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Entries filed under 'Criminal Justice Section'

    Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein tells ABA meeting that history will show ‘Department of Justice operated with integrity’

    March 5, 2018 2:30 PM by glynnj

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who like his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has been publicly criticized by President Donald Trump, defended the Justice Department’s leadership during a speech on March 2 at the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s 32nd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime in San Diego.

    “You will not always agree with our policy decisions, and you definitely won’t hear this on cable TV, but the department leadership team appointed by President Trump is very strong on ethics and professionalism. History will reflect that the Department of Justice operated with integrity on our watch,” Rosenstein said in a prepared statement.

    His speech came two days after President Trump blasted Sessions on Twitter for instructing Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate the FBI’s activities surrounding surveillance of former campaign adviser Carter Page starting in late 2016, and on the heels of a Washington Post story that said President Trump privately refers to his attorney general as the cartoon character Mr. Magoo.

    Rosenstein himself has not escaped the barbs of the president, who in news reports has called the deputy attorney general “weak,” a “threat” to his presidency, and last month asking Rosenstein if he was “on my team.”

    Rosenstein, who said he began attending the white-collar seminars 27 years ago, said it was good to be in San Diego. “First of all, this is just about the farthest you can get from Washington, D.C., without leaving the continental United States,” he joked. “It is good for the soul to spend time beyond the Beltway,” he said.

    Rosenstein, who was sworn in as the nation’s 37th deputy attorney general in April 2017 by Sessions, said he has served under nine attorneys general during his varied career at the Justice Department. “They taught me that the Department of Justice stands for the principle that every American deserves equal protection under the rule of law,” he said. “Our friends deserve it, and our enemies deserve it. They deserve it whether they are innocent or guilty. They deserve it whether they are rich or poor. They deserve it whether they are Republican or Democrat.”

    “That requires us to be faithful to the pursuit of truth,” he continued. “For lawyers, truth is about credible evidence, not strong opinions.... People who seek the truth need to avoid confirmation bias. They must remain open to the possibility that the truth may not match their preconceptions. Pursuing truth means always yielding to the facts, even if they run contrary to our expectations.”

    Rosenstein said that federal prosecutors exercise great care before alleging wrongdoing. He said the judicial officer must be concerned about what is legal. “What is right is a matter of personal opinion,” Rosenstein said. “What is legal is an objective issue of fact and law.”

    Government officials who exercise discretion, he said, have a special obligation to make the right choice. “That requires experience, good judgment and wisdom.”

    Rosenstein said he’s keenly aware that “controversy is part of the job” of being an attorney general and that mistakes will be made along the way. However, he said he pledged not to repeat any of the mistakes of previous department officials and that he now tries to pass that wisdom on.

     “The rule of law is not just about words on paper. Any nation can write a good Constitution and adopt reasonable laws. The question is whether people will faithfully implement them. So, the rule of law depends on the character of the people who enforce the law.”

    Rosenstein said that what you hear about on the news is a very small fraction of the work performed by the DOJ’s 115,000 employees.

    “As I reflect on the accomplishments of the Department of Justice over the past year, I am proud of the remarkable dedication of our attorneys at Main Justice and the 94 United States Attorney’s Offices, of our FBI and other law enforcement agents and of the support staff and professionals who make our work possible,” he said, noting fraud convictions of 234 individuals by the DOJ in 2017. “We are aggressively pursuing crimes that pose imminent dangers, including terrorism, gang violence, drug trafficking, child exploitation, elder abuse and human smuggling.  And we remain steadfast in combatting financial and economic crime.”

    Rosenstein concluded his speech by noting that principled disagreement is essential in a democracy.

    “In a time of strong political passions, lawyers have a special responsibility to demonstrate why law and logic are essential to the peaceful resolution of disputes,” he said.

    The annual three-day gathering of the ABA’s national white-collar bar brings together more than 1,200 leading federal and state judges and prosecutors, law enforcement officials, defense attorneys, corporate in-house counsel and members of the academic community. This year’s lineup of speakers included a keynote speech by David Green, director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, and presentations from 13 federal trial and appellate judges.


    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to speak at ABA White Collar Crime Conference

    February 8, 2018 2:49 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2018 — Rod Jay Rosenstein, deputy attorney general for the Department of Justice, and David Green, director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, will deliver keynote speeches at the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s 32nd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime to be held Feb. 28-March 2 in San Diego.

    This annual gathering of the national white-collar bar brings together more than 1,200 leading federal and state judges and prosecutors, law enforcement officials, defense attorneys, corporate in-house counsel and members of the academic community. This year’s lineup of speakers includes 13 federal trial and appellate judges.

    32nd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime
    Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Session

    Feb. 28-March 2, 2018

    Hilton San Diego Bayfront
    1 Park Blvd.
    San Diego, Calif. 92101

    Rosenstein, who was sworn in as the 37th deputy attorney general on April 26, 2017, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will deliver the keynote address on Friday, March 2, at 9:15 a.m.

    Green’s E Lawrence Barcella Memorial Keynote Address is scheduled for Thursday, March 1, at 9:30 a.m. as one of the conference’s three plenary sessions.

    The three-day conference will feature three key plenary sessions:

    Thursday, March 1, 10 a.m.: A panel of U.S. Circuit and District Court judges will engage in a discussion titled, “The Evolving Challenge of Judging: 2018 Edition.” They will discuss some of the personal and professional challenges and difficult substantive issues they confront in the administration of justice.  Moderating the panel will be Paul L. Friedman, U.S. District judge, Washington, D.C. Speakers are Paul D. Borman, U.S. District judge, Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit; Brian A. Jackson, chief judge, Middle District of Louisiana, Baton Rouge; Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District judge Northern District of California, San Jose; Benita Y. Pearson, U.S. District judge, Northern District of Ohio, Youngstown; Janis L. Sammartino, U.S. District judge, Southern District of California, San Diego; and Amy J. St. Eve, U.S. District judge, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago.

    Friday, March 2, 9:45 a.m.: Panel discussion titled, “Prying Eyes: Think Confidential and Privileged Client Information is Safe at the Border? Think Again.” Panelists will discuss the ethical issues presented by warrantless searches of digital devices by Department of Homeland Security at the border, even where there is no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, the recent raid of Jones Day’s offices in Munich in the Audi investigation and the UK High Court ruling requiring the disclosure of attorneys’ interview notes taken during an internal investigation. Speakers include Joseph B. Maher, DHS acting general counsel; and David Green, director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

    Program highlights include:

    “The Global Reach of Money Laundering Enforcement” — This panel will discuss the ever-increasing number of international matters initiated and resolved by the Department of Justice, and will explore the foreign crimes that can be predicate offenses for money laundering and the required U.S. nexus for the same. Moderating the panel will be Mara V. J. Senn, Kleptocracy Initiative Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, Criminal Division, DOJ. Speakers include M. Kendall Day, acting deputy assistant attorney general, Criminal Division, DOJ. Washington, D.C.; and Monty Raphael QC, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, London.

    Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.

    “Meet the SEC Enforcement Directors: Q & A on SEC Enforcement” — Stephanie Avakian and Steven R. Peikin, co-directors of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement in Washington, D.C., will discuss the agency’s enforcement priorities.

    Wednesday, 3 p.m.

    “Cross-Border Enforcement: US Economic and Trade Sanctions Prosecutions” — Panelists will discuss the regulatory and enforcement priorities of the DOJ, Office of Foreign Assets Control and Department of Commerce; the evolving reach of U.S. sanctions law; and the assessment of risk for clients engaged in business relating to Iran, China, Russia and Cuba. Speakers include Jay I. Bratt, chief for Export Controls and Sanctions, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section National Security Division, DOJ, Washington, D.C.; and Michael Dondarski, assistant director for Enforcement Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, D.C.

    Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.

    “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Recent Developments and Government Priorities” — Panelists will review bribery enforcement during the past year, DOJ and SEC priorities under the Trump administration, including any changes in extraterritorial reach and cooperation, credit policies, sharing of fines with foreign law enforcement authorities and application of the pilot program. Panelists will also consider the recent limits on SEC disgorgement actions. Speakers include Charles E. Cain, chief, FCPA Unit Enforcement Division, SEC, Washington, D.C.; and Daniel S. Kahn, chief, FCPA Unit, deputy chief, Fraud Section Criminal Division, DOJ, Washington, D.C.

    Thursday, 1:45 p.m.

    “CFTC Enforcement: Recent Developments and Speculative Prognostication” — The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act changed many things for many people in the American financial markets, but perhaps no agency was as profoundly impacted as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Eight years on, the Enforcement Division is making regular use of its new authority and has obtained significant results. Will the toughness continue, or will the current administration be more deferential to the derivatives industry? Speakers include James McDonald, director, CFTC Enforcement Division in Washington, D.C.; and Manal Sultan, deputy director, CFTC Division of Enforcement.

    Thursday, 1:45 p.m.

    “Defending Multi-National Investigations” — This international panel will discuss the expanding cooperation between national law enforcement authorities, the scope and limits of corporate liability in major foreign jurisdictions, differing enforcement tools and trends, self-reporting, joint efforts by an international defense team and fashioning global settlements. Speakers are Adriana Dantas, Barbosa Müssnich Aragão São Paulo, Brazil; Saverio Lembo, Bär & Karrer Ltd., Geneva, Switzerland; Stéphane de Navacelle, Navacelle Law, Paris; Judith Seddon, Clifford Chance, LLP, London.

    Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

    A complete agenda of the program can be found online.

    This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at

    The ABA Criminal Justice Section is the unified voice of criminal justice judges, private criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, public defenders, academics and other professionals. The section, with more than 15,000 members, brings together all the various actors to improve the criminal justice system, address today’s most pressing issues and to serve its members, the profession and the public.

    Go to for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews

    Video highlights: Recovering lawyers address substance abuse and mental health issues plaguing the profession

    February 3, 2018 9:21 PM by glynnj

    Lawyers share their recovery stories to educate and encourage all stakeholders in the profession— from judges, legal regulators and legal employers,  to representatives of law schools, bar associations and lawyer assistance programs—to learn how and know when to refer those needing help to lawyer assistance programs.     

    Panelists also discussed regaining work-life balance and recognizing addictive behavior during the ABA Midyear Meeting program titled, “Attorney Well-Being: It’s Your Life in the Balance, Right?” on Feb. 2 in Vancouver.

    Video highlights: Technical, legal experts make case for ensuring reliable election results

    February 3, 2018 4:38 PM by glynnj

    Fundamental concerns plaguing both the U.S. and Canadian voting systems are the focus of an ABA Midyear Meeting program titled, “Democracy on the Edge: Security, e-Voting, and the Challenge of Verifying the People’s Choice” on Feb. 2  in Vancouver. 

    Citing the uproar over allegations of hacking and foreign meddling in the 2016 election, technical and legal experts discuss the risks of e-voting and solutions for preventing irregularities. 

    Recovering lawyers stress that learning to ask for help is key to attorney well-being

    February 3, 2018 1:21 PM by glynnj

    Raul Ayala has been a practicing attorney in California for more than 36 years and he’s a recovering alcoholic.

    Derek LaCroix is a non-practicing attorney and he’s been in recovery for more than 30 years.

    Amanda Richards, a first-year law student in British Columbia, struggled with mental health issues and substance abuse before going to law school.

    All three shared their stories and put a face on the sobering statistics that reveal that 1 in 5 lawyers are alcoholics and 1 in 4 are depressed. But they also want everyone to know that if you are struggling you don’t have to suffer in silence, that you are not alone and that you can get help.

    Ayala, LaCroix and Richards participated on panel “Attorney Well-Being: It’s Your Life in the Balance, Right?” held Feb. 2 at ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver. The program was sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. Panelists were:

    • Ayala, deputy federal public defender in Los Angeles
    • LaCroix, QC, director of the Lawyer Assistance Program in British Columbia
    • Richards, 1L, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
    • Bree Buchannan, attorney, director of the Texas Lawyer Assistance Program, chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistant Programs and co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being
    • Tracy Kepler, attorney, director of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, former president of National Association of Bar Counsel

    Ayala provided an overview of how the rigors of the profession can lead to substance abuse, physical and mental health problems.

    “Early in my career I was an active alcoholic. I was a private practitioner with no oversight and for me it was a pretty bad combination,” Ayala said. “Before I went to law school I already had two DUIs and a third one in the making. If I was applying for permission to the bar now, I would have a real problem. I’d be required now to go to through LAP (Lawyer Assistance Program) before I got admitted. So, it’s a lot different now.”

    LaCroix focused on stress and said lawyers must learn to self-regulate. “If you are always fighting, it’s going to affect your brain. Yes, you have to work hard. That’s not the problem,” he said. “The problem is we go to battle but when we come out and we forget to de-stress, we forget about our families and we forget about spirituality.”

    He offered some ways to recognize addictive behavior, including changes in behavior, attendance, performance and personal habits. “

    These can be early warning signs,” Ayala said. “But get help. What shocks me most is how resistant lawyers are to getting help.”

    The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being is one resource to get that help. Buchannan was appointed by ABA President Hilarie Bass as a co-chair of the task force, which recently launched its website, The genesis of the task force was two published studies that looked at the rate of substance abuse disorders, mental health disorders and the abysmal rate of help seeking by both law students and lawyers. The law students survey found that one-quarter of students were at risk for alcoholism, 17 percent suffered from depression and 6 percent had suicidal thoughts in the last year. The lawyers survey revealed that 21 percent of licensed, employed attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with some level of depression and 11.5 percent admitted to having suicidal thoughts at some time during their career.

    “Those of us who do this work, we didn’t have any of these statistics or hard data that these studies showed,” Buchannan said. “I think the thing our profession has to worry about is that these studies showed very demonstrably that the younger the lawyer, the higher the rate of impairment of whatever kind – depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorder.”

    The task force issued a report with 44 recommendations directed at law firms, law schools, regulators, the judiciary, bar associations and professional liability carriers.

    The report defines well-being as “a continuous process toward thriving across all life dimensions,” and it zeroed in on six key dimensions: Occupational, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, Physical and Social.

    Buchannan said the report addressed the stigma associated to getting help. “We have to make it okay to talk about substance abuse, depression, mental health issues, suicide that is occurring in the profession,” she said. “We must educate all sectors of the profession on these issues so that they can identify it and know how to handle it. You don’t need to diagnose, you don’t need to cure, you don’t need to treat. But you do need to know how and when to refer lawyers and law students to your lawyer assistance programs.”

    Buchannan said the task force is “passing the ball” to the chief justices of each of the states supreme court to make this a priority.

    Kepler discussed attorney discipline. Among the quick facts she presented were:

    • That of the most common violations, 61 percent come from poor attorney-client relations (failure to communicate with client, fee disputes, neglect of case).  
    • The most serious violations include conversion/misappropriation of client funds, conviction of a crime, lack of candor to the tribunal. “The conviction of a crime really goes to the heart and soul of some of the problems that we are seeing in regard to the alcohol use, opioid use or the methamphetamine use where attorneys are using prescriptions that often aren’t theirs and they are actually violating criminal laws to continue that use.”
    • Ignorance of ethics rules, personal financial pressure, pressure to get and retain clients, substance abuse/mental health Issues, cognitive impairment (e.g., dementia) are frequently why lawyers violate the rules.
    • Most grievances come from angry former clients and reports from other attorneys.
    • Criminal law is the specialization that gets the most grievances.
    • Studies show that 40 percent to 60 percent of lawyers facing disciplinary charges suffer from some type of addiction or mental illness.
    • In 2016 statistics from Illinois, 31 percent of lawyers disciplined had an impairment issue.

    Regulation authorities, according to Kepler, have become more proactive in their approach to get attorneys to deal with these issues, to talk about them and get help before they lead to a complaint. “What we have learned is that discipline or disciplinary sanction is not going to make a lawyer well.”

    First-year law student Amanda Richards said she entered school having a vision for herself and knowing who she was “and quickly found out that law school is a disaster. That people are anxious. There really isn’t much help for us.”

    Having dealt with her own issues prior to entering law school, Richards said it is “terrifying” to see so many of her fellow law students anxious and depressed. “I’m constantly talking friends down. There is so much pressure when you come to law school and most people are so terrified to ask for help.”

    Richards said she believes lawyers’ substance abuse and mental health issues begin in law school. “I don’t have the answers but my goal is to get these talks going at law school and to say to people that it’s ok to struggle and it’s ok to ask for help.”

    Experts support paper ballots to cure e-voting problems

    February 3, 2018 10:34 AM by glynnj

    Voter, beware: If your state doesn’t have paper ballots to back up computer scanners on Election Day, your vote may not be counted as you intended.That was the conclusion of a panel of experts Friday at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver. The discussion, titled “Democracy on the Edge: Security, E-voting and the Challenge of Verifying the People’s Choice,” focused on the problems of computer voting systems.

    Marian Schneider, president of the non-profit group Verified Voting, presents at the ABA Midyear Meeting program “Democracy on the Edge: Security, E-voting and the Challenge of Verifying the People’s Choice”

    It began with a video clip from the 2006 HBO documentary “Hacking Democracy,” which told the story of American citizens exploring irregularities with e-voting systems in 2000 and 2004. Producer Russell Michaels, a British investigative journalist, said he went into the documentary with several questions.

    “Why has America handed its vote count to secret software programming private companies?” he asked. “Who owns and controls those companies? And lastly, what can we do to prove what these machines are really doing?”

    The documentary demonstrated how e-voting systems could be hacked even if the voting machines are not connected to the internet. “We found that there were more terrible flaws than anybody had guessed,” Michaels said.

    The solution, panelists agreed, is paper ballots – even though they got an undeservedly bad rap after the 2000 presidential election recount in Florida, with its infamous “hanging chads” and “butterfly ballots.”

    “Basically, we can thank Florida for the fact that we use computers extensively in our voting systems,” said Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and past president of the Association for Computing Machinery. To many people, Simons said, the 2000 election in Florida boiled down to a simple equation: Paper is bad, computers are good.

    “Of course, it’s not that paper is bad. There is nothing wrong with paper,” Simons said. “What was bad was the way paper was used in those punch-card systems.”

    After that election, America was flooded with computer voting systems, especially touch-screen machines that sometimes have calibration issues that produce incorrect votes. Those machines, introduced in the early 2000s, are still in use in some states. Many election officials would like to replace them, but can’t afford it, Simons said.

    “If you think about it, do you know anyone who has a computer from those days?” she asked. “And yet we’re voting on machines that are basically computers that are really archaic and not being maintained.”

    Internet voting is no better, Simons said, even though Ontario, Canada, has widespread internet voting in many of its municipalities.

    Today, one of the greatest threats to American elections and voting technology comes from Russia, said Marian Schneider, president of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that promotes accurate, transparent and verifiable elections.

    “A nation-state with unlimited resources has been proven to have attempted to meddle in our elections,” Schneider said. “And they probably have emboldened other bad actors. And the consensus in the intelligence community is that they will be back.”

    The panel agreed: Paper ballots would protect voters. Even if computers count the ballots, it’s important to have a verifiable paper trail to support the machines, they said.

    Schneider cited two recounts in state legislative races in 2006 and 2016. In each case, she said, the margin of victory was 24 votes and local officials hand-counted the paper ballots. That satisfied all parties involved.

    “That’s what we need to get to,” Schneider said. “Where the winners understand that they won and the losers accept that they have lost.”

    The panel was moderated by Andrew Grosso, a Washington, D.C., lawyer and former federal prosecutor. U.S. District Judge Virginia Covington of Tampa, Fla., explained how citizens can challenge election procedures and how courts consider those challenges. The program was sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section

    Midyear 2018: Panel to explore the challenges of voting security, e-voting and verification of votes

    February 1, 2018 12:39 PM by glynnj

    Since the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. election with allegations of foreign cyber-intervention, now more than ever, advocates are outspoken on securing all voting methods. 

    Technical and legal experts will come together at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting Feb. 1-5 in Vancouver to discuss fundamental concerns plaguing both the U.S. and Canadian voting systems.

    “Democracy on the Edge: Security, e-Voting, and the Challenge of Verifying the People’s Choice” will be hosted by the ABA Criminal Justice Section. The event will be held on Friday, Feb. 2, from 1:30 – 3 p.m. at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in the Emerald Ballroom A/B, Level 3.

    Andrew Grosso, with Andrew Grosso & Associates in Washington, D.C., is a former federal prosecutor with a master’s degree in computer technology. He said that voting technology has problems.

    “Those problems have been known since technology was first suggested in voting,” he said. “They really have not been resolved.”

    Grosso said since the aftermath of the election in 2000 with various recounts, many states went to electronic voting to speed things up and to make the vote more accurate.

    “The problem is electronic voting itself is subject to manipulation much like your computer can be hacked these things can be hacked,” Grosso said. “And they can be hacked electronically, through the internet, manually with your hands on the machine, hacked before or after the votes are collected.”

    Grosso said the question becomes: “How are you going to prevent or avoid that?” He said a lot of the technology in various states do not have protections against such manipulations.

    Barbara Simons is the board chair of Verified Voting, a non-partisan/non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for legislation and regulation that supports “accuracy, transparency and verifiability of elections.”

    Simons said that all citizens should be concerned about computers because they are vulnerable to software bugs, malware and hackers.

    Simons said that only since the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the uproar over Russian interference have state governments been seriously interested in what she has to say about the issue.

    Simons, an expert on electronic voting and the co-author of the book, “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?” a book about voting machines, will also address Canadian municipal internet voting, which she deemed as one of the most insecure voting systems. “It’s incredible irresponsible to hold any kind of government election over the internet,” she emphasized.

    However – she’s not against electronic voting, but said its use should also include paper ballots marked by the voter, with use of a scanner and checks to ensure that scanner is “behaving properly.”

    “We need the confidence and assurance that the candidate who was declared the winner was the actual winner,” she said.

    Simons said Verified Voting has a campaign to get paper ballots in all states. Currently, five states are entirely paperless.

    “States like Georgia…it is impossible to conduct a recount. You can claim to conduct a recount by asking the computer to repeat what it already told you, but that’s not a meaningful recount because it doesn’t check what the computer has told you is right,” Simons said.

    Another eight states are partially paperless.

    Simons, a retiree from IBM Research, also co-authored the July 2015 report of the U.S. Vote Foundation’s, “The Future of Voting: End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting.”

    Simons added that she hopes participants walk away with a better understanding for the need to check on computers in elections.

    Also on the panel is Russel Michael, an investigative journalist, who produced a documentary on HBO on the issues of secrecy surrounding elections, missing votes and instances where there were more votes than people who casted votes.

    The panel will also include Judge Virginia Covington, a U.S. district judge, in Tampa, Fla., who will discuss what is involved in the legal procedures for challenging votes. Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting in Philadelphia is the only practicing lawyer on the panel and will discuss the movement towards correcting existing voting issues.

    Grosso hopes attendees will come away from the program, “being very, very afraid.” “I know what you can do with a computer. It’s not a black box that you put data in and you get the correct results out. Its’ a question of what goes on in the inside.”

    “It’s very important in our democracy that we are able to have confidence in the outcome of elections and I think any one sitting in this panel will walk away with the idea of maybe we don’t have as much confidence as we think we do,” Grosso said.

    ABA President Hilarie Bass sends letter to Senate Judiciary Committee supporting sentence reform act

    January 9, 2018 9:24 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2018 — American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee strongly commending leaders of both parties for their bipartisan negotiations on complex sentencing and corrections issues that are desperately needed. The ABA urges members of the committee to promptly approve the bill without weakening amendments.

    The bill, S. 1917, does not go as far as the ABA would like in overhauling federal sentencing policy, but it takes many important steps forward to reduce reliance on mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders and to improve sentencing and correction policies that affect juvenile justice.

    Read the letter here.

    Go to for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews


    ABA to host 12th National Institute on Securities Fraud in Salt Lake City on Jan. 11-12

    January 3, 2018 10:23 AM by romeroi

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2018 — Top officials from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be among the speakers participating in the 12th Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud, Jan. 11-12 in Salt Lake City. The exclusive educational and professional forum brings together leading experts from across the country to examine current legal and ethical issues relating to securities fraud.

    Representing the SEC at the meeting will be Richard Best, regional director, Salt Lake City; Robert Dodge, assistant chief litigation counsel, Washington, D.C.; and Scott Friestad, associated director, Division of Enforcement, Washington, D.C. Also attending will be John Arterberry, former executive deputy chief, Department of Justice, Fraud Section, Nashville, Tenn.

    What:   The 12th Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud
                 Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section 
                 and the Center for Professional Development

    When:  Jan. 11-12, 2018

    Where: Hilton Salt Lake City Center
                 Salt Lake City, Utah   84101

    Program highlights include:

    “The Ties That Bind: Joint Defense and Common Interest Agreements in the Era of Corporate Cooperation, Data Privacy and Parallel Investigations” — This program will cover how to navigate the ethical minefield of fiduciary duties to owners/shareholders when the client is an organization under Model Rule 1.13, there is a zealous advocacy requirement under Model Rule 1.3 and a confidentiality requirement under Model Rule 1.6. All of these will impact decision-making when representing companies seeking cooperation credit in the midst of government investigations seeking “just the facts” while also entering into joint-defense and common-interest agreements with counsel for individuals and other entities.
    Thursday, 10:30 a.m.

    “Insider Trading—What is Prohibited?” — In Salman v. United States, the Supreme Court clarified both the reach and limits of insider trading liability. The Second Circuit’s Martoma decision soon followed the guidance. Likewise, the STOCK Act imposes specific restrictions on politicians and staffers who profit from “inside” information. What are the rules of the road now? How remote can the enforcers go? Are the rules the same for the public as for political types? Will the SEC prosecute people on Capitol Hill for insider trading? Speakers include the SEC’s Scott W. Friestad.
    Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

    “SEC’s Hot Focus Areas: Cyber Security, AML, Bank Secrecy Act…. Wait!” — These are not part of the Exchange Act of 1934? Why is the SEC spending so much time and effort focusing on these issues? What do you need to know to be prepared when they call? What are the next hot topics?
    Thursday, 2 p.m.

    “Internalizing Investigations: What Stays “Inside” and What Necessitates “Outside Counsel” Involvement?” — Do these factors vary by size and type of entity? How do internal surveillance products work? Are government expectations and/or maintaining the attorney-client privilege important factors? What about forensic auditors? When is it time to use them? How do you keep their work privileged? How do you get the most out of what they do? Are there ethical implications to consider—focusing on ABA Model Rules 1.6, 1.7 and 1.13 among others—from conducting employee interviews to contemplating and entering into common-interest and joint-defense agreements?
    Friday, 9:15 a.m.

    A complete program schedule can be found online.

    There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Robert Robinson at 202-662-1097 or

    With more than 16,000 members, the Criminal Justice Section is committed to improving the criminal justice system and to serving its members, the profession and the public. For more information on ABA Criminal Justice Section, go to

    Go to for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

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    Tax fraud, tax controversy focus of ABA conference Dec.6-8 in Las Vegas

    December 4, 2017 1:16 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2017 — Leading practitioners and professionals from across the country will discuss important developments for criminal tax fraud and tax controversy during the 34th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the Seventh Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy in Las Vegas. 

    34th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the Seventh Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy
    Sponsored by the ABA Section of Taxation and ABA Criminal Justice Section

    December 6-8

    Wynn | Encore
    3131 Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV  89109

    Program highlights include:

    “Criminal Tax Workshop” —This workshop will discuss strategies and techniques for handling sensitive civil examinations and criminal investigations, and defending a criminal prosecution. The workshop includes a “criminal tax toolkit” of practice tips prepared by experienced practitioners.

    Wednesday, 2:30 – 5 p.m.

    “DOJ Criminal Roundtable” — Hear a roundtable discussion of hot topics, recent decisions, and enforcement priorities in criminal tax enforcement. The speakers are all current or former Department of Justice leaders and prosecutors.

    Thursday, 10-11 a.m.

    “IRS CI Roundtable” — The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is on the front line of criminal tax investigations. IRS CI representatives and practitioners will discuss the top priorities and future challenges in criminal tax enforcement.

    Thursday, 11 a.m.-noon

    “Sentencing and Incarceration Considerations” — The panel will discuss considerations and a practical approach to criminal sentencing, including preparation of a sentencing memorandum, recent increase in sentences for offshore crimes, restitution and forfeiture, calculation of tax loss and relevant conduct.

    Thursday, 1:15 – 2:35 p.m.

    “Offshore Investigations: What Now?” — The issues keep coming: What should recalcitrant accountholders do now? What are the issues in penalty enforcement litigation? How much information does the government have and what will future prosecutions look like? Will we start to see prosecutions under Section 7212(a)?

    Thursday, 2:35 – 3:25 p.m.

    “Collection: New IRS Techniques and Key Taxpayer Strategies” — IRS collection has recently implemented even more tools to encourage payment of taxes owed. Hear leading collection professionals discuss mitigation techniques when your client is faced with passport restrictions, private debt collectors, repeat employment tax liabilities, penalty assessments and more. Learn how Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR II) can be used in the Collection Dues Process (CDP), when the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can be applied to tax collections, and distinguish when administrative v. judicial solutions are most appropriate.

    Thursday, 3:40 – 4:30 p.m.

    “Marijuana: Ethical and Legal Issues in Representing Taxpayers”  IRS examinations of taxpayers involved in the cannabis industry are now becoming more common as numerous states legalize medical/retail sales. Should your cannabis or bitcoin client consider taking the Fifth during an IRS examination? A distinguished panel will discuss the opportunities and pitfalls for tax professionals working with clients who are involved in the state legal cannabis industry including discussions regarding professional risks and responsibilities arising from representation of medical marijuana/retail businesses as well as current federal tax issues involving the cannabis industry.

    Friday, 11 a.m.– noon

    A complete agenda can be found online.

    This event is free for members of the press. For media credentialing and more information, please contact Theresa M.T. Melton at 202-662-1516 or


    Go to for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.