Grand Jury Question

NAFUSA member Peter Vaira has asked that the following question be submitted to our members:

I am testifying before a special Grand Jury Task Force created by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to study changes to the state investigating grand jury, and would like to provide the following information. If your state has a grand jury, is there an official grand jury procedural manual, or some document that serves that purpose, and what government entity publishes it.  

Peter can be reached at p.vaira@gpfflaw.com

 

 

Vaira Opines on Mandatory Disclosure in ND Illinois

On July 17, 2017, NAFUSA member Peter Vaira published an article in The Legal Intelligencer describing a mandatory disclosure program for civil cases in the Northern District of Illinois. It requires all parties to disclose materials before any discovery begins or normal disclosure pursuant to Rule 26.

Vaira reports that the program was devised by the Judicial Conference of the United States and that, depending upon the results, the procedure may become part of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or may be adopted by various courts on their own.

Click here to view Vaira article: VAIRA Legal Intelligencer (07.18.17) Illinois Discovery Pilot Project May Cause Federal Rule Changes

 

Flag Presented to Connelly Family

NAFUSA member Bill Hyslop sends the following message:

Jim ConnellyHi Rich:

I wanted to let you know that on behalf of NAFUSA and in honor of former United States Attorney James P. Connelly, we presented the DOJ flag yesterday to Mrs. Connelly and their family.  Mrs. Connelly was joined with three of Jim’s sons, two of their spouses, and one of his granddaughters.  And we had four former U.S. Attorneys and the Acting U.S. Attorney there.  The presentation was in the main conference room at the U.S. Attorney’s office, and many of the AUSAs and staff joined us.  It was truly a wonderful time!

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Joe Harrington began the program by eulogizing Jim and remembering their working closely together.  James P. Connelly served here in the Eastern District of Washington from 1993 to 2000.  He passed away on February 17, 2017 at 89 years of age, after a long and very illustrious legal career.  Jim’s obituary can be reviewed at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/spokesman/obituary.aspx?pid=184140656   Of interest, his father served as the United States Attorney here in the Eastern District of Washington many years before him.  Attached is a picture of Jim.

 

Former U.S. Attorneys John Lamp (1981-1991), Jim McDevitt (2001-2010), Mike Ormsby (2010-2017) and I (Bill Hyslop) (1991-1993) each spoke about Jim and his contributions to our justice system, and then we presented the flag to Mrs. Connelly.  The AUSAs and staff members each introduced themselves to the Connelly family; many of them had worked closely with Jim and had great affection and admiration for him.  Mrs. Connelly and their family were all truly touched, and Mrs. Connelly was so pleased to be able to visit with many in the office who Jim had worked closely with while he was the United States Attorney.

 

It was a wonderful way to remember Jim and his service to our country.  Thank you to NAFUSA for arranging for the flag to be flown over DOJ and for your help in making this memorable presentation possible.

Mike Ormsby, Jim, McDevitt, Mrs. James P. Connelly, Bill Hyslop, John Lamp, Joe Harrington

 

Alex Acosta Nominated as Labor Secretary

Alex Acosta

On Thursday, February 16, President Trump named former United States Attorney R. Alexander Acosta (Southern District of Florida) to be his next pick for labor secretary. Acosta served as an assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. He also served on the National Labor Relations Board. He is currently the dean of the law school at Florida International University. He also served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. , when Alito was a judge on the Third Circuit.

Acosta received his law degree from Harvard Law School, worked at Kirkland & Ellis and taught at George Mason University Law School.

Adam Braverman Named Bradford Award Winner

Adam Braverman

Adam Braverman

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 series of prosecutions that 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 Michael Bradford Award Committee was chaired by NAFUSA Vice President Doug Jones. Its members included Karen Hewitt, Hal Hardin, Richard Roper, and Neil MacBride. This year, the Board voted to give the award to AUSA Adam L. Braverman of the Southern District of California, who was nominated by United States Attorney Laura Duffy, who wrote: “AUSA Braverman has become a nationally recognized expert in developing creative methods to investigate and prosecute the highest levels of the Sinaloa Cartel.” Braverman will be honored at the San Diego conference.

 

The other nominees were:

George S. Cardona, CD of CA
AUSA Cardona was the lead AUSA in the FIRREA litigation against Standard & Poor’s rating Services for fraudulently inflating ratings of Residential Mortgage Backed Securities and Collaterallized Debt Obligations resulting in a $1.375 billion settlement.
Grant Rabenn, ED of CA
AUSA Rabenn has led the Central California Financial Crimes Task Force. In that role he developed an innovative approach to analyzing Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to develop criminal investigations with particular emphasis on public corruption, money laundering and drug offense.  He successfully prosecuted a number of significant cases, including one involving an FBI supervisory agent, using the SARs analysis.
Lois A. Foster-Sterrs, SD of FL
AUSA Foster-Steers prosecuted some the district’s most important fraud cases included five individuals in an $8,000,000 mortgage fraud scheme that targeted the Haitian-American community and the president and CFO of a south Florida company that defrauded investors of $60-$70 million for their personal use.
Mary Jane Stewart and Bill Toliver, ND of GA
AUSAs Stewart and Toliver were nominated for their efforts in implementing and improving the training program for new AUSAs  and SAUSAs. All new AUSAs written work is reviewed and their court appearances personally supervised.  They provided weekly lectures on various topics by experienced AUSAs and guest experts as well as weekly discussion groups designed to encourage AUSAs to share experiences that benefit the entire office.
Randall E. Kromm, District of MA

AUSA Kromm was nominated for his outstanding work and success in numerous appellate cases including among others the conviction and life sentence for James “Whitey” Bulger, the conviction of an individual for the arson of a predominantly African-American church in Springfield and the appeal brought by a news reporter of the district court’s erroneous sealing of a number of materials at the request of defense counsel.

Matthew R. Molten, District of Nebraska

AUSA Molten was nominated for his efforts in coordinating the investigation and RICO prosecution of two groups of Crisp gang members in Omaha, including defendants who the Omaha Police Department has described as the “who’s who” of violent gang members in Omaha.  This investigation and prosecution is ongoing.
Louis E. Valencia, District of New Mexico
AUSA Valencia was nominated for his extensive contributions to the USAO in New Mexico including the extradition and 2015 conviction of Francisco Melgar-Cabrerra, his brother Jose and two other Salvadoran nationals on charges of armed robbery, Hobbs Act and felony murder.  The case represented the first time that Salvadoran nationals were successfully extradited to the United States.
Doug Squires, SD of Ohio
AUSA Squires has been the lead public corruption AUSA in the SD of Ohio since 2009.  In 2015 he successfully prosecuted a charter school kickback scheme in which the school superintendent and board members bilked taxpayers out of ore than $500,000 disguise as consulting fees.  He also orchestrated the first successful extradition of a defendant, a former Ohio Deputy Treasurer, from Pakistan, which resulted in the defendant’s conviction on bribery charges.
Ernest Gonzalez, EDof TX
Beginning in 2010 AUSA and a team of federal, state and local law enforcement agents targeted Dallas area Los Zetas Cartel distributor Jose Vasquez and in his network.  The investigation ultimately resulted in 28 indictments of 157 individuals that dismantled a drug organization that had been responsible for annually importing over 60 tons of cocaine into the U.S.
Michael Collyer, ND of Ohio
AUSA Collyer is the healthcare fraud coordinator and Deputy Chief of the Major Fraud and Corruption unit in the ND of Ohio.  Last year he successfully prosecuted Dr. Harold Persuade, a renowned cardiologist, for performing medically unnecessary catheterizations, tests and stent insertions as part of a scheme to defraud Medicare and other insurers of nearly $6M.  He also secured on appeal the conviction of a violent drug dealer for the arson murder of eight children and one adult at a sleepover birthday party in 2005.
Bill Campbell, WD of KY
AUSA Campbell was nominated for his efforts in successfully completing a False claims Act case filed in 1999 against Lockheed Martin for failing to identify and report hazardous waste produced and stored at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and that it failed to properly handle and dispose of the waste.  After 17 years of hard fought litigation Lockheed agreed to pay $5M to resolve the case.
James McGovern, ED of NY
AUSA McGovern served in the ED of NY for 11 years after serving 5 years in the District of Columbia office, repeatedly distinguishing himself prosecuting high profile hedge fund managers for securities fraud and insider trading while also prosecuting crimes of violence.  He served the ED of NY by supervising the Business and Securities Fraud Section before finishing his career as Chief of the Criminal Division.  He was described by US Attorney Robert Capers as representing “the very best of the Department of Justice” and a “model of intelligence, professionalism and fairness.”

Pocker in Spotlight in Sentencing Reform Debate

Richard Pocker talking at Senate briefing

Richard Pocker talking at Senate briefing

As the Law Enforcement Leaders To Reduce Crime & Incarceration continue to urge the Senate to pass sentencing reform, NAFUSA member Richard Pocker was one of the leaders holding a standing-room only Capitol Hill briefing for Senate Republicans. Pocket was joined by Ronal Serpas, chairman of the group, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Major Cities Police Chiefs Association President Tom Manager, and NAFUSA member Brett Tolman.

Pocker is a partner in the Las Vegas office of Boies, Schiller & Flexner. He was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada from 1989 to 1990, and was an assistant U.S. Attorney from 1985 to 1988.

“We’ve come to the point in the country at this time where sentencing reform is necessary. And we have to do it in such a way to protect the public.”

Watch his testimonial and others here:

Why We Joined Law Enforcement Leaders

A total of 22 NAFUSA members have joined Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration.

2015 Fiske Fellows Selected

The Fiske Fellowship was established in 2001 at the University of Michigan Law School by NAFUSA member Robert Fiske, ’55, a senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell and a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Three-year fellowships are awarded annually to up to four Michigan Law graduates who serve as government lawyers. Fellows receive a $5,000 first-year cash stipend and debt repayment assistance to cover required annual payments for all educational loans, a combination that provides much-needed financial breathing room.

In establishing the fellowship, Fiske hoped to encourage more Michigan Law students and recent graduates to consider government service, despite the lure of larger paychecks in the private sector.

The 2015 class of Fiske Fellows was selected in the spring and had the opportunity to meet Fiske during an April event at the Law School. Pictured with Fiske are, from left to right: Kate Gilbert, ’13, an honors attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; Katharine Roller, ’14, who is in the Entry Level Attorney Honors Program at the Federal Trade Commission; Annalyce Shufelt, ’15, an honors attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and Danica Taylor, ’15, who has joined the San Diego County District Attorney Graduate Clerk Program.

Fiske_Fellows_2015

Luna Anna Archey

NAFUSA Looks to 2015

 

Matt Orwig

NAFUSA President Matt Orwig, shown left, has begun plans for the 2015 conference to be held in Scottsdale, Arizona at The Phoenician on October 15-18, 2015, with a special conference rate of $325 per night. Registration will not begin until July, but mark your calendar now.

The NAFUSA Board and Officers will hold their spring meeting in Nashville May 14-17, 2015, at The Hermitage Hotel. As is the custom, board members will pay their own travel and hotel expense.

 

 

Greg Vega

President Elect Greg Vega, shown right, has announced that the 2016 NAFUSA conference will be held on October 6-9, 2016, in San Diego at the world famous Hotel Del Coronado with a fabulous conference rate of $295 per night.

 

 

 

NAFUSA begins 2015 with 256 active dues paying members, including 20 senior members and 55 lifetime members. Invoices for 2015 dues will be sent via email in January, with a due date of February 28, 2015. But there is no need to wait. Send your check payable to NAFUSA to Rich Rossman, at the address below. Better yet, join your 55 colleagues who are life members. See a list of lifers on the link at the top of the home page, including Ron Tenpas, the latest to become a life member, having done so on December 31, 2014. Regular dues are $150 per calendar year; $50 for seniors (fully retired and over 70) and $1500 for lifetime.

Mike McKay

The NAFUSA Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) tax-deductible entity, continues its drive to raise an additional $1 million reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the murderer(s) of Tom Wales, the Assistant United States Attorney who was murdered on October 11, 2001 at his home, in what is believed to have been a work related assassination. The Foundation has raised $405,000 to date, to supplement the $1 million offered by DOJ. A pledge is only called if someone comes forward with information and the government determines that the person qualifies for payment of the reward funds put up by the government. If payments are ever made, they will be tax-deductible. If you have not made a pledge, and would like to, contact Foundation President Mike McKay, shown left, whose contact information is listed on the member directory on the home page.

In addition, the Foundation has announced it will undertake a second project: funding grants to U.S. Attorney Offices throughout the country to fund projects not normally paid by DOJ but consistent with NAFUSA principles. The NAFUSA board voted to transfer $25,000 of NAFUSA funds to the Foundation as seed money for this important initiative. In addition, the 2015 dues invoices will have a line where you can make a separate tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation for this purpose.

In January we will also begin to solicit 2015 sponsors. Our sponsors are critical to the success of our annual conferences, which would not be possible without their financial assistance. The Board has decided that for 2015, sponsors at the $15K level and above will continue to have an event (such as the Thursday evening reception) named in their honor and receive up to 4 complimentary registrations. Sponsors at the $10K level will also receive up to 4 complimentary registrations. Sponsors at he $5K level will receive two complimentary registrations. As soon as checks are received, sponsor links will be added to the home page and appear in every newsletter for the remainder of the calendar year. Recognition will also be made in all conference materials. Contact Rich Rossman for more details.