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. 

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.

Bob Del Tufo, 82, Dies

Robert Del Tufo.

Robert Del Tufo.

NAFUSA member Robert J. Del Tufo, 82, died on March 2, 2016, of lung cancer. Del Tufo served as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, 1977-1980 and as the New Jersey Attorney General, 1990-1993. His older brother, Raymond Del Tufo, also served as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Del Tufo joined Sadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom in 1993, where he remained until his death.

Del Tufo attended Princeton University and Yale Law School. He was a legal secretary to Chief Justice Joseph Weintraub on the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1958 to 1960.

He is survived by his wife, Kate Del Tufo, daughters Ann Jackopin and Barbara, sons Robert J. Jr. and David, and stepdaughters Caitlin Hughes and Johanna Hunsbedt. He was predeceased by his first wife, Ann.

Funeral arrangements are pending. As is our custom, NAFUSA will request the Department of Justice to fly an American flag over Main Justice in Bob’s honor and it will be presented to his family as a token of the high regard with which Bob was held by his colleagues.

Redding Pitt Dies

AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari

Redding Pitt (AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari)

NAFUSA member Redding Pitt died on Sunday, February 7, 2016. Pitt, 71, served as the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, 1994-2001. He also served as the chief deputy attorney general for the State of Alabama and chaired the Alabama Democrat Party from 2001 to 2005.

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Cheney Joseph, 73, Dies

Prof Cheney Joseph, Jr

Prof Cheney Joseph, Jr

NAFUSA member Cheney Joseph Jr., 73, died on December 18, 2015. Professor Joseph was the interim co-dean of the Louisiana State University Law School. He served as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, 1976-1977.

He also served as Administrative Assistant, District Attorney’s office, East Baton Rouge Parish (until 1972); Assistant Professor, LSU Law Center, 1972 – 1975, Associate Professor, LSU Law Center, 1976 – 1980, Professor of Law and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, 1981 – 1989; First Assistant District Attorney and District Attorney, East Baton Rouge Parish, 1989 – 1990; Judge Pro- Tempore, 16th Judicial District Court 1992; Judge Pro-Tempore, 40th Judicial District Court, 1993; Executive Counsel to the Governor of Louisiana, 1996 – 2000; Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, LSU Law Center, 2000 – present.

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Bill Braniff Dies, 73

We learned of the passing of NAFUSA member and former United States Attorney William Braniff on November 7, 2015.  Bill served as a federal prosecutor for 22 years, including 4 years as U.S. Attorney in San Diego (SD of California, 1988-1993).  Bill began his career as a federal prosecutor in 1970, when he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey.  His advocacy skills eventually led him to the position of criminal chief.  In 1980, Bill moved to San Diego and joined the U.S. Attorney’s office.  He quickly became known for his ability to analyze complex fraud issues and he prosecuted many important procurement fraud cases.  Bill was sworn in as U.S. Attorney in 1988 by the Attorney General.  During Bill’s tenure as U.S. Attorney, the office grew to include 90 attorneys and became one of the leading prosecutorial offices in the nation.  Bill oversaw the successful prosecution of major cases in such areas as drug trafficking, white collar fraud, organized crime, health care fraud, and environmental crime.  Throughout his career, Bill’s mission was to be the best advocate possible for the people of the United States.  He carried out his mission faithfully and skillfully, earning the respect of his colleagues, adversaries, and the bench.  Bill set an example that should be followed by young prosecutors everywhere.

As is our custom, NAFUSA arranged for an American flag to be flown over Main Justice on  December 9, 2015, and it will be presented to Bill’s family in recognition of the regard in which he was held by his former colleagues.

Phil Modlin Dies, 88


Philip Hodgin Modlin

Philip Hodgkin Modlin, former EOUSA director (1970-1975) passed away peacefully at age 88 on February 4, 2015. He had lung cancer. He is survived by two children, Melanie Modlin of Takoma Park, MD and Ann Modlin Boehm (Scott) of Alexandria, VA. 

As reported in Modlin’s obituary,

Born in Jamestown, North Carolina on October 9, 1926, Modlin heard the call of adventure at an early age. As a teenager, he hitchhiked to New York, Los Angeles and other fabled American places. A talented violinist and an ardent movie fan, his initial plan was to be a studio musician in Hollywood. That dream took him to the University of Michigan, where he pledged Sigma Chi and commenced to study music. Grasping that his true talents lay elsewhere, he transferred to High Point (N.C.) College, earning his A.B. degree in 1947. His sharp intelligence and powers of analysis helped him attend the George Washington University law school. and earn his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1950.

Modlin was proud of the fact that he held 67 jobs during his lifetime, including soap wrapper, golf course starter and magistrate for the city of Alexandria. With that unique frame of reference, he was often hailed by those who knew him as an insightful career coach.

Philip Modlin found his greatest job satisfaction at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served with distinction for 25 years. During his career, he played an integral part in the creation of the Attorney General’s Honor Program and Advocacy Institute. In 1970, he became Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, where he hired and worked with many future legal luminaries. Another of his later duties, which he relished, was to advise U.S. Attorneys General on judicial appointments. He traveled often to Capitol Hill to meet with senators, striking up an especially warm working relationship with Sen. James Eastland (D-Miss.), the powerful head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Toward the end of his Justice career, he served as the primary Deputy Associate Attorney General.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church,  Alexandria, VA on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 11 a.m. 

Phillips Memorial Service Held in Jackson

A memorial service was held yesterday in Jackson, Mississippi, for George Landon Phillips, former United States Attorney, 1980-1994, who passed away on January 26, 2015. (See January 27 obituary posted below). Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant was the keynote speaker. NAFUSA member James Tucker spoke at the service and presented to George’s wife, Nicole, the American flag that flown over Main Justice in George’s honor.

In the photo shown below, Tucker is making his presentation and the flag, within its case, can be seen sitting on the chair.

James Tucker

James Tucker

In the next photo, Tucker is presenting the flag to Nicole Phillips. It has been a NAFUSA tradition upon the death of a former U.S. Attorney to arrange with EOUSA to have flag flown over Main Justice in his or her honor, then boxed in a beautiful display case and presented to the family. This tradition began during the time when Marshall Jarrett was the director of EOUSA and has continued under Director Monty Wilkinson. Our special thanks to Im Saovaluk at EOUSA for her special assistance in making this happen.

James Tucker

In the final photo, a group of U.S. Attorneys are attending an LECC subcommittee meeting of the AGAC several years ago.

George Phillips, John Smietanka, Sam Currin, Rich Stacy and Dick Cohen

Former U.S. Attorneys: George Phillips SDMS), John Smietanka (WDMI), John Gill (MDTN), Sam Currin (EDNC) , Rich Stacy (WY)  and Dick Cohen (ME)

George Landon Phillips Dies

George Landon Phillips

George Landon Phillips, former United States Attorney, Southern District of Mississippi 1980 to 1994, died January 26, 2015. He is survived by his wife Nicole and three children, Garrison, Margaret, and Mary. He had battled esophageal cancer since July 2013. His primary residence was Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Since the early 1980s, he also maintained a ranch residence 200 miles west of Denver, out from Silt, Colorado; he named the spread Redwing from the turn of century song by the same name. Over the years and particularly in recent years, he and Nicole and the children have worked, lived, and played part time on their farm out from Hattiesburg and part time at Redwing Ranch.

Upon receiving his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1973, George returned to Hattiesburg where he practiced law and served as a county prosecuting attorney. In 1980, he was appointed the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. At the time of his appointment, George was the youngest U.S. Attorney in the United States. Bringing his background in local law enforcement to the forefront, he became a major player in the development of Law Enforcement Coordinating Committees (LECC), a program that became mandated for all U.S. Attorneys’ Office, and for which he received national appreciation. George served two terms on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), 1981-1982 and 1988-1991. He is remembered for being instrumental in designing the official flag for the Office of theUnited States Attorney.

George made the fight against public corruption a priority, especially corruption in local and state government. During his tenure, in a major nationally-recognized undercover operation into county corruption involving federal program funds, seminal case law interpreting the enforcement and scope of §666, Title 18, in application to local and state government officials and agents was developed. George earned the well-deserved reputation as one of the nation’s leading U.S. Attorneys in the fight against public corruption. He served until 1994, leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office as the most senior U.S. Attorney in service. The Congressional Record of 1994 commends George for his outstanding law enforcement accomplishments. During his term as United States Attorney, he served four Presidents, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan (two terms), George H.W. Bush and William Clinton.

Following service as U.S. Attorney, George served as Special Counsel to Mississippi senior Senator Thad Cochran (R) for six years. However, law enforcement service was his first passion and he answered the call by acceptance of the position of Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Governor Haley Barbour recognized George’s exceptional leadership qualities and then appointed George the Commissioner of Public Safety, the top State law enforcement position. He served with distinction as Top Cop in the monumental emergency disaster efforts addressing the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe in August 2005. In 2008, President George W.Bush appointed George to the position of Mississippi State Director for USDA Rural Development, his last position of public office, ending an outstanding career of public service.

Although retired from public service, for the last three years George has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), an organization of which he has been a member of and served for more than 30 years. A lifelong steadfast horseman, he was a dedicated participant in the affairs and projects of the AQHA, having served as a National Director since 2002. For a number of years preceding his death, George and Nicole dedicated a major portion of their daily lives and activities to the AQHA. The AQHA has been near and dear to his heart for most of his adult life.

A memorial service will be held on February 3, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. As is our custom, NAFUSA arranged for an American flag to be flown over Main Justice and it will be presented to George’s family at the memorial service by NAFUSA member James Tucker, a close friend and colleague of George and his family.