James B. Letten

James B. Letten: Attorney with Butler Snow LLP AV stamp icon
  • Of Counsel at Butler Snow LLP
  • 201 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 2700, New Orleans, LA 70170
    View James B. Letten's office location
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Attorney Awards


Prior to joining the firm, Jim served continuously as the longest serving United States Attorney in the nation with over 11 1/2 years of continuous service.


•AV - Preeminent Peer Review Rated, 2003-2017
•Commander (O-5), U.S. Navy Reserve, 1985-2005 (NCIS Officer-Agent)
•Torch of Liberty Award, Anti-Defamation League, 2010
•Superintendent’s Special Achievement Award, New Orleans Police Department, 2012, 2015
•Special Appreciation Award, Sheriff Newell Normand, 2015
•Champion Award, New Orleans Family Justice Center, 2013
•Criminal Justice Lifetime Achievement Award, Crimestoppers, 2013
•Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award, Victims and Citizens Against Crime, 2013
•Commandant’s Meritorious Public Service Award/Medal, United States Coast Guard, 2013
•Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Special Award, Louisiana Rescue Mission Fellowship, 2012
•Annual Citizen of the Year Honoree, American Heart Association, 2012
•CityBusiness Leader in Law, 2010, 2016
•Citizen of the Year, Southeast Louisiana Boy Scouts of America, 2010
•Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, University of New Orleans, 2008
•Medallion for Distinguished Service, United States Attorney General, 2006
•Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, University of New Orleans College of Liberal Arts, 2006
•Law Enforcement Professional of the Year Award, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), 2005
•Top Attorney in New Orleans, New Orleans Magazine, 2007
•Most Admired New Orleanian, New Orleans Magazine, 2008, 2009
•New Orleanian of the Year, Gambit Magazine, 2009
•Distinguished Service Award for Trial of Litigation, United States Attorney General, 2001
•Director’s Award, United States Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys, 1996
•Task Force Award, FBI Organized Crime/State Police, 1995

In the News

•Jim Letten Appointed to Tier 2 Hearing Committee of Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board
•Jim Letten Appointed to Jefferson Parish Quality Assurance Committee of the Inspector General’s Office
•Jim Letten Appointed to Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement’s Emergency and Security Studies Industry Advisory Board
•Timothy S. Perry and Jim Letten Published in China
•Edward Stanton Joins NAFUSA - nafusa.org (National Association of Former United States Attorneys)
•Court Watch NOLA presents Criminal Justice Reform Awards - The New Orleans Advocate
•Vic Franckiewicz and Jim Letten Recognized at Reception for 2016 CityBusiness Leadership in Law Award
•Jim Letten Joining as Senior Counsel, Continuing the Strength of the White Collar Crime Group
•Honorees chosen for 12th Leadership in Law class - New Orleans CityBusiness
•Butler Snow Attorney Jim Letten Named Co-Chair of ABA Criminal Justice Section Crime Sub-Committee
•Tulane Law Assistant Dean and Former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten Joins Butler Snow in New Orleans

Papers, Presentations, & Publications

•Speaker, “Crisis Response and Continuity of Operations,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Planning, November 19, 2018.
•Co-Author, “Customs System and the Law, Foreign Trade System and Law and Foreign Direct Investment System and Law,” Essentials of the Laws of the Belt and Road Countries - Australia, U.K., U.S., 2017.
• Author, “The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Importance of Anti-corruption Efforts in Trade Globalization,” International Law Perspective of the Belt and Road Initiative, 2015.
•Regular presenter and planner at the University of Texas Law School’s Government Enforcement Institute (GEI), speaks and moderates on relevant topics related to issues on corporate compliance and fraud.
•Co-Author, “U.S. Laws Affecting International Trade,” for an international publication in Chinese, English and other languages, as part of the “One Belt One Road Initiative,” 2016.
•Author, “The Yates Memo: What New Challenges to Expect,” Law 360, 2016.
•Author, “The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Importance of International Anti-Corruption Efforts in Trade Globalization,” published in Chinese, English, and numerous languages in the publication entitled International Law Perspective of the One Belt One Road Initiative, Hong Kong, 2015.
•Keynote speaker, “Combating Corruption,” National Conference of the National Association of Inspectors General, Detroit, October 2015.
•Speaker, “Topic,” JPSO Graduation, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2015.
•Speaker, “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA),” One Belt, One Road International Trade Conference, Hong Kong City Law School, Hong Kong, July 2015.
•Author, Crisis Response and Continuity of Operations: A Personal Account of My Experiences During and After Hurricane Katrina, Tulane Law Review, Vol. 87, No. 5 & 6, 2013.
•Co-Author, USAO Crisis Management and Continuity of Operations During and After Disasters: A case study based on the Hurricane Katrina experience in the Eastern and Middle Districts of Louisiana, Crisis Response and Related Litigation 119, 143, 2009.
•Commencement Speaker, University of New Orleans, 2009.
•Keynote Speaker and Panel Conductor, Conference on Transparency and Ethics: Towards an Accountable Society, (First Conference on Corruption in Eastern Europe following the Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact), Czech Republic, September 19, 2007.
•Commencement Speaker, University of New Orleans, College of Liberal Arts, 2006.

Civic Involvement

•Jefferson Parish Quality Assurance Review Committee of the Inspector General’s Office
•Tulane University’s Emergency and Security Studies Industry Advisory Board
•Tulane University Law School Alumni Association
•University of New Orleans Alumni Association, Selection Committee
•Boy Scouts of America Southeast Louisiana Council, President, 2016-Present
•De La Salle High School Alumni Association
•National World War II Museum
•Higgins Boat Society, 10-Year Volunteer/Member, PT-305 Restoration Team
•Court Watch New Orleans, Advisory Board Member
•Crescent Leadership Academy Charter School, Board Member
•Louisiana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Board Member, 2002-2005

Recent Blogs

•Surge in I.C.E. Immigration Enforcement is Wake-Up Call to U.S. Employers
•Update for International Travelers: Flying with Computers and Smartphones (this week)
•The Yates Memo: What New Challenges Do We Anticipate With DOJ’s Enhanced Focus On Corporate Individuals?

Areas of Practice (6)

  • White Collar, Compliance and Government Investigations
  • Appellate and Written Advocacy
  • Civil Rights
  • Immigration
  • Catastrophic Events and Major Claims
  • Energy

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(504) 299-7777  Phone
(504) 299-7701  Fax
University Attended:
University of New Orleans, B.A., Communications, 1976
Law School Attended:
Tulane University, J.D., 1979
Year of First Admission:
1979, Louisiana


•American Bar Association
•Co-Chair, Criminal Justice Section
•Computer Crime, Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets Subcommittee
•Louisiana State Bar Association
•Center for Law and Civic Education
•Board Member, 2002-2005
•Federal Bar Association
•National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA)
•Military Order of Foreign Wars (Navy Veteran)
•New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission
•Vice Chair
•Executive Board Member
•New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation
•Executive Board Member
•New Orleans Citizens' Diplomacy Council
•Advisory Board Member
•New Orleans Crimestoppers
•Executive Board Co-Chairman
•Court Watch New Orleans
•Advisory Board Member
•Chair, Awards and Recognition Committee
•Naval Reserve Association
•Old Salts and Assorted Spies - Retired Naval Intelligence Association
•World Trade Center - New Orleans
•GNO Inc. - Regional Economic Development Corporation
•Member, Policy Committee

Ensign, Special Duty Intelligence, U.S.N.R. 1985—
Birth Information:
New Orleans, Louisiana, September 12, 1953
Reported Cases:
Experience: Jim consults and provides representation on criminal and regulatory investigations by government agencies, as well as government audits, civil fraud cases and international trade and regulatory issues, including establishment of FCPA/UK Bribery Act corporate compliance and integrity programs, as well as training and monitoring for police and sheriff's departments on constitutional policing.; Assistant Dean, Experiential Learning, Tulane University School of Law (2013-2016): Responsible for oversight, development and expansion of all skills-based educational components of the law school, including moot court, law clinics, student externships, Intersession intensive training boot camp , trial advocacy program, capstone and skills-based legal courses and other related programs.; United States Attorney (2001-2012): Served continuously as the longest serving United States Attorney in the nation with over 11 1/2 years continuous service.; First Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana (1994-2001): Supervised the daily operations of the United States Attorney's office. Additionally, served as the lead prosecutor in the investigation and four-month jury trial resulting in the conviction of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards.; Trial Attorney and Chief, US Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, New Orleans, Louisiana (1982-1989): Strike Force cases involved complex criminal (RICO) offenses and investigations over5 states, principally traditional organized crime (La Cosa Nostra/ Mafia), as well as labor racketeering, drug cartels, violent interstate/international gangs, and emerging/non-traditional/international organized crime.; Assistant District Attorney, New Orleans District Attorneys Office (1980-1982, 1985-1986): Senior Assistant DA in 1981; Special Prosecutions (primarily corruption) in 1985 - 1986; Prosecuted all types of criminal cases, from misdemeanors to capital and complex white-collar and corruption offenses, including both political and law enforcement corruption.

Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.


Lex Mundi

New Orleans, Louisiana

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