Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland’s former prosecutors and enforcement attorneys guide clients through the Byzantine maze of criminal, civil and regulatory issues.
As a result of today’s increased focus on the need to punish rather than remediate purported misconduct, white collar cases are on the rise and more intense than ever. The outcomes of criminal and civil matters can hinge on understanding exactly how to respond to government scrutiny. Our White Collar Defense team includes former DOJ attorneys, federal and state prosecutors and senior attorneys of the SEC's Division of Enforcement and FINRA. Members of the practice served as lead counsel in scores of jury trials in federal and state courts, as special prosecutors and as counsel in a variety of congressional probes. If we cannot stop the case from proceeding or reach a satisfactory resolution, we have the tools and experience necessary to litigate against the government.
Our attorneys are adept at conducting swift and comprehensive internal investigations, a crucial service in an era when whistleblowers have been incentivized and corporate conduct is increasingly subject to intrusive and expensive inquiries. When issues arise, it is critical that management, audit committees and other corporate constituencies get the facts rapidly to learn what really happened and, if appropriate, take remedial action. In addition, such rapid fact-gathering may be necessary to establish credibility with prosecutors, regulators, and auditors. The quality of the responses may forestall or moderate more intrusive government investigations. Our attorneys' knowledge of our clients and of the regulatory landscape allows companies and individuals to anticipate the investigation's course and focus, resulting in better resolutions of any disputes that arise.
Sutherland also provides proactive advice to minimize the possibility of future criminal or regulatory issues. For example, the group's specialized services help companies and senior executives establish compliance programs that meet the standards of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (including risk analyses), and assist clients in complying with the Foreign Corrupt Privacy Act (FCPA), USA PATRIOT Act and anti-money laundering programs. We know that prevention is the best defense.
Inside experience. Our White Collar Defense practice includes former DOJ attorneys, federal and state prosecutors, as well as former senior attorneys of the SEC Division of Enforcement and FINRA who worked closely with prosecutors on parallel civil cases. As a result, we understand the prosecutors’ internal priorities and the hot issues that drive investigations.
Reputation. The stature of our practice is reflected in the high-profile clients we’ve served, from Fortune 100 companies to executives implicated in corporate and financial controversies that attract front page news coverage.
Comprehensive service. Sutherland offers legal counsel on all aspects of white-collar defense. We represent companies and their directors and officers, undertake internal investigations and proactively develop practices and procedures designed to minimize the possibility of future criminal regulatory investigations.
Litigation. A core strength of our practice is our ability and willingness to litigate when other solutions with prosecutors or regulators are not possible. Sutherland provides clients a seamless transition from investigation to defense in state and federal courts, whether before a judge or jury. Our capability is understood by the government and effectively acts as a deterrent to ultimate prosecution.
Broad support. Our white-collar team is actively supported by other practices within our firm. The team is complemented by substantive expertise from our financial services, corporate, tax and energy practices, to name but a few. The integration of litigation and investigatory skills with substantive expertise ensures the highest quality representation and advice.
Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland’s nationally recognized practice offers:
- Representation and guidance during investigations
- Internal investigations
- Vigorous defense
- Advice and support during compliance and regulatory examinations
Our white collar team has represented corporations and individuals in connection with investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by:
- Department of Justice
- Department of Agriculture
- General Services Administration
- State attorneys-general offices
We have worked with clients in areas such as:
- Securities issues such as disclosure, insider trading, fiduciary duties, corporate governance, sub-prime mortgages, stock manipulation, options backdating, market timing and late trading
- Accounting issues such as fair value, revenue recognition, loss reserves
- Consumer lending
- Government contracts/procurement
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (including parallel investigations by foreign governments)
- Commercial bribery/kickbacks
- EPA criminal investigations
- Congressional investigations
- Federal tax investigations and proceedings
When individuals or companies find themselves in the government’s crosshairs, they turn to Sutherland’s experienced White Collar Defense team.
Top executive of public company being investigated for alleged securities fraud and other matters retains Sutherland.
Represented a small business lender in SEC, DOJ and USDA investigations into alleged improper lending practices and financial reporting.
Represented the only Arthur Andersen engagement partner of Enron who was not charged civilly or criminally.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
DOL Issues Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule
Eric A. Arnold,Wilson G. Barmeyer,Bruce M. Bettigole,Nicholas T. Christakos,Adam B. Cohen,Thomas W. Curvin,Olga Greenberg,Dodie C. Kent,Clifford E. Kirsch,Michael B. Koffler,Susan S. Krawczyk,Ben Marzouk,Carol T. McClarnon,Michael R. Nelson,S. Lawrence Polk,Stephen E. Roth,Brian L. Rubin,Vanessa A. Scott,Cynthia R. Shoss,Holly H. Smith,W. Mark Smith,Phillip E. Stano,Steuart H. Thomsen,Gail L. Westover,Allison E. Wielobob,Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik, January 20, 2017
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA).
Death Knell for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Wilson G. Barmeyer,Francis X. Nolan,Lewis S. Wiener, January 20, 2017
The presidential transition has left many prognosticators scrambling to figure out the policy implications of the change in administration. Among countless other things, companies affected by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) should consider whether the upcoming shift in political power...
Plaintiffs Have Come Up Empty on Class Action Slack Fill Litigation But Are Expected to Pick It Up in 2017
Brittany M. Cambre,Sarah Q. Chaudhry,Melissa A. Conrad-Alam,Michael R. Nelson,Meghana D. Shah,Ronald W. Zdrojeski, January 19, 2017
Complaints regarding the amount of product contained in a particular package appear to be the new battlefront on which plaintiffs are waging war on a wide range of consumer product manufacturers. The lawsuits are spurred by a set of regulations, issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)...
NAIC Report: 2016 Fall National Meeting
B. Scott Burton,Ling Ling,Michael R. Nelson,John S. Pruitt,Stephen E. Roth, December 30, 2016
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its 2016 Fall National Meeting December 10-13. Despite the glitzy setting at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, there were no splashy new developments—save the announcement of the appointment of Michael Consedine as NAIC...
Seller Beware? Rise of Consumer Class Actions Under New Jersey’s TCCWNA Statute
Kymberly Kochis,Francis X. Nolan,Lewis S. Wiener, December 16, 2016
Nearly 35 years ago, New Jersey enacted the Truth-in-Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA, pronounced “tic-wun-uh”), which provides additional protection for individual consumers who suffer harm as a result of unfair sales and advertising practices. A consumer can bring a...
Off the Grid: TCPA Class Action Settlement for Energy Utility Company
Thomas M. Byrne,Juan C. Garcia,Patricia A. Gorham,Phillip E. Stano,Rocco E. Testani, December 06, 2016
Utility companies continue to face ongoing litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that can arise from the use of automated communications with customers for purposes of marketing, customer servicing and collections. Recently, a New York federal court granted preliminary...
Heightened Focus on Renewable Fuel Standard Enforcement Increases Compliance Challenges
Paul C. Freeman,Catherine M. Krupka,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,Ronald W. Zdrojeski, December 02, 2016
As the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program continues to evolve and mature, so too does the manner in which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) seeks to drive day-to-day compliance by the regulated community. From the program’s inception, EPA’s regulatory...
TCPA Hazards Abound Following Busy Month for the FCC
Thomas M. Byrne,Juan C. Garcia,Phillip E. Stano,Rocco E. Testani,Lewis S. Wiener, November 30, 2016
On November 16, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a final rule regarding the treatment of debt servicing and collection calls made by or on behalf of the federal government under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The rule, a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of...
CFPB: Consider the Future Post-Obama
Brian Barrett,Thomas M. Byrne,Kymberly Kochis,Lewis S. Wiener, November 23, 2016
The election of Donald Trump and the new administration means a changed political reality for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The President-elect is expected to replace Director Richard Cordray as head of the CFPB soon after taking office. Looking further ahead, the Republican...
Thomas M. Byrne,Juan C. Garcia,Phillip E. Stano,Rocco E. Testani,Lewis S. Wiener, November 23, 2016
The outcome of the 2016 presidential election has left many prognosticators scrambling to figure out the policy implications of the incoming Republican change in administration. Among countless other things, companies affected by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) should consider whether...
Impaired Access: ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits On the Rise
Alexander P. Fuchs,Lewis S. Wiener,Amy Xu, November 14, 2016
An increasing number of class action lawsuits have been filed over the past year against private companies by individuals alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for failure to maintain websites that are accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Since early 2015,...
FINRA, SEC Renew Focus on Senior Investors in Immediate Aftermath of FINRA Submission of Proposed Rulemaking to SEC
Bruce M. Bettigole,Clifford E. Kirsch,Brian L. Rubin,Sarah Razaq Sallis,Holly H. Smith, October 25, 2016
On October 22-23, members of the securities industry, academia, regulators, and public policy experts gathered in Washington, D.C., at the joint Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Senior Investor Protection Conference....
CFPB Single-Director Structure Unconstitutional: CFPB Director Now Serves at President’s Will
Thomas M. Byrne,Matt Gatewood,Kymberly Kochis,Lewis S. Wiener, October 14, 2016
A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled October 11, 2016, that the current structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutional. The court concluded that an independent agency such as the CFPB cannot have a single director...
Reverse the Charges: Challengers Push Forward in Appeal of 2015 TCPA Order, Oral Argument Set for October 19
Thomas M. Byrne,Juan C. Garcia,Phillip E. Stano,Rocco E. Testani,Lewis S. Wiener, October 14, 2016
n July 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a much-anticipated Declaratory Ruling and Order aimed at clarifying certain aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). As previously reported, more than a dozen parties filed appeals to the Order, claiming that it did...
Cruise Ships Miss the Boat on TCPA Compliance to the Tune of Up to $76 Million
Thomas M. Byrne,Juan C. Garcia,Phillip E. Stano,Rocco E. Testani,Lewis S. Wiener, September 16, 2016
With a trial looming like storm clouds on the horizon, several cruise ship companies and their affiliated travel agencies settled a “robocall” Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action up to $76 million. The settlement, announced on September 8, 2016, was reached just weeks...
Lumber War May Be Imminent
Mark D. Herlach,Gregory S. Kaufman,Allison E. Speaker,Ryan R. Weiss, September 16, 2016
Negotiations to keep the peace in the complex and long-running international trade dispute between the United States and Canada over U.S. imports of Canadian softwood lumber appear to have stalled. Parties on both sides of the border are preparing for another round of import relief actions, which...
NAIC Report: 2016 Summer National Meeting
B. Scott Burton,Ling Ling,Michael R. Nelson,John S. Pruitt,Cynthia R. Shoss, September 07, 2016
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its 2016 Summer National Meeting from August 26 through August 29 in San Diego, California.
Day 2: Changing Lanes
Michael R. Nelson, August 15, 2016
2:47, P.M. Richland, Utah. We are about 1/5 the way across the country. It’s a big place! Automated features do decrease driver fatigue but using new technology and of course driving in new territories add to the effort.
Day 2: Leaving Las Vegas
Michael R. Nelson, August 15, 2016
Just outside of Vegas. We will just stop to refill battery. Nevada allows Level 3 driving while on a highway. Oddly on this section of Route 15, the lanes are not that clearly marked. Charlie seems to be struggling a little bit on staying in the center of the lines it is having a hard time seeing....
Day 2: Pit Stop
Michael R. Nelson, August 15, 2016
11:07 A.M. What is a little bit of an unexpected pleasure is the rest stops to charge the battery. The Tesla charge last about 300 miles but the Tesla real charging stations are about 100 miles apart so you have to stop more frequently than you would for a gas station. This charging station is in...
Day 2: Travels with Charlie
Michael R. Nelson, August 15, 2016
Yesterday we started the journey by heading out of Barstow, California at 5:30 pm driving northeast on Route 15. It was not ideal. Traffic on a Friday night in a L.A. rush hour on “the 5” was a bear.
Day 3: There’s an App for That
Michael R. Nelson, August 15, 2016
Starting off just outside of Denver. 42 degrees. I am charging Charlie and Drew is getting a few last winks in.
White House Issues Guidance Advising Agencies to Assess Climate Change in NEPA Reviews
Reginald J. Clark,Jay Holloway,Susan G. Lafferty,Peter Ligh,David M. McCullough, August 11, 2016
On August 1, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance for federal agencies on considering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews.1 This final guidance comes after the first draft...
Voice Over Internet Protocol and the TCPA: The Hidden Pothole on the Information Super Highway
Thomas M. Byrne,Juan C. Garcia,Patricia A. Gorham,Phillip E. Stano,Rocco E. Testani, July 27, 2016
Since the enactment of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991, technological advances in the way people communicate have often outpaced the ability of the courts and the Federal Communications Commission to reconcile those advances with the TCPA. The proliferation of cell phones and...
U.S. Customs Aims to Increase Enforcement of the Jones Act
David A. Baay,Jacob Dweck,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,Ronald W. Zdrojeski, July 20, 2016
In what could foretell a significant increase in the enforcement of the coastwise trade provisions of the Jones Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) announced on July 18 the creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE). The Jones Act’s coastwise trade...
CFPB Fires Another Warning Shot for Processors to Be Aware of Their Merchants’ Activities
Brian Barrett,Brian M. Murphy,Robert J. Pile,Lewis S. Wiener, June 14, 2016
In a recent line of enforcement actions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has signaled that it will hold payment processors liable if the CFPB believes the processors know or should have known that transactions processed for their processing customers are fraudulent or illegal. The...
Supreme Court Explores Injury Requirement for Federal Statutory Standing
Wilson G. Barmeyer,Thomas M. Byrne,Valerie Strong Sanders,Steuart H. Thomsen,Lewis S. Wiener, May 17, 2016
In a 6-2 opinion issued today, the Supreme Court vacated a Ninth Circuit holding that a plaintiff who alleges that his own federal statutory rights have been violated has alleged enough to establish Article III standing to sue. The Court remanded the long-pending Fair Credit Reporting Act case,...
Unusual Antitrust Agencies’ Guidance on Defense Mergers
Jeffrey P. Bialos,James R. McGibbon, April 14, 2016
The Department of Justice (Justice) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today issued an unusual joint statement that highlighted their continued commitment to preserve defense industry competition by closely reviewing mergers and acquisitions in that sector, in cooperation with the Department of...
Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo: “Representative” Evidence May Be Used in (Some) Class Actions
Thomas M. Byrne,Thomas W. Curvin,Matt Gatewood,Patricia A. Gorham,Phillip E. Stano, March 24, 2016
On March 22, 2016, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the certification of a class of Tyson Foods employees under Rule 23(b)(3) and a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Court held that representative evidence could be allowed to fill an evidentiary gap created by...
Dial “C” for Confusion: Courts Split on TCPA Definition of Autodialer
Thomas M. Byrne,Juan C. Garcia,Phillip E. Stano,Rocco E. Testani,Lewis S. Wiener, March 15, 2016
Notwithstanding so-called “guidance” from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its July 2015 Order, the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS or autodialer) continues to be a disputed issue. This issue perpetuates the uncertainty over the scope...
EU-U.S. Privacy Shield - Full Text Released
Daniel E. Frank,Mark D. Herlach,Brian M. Murphy,Robert D. Owen,Brian L. Rubin, March 08, 2016
On February 29, 2016, the European Commission released the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The text reveals the details of a new framework that will place stronger obligations on U.S. companies to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It will also involve heightened compliance requirements...