Evan Norris Named 2017 Bradford Award Winner

Evan Norris

Each year, NAFUSA recognizes an Assistant U.S. Attorney for outstanding performance through the J. Michael Bradford Memorial Award. The award is named after J. Michael Bradford, who served as a U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas from 1994 to 2001. Bradford, who died in 2003, had a distinguished career in public service, including successfully defending the government against lawsuits stemming from the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian’s compound in Waco, Texas. NAFUSA annually solicits nominations from current U.S. Attorneys for the Bradford Award. Typically, the recipient has handled a significant investigation and prosecution or a series of prosecutions which has had a significant impact and merits special recognition.

Once again, a number of exceptional nominations were made by U.S. Attorneys around the country. The J. Michael Bradford Award Committee was chaired by NAFUSA Vice President Terry Flynn. Its members included Paul Coggins, Jenny Durkan, Ron Machen, Shari Potter and Rich Roper. This year, the Board voted to give the award to AUSA Evan M. Norris of the Eastern District of New York, who was nominated by former United States Attorney Robert Capers, who wrote: “Mr. Norris has earned the respect of his fellow federal prosecutors for his leadership and creative and relentless investigative skills, particularly as exemplified through the Office’s groundbreaking prosecution of corruption in Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world soccer governing body”.

From the inception of the investigation until 2017, Mr. Norris was the lead prosecutor of the FIFA case, one of the most significant prosecutions ever brought by the Department of Justice. Mr. Norris led a years-long investigation that resulted in the filing of RICO, fraud, and money laundering charges against dozens of individuals and entities for their involvement in the corruption of international soccer. Together with a team of AUSAs and agents from the FBI and IRS, Mr. Norris devised the investigative and prosecutorial strategies for this groundbreaking cross-border case and managed the Office’s coordination with foreign enforcement authorities both in the period leading up to the first arrests in Switzerland in May 2015 and continuing thereafter. In December 2015, Mr. Norris was appointed Director of the EDNY FIFA Task Force, in which position he supervised teams of AUSAs and DOJ trial attorneys prosecuting the indicted case, United States v. Jeffrey Webb et al., and 11 related cases, and conducting multiple related investigations of individuals and entities. Under Mr. Norris’s leadership, the Office publicly announced charges against 43 individuals and entities, 22 guilty pleas, and the entry into a deferred prosecution agreement with an Argentine sports marketing company. In total, the individual and corporate resolutions announced under Mr. Norris’s leadership included over $330 million in forfeiture and criminal penalties.

The other nominees were:

Joseph Batte
Eastern District of Texas

Michael Collyer
Northern District of Ohio

Patrick Fitzgerald
Central District of California

Shane Harrigan
Southern District of California

Richard Hayes
Eastern District of New York

Timothy Howard
Southern District of New York

Debra Kanof
Western District of Texas

Eric Klumb
District of South Carolina

Richard Murphy
Northern District of Iowa

Stephen Odell
District of Oregon

Amy Padden
District of Colorado

David Petermann
Western District of Oklahoma

Kristine Rollinson
Southern District of Texas

Michael Sherwin
Southern District of Florida

Gary Sussman
District of Oregon

Brent Tabacchi
Southern District of Ohio

Tyler Tornabene
Eastern District of Washington

Christopher Tortorice
Eastern District of Texas

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.

NAFUSA Board Meets in Charleston

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the NAFUSA officers and board members met in Charleston, South Carolina, for the Spring Board Meeting. On Friday eventing, President Bart Daniel and his wife, Cindy, hosted a reception at their lovely historical home near the Battery.

President Daniel reported on the plans for the fall conference to be held at The Mayflower in Washington, DC, October 18-20, 2017. Registration will begin in July. The conference will open with an evening reception on Wednesday, October 18. The CLE programs will be held on Thursday and Friday mornings at The Mayflower, and will feature a panel on the False Claims Act moderated by Jack Selden; an ethics presentation; and a Supreme Court panel with Ted Olson, Paul Clement and Neal Katyal, moderated by Adam Liptak of The New York Times. Discussions are underway to hold a “Day at Justice”  for NAFUSA members at Main Justice with meetings with senior DOJ officials. Class reunions dinners will be held on Thursday evening, and the conference will close with a dinner on Friday night. Note the change in format from the old Thursday to Saturday night schedule to the new Wednesday-Friday plan. We have had a fall off in attendance on Saturday nights, due to folks needing to get back to their families, particularly those with small children. The board felt the new format should encourage members to stay for the entire program.

As Rich Rossman has expressed his desire to step down as the executive director, a  search committee has had several discussions which are continuing but there has not yet been a final candidate proposed. Rich advised that he is willing to continue for the present until the board decides on a successor. Anyone interested in the position should contact Bart Daniel at bart@bartdaniel.com.

As is our custom, board members paid their own travel and hotel expenses.

NAFUSA Seeking Applications for Executive Director Position

NAFUSA is looking to fill the position of Executive Director, as Rich Rossman has expressed his desire to step down in October. Thankfully, he has agreed to assist in the transition.
I have established a committee to consider potential candidates. If you are interested in applying for the position, please email me at bart@bartdaniel.com by April 26th so I can include it on the agenda for our upcoming Board meeting in late April.

Bart Daniel, President

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

NAFUSA Officers and Board to Meet in New Orleans

Don Washington

The NAFUSA annual spring board meeting will take place in New Orleans on May 14, 2016. The board meets twice a year: at the fall conference and in the spring. Members pay their own travel and hotel expenses. NAFUSA members in the New Orleans area are invited to join the board at related social events. Former board member Don Washington and his law firm, Jones Walker LLP, are hosting this year’s meeting. Local NAFUSA members Don Cazayoux and Jim Letten will join us for dinner, as will local U.S. Attorney Ken Polite.

NAFUSA 2016 Dues Payable By February 29

2016 dues were payable by February 29, 2016. Email invoices were sent in early January to all non-life members. Thanks to the generousity of our sponsors, the dues structure has remained at the same low level for years. Regular dues are $150 and senior dues (70 years of age and over and fully retired from the practice of law) $50. You might consider joining the 64 lifetime members (full listing on the link at nafusa.org) at $1500. You may send a check for your dues or pay by credit card. Please note that if you are paying by credit card, we use a third party vendor named WePay. Your credit card statement should show WPY*NAFUSA, but there have been some instances where NAFUSA’s name has been left off the statement. We are working to fix the recording error, but the dues are being deposited in NAFUSA’s account. Checks for dues should be payable to NAFUSA and mailed to NAFUSA, PO Box 1524, Brighton, Michigan 48116. Please complete the registration form even if you are mailing a check.

Click Here To Pay Annual Dues

President’s New Year’s Message

Greg Vega

Greg Vega

Dear Friends,

I would like to start the New Year by hoping that each of you are having a Happy Holiday Season with those most dear to you. Looking back on 2015, I must first thank Matt Orwig for his tremendous leadership as NAFUSA President.  Matt worked tirelessly leading the Board of Directors and organizing a wonderful conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  I would also like to thank Executive Director Rich Rossman and Deputy Director Lisa Rafferty for all they do to make NAFUSA the great organization that it has become. In addition, I would like to thank John Steele as he completes his time as NAFUSA’s IT support and wish him well as he moves on with his legal education at the University of Denver.

At the conference it was a pleasure to meet many of our newest members.  I want to personally thank each of them for their service as United States Attorneys. As we all know, they made many personal sacrifices during their time in office. I look forward to getting to know them better and their continued involvement in NAFUSA.

As we look forward to the New Year, I hope that 2016 brings each of you good health, happiness and success.  I look forward to working with each of you and hope that you will join us October 6-9, in San Diego at the Hotel Del Coronado for the 2016 NAFUSA Conference.

May you have a Great New Year.

Gregory A. Vega
Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek
2100 Symphony Towers
750 B Street
San Diego, CA  92101

NAFUSA Selects PSC Group as New IT Support Provider

We are pleased to announce that NAFUSA will be partnering with PSC Group in 2016 to provide IT / web site support. With offices in Chicago and Kansas City, PSC Group, LLC is a professional services and information consulting company that celebrated it’s 25th year in business in 2015.

PSC was initially introduced to us by NAFUSA board member Catherine Hanaway and her law firm, Husch Blackwell, a PSC client. Husch Blackwell’s CIO, Bret Chapman’s strong endorsement combined with PSC’s demonstrated knowledge of developing and supporting websites built on the same platform as NAFUSA’s made PSC a strong candidate for the IT support role.

In addition to PSC’s related technical expertise, PSC has a strong history of providing solutions to the legal industry. These solutions include collaborative portals, large Microsoft Exchange deployments and upgrades and software solutions including a case management system and an attorney compensation management solution.

If you would like to learn more about PSC and the services they provide, you can contact Jeff Ney (contact information below). We also encourage our members to visit with PSC at their booth during our October conference.

PSC Group Contact Information:

Jeff Ney, Partner
(913) 234-8170
Website: www.psclistens.com

Greg Vega Named NAFUSA President

Greg Vega

Greg Vega

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.