DC Conference Huge Success

The total attendance at last weeks annual conference at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington was 227, including 147 NAFUSA members. It was the largest attendance in NAFUSA’s 38 year history. President Bart Daniel and his wife, Cindy, along with the planning committee, are to be commended on their efforts in organizing what many considered the best conference ever.

NAFUSA President Hal Hardin and Immediate Past President Bart Daniel

On Friday evening, Bart passed the gavel to Hal Hardin, who was elected NAFUSA’s newest president. Hal announced the 2018 conference will be held in Nashville on October 24-26. The following were elected officers for 2017-2018: Terry Flynn, president elect; Paul Coggins, vice president; Karen Hewitt, secretary; Chuck Stevens, treasurer, and Bart Daniel, immediate past president.

The NAFUSA board serves three year terms, and Bart thanked the class of 2017, whose terms have ended: Zach Carter, Ken Wainstein, Chuck Stevens, Bob Miller and Neil MacBride. The following were elected as the class of 2020: Ann Tompkins, Donna Bucella, Ken Wainstein, Paul Charlton, and John Richter.

Cindy and Bart Daniel with their grandchildren on the Jones Day rooftop

The conference opened on Wednesday evening with a reception, sponsored by Ernst & Young, on the Jones Day rooftop, perhaps the finest venue in D.C., with its commanding view of the Capitol.

Bradford Award presentation to Evan Norris

CLE programs began on Thursday morning. Following a welcome from Jessie Liu, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia and the traditional introduction of sponsors and the roundhouse introduction of members, the Bradford Award was presented to Evan Norris. Jack Selden led an outstanding panel on the False Claims Act, with Michael Granston, Jack Boese, Bill Nettles and Carmen Ortiz. NAFUSA members were then bused to DOJ for private meetings with DAG Rod Rosenstein, Associate AG Rachel Brand and Deputy EOUSA Director Norman Wong. Class reunions were held on Thursday evening.

Ted Olson, Neal Katyal, Paul Clement, Adam Liptak

The Friday CLE program began with ethics presentation moderated by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, and featuring the three DOJ “watchdogs” Michael Horowitz, Robin Ashton and Scott Schools. It was followed by an outstanding Supreme Court panel moderated by the Adam Liptak of the New York Times and featuring Ted Olson, Paul Clement and Neal Katyal. Liptak mentioned that he had served on many Supreme Court panels, but none with this firepower. The three advocates have together argued more than 180 cases before the court, and are scheduled to argue most of the important cases currently pending this term. The final panel of the morning was on the impact of social media, moderated by Jay Stephens, with Paula Hannaford-Agor, Judge Herbert Dixon, and Demian Ahn.

On Friday afternoon, all enjoyed a luncheon cruise of the Potomac River. The conference closed with a dinner on Friday night at The Mayflower, featuring keynote speaker DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players’ Association.

DC Conference to Feature Day at Justice

On Thursday afternoon of the October NAFUSA conference in Washington, NAFUSA members will be bused to Main Justice for a private session with senior DOJ officials. It will take place in the 7th Floor Conference Room and with feature NAFUSA members in a dialogue with the DOJ leaders.

Monty Wilkinson

Unfortunately, AG Jeff Sessions will be out of town and unavailable to attend, but will send a video welcome for the attendees. The AG, of course, is a former United States Attorney, having served twelve years in the Southern District of Alabama. The AG’s video will be followed by NAFUSA President Bart Daniel holding  a dialogue with the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) Monty Wilkinson.

Monty has held this office since 2014 and prior to being appointed Director, served as the Principal Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of EOUSA. Previously he served as Counselor and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Attorney General, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General.

Rachel Brand

NAFUSA Board Member Karen Hewitt will hold a dialogue with Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, who was sworn in as the Associate on May 22, 2107. She serves as the third-ranking officer in DOJ. She previously served in the Department from 2003-2007, first as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy, and then as the Assistant AG for Legal Policy.

 

Rod Rosenstein

 

The last dialogue will be led by NAFUSA Board Member Ron Machen with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has spent over 27 years in government service. He began his career with the Department as an attorney with the AG’s Honor Program and most recently served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland from 2005 to 2017.

 

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FCA Panel Announced For DC

Jack Selden

This year’s NAFUSA conference will bring together experts on the False Claim Act for an update on this important area of federal practice. The panel will be moderated by NAFUSA Past President Jack Selden (Northern District of Alabama, 1992-1993). Selden, a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, has extensive experience in cases arising under the FCA and qui tam whistleblower actions, including winning a summary judgment on behalf of AseraCare Hopsice in 2016 in one of the most important cases in FCA history.

 

Michael Granston

 

The panel will include Michael Granston, who has served as the Director of the Civil Fraud Section of the Justice Department since 2013. In that capacity he is the leading federal attorney for cases under the FCA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Boese

He will be joined by Jack Boese, a nationally known expert on the FCA. Boese is the author of the book, Civil False Claims and Qui Tam Actions, commonly cited as authority by courts at all levels, including the United States Supreme Court. Boese is a member of the Litigation Department in Fried Frank’s Washington, DC office.

 

 

 

Bill Nettles

Two newer members of NAFUSA will round out the panel. Bill Nettles served as the United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina, where FCA claims was one of his top priorities. This resulted in his district becoming one of the top districts for false claims recovery. He is now in private practice with a nationwide false claims practice.

 

 

 

 

Carmen Ortiz

 

The other NAFUSA member to join the panel is Carmen Ortiz, District of Massachusetts, 2009-2017. She recently joined the law firm of Anderson & Kreiger, while also serving as a visiting professor at Boston College Law School.

 

 

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Social Media Panel at DC Conference

Friday morning’s CLE program at this year’s NAFUSA conference will include a panel discussion on the “Impact of Social Media on Investigations and Litigation,” Social media increasingly implicates legal considerations from the investigatory process to witness and jury strategy.  Within this broad and cutting edge topic, the program will focus on the effects of social media on participants in the justice system, the use of this new media as evidence, and its application as a basis for charges or legal claims. The program will take place from 10:15 AM to 11:45 AM.

Social media has had a profound and sometimes unexpected impact on civil litigation, white collar investigations, and jury trials.  Evidence derived from social media has served as the basis for prosecutions.  Social media history has complicated witness preparation, tainted witnesses,  and fueled fascinating cross-examinations and depositions. Maintaining the integrity of the jury trial process has been challenged by jurors’ intense interest in exploring social media commentary about a case where the court has charged jurors with finding the truth based on the evidence presented in the courtroom.  Our talented panel of experienced academics and practitioners will explore the issues and  impacts which social media brings to the investigation, litigation, and trial of complex fact patterns and inexplicable human behavior.  Social media communications and venues can transform the discovery, trial preparation, and issue resolution processes for today’s litigators.  Understanding the impact of social media on case development means that litigators today need to be aware how a tweet, a text, or a posting can dramatically complicate effective advocacy and the search for truth.

The panel will be moderated by Jay Stephens, past president of NAFUSA and presently counsel to the board. Jay is of counsel to the Washington office of Kirkland & Ellis and served as the senior vice president and general counsel and corporate secretary of Raytheon Company, during his illustrious career.

 

 

 

The experienced panelists include former D.C. Superior Court Judge Herb Dixon, known as the “Technology Judge”. Judge Dixon is the chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the American Judicial System and a former chair of of the National Conference of State Trial Judges.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Demian Ahn, from the District of Columbia will join the panel. He is a senior Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property prosecutor in the Cyber Unit;

 

 

 

The third panelist will be Paula Hannaford-Agor, the Director of the Center for Juries Studies at the National Center for State Courts. She has authored or contributed to numerous books and articles on the American jury system.

 

 

 

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Ethics Panel Announced For DC Conference

Judge Boasberg

This year’s ethics presentation, “Ethics Oversight at DOJ: A Federal Judge and DOJ Watchdogs Discuss the Challenges of the Day” will be moderated by the Honorable James E. “Jeb” Boasberg, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia. Judge Boasberg also serves on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. He has also served  in the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Columbia as as AUSA specializing in homicide prosecutions.

 

 

 

 

Michael Horowitz

The panel will be composed of the three major “watchdogs” for ethics oversight at the Department. Michael E. Horowtiz has served as the Inspector General of DOJ since April 2012. Since 2015, he has also served as the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. He served as an AUSA for the SD of New York, where he was the Chief of the Public Corruption Unit and a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. He then worked at Main Justice as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then Chief of Staff of the Criminal Division.

Scott Schools

Scott Schools

NAFUSA member Scott Schools was named an Associate Deputy General in October 2016, and has assumed the position formerly filled by David Margolis. He has previously spent 18 years at the Department, including stints as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California (2007-2008) and South Carolina (2001).

 

 

 

 

Robin Ashton

Robin Ashton has led the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility since 2011. Her long career at the Justice includes serving in the litigation section of the Antitrust Division, as an AUSA for the District of Columbia, and as the Executive Assistant for Management. She also served as the Deputy Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys from 2001-2005.

 

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Supreme Court Panel Announced For DC Conference

Adam Liptak

This year’s NAFUSA conference will feature an outstanding panel discussion of the Supreme Court, moderated by Adam Liptak of The New York Times. Liptak covers the Supreme Court for The Times and his column on legal affairs, “Sidebar,” appears every other Thursday. Liptak last appeared at a NAFUSA conference in New York City in 2010.

 

 

 

 

The outstanding panel is composed of:

Ted Olson

NAFUSA member Ted Olson, former Solicitor General of the United States and a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office. He has argued sixty-two cases before the Supreme Court. Olson last spoke at a NAFUSA conference in 2013 in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Clement

Paul Clement also served as the Solicitor General of the United States and is a partner in the Washington, D.C. officer of Kirkland & Ellis. Clement has argued over 85 cases before the United States Supreme Court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neal Katyal

Neal Katyal served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and has argued 34 cases before the United States Supreme Court, with 32 of them in the last 8 years.

The panel discussion will take place at The Mayflower Hotel on Friday, October 20, 2017, from 9:45-10:45 AM.

 
 

 
 

Click here to see speaker bios

Click here to register for the 2017 NAFUSA Annual Conference