Hundreds of photos from the successful Scottsdale conference are now available on line on the nausa.org website. Click on “Conferences” and then on “Gallery of NAFUSA Conference Photos.” Matt Orwig is shown with Deputy Director Lisa Rafferty.
General Motors Co. announced on October 20, 2015, that NAFUSA member and former member of NAFUSA’s board Jeffrey A. Taylor is joining the company effective November 1 as Deputy General Counsel for Federal Oversight. He will report to Craig Gladden, executive vice president and general counsel.
Taylor, 50, has most recently served as vice president and general counsel of Tewksbury, Mass.-based Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Before that, he led a team of more than 300 professionals as chief executive of Ernst & Young’s Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services practice in the Americas.
He served in the United States Department of Justice for 15 years as an assistant U.S. attorney, senior advisor to Attorneys General John D. Ashcroft and Alberto R. Gonzales, and as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 2006 to 2009.
Among Taylor’s duties, he will work with the federal monitor who will be appointed as part of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement GM has entered into with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The monitor will review and assess the company’s policies and procedures in certain discrete areas relating to safety issues and recalls.
“Jeff is a highly accomplished attorney who has managed extremely complex legal issues and his appointment demonstrates how seriously we take our commitment to the federal government and our customers to build the best safety organization in the industry,” Glidden said.
Taylor earned his juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
|Butler Snow announced on November 23, 2015, that NAFUSA member Jim Letten – a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana (2001-2012) currently serving as an assistant dean of experiential learning at the Tulane University Law School – has joined the firm as of counsel in the New Orleans office. He will bolster the firm’s team of other former federal prosecutors, and expand its office in the Crescent City.
Letten was appointed U.S. Attorney by President George W. Bush and asked to retain the position by President Barack Obama. Prior to stepping down in 2012, he had been the longest-serving U.S. Attorney in the nation and one of only three U.S. Attorneys in the country appointed to the position by successive presidents from different parties. Letten will work with the firm’s investigations and white collar crimes Group, and consult on a variety of defenses including criminal and regulatory investigations, government audits and civil fraud cases. He will also work on international trade and regulatory issues. Letten will continue in his role as Assistant Dean at Tulane Law School.
“Jim is a respected prosecutor, and had a very successful track record as U.S. Attorney,” said Donald Clark, Jr., chairman of Butler Snow. “He is well known across Louisiana, the Southeast and throughout the nation. His leadership in investigations and white collar crime, depth in complex business law matters and prosecution on the state and federal level will add significant value to the firm as we grow in New Orleans and nationwide.”
Butler Snow is a full-service law firm with more than 300 attorneys representing local, regional, national and international clients from 17 U.S. offices and an office in London. For more information, visit www.butlersnow.com.
NAFUSA’s newest member, Don Davis, has joined the Grand Rapids/Fremont firm of Springstead, Bartish & Borgula, P.L.L.C, as of counsel to the Firm. The firm is a small criminal defense firm consisting of two former FBI special agents, an Army JAG officer, a former assistant U.S. attorney (and 2015 NAFUSA Exceptional Service Award recipient) and Davis, who served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan from 2008-2012. See www.springsteadbartish.com.
Davis also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the WD of Michigan, 1975-2008 and 2012-2013. He also served in the United States Marine Corps. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University, B.A., Magna Cum Laude and the University of Michigan Law School.
NAFUSA’s good friend, Charle Savage of the New York Times, has published his second book, “Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency”. Savage, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, has been a speaker or moderator focusing on national security issues at five of NAFUSA’s recent national conferences.
His earlier book, “Takeover”, described the Bush-Cheney administration’s efforts to expand presidential power. In “Power Wars”, Savage concludes that Obama continued many of the polices of his predecessor and in some cases expanded them. Published by Little, Brown November 3, 2015.
Savage is a Washington correspondent for the New York Times and has been covering post-9/11 legal-policy issues since 2003. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, he graduated from Harvard College and holds a master’s degree from Yale Law School.
In this morning’s New York Times, NAFUSA member Larry Thompson (ND Georgia, 1982-1986 and DAG 2001-2003), pubished an OpEd entitled How America Tolerates Racism in Jury Selection. The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this morning in Foster v. Chatman, “a case that challenges the all-too-common practice by which prosecutors deliberately exclude African-Americans from criminal juries.”
The 1986 case of Batson v. Kentucky was thought to have outlawed this practice, but Thompson argues that prosecutors routinely ignore that decision. Timothy Foster was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white jury in Georgia 30 years ago.
In at least six different ways, the prosecutors singled out eligible black jurors: Notes from the jury selection list show they marked their names with a “B” and highlighted them in green on four separate copies; circled the word “black” on their juror questionnaires; noted several as “B #1,” “B #2”; ranked potential black jurors against one another “in case it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors”; and wrote “Definite NOs” on the list of priority strikes, which had all four possible black jurors.
Although the prosecution has never admitted that race played a role in selecting a jury for Mr. Foster’s trial, some of its “race-neutral” reasons for strikes were inaccurate and inconsistent.
For example, prosecutors struck a black juror for being a social worker — but she was a teacher’s aide. Meanwhile, prosecutors accepted every white teacher and teacher’s aide in the jury pool.
When the prosecutors asked a white juror and a black juror whether the defendant’s age, which was close to that of their children, would be a factor in the sentence, the black juror said “none whatsoever” but was struck based on his son’s age. The white juror answered “probably so” and was accepted.
Along with other former prosecutors, I joined a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Mr. Foster. We recognize, and refuse to condone, the blatant unconstitutionality of the prosecutorial misconduct in this case. Moreover, my own experience suggests that discrimination in jury selection is indeed a national problem, despite over a century of attempted legislative and judicial remedies.
The Georgia courts have all ruled in the state’s favor. But the jury selection notes, discovered by Foster’s attorneys through Georgia’s open-records law, casts new light on the practice.
The Fiske Fellowship was established in 2001 at the University of Michigan Law School by NAFUSA member Robert Fiske, ’55, a senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell and a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Three-year fellowships are awarded annually to up to four Michigan Law graduates who serve as government lawyers. Fellows receive a $5,000 first-year cash stipend and debt repayment assistance to cover required annual payments for all educational loans, a combination that provides much-needed financial breathing room.
In establishing the fellowship, Fiske hoped to encourage more Michigan Law students and recent graduates to consider government service, despite the lure of larger paychecks in the private sector.
The 2015 class of Fiske Fellows was selected in the spring and had the opportunity to meet Fiske during an April event at the Law School. Pictured with Fiske are, from left to right: Kate Gilbert, ’13, an honors attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; Katharine Roller, ’14, who is in the Entry Level Attorney Honors Program at the Federal Trade Commission; Annalyce Shufelt, ’15, an honors attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and Danica Taylor, ’15, who has joined the San Diego County District Attorney Graduate Clerk Program.
In an article in this morning’s New York Times, Bill Seeks to Bar U.S. Prosecutors From Reading Inmates’ Emails to Lawyers, Stephanie Clifford wrote of federal prosecutors in Brooklyn who last year alerted defendants that their emails would be monitored. The U.S. Attorneys Office argued that prisoners had agreed to terms that advised them that their emails could be monitored by the Bureau of Prisons. They argued that the BOP system could not distinguish emails to lawyers from other emails. The U.S. Attorney determined it would no longer appoint “taint teams” to sort through the emails. Defense lawyers in Brooklyn filed objections, citing the attorney-client privilege and federal judges have split on the issue.
On Thursday morning, October 29, 2015, a bill was introduced in Congress to bar federal prosecutors from reading emails between inmates and their lawyers. In Clifford’s article, she quoted two members of NAFUSA:
Doug Jones, a former United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama who is now in private practice, said the legislation was sensible.
“It’s a very difficult representation to represent a client who is in custody,” Mr. Jones said.
He gave the example of Birmingham defendants who were kept at a county jail three blocks from him. “You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, but it’s an itty-bitty room; it’s hard to bring tapes and transcripts and other things,” he said, adding that it was also difficult to contact a client with a quick question.
Donald K. Stern, a former United States attorney for Massachusetts, said that while there would no doubt be some cost to overhauling the email system, there was also a cost to the current setup. Court-appointed defense lawyers who have to spend several hours trying to visit their clients are ultimately paid by the government, he pointed out.
“You have to balance the cost of doing that with the importance of permitting the ability of counsel to communicate freely with a client,” Mr. Stern said. “The lawyer ought to be able to have very free access to their clients — not only for the right to counsel and the Sixth Amendment, but also to provide a more efficient and fair criminal justice system.”
On October 17, 2015, at the NAFUSA annual conference in Scottsdale, Greg Vega (SD California 1999-2001) was elected president of NAFUSA by acclamation. A native of East Chicago, Indiana, Greg received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana University in 1975, and his Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1980. He was a staff member of the Valparaiso University Law Review. Greg is a member of the State Bars of California, Illinois and Indiana.
Greg began his legal career as a Trial Attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service in Chicago, Illinois. In that position, he tried numerous tax cases before the United States Tax Court. Greg joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana in 1983, where he handled federal jury trials including the prosecution of a 32 defendant drug distribution organization (United States v. Zambrana, et al) and judicial corruption cases (United States v. Christakis, et al). In 1987, Greg accepted an offer of employment from the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego, California where his work focused on major frauds and economic crimes.
In 1999, Greg assumed the position of United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, the seventh largest office in the nation at the time. In that position, he prioritized improving bi-national cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Mexico in attacking the Tijuana Drug Cartel. Several successes that resulted from his efforts were the first extradition of a Mexican citizen to the United States (United States v. Arturo Paez) and the arrest in Mexico of Ismael Higuera, a leader of the Tijuana Cartel. An account of the cooperation can be found in the article; “New Web of Trust Topples a Mighty Mexican Cartel” New York Times, Page A3, April 26, 2002.
Greg was selected by Attorney General Janet Reno to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). Greg Co-Chaired the White Collar Crime Subcommittee of the AGAC with current Attorney General Loretta Lynch and also served on the Southwest Border Subcommittee of the AGAC.
In 2001, Greg joined the 70 attorney San Diego law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek where his practice focuses on Business Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense and advising corporate clients in regulated industries. Greg served as the Independent Review Organization (IRO) for a publicly traded pharmaceutical company pursuant to a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Greg is a past President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (1997-1998); a past member of the City of San Diego Ethics Commission (2001-2005); a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Conflict Resolution Center (2006-2014) and currently is a member of the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee of United States Senator Barbara Boxer, assisting her in making recommendations to the President for US District Judge and US Attorney positions.
Greg is married to Dr. Sue A. Farus, Ob/Gyn, and they are the parents of three adult children, Greg, Brenna & Christian. They also just recently became Grandparents for the first time with the birth of their grandson, Gregory Ricardo Vega on October 26, 2015.
NAFUSA’s annual conference was held on October 15-17, 2015, at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. The session opened on Thursday evening at with a reception sponsored by Ernst & Young and honoring David Margolis. Unfortunately, the day before the event, Margolis fell outside Main Justice and fractured his elbow. He was unable to make the trip, but the program went on and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg spoke and NAFUSA presented a Washington Nationals Jersey with David’s name and the number “50” representing his 50 years of service to the Department. David is recovering from his injury and promises to make it to next year’s San Diego conference. In the meantime, the Nationals jersey is hanging in his office next to his Yankees “40” jersey presented by Chuck Rosenberg at the Main Justice celebration of David’s 40 years at the Department in 2005.
President Matt Orwig opened the two day CLE sessions on Friday morning and the group was welcomed to Arizona by John Leonardo, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. The ethics presentation was made by Marianne Jennings, Emeritus Professor of legal and ethical studies in business at Arizona State University. The morning closed with a panel discussion of “Issues in 21st Century Policing: Protecting Civil Rights and Public Safety.” The Friday session closed with a lucheon featuring DAG Sally Yates.
On Saturday morning, Matt Orwig led a dialogue with Monty Wilkinson, Director, EOUSA, and John Walsh, Chair, AGAC. It was followed by the presentation of the Bradford Award to AUSAs Joan Hartman and Liz Geddes and the presentation of a plaque to Monty Wilkinson with the names of all the past and present winners of the award, which will hang in the offices of EOUSA at Main Justice. The morning concluded with a panel discussion on “Criminal Justice Reform Proposals: How to be Tough and Smart on Crime.”
On Saturday night a short business meeting was held, and President Orwig thanked the directors whose three year terms have ended: Kent Alexander, Bill Leone, Ken Wainstein, Don Washington and Sharon Zealey. The following officers for 2015-2016 were elected by acclimation: President Greg Vega, President Elect Bart Daniel, Vice President Doug Jones, Secretary Terry Flynn, Treasurer Paul Coggins and Immediate Past President Matt Orwig. The new directors for the class of 2018 elected were: Greg Scott, Rich Roper, Marc Jimenez, David Barlow and Todd Jones. During the passing of the gavel, the new President Greg Vega presented outgoing President Matt Orwig with a handsome globe (Greg is shown holding a photo of the globe which was too large to bring to Scottsdale) for his office. Vega then announced the 2016 conference will be held at the Del Coronado in San Diego, October 6-9.
The conference closed with an outstanding keynote address by Jeffrey Toobin on “The Supreme Court in the Age of Obama.” John Clark (WD Texas 1975-1977), and one of the NAFUSA founders, formally closed the evening with the traditional toast.
On October 23, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission announced that NAFUSA Past President Don Stern has been identified as the Independent Compliance Officer in accordance with the AT&T-DIRECTV merger condition.
On July 28, 2015, the Commission approved the applications of AT&T Inc. and DIRECTV for consent to the transfer of control of various Commission licenses and other authorizations from DIRECTV to AT&T. In order to address the potential harms posed and to confirm certain benefits offered by the transaction, the merged entity was subject to certain conditions imposed by the Commission. The Order requires that, within 90 days of the closing date of the transaction, an Independent Compliance Officer be identified who will have the power and authority to review and evaluate AT&T’s compliance with the Order.
Stern has been identified as the Independent Compliance Officer. Stern is the Managing Director, Corporate Monitoring and Consulting Services of Affiliated Monitors, Inc., and has served as the United States Attorney for Massachusetts, the Chief Legal Counsel for the Governor of Massachusetts, and Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Stern has been a partner in a number of major law firms as well as a member of the faculty of a number of law schools. Since 2004, Affiliated has provided a wide variety of ethics and compliance monitoring services, including providing independent integrity monitoring services for government and regulatory authorities in a wide variety of regulated industries and professions. Stern was identified as the Independent Compliance Officer by an agreement between AT&T and the Commission’s Office of General Counsel, who has approved the selection. More information about Affiliated Monitors and is available at http://www.affiliatedmonitors.com.
At a press conference in Washington on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 130 police chiefs, current and former prosecutors, sheriffs and attorneys general from all 50 states, announced the formation of a new group, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, to push reforms to reduce incarceration and strengthen public safety. The group was organized by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, and includes the police chiefs from six of the largest U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Houston and New Orleans. It also included 22 NAFUSA members, led by Walter Holton, who serves on the Steering Committee for the group. By clicking on the link above, you can see a full list of the 130 members, a Statement of Principles, and additional information. The public launch made the front page of Wednesday’s The New York Times, Police Leaders Join Call to Cut Prison Rosters.
The group announced its priorities as follows:
“Members of the group will work within their departments as well as with policymakers to pursue reforms around four policy priorities:
On Thursday, October 22, the group met at The White House with President Obama and Attorney General Lynch. The President joined a panel discussion, moderated by Bill Keller, the former Editor of The New York Times, with AGAC Chair John Walsh and Chief Charlie Beck of the Los Angeles Police Department. Click here to view a video of the conversation with the President at The White House. Walter Holton was joined at the two day session in DC by NAFUSA members Zach Carter, Rick Deane, Doug Jones, Brad Pigott, Rich Pocker, Rich Rossman and Greg Vega. Some of the NAFUSA attendees are shown below with former Attorney General Ed Meese. Other NAFUSA members who have joined the group but who were unable to attend the Washington sessions were: Ed Dowd, Bob Fiske, Hal Hardin, Tim Heaphy, Brendan Johnson, Todd Jones, Matt Orwig, Tim Purdon, William Shaheen, Don Stern, Brett Tolman, Ed Warin, Don Washington and William Wilmoth.