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The Man On The Street And The Layperson With Common Sense - 04.15.2021

For many years, purportedly to preserve its renowned sense of collegiality, the Second Circuit heard fewer cases en banc than any other circuit court. On March 2, 2021, however, the Second Circuit issued an en banc opinion that could prove to be a harbinger of a new era featuring more en bancs and potentially less collegiality. In United States v. Scott, the en banc Second Circuit overturned a prior panel decision and held that New York first-degree manslaughter is a categorial crime of violence under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), which can trigger significant mandatory minimum sentences. Others have summarized the opinion elsewhere, and the holding itself is not particularly surprising. What is surprising, however, is the unusually harsh language that jumps out at a handful of moments in the majority and dissenting opinions. [...]

Congress Poised to End Use of Acquitted Conduct at Sentencing - 04.07.2021

For years, the defense bar has criticized courts’ ability to sentence defendants based on conduct for which a jury of their peers has acquitted them. As we explain in our latest article, although the Supreme Court has hesitated to review this arguably unconstitutional practice, Congress has taken up the torch with a new bipartisan bill that would ban it. The jury is still “out” on whether the bill will become law, but its introduction is a welcome sign of Congressional interest in preserving the jury’s crucial role as a bulwark of liberty.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Catherine M. Foti Named to Super Lawyers New York Top 50 Women - 03.26.2021

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Catherine M. Foti Named to Super Lawyers New York Top 50 Women - 03.26.2021

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

Morvillo Abramowitz Selected by Benchmark Litigation for its 2021 US Awards Shortlist - 03.19.2021

NEW YORK, March 19, 2021 – Morvillo Abramowitz has been shortlisted by Benchmark Litigation as a White Collar Crime/Investigations Firm of the Year. Firms who are recognized for this honor have been chosen based on extensive research conducted throughout 2020.

To view the nominees, please click here.

Morvillo Abramowitz Selected by Benchmark Litigation for its 2021 US Awards Shortlist - 03.19.2021

NEW YORK, March 19, 2021 – Morvillo Abramowitz has been shortlisted by Benchmark Litigation as a White Collar Crime/Investigations Firm of the Year. Firms who are recognized for this honor have been chosen based on extensive research conducted throughout 2020.

To view the nominees, please click here.

Civil FBAR Penalty Litigation: No Reprieve for Taxpayers - 03.18.2021

In the dozen years since the UBS Deferred Prosecution Agreement, the government has aggressively pursued taxpayers who maintained undisclosed offshore accounts. While over 56,000 taxpayers have cured their historical non-compliance through Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs or Initiatives offered by the IRS, approximately 100 have faced criminal investigation and prosecution, while others were subject to IRS audits, which carry the risk of substantial civil penalties. In this article, I explore recent decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Bedrosian v. United States and the Fourth Circuit in United States v. Horowitz and conclude that these and other cases reflect judicial antagonism to taxpayers’ attempting to avoid or limit civil penalties.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Elkan Abramowitz Named to City & State New York's 2021 Law Power 100 List - 03.17.2021

NEW YORK, March 17, 2021 - MAGIA is proud to announce that partner Elkan Abramowitz has been named to City & State New York's 2021 Law Power 100 list, recognizing those who are “having an impact in New York’s political and government spheres.”

Elkan is a trusted adviser to clients in times of crisis and is nationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of white collar criminal defense and government investigations.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Elkan Abramowitz Named to City & State New York's 2021 Law Power 100 List - 03.17.2021

NEW YORK, March 17, 2021 - MAGIA is proud to announce that partner Elkan Abramowitz has been named to City & State New York's 2021 Law Power 100 list, recognizing those who are “having an impact in New York’s political and government spheres.”

Elkan is a trusted adviser to clients in times of crisis and is nationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of white collar criminal defense and government investigations.

Where’s the Quid? DOJ Tests the Limits of Public Corruption Law - 03.08.2021

Proof of a “quid pro quo” is central to federal public corruption prosecutions. Recent high-profile cases have tended to focus on the “quo” part of the equation – the official act taken by a public official. Two recent federal prosecutions, in Ohio and Illinois, have drawn attention to the “quid” – the thing of value a public official receives in return for a corrupt official act. In this article, we consider what these two prosecutions may say about the outer limits of federal public corruption law.

Commissioner Rettig on the State of the IRS - 03.08.2021

In October 2018, after a long career representing taxpayers in civil and criminal tax controversies, Charles Rettig was sworn in as the 49th Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Within 18 months of taking the helm, Commissioner Rettig faced a once in a lifetime pandemic that wreaked havoc on the entire country. [...]

“SPAC-tacular” Growth Means More Enforcement Ahead - 02.24.2021

A once-derided investment vehicle, the SPAC is surging as investors turn the traditional IPO process on its head to streamline the public offering process and leverage a booming stock market. A company’s decision to assume the sometimes substantial undertaking to make an initial public offering (“IPO”) opens the floodgates to a deluge of regulatory obligations and disclosures about the details of its business operations. The payoff, however, can be vast; once the Company hits public markets, it has unparalleled access to capital and a bump in prestige. [...]

Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello Welcomes New Partners Karen King and Kathleen Cassidy - 02.18.2021

NEW YORK, February 18, 2021 – Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC is proud to announce that two highly respected lawyers, Karen King and Kathleen (Kate) Cassidy, are joining the firm this month as partners. Karen, who specializes in complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters, joins the firm from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Kate is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer who was most recently a partner at Necheles Cassidy LLP (formerly Hafetz & Necheles LLP).

Karen has more than 20 years of experience in complex commercial litigation, Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering and OFAC compliance and enforcement matters, securities litigation and regulation, internal investigations, and strategic advice. She is a skilled trial attorney and advocate, representing clients in numerous federal and state courts, including in jury and bench trials. She has also represented multiple global institutions before the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Department of Financial Services, the Federal Reserve, FinCEN, OFAC, and FINRA.

“We are so pleased to welcome Karen King,” says partner Christopher Harwood. “She is a distinguished attorney with broad experience and a well-deserved reputation for excellence. Karen’s expertise in handling complex and cutting-edge civil and regulatory matters will be a tremendous asset to our clients.”

“I am delighted to be joining such an extraordinary group of talented lawyers and look forward to contributing to Morvillo Abramowitz’s continued success and tradition of unparalleled service to its clients,” comments Karen.

Karen has been recognized for her commitment to pro bono work. She was the recipient of the Federal Bar Council’s Thurgood Marshall Award for Exceptional Pro Bono Service in 2019, as well as the Pro Bono award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York and is a member of the Second Circuit Pro-Bono panel.

Karen received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2000, where she was an Editor of the Journal of Law and Technology, and her B.A. from Yale College in 1997.

Kate is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will focus her practice on representing individuals and organizations in federal and state criminal investigations and proceedings, as well as regulatory and internal corporate investigations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kate Cassidy to Morvillo Abramowitz. Kate is an outstanding attorney with vast experience representing institutions and individuals in all phases of criminal and regulatory proceedings. Kate’s depth of knowledge and skills will be an invaluable asset to the firm and its clients,” notes partner Benjamin Fischer.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the extraordinary team of lawyers at Morvillo Abramowitz. Their experience in white-collar defense and regulatory matters is unparalleled, and I am looking forward to collaborating with them to provide the firm’s clients with the best possible representation,” Kate commented.

Kate has defended clients in high-profile cases and investigations involving RICO charges, public corruption and bribery allegations, antitrust violations, all manner of financial frauds, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, campaign finance irregularities, and sexual assault allegations. Kate is adept at helping clients navigate the stressful process of a criminal investigation and is devoted to achieving the most favorable result for her clients. Kate has trial experience in both state and federal court and in front of FINRA disciplinary panels. She also often achieves favorable results for clients without going to trial, including convincing prosecutors not to charge, obtaining dismissal of pending charges, and resolving charges by negotiating favorable pleas and sentences.

Kate was selected as a NY Metro Super Lawyer in the area of White Collar Criminal Defense in 2019 and 2020, and was featured as a NY Metro Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2013 to 2018. She recently completed a term as a Board Member of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers.

Kate received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2006 where she was named a James Kent Scholar and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She received her B.A. from Yale College in 2000.

 

The Federal Arbitration Act Precludes New York from Exempting Claims from Arbitration - 02.17.2021

The Federal Arbitration Act sets forth a national policy favoring arbitration. Through the enactment of Section 7515 of the NY CPLR, however, New York sought to exempt certain types of claims from arbitration, including claims alleging sexual misconduct under the New York State Human Rights Law. In this article, “The Federal Arbitration Act Precludes New York from Exempting Claims from Arbitration,” we discuss Southern District Judge Lewis J. Liman’s recent decision in Gilbert v. Indeed, Inc., concluding that Section 7515 is preempted by the FAA, and thus cannot be used to exempt from arbitration claims that otherwise would be arbitrable under the FAA.

Congress’s Signing Bonus for Gensler: New Powers for His SEC - 02.10.2021

Not every incoming SEC Chair gets a welcome gift from Congress. While Wall Street has greeted Gary Gensler’s nomination with some trepidation, by contrast, as we describe in this article, “Congress’s Signing Bonus for Gensler: New Powers for His SEC,” legislators recently handed the SEC powerful new enforcement tools, in the form of longer statutes of limitations and new statutory disgorgement powers. Although defendants in SEC cases may challenge some applications of these new powers, the new law likely means a tougher road for those under SEC investigation as the Biden Administration takes charge in Washington.