SDNY Drops Charges Against Leone Client in London Whale Case

Bill Leone

NAFUSA life member and former board member Bill Leone has been representing the lead defendant, Javier Martin-Artajo, in both the civil SEC and criminal DOJ cases in the “London Whale” case.

Leone received good news this month when federal prosecutors dropped charges against two former JPMorgan Chase & Co traders accused of hiding more than $6.2 billion in trading losses on wrong-way derivative bets five years ago.

Leone reports that,

The dismissal follows a series of meetings and presentations to the prosecutors that established Artajo’s innocence.  The cooperating witnesses’ collapse came in the face of overwhelming evidence that proved Artago did not conceal any material information from anyone.  It is a good example of prosecutors doing the right thing even when the case is high profile.  In addition to the factual innocence of the defendant, and the cooperator’s collapse, the case also highlights the complexity of global enforcement actions.  Here, our client surrendered to Spanish authorities and successfully litigated his right not to be extradited based on differences between Spanish and US law and also would have had a good Allen motion based on the 2nd Circuit’s recent decision prohibiting use or derivative use of testimony compelled by foreign enforcement authorities.

See See Bloomberg Markets, July 21, 2017.

On Friday, August 18, 2017, the SEC also dropped its suit against the “London Whale” Traders, giving Leone a complete win.


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

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:


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

Hal Hardin Named President Elect of NAFUSA

NAFUSA President Bart Daniel announced that NAFUSA life member and former director Hal Hardin has been unanimously elected by the board of directors to replace Doug Jones as the president elect of NAFUSA. The vacancy was created when Jones stepped down to run for the U.S. Senate in the State of Alabama. Hardin will immediately resume the duties of the president elect and will be sworn in as president at the October NAFUSA conference in Washington DC. Daniel also announced the the site of the 2018 NAFUSA conference would be moved to Nashville from the original site of Birmingham, Alabama.

Hal has been a judge, state prosecutor, educator, adventurer, farmer and was one of the early Peace Corps volunteers.

After graduation from MTSU, he studied law first at the University of Tennessee and then Vanderbilt University. Between graduation and his admission to the Bar, he took a job as the acting director of the St. Louis Job Corps Center. He then became an Assistant DA. His first court appearance was in Nashville’s “murder trial of the century,” State v. Powell.

Just five years out of law school, he became Governor Ray Blanton’s first judicial appointment. Two years later, a Nashville Bar poll gave him the highest approval rating ever for a circuit judge. While on the bench, his fellow judges elected him presiding judge of all the trial courts. During that time he also had the opportunity to briefly sit as a substitute judge on the State Court of Appeals.

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter, with unanimous Senate approval, appointed him to serve as US Attorney for Middle Tennessee. During his tenure, Attorney General Griffin Bell publically called him “one of the best”. As U.S. Attorney, Hal learned that Governor Blanton was preparing to grant pardons to persons suspected of buying their way out of prison. His efforts to oust the governor were the subject of the book Coup

Returning to private practice after his U.S. Attorney stint, he opened an office as a sole practitioner. Today, Hal’s varied practice includes representation of a broad range of clients, civil and criminal.  He also donates his legal skills to numerous worthy causes. He is an emeritus faculty member at the Nashville School of Law, has been a commencement keynote speaker there, and recognized as Distinguished Faculty Alumnus. He also earlier served as an adjunct instructor at Aquinas College and the University of Tennessee Nashville. He was a Charter member and President of the Tennessee Board of Trial Advocates, President of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society, and Vice President of the Nashville Bar Association. He was awarded the Nashville Bar’s Norman Award for Criminal Law Excellence and The Rutherford Award for the highest standards of professionalism and collegiality, the Tennessee Bar’s award of merit for service as its General Counsel. He is an emeritus Inns of Court member and emeritus board member of the National Association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. He holds law licenses in Texas, Washington DC, Tennessee and Kentucky.