NAFUSA Foundation President Mike McKay (WD of Washington 1989-1993), shown left, and William Hyslop (ED of Washington 1991-1993, and president-elect of the Washington State Bar Association), shown right, have joined the effort in Washington to try to convince the state senate to reconsider its announced budget cuts for the state courts.
In an OpEd in The Seattle Times on April 28, 2015, entitled Budget cuts threaten justice, McKay says,
Though Washington ranks dead last among the 50 states in the percentage of state funding for the courts — our judicial branch receives just two-fifths of 1 percent of the state budget — the state Senate is now proposing even deeper cuts in the funding of our court system.
Hyslop’s OpEd was published in The Spokesman-Review on April 26,2105. In Further court cuts jeopardize system, Hyslop argues,
Lawmakers must balance the budget and provide for many, many services to Washingtonians. As part of that balance, a fair and functioning judicial system is not a luxury. It is a basic tenet of American governance, a right of the people. It protects us from the abuses of all kinds of power and helps the rest of government and society to function.
Continuing to cut court budgets in this manner harms everyone.
In a follow up interview, McKay stated:
These cuts are grossly disproportionate to those made for the rest of state government. The state supreme court recently ordered the legislature to increase its appropriations to public schools, ruling that the decades-long practice of allocating fewer and fewer dollars for public schools has violated our state constitution. It has been speculated by some that these draconian cuts are calculated to punish the state supreme court for enforcing the constitution.
NAFUSA board member and life member Bill Leone (Colorado 2004-2006) has been named Head of Disputes for the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright. In addition, he is now the Chairman at the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission. Bill served as US Attorney in Colorado and led several high profile, complex white collar investigations including the prosecution of Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. He is shown above moderating the ethics panel at the NAFUSA Boston conference in 2014.
Norton Rose Fulbright is the 3rd largest law firm in the world following the combination of Norton Rose LLP and Fulbright & Jaworski, with 55 offices around the globe, including North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia. Bill continues to spend time in Denver where he maintains his practice and has led the litigation group for the past four years. Bill’s practice includes investigations in the energy, medical device, health care and technology sectors, as well as a portfolio of white collar cases and civil and criminal trials.
Loretta Lynch testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee (Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times)
The U.S. Senate voted (56-43) today to narrowly confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States. Ten Republicans joined all 44 Democrats, along with two independents, ending the months of waiting. Eric Holder bid farewell to the Department on Friday and Lynch is expected to be sworn in on Monday. Lynch, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, is the first U.S. Attorney to be elevated by a president directly to the position of attorney general since 1817.
Holder said goodbye to Justice Department employees Friday.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
NAFUSA member Richard Stacy (Wyoming 1981-1994) emerged from a successful surgery early this month which removed a malignant nodule on his right lung. In an opinion published on April 21, 2015 in The Denver Post, Stacy credits a doctor’s decision to order a CT scan of his chest. Read his opinion here, Colorado Voices: A challenge to managed health care, where he urges that CT scans and other imaging techniques be used as part of routine physicals.
Alabama Attorney General Strange announced today the appointment of NAFUSA board member Alice Martin as Chief Deputy Attorney General effective May 1, 2015. Martin, shown above at the NAFUSA 2013 conference in Washington, a Mississippi native, brings 25 years of experience in civil affirmative and defensive litigation, as well as criminal prosecution and defense.
“I am pleased to welcome Alice Martin as my new Chief Deputy Attorney General,” said Attorney General Strange, who spoke on a panel on immigration at NAFUSA’s 2012 conference in Atlanta. “She possesses an extensive legal background in federal and state courts as well as in private practice. A former assistant U.S. Attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, Martin continued her impressive career in Alabama as a Circuit Judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit in Lauderdale County before President George W. Bush appointed her U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2001 to 2009. She is also no stranger to the Alabama Attorney General’s office having recently served as Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts since 2013.”
The holder of an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi, Martin is married to Louis Martin. They live in Florence and have three adult daughters.
“I look forward to working with Attorney General Strange given his priorities and our good working relationship,” Martin observed. “I could not pass on the exciting opportunity to join an office I greatly respect and work with the high caliber of professionals that represent the legal interests of this State.”
NAFUSA member Don DeGabrielle has joined the Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense section of Chaffe McCall, L.L.P in Houston.
As a 35-year veteran of legal services, DeGabrielle’s experience includes defending a wide range of white collar criminal matters including violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), healthcare fraud, immigration worksite enforcement matters, intellectual property and data intrusion statues. He has worked with clients on securities, compliance and corporate governance matters, criminal anti-trust statutes, bank and insurance fraud, and environmental regulations. He has also represented clients who have been victims of embezzlement and extortion. His career in federal law enforcement includes service as a Special Agent with the FBI, an Assistant District Attorney, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. He has prosecuted matters involving public corruption, white-collar and environmental crimes, bank fraud, and general criminal and narcotics offenses.
DeGabrielle was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. Prior to this time he served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief of the the Criminal Division and held an assignment with the Public Integrity Unit. He spent a year as the Resident Legal Advisor to the South African National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, where he served as a consultant and advisor for rule of law and criminal justice development. In addition to his tenure as the U.S. Attorney, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans, where he prosecuted more than 150 jury trials and also served as a former FBI Special Agent in New York and New Orleans.
Chaffe McCall is a full service law firm with a rich history of serving clients regionally, nationally, and internationally to address the challenges they face in numerous industry areas. Founded in 1826, Chaffe McCall LLP is Louisiana’s oldest law firm, with offices in Houston, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lake Charles.
NAFUSA lifetime member John McKay continues his residency in Ramallah, Palestine, where for the past two years he has headed the U.S. State Dept. (INL) rule of law program supporting Palestinian public prosecutors, police and security services. (See February 7, 2015 post)
Recently he was visited by NAFUSA members Debra Yang and Marc Jimenez as they toured the Masada Fortress near the Dead Sea. McKay will take them on to visit Bethlehem and Nazareth today, before ending up in Tel Aviv tomorrow. Deb Yang reported, “Learning so much about the region, the people, and the history from our dear friend John McKay. He is doing the ‘good work’ out here.”
Yang will be busy upon her return to the U.S. According to a filing in the Northern District of California on April 13, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher have replaced Uber’s prior legal team in its litigation over whether the company’s drivers are employees or independent contractors. Yang, of Gibson’s Los Angeles office, will be part of the new legal team.
Deb Yang, John McKay, Marc Jimenez
President Matt Orwig has scheduled the Spring NAFUSA meeting of the officers and board of directors for May 16, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. Orwig has also named Past President Jay Stephens, shown left, to a new position as Counsel to the Board.
Board member Hal Hardin will serve as the host in Nashville, having served as U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Tennessee, 1977-1981. Hardin’s Tennessee roots are shown by this article Prison Mates published in the Nashville Bar Journal in March 2015, where Hal reflects on his ancestors who fought in the the battle of New Orleans under General Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. Hal’s great grandfather, Isaac Henry Hardin was captured by General Ulysses S. Grant.
Hardin met last week in Big Bend National Park with Executive Director Rich Rossman and Executive Director Emeritus Ron Woods, where they vacationed with Susan Adzick, Patty Rossman, and Patty Woods. There was absolutely no discussion of NAFUSA matters, but there was a great time had by all.
Ron Woods, Hal Hardin, Rich Rossman
On February 25, 2015, President Obama nominated NAFUSA member Cono R. Namorato to be the Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division (see:http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/25/presidential-nominations-sent-senate). The Senate must now consider and vote on the nomination. The White House Website included the following information about Mr. Namorato, who is a Tax Division alumnus:
Cono R. Namorato, Nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, Department of Justice
Cono R. Namorato is currently a Member of the law firm Caplin & Drysdale, a position he has held since 2006 and previously from 1978 to 2004. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Namorato served as Acting Deputy Commissioner for certain designated matters and as Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the Department of the Treasury. Before beginning his career at Caplin & Drysdale, Mr. Namorato held various positions within the Tax Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including Deputy Assistant Attorney General from 1977 to 1978, Assistant Chief and then Chief of the Criminal Section from 1973 to 1977, and Supervisory Trial Attorney and Trial Attorney from 1968 to 1973. Mr. Namorato began his career in 1963 as a Special Agent for the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS in the Brooklyn District. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. Mr. Namorato has headed various tax-related committees and subcommittees for the American Bar Association, serving as Chair of the Tax Section’s Subcommittee on Criminal Tax Policy, Chair of the Committee on Tax Litigation, and Co-Chair of the Committee on Complex Criminal Litigation of the Litigation Section. Mr. Namorato received a B.B.A. from Iona College and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
On Friday, March 20, 2015, Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement on the departure of Director B. Todd Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobaccos, Firearms and Explosives:
Throughtout his tenure as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Todd Jones has cemented his reputation as an exemplary leader, a consummate professional, and an outstanding public servant. Since 2011, when I asked Todd to serve as Acting Director of ATF, he has made bold changes, advanced forward-looking policies, and taken innovative steps to strengthen ATF’s investigative capabilities—including ballistic imaging technology that recently played a critical role in the investigation of the shooting of two police officers. With his guidance, ATF has implemented its Frontline business model—a data-driven approach designed to ensure the agency can focus its resources to achieve maximum impact. The agency has developed groundbreaking law enforcement initiatives across the country to combat violent crime and bring dangerous criminals to justice. And as a result of Todd’s leadership, ATF has built a proactive, creative, and effective team that is well-prepared to drive the agency into the future.
As a former officer in the United States Marine Corps, a highly talented prosecutor, and a proven leader who has been named a U.S. Attorney by two different presidents, Todd Jones has never hesitated to answer the call to serve his community and his country with exceptional integrity and uncommon distinction. As the first ever Senate-confirmed Director of ATF, his indelible legacy will serve as an inspiring example for all those who follow him. On behalf of the Department of Justice, I thank him for his extraordinary service and wish him all the best as he takes the next steps in his already remarkable career.
On Monday, March 23, Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the N.F.L., told the league’s 32 team owners that he would appoint Jones as the league’s new chief disciplinary officer.