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How DOJ Shows It “Cares” About CARES Act Fraud - 10.27.2020

No good deed goes unpunished. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which endeavors to give struggling small businesses free money, reportedly has been rife with abuse. In a noble rush to put emergency funds in the hands of Americans in need, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) relaxed many federal loan safeguards, giving the unscrupulous the perfect opportunity for fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice already has begun investigating and prosecuting individuals who have attempted to steal CARES Act funds and has relied on tips from major financial institutions to do so. As new evidence comes to light in the coming months, we can expect DOJ to continue escalating its enforcement efforts. [...]

Jury Trials in the Time of Covid - 10.22.2020

The mail arrived the other day and there it was, the blue, slightly larger than letter-size envelope with the words “JURY SUMMONS ENCLOSED” blazoned on the front. I was being called for jury duty at federal district court just as the upturn in the curve indicated an increase in Covid-19 cases. But, unlike in the past, where the envelope’s contents provided little guidance as to what the process of jury selection would entail, it now included a personal letter from the Chief Judge describing the steps the court is taking to protect jurors from Covid. It also contained a questionnaire aimed at determining whether I might be infected with Covid or might present a danger of infecting others – questions that now are all too familiar but are new to the process of jury service. [...]

Remote Depositions: The New Normal - 10.21.2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic, parties have had to adjust their approach to litigation—including by conducting depositions remotely. In some instances, parties have resisted remote depositions, claiming that the complex nature of certain litigation is ill-suited for remote depositions. In this article, we discuss Southern District Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron’s recent decision in Rouviere v. DePuy Orthopaedics rejecting objections to a remote deposition. We also highlight several considerations for remote depositions.

How Long Can President Trump Keep His Tax Returns From Prosecutors? - 10.20.2020

Late last month, the New York Times published the first in a series of exposés on President Trump’s compliance (or non-compliance) with his federal income tax obligations. While readers of the Times articles may or may not be troubled by the assertion that the President paid $750 in federal income taxes for both 2016 and 2017 and can reasonably ask whether doing so violated the Internal Revenue Code, prosecutors in the New York County District Attorney’s Office were almost certainly envious of the reporters who spent many hours reviewing the intimate details of the President’s finances. [...]

Implications of A More Conservative Supreme Court for White-Collar Practitioners - 10.08.2020

With the selection of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the proposed replacement for liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a 6-3 conservative majority may shape the future direction of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. The generally accepted wisdom is that a more liberal Court equals a Court more protective of the rights of a criminal defendant. The color of the defendant’s “collar,” however, may make a significant difference. In this article, we discuss the Roberts Court and what has been described as the “White-Collar Paradox,” analyze Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s sparse record on the Seventh Circuit, and conclude that based on the prior voting habits of the conservative justices, white-collar criminal defendants may find the Court receptive to their arguments in ways that “blue-collar” defendants would not. 

Benchmark Litigation Names the Firm Among the Best in the Nation in White-Collar Crime, Identifies the Firm as “Highly Recommended” in New York, Names Partners Robert J. Anello and Catherine M. Foti as Litigation Labor and Employment Stars, and Recognizes All Morvillo Abramowitz Partners - 10.01.2020

NEW YORK, October 1, 2020 – Benchmark Litigation ranked Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC Tier 1 nationally in the White-Collar Crime category, Highly Recommended (the guide’s top honor) in New York, and recognized the firm’s partners. Acknowledged as “Litigation Stars” in the practice area of White-Collar Crime are Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Benjamin S. Fischer, Catherine Foti, Lawrence Iason, Jonathan S. Sack, Jeremy H. Temkin, and Richard D. Weinberg. Partner Edward M. Spiro was named “Litigation Star” in the area of General Commercial Litigation. Partners Catherine M. Foti, Christopher B. Harwood, Brian A. Jacobs, Telemachus P. Kasulis, and Robert M. Radick have been selected as “Future Stars.”

As noted by a peer, “many other firms are trying to ramp up their white-collar practices right now, hiring aggressively out of the government and so forth, but Morvillo Abramowitz still has an edge on most of them. Not only have their lawyers been at this game longer than most who are still practicing, but they are seasoned with years of wisdom and trial experience. They know what works and what doesn’t, what arguments will hold up and when to employ them. And for a relatively small firm, their bench is surprisingly deep.” Clients have expressed their appreciation as well. One client applauds Morvillo Abramowitz and states that the firm is “simply the best at what they do.” Another confirms, “if you’re in need of counsel regarding really serious concerns, you don’t mess around and 'window shop.' You just go straight to the experts – you go to Morvillo.”

Please find the full editorial section here.

Morvillo Abramowitz partners Robert J. Anello and Catherine M. Foti were named as Benchmark Litigation Labor and Employment Stars. As noted by Benchmark Litigation, “the demand for this independent study was not just driven simply by the attorneys attending to this specialty in private practice... but rather employment litigation has become a top five issue keeping in-house counsel up at night."

To view the full list, please click 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 Names the Firm Among the Best in the Nation in White-Collar Crime, Identifies the Firm as “Highly Recommended” in New York, Names Partners Robert J. Anello and Catherine M. Foti as Litigation Labor and Employment Stars, and Recognizes All Morvillo Abramowitz Partners - 10.01.2020

Benchmark Litigation ranked Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC Tier 1 nationally in the White-Collar Crime category, Highly Recommended (the guide’s top honor) in New York, and recognized the firm’s partners. Acknowledged as “Litigation Stars” in the practice area of White-Collar Crime are Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Benjamin S. Fischer, Catherine Foti, Lawrence Iason, Jonathan S. Sack, Jeremy H. Temkin, and Richard D. Weinberg. Partner Edward M. Spiro was named “Litigation Star” in the area of General Commercial Litigation. Partners Catherine M. Foti, Christopher B. Harwood, Brian A. Jacobs, Telemachus P. Kasulis, and Robert M. Radick have been selected as “Future Stars.”

As noted by a peer, “many other firms are trying to ramp up their white-collar practices right now, hiring aggressively out of the government and so forth, but Morvillo Abramowitz still has an edge on most of them. Not only have their lawyers been at this game longer than most who are still practicing, but they are seasoned with years of wisdom and trial experience. They know what works and what doesn’t, what arguments will hold up and when to employ them. And for a relatively small firm, their bench is surprisingly deep.” Clients have expressed their appreciation as well. One client applauds Morvillo Abramowitz and states that the firm is “simply the best at what they do.” Another confirms, “if you’re in need of counsel regarding really serious concerns, you don’t mess around and 'window shop.' You just go straight to the experts – you go to Morvillo.”

Please find the full editorial section here.

Morvillo Abramowitz partners Robert J. Anello and Catherine M. Foti were named as Benchmark Litigation Labor and Employment Stars. As noted by Benchmark Litigation, “the demand for this independent study was not just driven simply by the attorneys attending to this specialty in private practice... but rather employment litigation has become a top five issue keeping in-house counsel up at night."

To view the full list, please click 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.

American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section's Sports Investigations and Compliance Webinar - 09.24.2020

On Thursday, September 24, 2020, partner Benjamin S. Fischer will take part in a webinar hosted by the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. The panel entitled, “Sports Investigations and Compliance,” will discuss fighting corruption in international sports tournaments, identifying red flags and risks in cross-border sports transactions, the involvement of media in sports investigations, and conflicts of interest between the players and management.

For more information about this program, please click here.

 

IRS Summonses: No Reasonable Basis Required - 09.17.2020

The Internal Revenue Service has broad statutory authority to examine “any books, papers, records, or other data which may be relevant or material to [an] inquiry” and, as the Supreme Court has noted, “can investigate merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even just because it wants assurance that it is not.” The IRS exercises its authority by issuing summonses in the course of administrative investigations of taxpayers’ civil or criminal liability. In our latest article, we discuss Byers v. United States, a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that highlights the differences between the low threshold that courts apply in deciding motions to quash summonses addressed to third parties and the more rigorous standard applied in deciding whether to authorize the issuance of John Doe summonses through which the IRS obtains data on a class of otherwise unidentified persons. While the taxpayer in Byers was ultimately unsuccessful in quashing the summonses at issue, the case is a good reminder of the importance of counsel thinking creatively about potential objections that can be asserted on behalf of their clients. I hope you find this article of interest. Stay healthy and safe!

Ethical Considerations for Corporate Investigations in the World of COVID-19 - 09.16.2020

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Richard F. Albert participated in a webinar hosted by the New York City Bar. The panel entitled, “Ethical Considerations for Corporate Investigations in the World of COVID-19,” explored current issues and recent developments relating to ethical duties and responsibilities of attorneys and other participants in corporate internal investigations involving public companies and other entities. These issues were discussed from the point of view of counsel for the entity, investigating counsel, counsel for individual executives and government representatives. This year’s program devoted special attention to ethical issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, touched on protection of client information, conflicts of interest, the attorney-client privilege, counseling of employee witnesses, and interaction with government agencies.

For more information about this program, please click here.

Zooming In On The Flaws Of Virtual Court - 09.15.2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic, with some notable exceptions, the bar has generally applauded the efforts of courts around the country to suspend in-person appearances and make court “virtual” to the extent possible. In video-courtrooms throughout the United States, courts now conduct status conferences, oral arguments, and even trials on video-conferencing platforms like Zoom. Some commentators have even called for court appearances to remain virtual post-pandemic. Although this new adjudicative medium may provide a certain ease of access for attorneys and litigants in many areas of the law, not to mention some cost savings, criminal defendants should remain wary. Previous studies in the bail and immigration contexts in particular suggest that virtual court can prejudice defendants the most. [...]

The International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators / Trends in Corporate Liability Roundtable - 09.09.2020

On Wednesday, September 9th, 2020, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Jonathan S. Sack will take part in a webinar sponsored by the The International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators. The Trends in Corporate Liability Roundtable will discuss the question of criminal versus civil remedies, the use of deferred and non-prosecution agreements to mitigate criminal liability and incentivize remediation and compliance, and cooperation with enforcement authorities. The webinar will begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue until 9:00 a.m.

If you are interested in joining this program (it is free of charge), please contact Megan Siegle at msiegle@maglaw.com and she will provide you with the necessary information for you to join the Zoom session.  

Who Watches The Store? Drastic Decline Of Corporate Monitors Under Trump - 09.08.2020

The recent settlement by Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York totaling over $123 million is the latest in a string of enforcement actions under the Trump Administration that identified violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act but noticeably did not also impose an independent corporate compliance monitor. Herbalife neatly illustrates the recent paradigm shift inside the DOJ, as the stipulated facts and extensive nature of the illicit scheme outlined in the deferred prosecution agreement are of the caliber that in previous days likely would have led to the imposition of an independent monitor. The decision not to impose one here was said to be due in part to the company’s cooperation and remedial efforts by the time of resolution. Even if the company’s cooperation and remedial efforts contributed to the government’s decision not to insist on a monitor, that decision likely was also part of a concerted effort by the current administration to sideline the use of monitorships generally. [...]

Recent Guidance Reinforces DOJ Approach to Corporate White-Collar Investigations - 09.04.2020

Over the summer, the Department of Justice issued two important documents for white-collar prosecutors and defense counsel. The first, in June, updated prior guidance on how federal prosecutors should analyze an organization’s compliance programs. The second, in July, updated the “Resource Guide to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” originally issued in 2012. In this article, we discuss key takeaways from these documents and conclude that the two documents mark the continuity in recent years in DOJ’s policies toward corporate white-collar enforcement.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partners Recognized in Best Lawyers 2021 - 08.20.2020

NEW YORK, August 20, 2020 – Several Morvillo Abramowitz partners have been recognized in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers, including Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Catherine M. Foti, Paul R. Grand, Lawrence Iason, Brian A. Jacobs, Jeremy H. Temkin, and Richard D. Weinberg, and are featured in the following categories: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Compliance Law, Corporate Governance Law, and Criminal Defense: White-Collar.

Published in almost 70 countries around the world, the Best Lawyers publication is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. The selection process for Best Lawyers is designed to fully “capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.”