July 2011


Santa Fe Conference Update
Hotel Reservations Full But Alternative Available

La Posada casitaNAFUSA had reserved a limited number of rooms at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, the site of the September 29-October 1 conference. Unfortunately, the block of reserved rooms are now full. Fifteen rooms have been reserved, however, at the nearby Inn and Spa at Loretto with the same rate offered at La Posada: $249 per night plus $12 daily service fee. If you have not reserved a room for the conference, call the Inn and Spa at Loretto at 1.866.582.1646 and mention NAFUSA. Reservation deadline for the hotel is August 30, 2011. With the world famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to be held in New Mexico October 1-9, hotel rooms in Santa Fe are filling up quickly. These 15 rooms are likely to fill quickly.


If you haven't already registered for the NAFUSA conference, click here for the registration form. The program for this year's conference is almost complete. Click here for the most recent draft program.

Ron Woods to be Honored in Santa Fe

Saturday Dinner To Include Salute To Outgoing Executive Director

Ron Woods will be ending his four years as NAFUSA's executive director at the end of September 2011. NAFUSA President Bill Lutz announced that Woods will be honored for his service at the Saturday October 1 closing banquet. Woods (left) is pictured with Mahlon Brown, his immediate predecessor as executive director of NAFUSA.


Woods has done a superlative job managing NAFUSA while simultaneously maintaining a sole practice in Houston. Woods is considered one of the most notable criminal defense lawyers in Texas. His list of prominent representations include Jeffrey Skilling, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Terry Nichols. He was appointed, along with NAFUSA member Larry Finder, to investigate and prosecute a complaint against a New Orleans federal judge, who was subsequently impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives and convicted and removed from office by the U.S. Senate.


Woods was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. He also served four years as a Special Agent of the FBI. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. He and his wife Patty live in Houston, and are the proud parents of Chloe Woods, who will be married in New Orleans on July 16, 2011, and Sara Woods, who will be her sister's maid of honor.

Santa Fe Golf
Black Mesa Golf Course Outing Planned
Black Mesa Golf CourseNAFUSA President Bill Lutz has arranged for tee times on Thursday morning, September September 29, at the Black Mesa Golf Course. Black Mesa has been rated by Golf Digest among the top 100 public courses in the United States. It is located about 20 miles north of Santa Fe. The green fee with cart is $82 per person. If you are interested, email Lutz at wlutz@questoffice.net.
Montgomery & Andrews Joins Santa Fe Sponsors
NAFUSA Founding Member Victor Ortega Firm's Senior Litigator

Victor OrtegaFounded in 1936, the firm now known as Montgomery & Andrews has grown to be the largest in Santa Fe and consistently among the largest in New Mexico. In 2008 the firm expanded to Albuquerque. 


NAFUSA member Victor Ortega is the firm's senior litigator. He served as the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico from 1969-1978. Ortega was a member of the the Attorney General's Advisory Committee and served as its chairman 1977-1978. He is a founding member of NAFUSA. Ortega earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1959.


NAFUSA now has 7 sponsors for the Santa Fe conference, with a total sponsorship of $53,000.



John McKay Training Judges in the Republic of Georgia
Training in Organized Crime and Terrorism Trials

John McKay in GeorgiaNAFUSA Board Member John McKay, Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law, is spending the summer in Tbilisi, Georgia. Under the auspices of the the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) McKay is training local judges in organized crime and terrorism issues.


McKay is accompanied by U.S. District Judge David Carter (Central District of California) and Bob Dudgate, Chief of the Criminal Division in the Central District of California. They presented a series of hypotheticals and case studies. McKay presented on the Ahmed Ressam "Millennium Bomber" case. The photo to the left depicts Dudgate, Judge Carter, McKay, Resident Legal Advisor Jared Kimball (an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Washington) and a Georgian judge.


John McKay in the Republic of GeorgiaMcKay and Dugdale, shown in the photo to the right, were flown in a 40-year-old Russian made helicopter to the 12,000 foot level of the Caucasus Mountains to view the Dagistan and Chechen borders. They were hosted by Tusheti mountain people in a feast of meats, cheeses and Georgian wine drunk from a goats horn.


McKay specializes in constitutional law, national security and expert witnesses. He consults on ethical issues and practices law with his brother, former NAFUSA president Mike McKay, at McKay Chadwell, PLLC in Seattle. John McKay served as U.S. Attorney from 2001-2007 in the Western District of Washington.

Charles La Bella Returns to Justice Department
NAFUSA Member Named Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section

Charles La BellaIn November of 2010, Charles La Bella, NAFUSA member and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of California (1998-1999), rejoined the U.S. Department of Justice as a deputy chief of the fraud section of the Criminal Division. La Bella will be stationed in San Diego and will assist on cases being investigated and prosecuted on the West Coast. La Bella spent 16 years as a government fraud prosecutor, and served as the chief of the criminal division in San Diego. He also served as the head of the Justice Department's campaign finance unit and the head of the public corruption unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.


During his time in private practice, La Bella was appointed to the San Diego Ethics Commission and was brought in as Special Counsel for Peregrine Systmes in connection with an internal investigation relating to accounting irregularities. He is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law.



Annual Event to Honor the Late Jim Robinson
Former NAFUSA President and Assistant Attorney General

jim RobinsonIt has been almost a year since James K. Robinson died. Robinson, a former NAFUSA president and an Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, will be honored at a special event on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at the Detroit Athletic Club. Proceeds will supplement the James K. Robinson Endowed Scholarship Fund at Wayne State University Law School, where Robinson served as dean. The fund committee hopes it will become an annual event.


Last fall, Attorney General Eric Holder hosted a memorial service for Robinson in the Great Hall at Main Justice.

James K. Robinson / USDOJ Memorial / 2010-11-01
James K. Robinson / USDOJ Memorial / 2010-11-01

Among the speakers was James Comey, the former Deputy Attorney General in the Bush administration. Many NAFUSA members were present and will long remember Comey's stiring remarks. A recent column in the Detroit Free Press by Brian Dickerson summarizes Comey's comments and reminds us what a special lawyer Robinson was and what an important model he was to so many.

Dues Update
Dues Invoices Mailed in January

Although dues invoices were mailed in January, 68 members have not yet paid their 2011 dues. These funds are essential for planning the Santa Fe conference and for operating expenses. If you haven't paid your annual dues, please mail your check, payable to NAFUSA, to Ron Woods at the address listed below. The different membership types are annual membership ($150); lifetime membership ($1500); senior status-over 70 ($50). Membership is free for any new member in the first year immediately following his or her departure from office.

Five NAFUSA members upgraded their memberships to lifetime status in 2011. They are Board member Jim Brady, President-Elect Rick Deane, Chuck Rosenberg, Immediate Past President Rich Rossman and Matt Whitaker.

National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA)

Ronald G. Woods

Executive Director

5300 Memorial- Suite 1000

Houston, TX 77007

Phone: 713-862-9600






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