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Prosecuting Individuals for Financial Crimes - Some Questionable Recent Ideas - 11.25.2014

The government must be very sensitive about all the criticism it has been getting, from Congress, some judges and others, for not prosecuting more individuals for financial crimes. Perhaps in response, senior government officials have given a series of speeches since September declaring the commitment of the Justice Department to such prosecutions.

White-collar defense lawyers know that individuals are investigated and prosecuted all the time, so in some ways the recent speeches don’t tell us very much. But the speeches introduce a few ideas that raise concern that, perhaps, the government’s sensitivity is generating some questionable proposals. [...]

Redefined Role of Profit in Economic Substance Doctrine - 11.21.2014

Learned Hand famously opined that “[a]ny one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible.” There is, however, a line between legitimate tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion and, in drawing that line, the IRS has long challenged attempts by taxpayers to reduce their tax liability by executing transactions that lack economic substance. In this article, I discuss the increasing focus of the economic substance doctrine on the proportionality between the potential profits to be derived from a transaction and the corresponding tax benefits, as well as the effect this changing focus will have on future cases.

Partner Jeremy H. Temkin Receives AJC Westchester’s Judge Learned Hand Award - 11.13.2014

On November 13, 2014, partner Jeremy H. Temkin received AJC Westchester’s Judge Learned Hand Award, the highest honor that AJC presents to outstanding leaders in the legal profession. AJC established the Learned Hand Award to cite leaders in the legal profession for excellence and for their contributions to the legal community.

For more than a century, AJC has been the leading global Jewish advocacy organization. AJC works to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and to advance human rights and democratic values for all.

Social Media for Attorneys: Good Business or Ethical Minefield? - 11.10.2014

Social media websites allow anyone — or more accurately everyone — to communicate and share ideas and opinions with a wide-ranging audience. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn provide an extraordinary means for professional and personal networking and self-promotion, and for researching personal and professional contacts. In previous blog posts, I addressed ethical perils for lawyers who access social media websites to research potential jurors and for lawyers who advise clients concerning the propriety of removing potentially incriminating and discoverable material from social media websites. This post addresses yet another category of ethical pitfalls for lawyers who use social media: The risk of violating the ethical rules that govern attorney advertising by using social media for professional self-promotion. [...]

Partner and Federal Bar Council President Robert J. Anello Testifies Before the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules - 11.05.2014

On November 5, 2014, partner and Federal Bar Council President Robert J. Anello gave testimony before the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules. In his capacity as Federal Bar Council President, Bob commended the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules for its work developing the amendment to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41. Further, he noted that the Federal Bar Council supports the proposed amendment to Rule 41 and recommends that the Advisory Committee submit the proposed amendment to the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Corporations and Risks of Mandatory Disclosures to the Government - 11.04.2014

One of the axioms of white-collar practice today is that companies, especially public companies, do not litigate against criminal and civil enforcement authorities, except in rare circumstances. In this article, we discuss two trends that may make the already constrained position of companies even more difficult in terms of increased exposure to liability and reduced opportunities to mitigate the terms of settlement.

Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defense 2014 Names 7 Morvillo Abramowitz Partners as Experts - 10.31.2014

NEW YORK, October 31, 2014 - Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defense 2014 names 7 Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC partners as experts, including Elkan Abramowitz, Robert J. Anello, Paul R. Grand, Lawrence Iason, Jodi Misher Peikin, Jonathan S. Sack, and Richard D. Weinberg. Partner Elkan Abramowitz has also been singled out as one of the 8 “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” across the U.S.

Please find the full editorial section here.

Since 2005, Law Business Research’s Who’s Who Legal has listed only the leading lawyers in each field based exclusively on the findings of in-depth research. Who’s Who Legal draws on 18 years of independent research encompassing thousands of hours of interviews with leading lawyers and hundreds of thousands of votes and recommendations, in order to identify the best law firms in the world. For more information, please visit www.whoswholegal.com.

Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defense 2014 Names 7 Morvillo Abramowitz Partners as Experts - 10.31.2014

On Friday, October 31, 2014, Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defense 2014 names 7 Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC partners as experts, including Elkan Abramowitz, Robert J. Anello, Paul R. Grand, Lawrence Iason, Jodi Misher Peikin, Jonathan S. Sack, and Richard D. Weinberg. Partner Elkan Abramowitz has also been singled out as one of the 8 “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” across the U.S.

Please find the full editorial section here.

Since 2005, Law Business Research’s Who’s Who Legal has listed only the leading lawyers in each field based exclusively on the findings of in-depth research. Who’s Who Legal draws on 18 years of independent research encompassing thousands of hours of interviews with leading lawyers and hundreds of thousands of votes and recommendations, in order to identify the best law firms in the world. For more information, please visit www.whoswholegal.com.

Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 12 Morvillo Abramowitz Partners and Names the Firm Among the Best in the Nation in White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations - 10.24.2014

NEW YORK, October 24, 2014 – Benchmark Litigation has ranked Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC in Tier 1 in the White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations category. Indeed, almost all of the firm’s partners have been named “Litigation Stars,” including Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Iason, Jonathan S. Sack, Jeremy H. Temkin, and Richard D. Weinberg in the area of White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations. Partners Judith L. Mogul and Edward M. Spiro have been named “Litigation Stars” in the area of General Commercial Litigation. In addition, Benjamin S. Fischer, Jodi Misher Peikin, and Robert M. Radick have been named “Future Stars.”

“Client feedback on the firm is resounding and plentiful; one such client in particular cheers, ‘[…] Integrity and talent to defend on principle: sadly, a novel concept these days, but not with this firm.’”

Please find the full editorial section here.

Benchmark Litigation is the Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. Published by Euromoney Legal Media Group, Benchmark Litigation’s guide is derived from a process of extensive research and interviews with litigators and their clients.

Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 12 Morvillo Abramowitz Partners and Names the Firm Among the Best in the Nation in White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations - 10.24.2014

On Friday, October 24, 2014, Benchmark Litigation has ranked Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC in Tier 1 in the White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations category. Indeed, almost all of the firm’s partners have been named “Litigation Stars,” including Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Iason, Jonathan S. Sack, Jeremy H. Temkin, and Richard D. Weinberg in the area of White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations. Partners Judith L. Mogul and Edward M. Spiro have been named “Litigation Stars” in the area of General Commercial Litigation. In addition, Benjamin S. Fischer, Jodi Misher Peikin, and Robert M. Radick have been named “Future Stars.”

“Client feedback on the firm is resounding and plentiful; one such client in particular cheers, ‘[…] Integrity and talent to defend on principle: sadly, a novel concept these days, but not with this firm.’”

Please find the full editorial section here.

Benchmark Litigation is the Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. Published by Euromoney Legal Media Group, Benchmark Litigation’s guide is derived from a process of extensive research and interviews with litigators and their clients.

Eyes Wide Shut: Recent Second Circuit Concurrence Continues Debate on Conscious Avoidance Doctrine - 10.23.2014

The legal doctrine of “conscious avoidance,” which provides that a defendant who deliberately shields himself from clear evidence of critical facts is considered equally liable as one who has actual knowledge, continues to provoke debate. The doctrine, also referred to as “willful blindness,” can be critical in complex white-collar criminal cases, where the defendant’s awareness of others’ wrongful conduct is commonly a central issue. We recently addressed the doctrine in an article following the March 2014 conviction of five former employees of Bernard Madoff after a trial that turned almost entirely on the question whether the defendants had knowledge of Madoff’s illegal Ponzi scheme. More recently, Second Circuit Judge Pierre Leval issued a concurring opinion in United States v. Fofanah that provides a detailed and thought-provoking analysis of Second Circuit law regarding when it is appropriate to give a conscious avoidance charge to a jury. The opinion provides no comfort to those concerned that the doctrine is overused and threatens to permit juries to convict on a less culpable mental state than required by statute. [...]

Robert J. Anello Receives the Corporate Leadership Award at the Nazareth Housing Annual Benefit - 10.22.2014

On October 22, 2014, Partner Robert J. Anello received the Corporate Leadership Award, honoring his sustained support to Nazareth Housing’s mission and his lifelong commitment to improve the well-being of communities and youth in the New York City area.

Nazareth Housing was established to reclaim safe and secure housing in the Lower East Side. More than thirty years later, Nazareth Housing continues to deliver social impact by providing critically needed supportive and low income housing, homelessness prevention services, urgent needs assistance, and emergency family shelter.

The full press release can be found here.

Recent Rule 45 Developments: Notice and Geographic Limits - 10.21.2014

In this article, we discuss recent SDNY cases addressing the 2013 amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45. These amendments were designed to simplify and clarify the scope and mechanics of pre-trial and trial subpoenas. 

Corporate State of Mind in Securities Cases: The Sixth Circuit Blazes a New Trail - 10.15.2014

Analysis of the corporate mens rea is, by definition, contrived and one with which federal courts have struggled. Unlike instances where an individual is charged with securities fraud, determining the “thinking” or “knowledge” of an artificial entity, sometimes comprised of thousands of disparate employees throughout the world, is a difficult theoretical undertaking. Until last Friday, corporate scienter generally was assessed by reference to one of two established approaches: traditional respondeat superior, where the company stands in the shoes of the relevant actors; or collective knowledge, where a company is charged with the knowledge of any of its agents, even those who may not have committed the offending conduct. [...]

Conducting Proffer Sessions with the U.S. Attorney's Office: Risks and Defense Strategies - 10.10.2014

On Friday, October 10, 2014, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Robert Radick will take part in a webinar hosted by the Association of Federal Defense Attorneys. The webinar, titled “Conducting Proffer Sessions with the U.S. Attorney's Office: Risks and Defense Strategies,” will address key case law, issues and defense strategies in regard to proffer sessions with the U.S. Attorney's Office, at both the pre-indictment and post-indictment stages. For more information, please visit www.afda.org.