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Two Years Later: Have Defendants Benefited from 'Marinello'? - 01.16.2020

The Supreme Court’s March 2018 decision in Marinello v. United States was widely seen as a potentially significant limitation on the government’s ability to prosecute endeavors to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service under 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a). In this article, I analyze the extent to which defendants have – and have not – obtained relief under Marinello and conclude that, while the decision has been of limited value to defendants challenging convictions in cases tried before Marinello, its biggest impact may be the government’s reluctance to test § 7212(a)’s outer limits in charging decisions going forward.

Blindfold Removed from Justice in State Criminal Cases in 2020 - 01.08.2020

2020 heralds significant and welcome changes in state criminal practice in New York. On April 1, 2019, New York State legislators passed sweeping criminal justice reform legislation altering the landscape for defendants accused of a crime in New York. Of the reforms which went into effect in the new year, the most significant for the white-collar practitioner are changes to the discovery requirements compelling the government to share information with an accused well in advance of trial. Lessening restrictions imposed on suspects waiting for trial, also will have an impact on defendants charged with non-violent white-collar crimes. [...]

Morvillo Abramowitz Partners Recognized as Experts in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2020 - 01.07.2020

NEW YORK, January 7, 2020 – Several Morvillo Abramowitz partners have been recognized as experts in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2020, including Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Iason, Jodi Misher Peikin, and Richard D. Weinberg. The practitioners have been selected for their exceptional work assisting companies and individuals in a wide range of issues in white-collar crime, corporate compliance and regulatory enforcement.

Who's Who Legal along with its sister publication, Global Investigations Review, has created a comprehensive guide focusing on the foremost lawyers working in the field of investigations.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partners Recognized as Experts in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2020 - 01.07.2020

Several Morvillo Abramowitz partners have been recognized as experts in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2020, including Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Iason, Jodi Misher Peikin, and Richard D. Weinberg. The practitioners have been selected for their exceptional work assisting companies and individuals in a wide range of issues in white-collar crime, corporate compliance and regulatory enforcement.

Who's Who Legal along with its sister publication, Global Investigations Review, has created a comprehensive guide focusing on the foremost lawyers working in the field of investigations.

Challenge to SEC’s Disgorgement Authority Reaches Supreme Court - 01.06.2020

Since the 1970s, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains has been a mainstay of the SEC’s enforcement program. Although no statute expressly authorizes the SEC to obtain disgorgement in civil enforcement actions, courts routinely award disgorgement to the SEC as a component of authorized “equitable” remedies. The Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Kokesh v. SEC, however, characterized SEC disgorgement as a “penalty” rather than an equitable remedy, casting doubt on the SEC’s disgorgement authority in civil enforcement actions. In this article, we discuss the potential implications of the Supreme Court’s recent grant of certiorari in Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission, a case that will clarify whether disgorgement remains available to the SEC in civil actions to enforce federal securities laws. 

A Bridge Too Far? Federalism and the ‘Bridgegate’ Prosecution - 01.03.2020

In white-collar criminal law, principles of federalism have influenced the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the mail and wire fraud statutes, particularly in federal prosecutions of state and local officials. In this article, we discuss an appeal now before the Supreme Court arising from the politically-motivated closure of traffic lanes in 2013 on the George Washington Bridge. The arguments of both sides touch on the federalism concerns raised in earlier Supreme Court decisions. We hope you find the article of interest. 

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Brian A. Jacobs Quoted in Bloomberg - 01.02.2020

On January 2, 2020, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Brian A. Jacobs was quoted in Bloomberg in an article entitled, “Insider-Trading Prosecutions Just Got Easier With Court Ruling.” The article discusses a recent ruling by the Second Circuit that effectively offers prosecutors a way around the so-called “personal benefit” requirement in insider trading cases. 

To read more on this topic and review Brian’s comments, please click here.

Personal Jurisdiction Requirements In FLSA Collective Actions - 12.17.2019

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides a mechanism for employees to join together and pursue a nationwide collective action against their employer. Southern District Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses’ recent decision in Pettanato v. Beacon Health Options addressed an unsettled jurisdictional issue in connection with such actions: If the court lacks general personal jurisdiction over the employer, does each individual employee have to establish that the court has specific personal jurisdiction with respect to his or her claim? Judge Moses concluded that they do. In this article, we analyze Judge Moses’ decision, which is a reminder of the rigor with which courts enforce personal jurisdiction requirements.

Supreme Court Asked to Assess Per Se Rule in Criminal Antitrust - 12.12.2019

Practitioners have observed a tension between criminal enforcement of the broadly written terms of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the modern Supreme Court’s notions of statutory interpretation and due process. In this article, we analyze a recent certiorari petition filed in Sanchez et al. v. United States, which asks whether the operation of the per se rule in criminal antitrust cases violates the constitutional prohibition against instructing juries that certain facts presumptively establish an element of a crime. If the Court grants certiorari, Sanchez could provide an interesting test of the direction of the current Court’s criminal law jurisprudence and of its willingness to reconsider longstanding precedent.

Conducting Due Diligence and Assessing Litigation Risk in Existing and Prospective Investments - 12.04.2019

An esteemed panel of experts will discuss how to conduct appropriate due diligence and assess litigation exposure in existing and prospective investments based on common areas of risk, including government investigations, whistleblower claims, me-too and other employment claims, and mass tort liability.

Through illustrative case studies from their government and private-sector experience, the panelists will provide tips on how best to avoid these risks.

Panelists:

  • Jay Dawdy, President, Gryphon Strategies
  • Catherine M. Foti, Partner, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC
  • Christopher B. Harwood, Partner, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC; former Co-Chief of the Civil Frauds Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York
  • Mitchell Sockett, External Advisor, Gryphon Strategies; Litigation Analyst, formerly of King Street Capital

2nd Annual GIR Live Zurich - 11.26.2019

On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, partner Benjamin S. Fischer will participate in a panel entitled, “U.S. v. Connolly and Outsourcing Investigations” at the 2nd Annual GIR Live Zurich. In the landmark Connolly case, the US District court found that the DOJ improperly outsourced its investigation of LIBOR manipulation to the bank under investigation, resulting in a decision procluding the DOJ from using at trial statements the individual defendant made to the bank during an internal investigation. The distinguished panel will discuss the impact this decision will have for future internal cross-border investigations.

For more information about this program, please click here.

 

 

Intimidation or Free Speech: Are Trump’s Tweets Witness Tampering? - 11.26.2019

President Trump’s use of Twitter to shape the narrative is notorious. True to form, he was tweeting fast and furious during the impeachment hearings. Negative testimony about the president’s interactions with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly incited his aggressive retorts, prompting speculation about whether his outbursts may be viewed as witness intimidation. Citing the First Amendment, Trump claims he is free to say what he pleases, including name-calling and denigrating witnesses. But is it criminal witness intimidation? [...]

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Benjamin S. Fischer Participated in the Second Annual GIR Live Zurich - 11.26.2019

NEW YORK, November 26, 2019 – Morvillo Abramowitz partner Benjamin S. Fischer participated in a panel entitled, “U.S. v. Connolly and Outsourcing Investigations” at the 2nd Annual GIR Live Zurich. In the landmark Connolly case, the US District court found that the DOJ improperly outsourced its investigation of LIBOR manipulation to the bank under investigation, resulting in a decision procluding the DOJ from using at trial statements the individual defendant made to the bank during an internal investigation. The distinguished panel discussed the impact this decision will have for future internal cross-border investigations.

For more information about this program, please click here.

Materiality and Admissibility of Evidence in Criminal Securities Fraud Cases - 11.21.2019

Materiality is often a critical issue in securities fraud prosecutions. In this article, we discuss a series of three important Second Circuit decisions that explored the admissibility of evidence offered by the government to prove, and by the defense to disprove, materiality in the context of securities trading. We hope you find the article of interest. 

John Doe Summonses: Procedural Hurdles with Limited Review - 11.14.2019

John Doe summonses have long been a powerful tool in the IRS’s arsenal to combat tax fraud schemes. Such summonses enable the IRS to seek data on a class of otherwise unidentified persons where it can articulate a reasonable basis to believe that individuals within that class have failed to comply with their tax obligations. In this article, I analyze recent decisions highlighting the heavy burden facing a party challenging a John Doe summons and discuss the potential impact of Congress’s inclusion of an additional limitation on the issuance of John Doe Summonses in the Taxpayer First Act.