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10th Annual Tax Controversy Forum - 06.21.2018

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, partner Jeremy H. Temkin will moderate a panel entitled, “Penalties for Failure to Report Foreign Assets: The Difference Between a Huge Problem and an Innocent Oversight” at the NYU School of Professional Studies 10th Annual Tax Controversy Forum. Bringing together representatives from the government and expert private practitioners, the forum will cover a broad range of issues regarding tax audits and tax litigation at all levels. The event will take place in Manhattan at the Crowne Plaza Times Square.

For more information about this program, please click here.

Getting to Zero: A Hidden Variable Behind Cooperation Rates? - 06.21.2018

The United States Sentencing Commission publishes massive sourcebooks of federal sentencing statistics each year, which are available online going back to 1996.  The sourcebooks contain numerous charts showing aggregate sentencing trends in federal cases throughout the United States, as well as charts showing a more limited number of sentencing trends on a district-by-district basis.  The recently-published 2017 sourcebook contains a surprising number:  223.  That’s the number of defendants who were sentenced as cooperators (with a 5K1.1 letter) in the Southern District of New York in 2017.  The number is surprising because over the past 15 years, sentencing laws and practices have changed in ways that, to some degree, have reduced defendants’ incentives to cooperate, and the national cooperation rate has steadily fallen (from about 10,000 defendants a year in 2002 (or 17.4% of defendants) to about 7,000 defendants a year in 2017 (or about 10.8% of defendants)).  And yet, the number of cooperators in the S.D.N.Y. last year—223—is exactly the same as the number of cooperators sentenced in the S.D.N.Y. fifteen years earlier in 2002:  223.  (The percentage of defendants cooperating in the S.D.N.Y. in 2002 and 2017 is also about the same – between 15-16% of all defendants.)  Why has the S.D.N.Y. cooperation rate remained at this level when the national data shows a decrease in the frequency of cooperation?  A closer look at this question highlights an important factor for courts and counsel to consider in connection with cooperator sentencings. [...]

The Standard for Extending Discovery Deadlines - 06.19.2018

Last month Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker issued an interesting decision in City of Almaty, Kazakhstan v. Ablyazov. In this article, we highlight Judge Parker’s decision, which discusses the impact of the proportionality requirements in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on extension of discovery deadlines and articulates a five-factor balancing test to apply when considering requests to extend discovery. 

Current Ethical Issues for In-House Counsel & Those Who Advise Them: Litigation Perspectives - 06.13.2018

On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, partner Catherine M. Foti will co-chair a New York City Bar Association program entitled, “Current Ethical Issues for In-House Counsel & Those Who Advise Them: Litigation Perspectives.” This program will include a stimulating series of hypotheticals based on real-life experience and review a variety of important professional responsibility issues that affect corporate counsel on a daily basis. The meeting will take place in Manhattan at the New York City Bar Association.

For more information about this program, please click here.

The Legal 500 United States 2018 Recommends Morvillo Abramowitz in Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense and Securities Litigation - 06.13.2018

NEW YORK, June 13, 2018 – The Legal 500 United States 2018 has recommended Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC in both Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense and Securities Litigation. Indeed, more than half of the firm’s partners have been recommended, including Elkan Abramowitz, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Bader, Benjamin S. Fischer, Catherine M. Foti, Lawrence Iason, Jodi Misher Peikin, and Jonathan S. Sack within Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense; and Elkan Abramowitz, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Bader, Lawrence Iason, and Edward M. Spiro within Securities Litigation. In addition, Elkan Abramowitz has been recognized as a “Leading Trial Lawyer” in this year’s edition for his outstanding skills in the courtroom.

Praising the firm’s capabilities, sources note that “it is fantastic, a very fine firm with significant trial experience … and commands industry-wide respect for its investigations and trial work for individuals, particularly senior executives across a range of fields.” Other clients rave that “the firm has a very strong securities litigation defense team and is at the top of the list of boutique firms.”

Since 2006, The Legal 500 United States has been analyzing the capabilities of law firms nationwide, honoring U.S. firms that couple a national presence with the capability to handle sophisticated and complex work. Each year, the publication highlights those legal teams who consistently uphold quality over quantity.

The Legal 500 United States 2018 Recommends Morvillo Abramowitz in Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense and Securities Litigation - 06.13.2018

The Legal 500 United States 2018 has recommended Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC in both Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense and Securities Litigation. Indeed, more than half of the firm’s partners have been recommended, including Elkan Abramowitz, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Bader, Benjamin S. Fischer, Catherine M. Foti, Lawrence Iason, Jodi Misher Peikin, and Jonathan S. Sack within Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense; and Elkan Abramowitz, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Bader, Lawrence Iason, and Edward M. Spiro within Securities Litigation. In addition, Elkan Abramowitz has been recognized as a “Leading Trial Lawyer” in this year’s edition for his outstanding skills in the courtroom.

Praising the firm’s capabilities, sources note that “it is fantastic, a very fine firm with significant trial experience … and commands industry-wide respect for its investigations and trial work for individuals, particularly senior executives across a range of fields.” Other clients rave that “the firm has a very strong securities litigation defense team and is at the top of the list of boutique firms.”

Since 2006, The Legal 500 United States has been analyzing the capabilities of law firms nationwide, honoring U.S. firms that couple a national presence with the capability to handle sophisticated and complex work. Each year, the publication highlights those legal teams who consistently uphold quality over quantity.

Sessions' Justice Department's Pragmatic Approach to Corporate Accountability - 06.08.2018

Many of the administration’s enforcement priorities may raise serious concerns for criminal defense lawyers and other champions of legal rights. In this article, however, we discuss the “anti-piling on” policy announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which is intended to reduce the perceived unfairness of repeated punishments for corporate misconduct. The policy bespeaks a welcome change in DOJ leadership’s attitude toward corporate accountability, but how the policy will be applied in individual cases remains to be seen.

When Is a Bid or Offer a 'Spoof'? - 06.05.2018

Following the government’s first criminal conviction for spoofing in United States v. Coscia, questions remain about what makes a commodity futures trader’s conduct illegal instead of a legitimate trading strategy. In this article, we analyze the confusion faced by commodity futures traders in assessing whether their trading strategies constitute illegal spoofing, examine whether the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Seventh Circuit have provided sufficient guidance on the distinction between spoofing and legitimate trading activity, and highlight why the Supreme Court’s recent decision to deny Coscia’s petition for writ of certiorari will have significant consequences for the many spoofing actions currently pending before the courts, as well as for commodity futures trading in general.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Jonathan S. Sack Quoted in Bloomberg - 05.25.2018

On May 25, 2018, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Jonathan S. Sack was quoted in a Bloomberg article entitled, “White-Collar Prosecutions Fall to 20-Year Low Under Trump.” The article discusses how the number of white-collar prosecutions is on track to hit a 20-year low under President Donald Trump, after reaching a high in 2011 during the Barack Obama administration, and acknowledges the potential reasons for the decline. To read more on this topic and review Jon’s comments, please click here.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Robert J. Anello Quoted in the Los Angeles Times - 05.24.2018

On May 24, 2018, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Robert J. Anello was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article entitled, “The Bumble Bee tuna price-fixing case could point to the future of white-collar prosecutions.” The article highlights a shift in emphasis away from corporate prosecutions and toward immigration cases, crimes of violence, and drug crimes. To view more on this topic and review Bob’s comments, please click here.

Beyond 'Marinello': Other Newly Relevant Obstacles to Criminal Tax Obstruction Cases - 05.17.2018

While the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Marinello v. United States may rightly be viewed as a bulwark against prosecutorial overreaching in tax cases, in his recent decision in United States v. Doyle, Judge Andrew Carter of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York addressed evidentiary issues arising out of the government’s pursuit of tax obstruction charges in light of Marinello. In this article, we discuss how Judge Carter’s decision in Doyle not only shines an interesting light on post-Marinello litigation under section 7212(a), but also presents a cautionary tale to lawyers who make factual representations on behalf of their clients.

Insider Trading, or Trading by an Insider? - 05.14.2018

Employees of public companies routinely have confidential information about the businesses of their employers. Because that information is sometimes “material” under the securities laws, opportunities to engage in insider trading are not uncommon. In this article, we discuss recent civil and criminal charges brought against Jun Ying, a former Equifax IT staff member, for trading in Equifax stock after concluding, without being expressly told, that Equifax had suffered a major data breach. The charges raise interesting questions as to when information should be deemed material for purposes of insider trading enforcement.

Marinello v. United States: SCOTUS Reins In the Tax Division - 05.07.2018

In Marinello v. United States, the Supreme Court rejected the government’s broad interpretation of the Omnibus Clause of the tax obstruction statute, 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a), thereby handing the white-collar defense bar an important victory. In this article, we discuss Marinello and conclude that it continues the Court’s efforts to cabin broadly-worded criminal statutes. By narrowing the scope of § 7212(a), Marinello provides defense lawyers with yet another tool to represent their clients and to push back against seemingly unbounded prosecutorial discretion.

Morvillo Abramowitz Gets Top Ranking in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations and is Recognized in Securities: Regulation: Enforcement and General Commercial in Chambers USA 2018 - 05.03.2018

NEW YORK, May 3, 2018 – Since its inception, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business Guide has recognized Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC for excellence in Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations with its highest ranking, Band 1. Indeed, the firm has more partners who are ranked in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations than any other firm. The firm also is recognized in Securities: Regulation: Enforcement and Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded. The firm is known for its “impressive breadth of expertise” and “fields a deep bench of formidable litigators with experience with acting on some of the most high-profile criminal trials of recent times as well as advising on internal investigations, and enjoys a burgeoning profile for its work in the civil litigation market.” Clients praise the firm and note, “they are extremely well respected and their credibility in court is exceptional, and all the members of the team are superb.”

More than half of the firm's partners were named leading lawyers by Chambers USA in the categories of Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations: Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Iason, Jodi Misher Peikin, Robert M. Radick, Jonathan S. Sack, Jeremy H. Temkin, and Richard D. Weinberg; Securities: Regulation: Enforcement: Lawrence Iason and Richard D. Weinberg; FCPA: Robert J. Anello; and Litigation: General Commercial: Judith L. Mogul and Edward M. Spiro.

Since 1990, Chambers and Partners has been researching the legal profession, identifying the leading lawyers and law firms through in-depth and client-focused interviews with thousands of lawyers and their clients. Known for its independence and the objectivity of its research, Chambers USA ranks the leading firms and lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas throughout the U.S. with their guides read by industry-leading companies, organizations, and law firms throughout the U.S. and worldwide.

To learn more, please click here.