Durkan Leads Seattle Mayor Primary

Jenny Durkan at her Pioneer Square party Tuesday. (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times

NAFUSA Board Member Jenny Durkan held a commanding lead in Tuesday’s primary election for Mayor of Seattle. Durkan, served as United States Attorney for the WD of Washington (2009-2014). Seattle hasn’t elected a woman mayor in 91 years, but four women topped the crowded (21 candidates) primary election held on Tuesday. Durkan held a commanding lead with 31.6 percent, with the second place candidate taking 15.6 percent. The two top finishers will advance to the November 7 general election. Ballots will continue to be counted and the official results will not be certified until August 15.

Daniel Wins Acquittal in Federal Criminal Securities Trial

NAFUSA President Bart Daniel and his co-counsel recently won an acquittal on all counts in a federal criminal securities fraud trial. Bart represented the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Revolutions Medical Corporation, a fledgling publicly traded company which develops and distributes innovative products and tools for the medical industry. On April 19, 2017, after a two-week trial, a federal jury unanimously acquitted Revolutions Medical Corporation CEO Rondald Wheet on all three counts of securities fraud and false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Edward Stanton Joins NAFUSA

Butler Snow announced on March 7, 2017, that Edward L. Stanton III – former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee – had joined the firm in its Memphis office. Stanton will practice with the firm’s White Collar, Compliance and Government Investigations team and its Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He has also joined NAFUSA.

“Ed has a very successful track record as U.S. Attorney and is highly regarded by his peers in and out of the courtroom,” said Donald Clark, Jr. “His distinguished career has earned him a stellar reputation for exemplary service to his community and the Department of Justice. Ed’s leadership and experience, both in the U.S. Attorney’s office and as a litigator for a Fortune 500 corporation, make him an extremely valuable addition to the firm’s white collar, investigations and commercial litigation practices.”

Stanton joined NAFUSA members Jim Letten (ED Louisiana 2001-2012) and James B. Tucker (SD Mississippi 20001-2001) at Butler Snow strengthening the firm’s growing investigations, white collar practice and commercial litigation group.

Butler Snow’s White Collar, Compliance and Government Investigations team is primarily involved in the defense of criminal and regulatory matters, including matters concerning allegations of fraud, tax and financial violations, criminal contempt, RICO violations, and environmental violations. The firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group handles a wide array of complex disputes arising from contract and business arrangements for a broad range of businesses nationwide, and is led by some of the most experienced trial lawyers in the firm.

As U.S. Attorney, Stanton served as the chief federal law enforcement officer for the Western District of Tennessee from 2010 to 2017, managing an office of approximately 100 attorneys and support staff in two locations. He oversaw the investigation and litigation of major criminal and civil cases that focused on violent crime, financial and health care fraud, racketeering, international drug trafficking, terrorism, child exploitation and cybercrime.

Stanton also launched a number of highly successful initiatives including the formation of a dedicated Civil Rights Unit. This unit earned national acclaim for prosecuting individuals who committed federal civil rights crimes including sex trafficking, public corruption, excessive force, official misconduct, hate crimes, predatory lending, unfair housing and Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

Prior to becoming U.S. Attorney, Stanton served as senior counsel with FedEx. There he served as lead trial and corporate counsel on complex business and litigation matters including governmental investigations, class action, labor and employment, trademark infringement, transportation law and environmental matters. Stanton also served as lead counsel in jury trials in federal and state courts throughout the country.

Stanton’s two decades of governmental and litigation experience also encompasses his tenure as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Memphis and practice with two private law firms.

Stanton, a lifelong Memphian, received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Memphis and his Juris Doctor from the University of Memphis School of Law.

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 www.smithmoorelaw.com.