an array of client services we provide in the health care, cybersecurity, corporate and criminal investigative and general litigation areas.”

He began his professional career with the U.S. Marine Corps and has held numerous positions in the military, including serving as a judge advocate. As a military lawyer, he was involved in the trials of members of Saddam Hussein’s deposed regime, including Ali Hassan “Chemical Ali” al-Majid. He has served for more than 27 years in the Marine Corps and currently holds the rank of colonel.

Green joins two former U. S. Attorneys, NAFUSA members Harry Rosenberg and Brian Albritton at Phelps Dunbar.

Phelps Dunbar has more than 260 attorneys across nine offices along the Gulf Coast, as well offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and London, England.

Ken Wainstein Moves To Davis Polk

Davis Polk announced on June 27, 2017, that NAFUSA board member Kenneth L. Wainstein will join the firm as a partner in its Litigation Department in Washington DC. He will join fellow NAFUSA board member Neil MacBride and NAFUSA member Bob Fiske at Davis Polk.

Wainstein will focus on white collar criminal defense matters and internal and government investigations. He comes to Davis Polk from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, where he served as Co-Chair of the Global Litigation Group and Chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Group.

Prior to his tenure in private practice, Wainstein served for two decades in senior positions at the White House and throughout the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Ken is an important addition to our first-rate white collar group as we continue to strengthen our investigations and enforcement capabilities,” said Thomas J. Reid, Davis Polk’s Managing Partner. “Ken brings extensive, varied and high-level government and trial experience that our clients value greatly. We are thrilled to welcome him to the firm.”

Wainstein began his career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and later the District of Columbia. In his 12 years as a line prosecutor and supervisor, he handled numerous prosecutions, tried 25 jury trials and presented more than a dozen appellate arguments. In 2001, Wainstein was appointed Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

Mr. Wainstein also served as General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as Chief of Staff to the Director.

He was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in 2004. There he oversaw many high-profile white collar and corruption matters, including the case against Riggs Bank for Bank Secrecy Act violations and the prosecution of MZM’s Chief Executive for paying bribes to former Congressman Duke Cunningham.

In 2006, Wainstein became the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security, leading the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Most recently, he was the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, coordinating the nation’s counterterrorism, homeland security, infrastructure protection, and disaster response and recovery efforts.

In recognition of his work at the Justice Department, Wainstein received the Edmund J. Randolph Award for outstanding service, and twice was presented with the Director’s Award for Superior Performance.

Kenneth Wainstein said, “Davis Polk has a stellar reputation in the white collar space, and I am excited to join a firm I have always held in such high regard, both during my public service and in private practice. I look forward to working alongside this team of superb colleagues.”

“Ken is a fantastic lawyer with impeccable judgment, and is even more impressive than his credentials suggest,” said Neil MacBride, co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations Group. “His outstanding track record in white collar and congressional investigations will be a tremendous asset to the firm and our clients.”

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (including its associated entities) is a global law firm with offices strategically located in the world’s key financial centers. For more than 165 years, our lawyers have advised industry-leading companies and global financial institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters. Davis Polk ranks among the world’s preeminent law firms across the entire range of its practice, which spans such areas as capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, credit, antitrust and competition, litigation and enforcement, private equity, tax, financial regulation, investment management, insolvency and restructuring, executive compensation, FinTech, intellectual property and technology, real estate, and trusts and estates. Davis Polk has more than 900 lawyers in offices located in New York, Northern California, Washington DC, São Paulo, London, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit: http://www.davispolk.com.

 

Deborah Daniels Issues Report on USA Gymnastics

In November, 2016, the board of USA Gymnastics hired NAFUSA Past President Deborah Daniels to review the organization’s policies and practices for handling sex abuse allegations. On June 27, 2017, the IndyStar reported that Daniels has issued her report and that “USA Gymnastics needs a top-to-bottom culture change to put the safety of athletes ahead of winning medals”.

The IndyStar reported:

Daniels’ report did not call for personnel changes, but focused on policies.

 

‘In order to protect the young athletes in its charge, USA Gymnastics needs to undergo a complete cultural change, permeating the entire organization and communicated to the field in all its actions,’Daniels wrote in her 146-page report. ‘Further, USA Gymnastics needs to take action to ensure that this change in culture also is fully embraced by the clubs that host member coaches, instructors and athletes.’

 

Among the findings and recommendations:

 

  • USA Gymnastics did not immediately report all allegations of abuse to law enforcement, as reported by IndyStar, and must begin to do so.
  • USA Gymnastics had no protocol for addressing sex abuse complaints, often requiring a written grievance signed by a victim or parent. The organization should develop a specific policy for handling abuse allegations.
  • USA Gymnastics did not track coaches and other adults dismissed from member clubs for violating policies intended to prevent abuse, and must develop a method to keep track of offending coaches.
  • USA Gymnastics exerted little authority over its member clubs, insisting they were independent businesses, but should begin holding the clubs accountable.

‘What we recommended is that you treat membership like the privilege it is,’ Daniels said.

Change ‘can’t happen overnight,’ Daniels said. ‘It will take time. It will take thoughtful and strategic planning and execution to implement.’

Click here to read the IndyStar article “Can USA Gymnastics reform itself under current leadership?

Mike McKay to Join K&L Gates


Evan Norris Named 2017 Bradford Award Winner

Evan Norris

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 a series of prosecutions which 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 J. Michael Bradford Award Committee was chaired by NAFUSA Vice President Terry Flynn. Its members included Paul Coggins, Jenny Durkan, Ron Machen, Shari Potter and Rich Roper. This year, the Board voted to give the award to AUSA Evan M. Norris of the Eastern District of New York, who was nominated by former United States Attorney Robert Capers, who wrote: “Mr. Norris has earned the respect of his fellow federal prosecutors for his leadership and creative and relentless investigative skills, particularly as exemplified through the Office’s groundbreaking prosecution of corruption in Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world soccer governing body”.

From the inception of the investigation until 2017, Mr. Norris was the lead prosecutor of the FIFA case, one of the most significant prosecutions ever brought by the Department of Justice. Mr. Norris led a years-long investigation that resulted in the filing of RICO, fraud, and money laundering charges against dozens of individuals and entities for their involvement in the corruption of international soccer. Together with a team of AUSAs and agents from the FBI and IRS, Mr. Norris devised the investigative and prosecutorial strategies for this groundbreaking cross-border case and managed the Office’s coordination with foreign enforcement authorities both in the period leading up to the first arrests in Switzerland in May 2015 and continuing thereafter. In December 2015, Mr. Norris was appointed Director of the EDNY FIFA Task Force, in which position he supervised teams of AUSAs and DOJ trial attorneys prosecuting the indicted case, United States v. Jeffrey Webb et al., and 11 related cases, and conducting multiple related investigations of individuals and entities. Under Mr. Norris’s leadership, the Office publicly announced charges against 43 individuals and entities, 22 guilty pleas, and the entry into a deferred prosecution agreement with an Argentine sports marketing company. In total, the individual and corporate resolutions announced under Mr. Norris’s leadership included over $330 million in forfeiture and criminal penalties.

The other nominees were:

Joseph Batte
Eastern District of Texas

Michael Collyer
Northern District of Ohio

Patrick Fitzgerald
Central District of California

Shane Harrigan
Southern District of California

Richard Hayes
Eastern District of New York

Timothy Howard
Southern District of New York

Debra Kanof
Western District of Texas

Eric Klumb
District of South Carolina

Richard Murphy
Northern District of Iowa

Stephen Odell
District of Oregon

Amy Padden
District of Colorado

David Petermann
Western District of Oklahoma

Kristine Rollinson
Southern District of Texas

Michael Sherwin
Southern District of Florida

Gary Sussman
District of Oregon

Brent Tabacchi
Southern District of Ohio

Tyler Tornabene
Eastern District of Washington

Christopher Tortorice
Eastern District of Texas