Registration Open for San Diego Conference



Registration is open for the 2016 NAFUSA conference to be held at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego October 6-8.


The conference will begin with a cocktail reception on Thursday evening, October 6, 2016, at the Hotel Del Coronado, honoring Michael Dreeben on his 100 Supreme Court arguments. Golf will be available on Thursday morning at Torrey Pines South, on a first come first served basis to the first 24 to register. Although the original 24 slots are filled, we were able to add an additional foursome. Two slots remain. Let Lisa Rafferty know if you are interested. We may be able to add one more foursome if there is interest. 

On Friday morning President Vega will call the conference to order and introduce our sponsors. Following the traditional roundhouse introduction of members, Hon. Robert Conrad, U.S. District Judge, WD North Carolina, will give the ethics presentation:  “Berger v US…The Rest of the Story: Ethical lessons behind Justice Sutherland’s famous dictum.” The morning program will close with a panel discussion on national security v privacy, with Charlie Savage of The New York Times, Steve Zipperstein, general counsel of Blackberry, Jim Baker, general counsel of the FBI, Marc Zwillinger, and Ken Wainstein. On Friday afternnoon, we will enjoy a picnic lunch on the USS Midway. On Friday evening, various adminstration classes will hold their reunions.

Saturday morning’s CLE program will include a dialogue with Monty Wilkinson, Director of EOUSA and Richard Hartunian, chair of the AGAC, moderated by President Vega, followed by the presentaton of the J. Michael Bradford Award to the AUSA of the year. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky will speak on the Supreme Court and the moring will close with a panel discussion on asset forfeiture reform with Marshall Miller, M. Kendall Day, Sharon Levin, and Marc Levin.The conference will close with a Saturday evening banquet and business meeting, and with Charlie Savage as the keynote speaker. Click here to view the latest draft of the NAFUSA Program San Diego 2016.

Rooms will be available at the Del Coronado at the special conference rate of $295 a night, plus a $15 a day Resort Charge. Rooms will be available at the conference rate for the 3 days prior and after, subject to availability. The cut off for hotel rooms is September 6, 2016. You can reserve a room on the NAFUSA link. You will be charged a one night deposit, but it is fully refundable at least seven (7) days prior to scheduled arrival. Rooms are filling up quickly, but we were able to increase our allotment. 

The NAFUSA registration charge remains $400 for members and $300 for spouses,  which includes the social events except golf. You may bring guests to individual events at separate charges. Registration fees are fully refundable up to one week prior to the conference. After that date, we will be unable to offer refunds as the hotel and caterers need final counts for meals.

Leone Argues Against Sioux Tribe in Pipeline Row


Bill Leone

Bill Leone

Law 360 reported on August 24, 2016 Sioux Tribe Says ‘Cultural Survival’ At Stake In Pipeline Row, that “the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe urged a D.C. federal judge to block construction on the $3.8 billion crude oil pipeline slated to run through what it considers the tribe’s ancestral lands, calling the Dakota Access Pipeline a threat to its ‘cultural survival’ that was not adequately reviewed by the federal government before its approval”.

The tribe urged U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg to grant a preliminary injunction saying  “it was important to hear from tribe members themselves about the importance of the various sites.”

Law 360 reported that the tribe argued that the pipeline’s route passes through ancestral lands, threatening burial grounds, sacred sites and other historically significant areas. The cultural surveys done for the project were done by out-of-state consultants and without the participation of the tribe, it said.

During the hearing, NAFUSA member William J. Leone of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, an attorney for intervenor defendant Dakota Access, insisted that those surveys were completed by “qualified archeologists” and subsequently shared with the tribes.
That the surveys were completely unsupervised is “simply not true,” Leone said.
Leone said it would be “horribly unfair” to the developers, laborers and their families to issue an injunction and “change the rules” at the last minute.

Margolis Family to Join Us in San Diego

Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

David’s wife, Debby, and his daughter, Cheri, will attend the San Diego conference as  honored guests of NAFUSA. David, who passed away on July 12, 2016, was scheduled to be a our luncheon speaker on his 51 years at Justice. Deborah Daniels shared a recent Margolis obituary from The Week. 

Flown over Main Justice on August 19, 2016, in honor of David Margois

Flown over Main Justice on August 19, 2016, in honor of David Margois

As is our custom, an American flag was flown over Main Justice on August 19, 2016, as the request of NAFUSA. It will be presented to Debby and Cheri at the October conference. It represents the high regard in which David was held by his colleagues.

Jim Robinson Remembered

Former NAFUSA President Jim Robinson died six years ago on August 6, 2010. The DOJ Criminal Division remembered Jim in This Week in the Criminal Division Bulletin (August 22,2016).




James K. Robinson served as Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division from 1998 to 2001.

Mr. Robinson was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1943.  He graduated from Michigan State University and earned a law degree from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1968.  Mr. Robinson then clerked for Judge George Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  He subsequently became an associate at a Detroit law firm and later a partner at another, where he specialized in litigation.

In 1975, Mr. Robinson began service on the five-member committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners that drafts the evidence questions for the Multistate Bar Exam.  In 1977—at the age of 33—he was named United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, which had one of the heaviest caseloads in the nation at that time.  In 1981, Mr. Robinson returned to his Detroit law firm, Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn.  While in private practice, he chaired the committee that drafts the Michigan Rules of Evidence and he co-authored a three-volume treatise and a courtroom handbook on the rules of evidence.

Mr. Robinson was named Dean and Professor of Law at the Wayne State University Law School in 1993.  That same year, Chief Justice William Rehnquist appointed him to the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence.

In August 1995, Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris resigned her position in the Criminal Division.  For almost three years, John C. Keeney served as Acting Assistant Attorney General until President Bill Clinton nominated Mr. Robinson in April 1998.  Mr. Robinson faced a skeptical Senate Judiciary Committee at his nomination hearing.  The Committee expressed dissatisfaction with the uneven prosecution of narcotics offenses, leaks of grand jury material, and potential prosecution of elected officials for purportedly political reasons.  The Washington Post reported that Mr. Robinson “deflected the thunder by promising to apply the law even-handedly.”  He was confirmed a few months later.  As Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Robinson increased the Division’s focus on transnational crime and stationed attorneys at U.S. Embassies throughout the world.  He also helped expand the Division’s resources for drug trafficking and computer crime.

Mr. Robinson left the Division in 2001 and became a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Washington, D.C.  From 2001 to 2002, he was retained as a consultant by the United Nations Center for International Crime Prevention in Vienna to conduct a global study on the transfer of funds of illicit origin with respect to the negotiation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

On August 6, 2010, Mr. Robinson died at the age of 66 of cancer.  He left behind two children, five grandchildren, and his widow, Marietta “Marti” Robinson, who is now a commissioner with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  In a condolence letter to Mrs. Robinson, then-Attorney General Eric Holder wrote, “As Assistant Attorney General, Jim embodied the steady and steely resolve under pressure that we need and expect from our public servants.  Every action that he took, and every decision that he made, reflected his singular desire to do justice and serve the people of this nation.”

[Photo: Grand Rapids Press]

Charlie Savage to Keynote San Diego Conference

Charlie Savage

Charlie Savage will attend his sixth NAFUSA conference in October- more than many NAFUSA members. He has truly become a “Friend of NAFUSA.” This year he will do double duty as our Saturday night keynote speaker and as the moderator of the Friday morning panel on national security v privacy. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning  Washington correspondent for the New York Times. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Savage graduated from Harvard College and earned a master’s degree from Yale Law School as part of a Knight Foundation journalism fellowship. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Luiza Ch. Savage, the editorial director of events for Politico, and their children, William and Peter Savage.

Savage has been covering post-9/11 issues — including national security, individual rights and the rule of law — since 2003, when he was a reporter for the Miami Herald. Later that year, he joined the Washington bureau of the Boston Globe; he then moved to the Washington bureau of the New York Times in 2008. He has also co-taught a seminar on national security and the Constitution at Georgetown University’s political science department.

Savage’s first book, Takeover, published in 2007, chronicles the Bush-Cheney administration’s efforts to expand presidential power. His second book, Power Wars, published in 2015, is an investigative history of national-security legal policy issues in the Obama administration.

His other journalism honors include the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency, and the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism.

His keynote address is entitled: “Power Wars: Obama, Bush, and the Post-9/11 Presidency.”

Hartunian and McQuade to Lead AGAC

Richard Hartunian

Richard Hartunian

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today the appointment of U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian for the Northern District of New York as chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC).  Attorney General Lynch also appointed U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan to serve as vice chair.  Both appointments are effective immediately.

“The Attorney General’s Advisory Committee plays an essential role in shaping the Justice Department’s policies, implementing its programs, and ensuring that equal justice and the rule of law are upheld throughout the United States,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “As a former chair of the AGAC, I know firsthand the significant duties required of the committee’s leaders, and I am certain that U.S. Attorneys Richard Hartunian and Barbara McQuade are ready to assume the responsibility of chairing such an important and distinguished body.  They are both seasoned prosecutors, exemplary law enforcement officers, and devoted public servants, and I look forward to benefitting from their long experience and wise counsel as we advance the department’s vital work in the months ahead.  I congratulate them on their new posts, and I once again thank former U.S. Attorney John Walsh for his outstanding service as AGAC chair over the last 20 months.”

U.S. Attorney Hartunian has been the vice chair of the AGAC since January 2015.  He was appointed to the AGAC in 2013 and has served as the co-chair of the Border and Immigration Subcommittee, as well as a member of the subcommittees focused on Native American issues, Health Care Fraud and Environmental Crimes.  He has served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York since January of 2010.  Before that, he had been an Assistant U.S. Attorney there since 1997 and the district’s Narcotics Chief and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Coordinator since 2006.

U.S. Attorney Hartunian is a 1983 cum laude graduate of Georgetown University and a 1986 graduate of the Albany Law School of Union University.  He was engaged in the private practice of law in Albany from 1987 to 1990.  He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Albany County from 1990 to 1997, where his work on narcotics and violent crime cases led to his designation as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1994.

In May of 2010, U.S. Attorney Hartunian was honored by the Armenian Bar Association as the first U.S. Attorney of Armenian descent.

Barbara McQuade

Barbara McQuade

U.S. Attorney McQuade was appointed to the AGAC in April 2013 and has previously served as co-chair of the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee.  She also served on subcommittees addressing civil rights and border security.  She became the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan when she took office in January of 2010.  She was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit, Michigan, for 12 years, including service as Deputy Chief of the National Security Unit.

U.S. Attorney McQuade is a 1987 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1991 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.  Before becoming a federal prosecutor, she practiced law in a Detroit firm and served as a law clerk to a U.S. District Judge.  From 2003 to 2009, U.S. Attorney McQuade was as an adjunct law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

While U.S. Attorney McQuade replaces U.S. Attorney Hartunian as vice chair, U.S. Attorney Hartunian replaces former U.S. Attorney John Walsh for the District of Colorado as chair.

The AGAC was created in 1973 to serve as the voice of the U.S. Attorneys and to advise the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues impacting the offices of the U.S. Attorneys.

Michael Moore Joins NAFUSA


Michael Moore

NAFUSA’s newest life member, Michael Moore, joined Pope McGlamry in its Atlanta office in December 2015. Moore’s practice focuses in the areas of qui tam/false claims litigation, significant fraud and tort cases, and white collar matters.

Moore was appointed by President Obama in 2010 to serve as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Moore targeted violent crimes, human trafficking, and public corruption. During his time as the chief federal prosecutor, he oversaw the prosecution of national food safety cases, resulting in record-setting prison sentences for corporate executives and the largest criminal fine ever imposed against a corporation for food safety violations. Mr. Moore took an active role in civil rights matters, overseeing numerous cases involving the brutal mistreatment of arrestees and prison inmates and personally mediated a landmark settlement guaranteeing adequate representation for children and individuals in the Superior Courts.

Moore is credited with growing the false claims practice in the Middle District of Georgia, increasing recoveries for the Government by over 8000 percent during his tenure. His efforts resulted in multi-million dollar settlements and made the Middle District of Georgia a leader in combatting health care fraud.

As United States Attorney, Moore served on the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee, the Health Care Fraud Working Group, the Criminal Practice Subcommittee, and the White Collar/Fraud Subcommittee, all part of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.

Prior to his service with the Department of Justice, and following his time as a state prosecutor, Moore practiced privately, representing clients in both civil and criminal matters throughout the state.

Moore is a former member of the Georgia Senate, where he served on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Transportation, and Defense Committees.

NAFUSA Officers Meet with AG

Photo by Lonnie D. Tague/DOJ

Photo by Lonnie D. Tague/DOJ

On July 23, 2016, The NAFUSA officers met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in her conference room at Main Justice. The AG, who was an active member of NAFUSA in between her two appointments as U.S. Attorney for the ED of New York, is quite familiar with NAFUSA. She also chaired several meetings of the AGAC when they met with the NAFUSA Liaison Committee. In addition, she has attended NAFUSA conferences in her capacity as chair of the AGAC.

The meeting was the first opportunity to continue the tradition began by former AG Eric Holder to have a small group representing NAFUSA meet in an informal setting and discuss with the AG matters of mutual interest.

Shown in the photo below, left to right, Karen Hewitt, board member; Secretary Terry Flynn; President Greg Vega; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; Vice President Doug Jones; Executive Director Rich Rossman; Treasurer Paul Coggins; President Elect Bart Daniel.

Photo by Lonnie D. Tague, DOJ

Photo by Lonnie D. Tague/DOJ

Wagner Joins Gibson Dunn

Ben Wagner

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP announced today that NAFUSA member Benjamin Wagner, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, will join the firm as a partner in the Palo Alto office.  Wagner’s practice will focus on government investigations and white collar defense. He will join fellow NAFUSA members Chuck Stevens, Ted Olson and Debra Yang at Gibson.

“Ben will be an outstanding addition to the firm,” said Ken Doran, Chairman & Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn.  “He enjoys a very strong reputation within the Department of Justice and is well-connected in the U.S. Attorneys’ community.  He is widely recognized for his superb trial and advocacy skills, his eloquent writing, his sound judgment and his integrity.  With his 24 years in government, capped by six-plus years as the U.S. Attorney, Ben has incredible depth in both criminal and civil litigation and investigations.  He brings experience and gravitas that will reinforce our ability to demonstrate to clients that we can field the strongest team of white collar lawyers with a profound understanding of, and years of experience in, criminal investigations and litigation necessary to resolve their matters effectively.”

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