February 2013

NAFUSA Update is published monthly. NAFUSA's website can be accessed directly from this newsletter. New articles are posted to the website during the month.  You may also subscribe to NAFUSA email updates, delivered to your inbox overnight, the day after any new items are posted. (Be sure to complete the two step process.) You can also follow NAFUSA on Twitter (@NAFUSAorg).
Mary Jo White Nominated to Head SEC


President Obama will nominate NAFUSA member Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. White served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York 1993-2002. After leaving office, she rejoined Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and became chair of the firm's litigation department. She is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International College of Trial Lawyers. White has served as a director of The Nasdaq Stock Exchange and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Todd Jones Nominated to be Permanent ATF Director

B. Todd JonesNAFUSA member B. Todd Jones, shown left, has been nominated by President Obama to be the first permanent director of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) since 2006. Jones has been the acting director of ATF since August 2011. He has continued as the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota and has served as the director of the Attorney General Advisory Committee (AGAC).











Jones took over the agency in the midst of the Fast and Furious controversy and, as reported in Huffpost Politics:

Jones tossed six of the top eight assistant directors at ATF's fortress-esque headquarters in the northeastern part of Washington, D.C. He placed restrictions on undercover ATF operations and instituted monthly oversight on larger investigations. He has called his ATF gig the hardest job he's ever had.


Asked whether agents would shy away from bigger gun trafficking cases because of worries such difficult cases could bring them under congressional scrutiny, Jones said the agency wouldn't back down from tough investigations.


'All we can do is get off the mat again and keep swinging,' he said.

No president has been able to get a nominee for ATF through the Senate since 2006, the first year Senate confirmation was required for the director of ATF.

Lanny Breuer To Leave DOJ
Lanny BreuerThe Department of Justice announced on January 30, 2013, that Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer would step down on March 1, 2013. Breuer was confirmed by the Senate on April 20, 2009, making him the longest serving AAG of the Criminal Division in modern times. Breuer participated on a panel on internal investigations at NAFUSA's Atlanta conference in 2012. Click here to read the statement released by the Department.
Loretta Lynch Named to Head AGAC

Loretta Lynch Attorney General Eric Holder announced the appointment of Loretta E. Lynch, shown right, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as chair of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC). Attorney General Holder also appointed Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, to serve as vice chair. Both appointments became effective January 1, 2013.


Lynch was appointed to the AGAC in May 2010 and has served as vice chair since 2011. She replaces Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Lynch has also served as the chair for the Advisory Committee's Office, Management and Budget Subcommittee.



Sally YatesYates, shown right was appointed to the AGAC in May 2010 and has served on several subcommittees including Civil Rights, White Collar Fraud, and Criminal Practice and Law Enforcement Coordination/Victim/Community Issues

Dispute Over Military Commissions
NY Terrorism Panel
Charlie Savage, a national security reporter for The New York Times
has appeared at the past three NAFUSA conferences as the moderator or panel member At NAFUSA's New York conference in 2010, Savage, shown above at the podium, moderated the two hour panel discussion on "The Appropriate Forum to Prosecute Terrorism Cases." Panel members included NAFUSA members Ken Wainstein and David Iglesias, together with U.S. District Judge John Coughenour, Eugene Fidell of Yale Law School and Matthew Waxman of Columbia Law School. 


Savage continues his reporting on this important topic and on Sunday, January 27, He penned his first Sunday Review
piece in The Times: Who Decides the Laws of War?


Savage writes of the dispute between Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins, chief prosecutor of the military commissions system and the Obama administration. Martins is the lead prosecutor in the procedings against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others charged with aiding the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


The issue, as Savage describes the controversy:

is it valid for the United States to use tribunals to charge idiosyncratic American offenses like "conspiracy," even though they are not recognized as war crimes under international law?


The current dispute traces back to an appeals court ruling in October that vacated a tribunal's verdict in 2008 against an Al Qaeda driver because his offense, "material support for terrorism," was not a recognized international war crime at the time of his actions. The judges rejected the Justice Department's argument that the charge was nevertheless valid under an American "common law of war" and because Congress had listed the crime as an offense for the tribunals in a 2006 statute.

General Martins pushed to abandon the conviction in another case which relied upon the charge of "conspiracy", which is not recognized as an international war crime. He has, however, been overruled by Attorney General Eric Holder. General Martins refused to sign the Justice Department brief, but has been overruled by the Pentagon.

The issue is complicated by the action of Congress forbidding the prosecution of Guantanamo detainees in federal court, where they could be prosceuted for offenses such as conspiracy.


Savage quotes another of the NAFUSA New York panel members, Eugene Fidell:

It's tempting to view this as about General Martins, but it's not," he said. "Decisions about prosecuting detainees have become about what is feasible as opposed to what is rational. The constraints imposed by Congress are forcing officials into contorted positions which are particularly uncomfortable for military lawyers, who don't want to get near the 'third rail' of destroying reciprocity.

Dick Thornburgh Authors Article on Pro Bono

Dick Thornburgh Former Attorney General of the United States (1988-1991) and NAFUSA member Dick Thornburgh, shown left, has published an article in the January/February 2013, The Pennsylvania Lawyer entitled 'Equal Justice Under Law': The Role of the Pro Bono Lawyer. 


Thornburgh writes:

The aspiration emblazoned upon the facade of the U.S. Supreme Court - "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW" - cannot be achieved in a society that does not provide competent counsel to all who require it. Those in need cannot be left to sink or swim in an increasingly complex legal environment. We can be proud of the steps taken over the years by the legal profession to meet their needs.

Thornburgh also served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania (1969-1975), Governor of Pennsylvania (1979-1987) and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (1992-1993). He currently practices with K&L Gates in Washington.



Fulbright & Jaworski and Norton Rose To Join

William Leone NAFUSA board member William J. Leone, shown left at the Atlanta conference, a partner in the Denver office of Fulbright & Jaworski, advised NAFUSA Update that his firm has entered into an agreement to combine with Norton Rose, a leading global legal practice. The combined firm will have 55 offices worldwide and 3,800 lawyers. It will be a top 10 global legal practice by gross revenue and by number of lawyers. The agreement is scheduled to be final on June 1, 2013, and the firm will be known as Norton Rose Fulbright.



Don DeGabrielleFulbright & Jaworski was founded in 1919 in Houston. It is a leading full-service international law firm, with more than 850 lawyers in 17 locations. NAFUSA member Donald J. DeGabrielle, shown right, is also a Fulbright partner, in the Houston office.

2013 Dues Payable February 28
2013 membership dues are payable by February 28, 2013. This year, for the first time, you may register on line, and, if you choose, pay by credit card. We used this system for last year's Atlanta conference, and a large majority used the credit card system. Even if you choose to send a check, please register on line. Please click on the link on the right hand side of this newsletter to go to the registration site.
We have 45 life members, with board member Alice Martin and Jeffrey Taylor having joined within the past month. The $1500 investment is well worth it.
Four new members have joined in January: Jane Duke, ED Arkansas 2007-2011, Stephen Hill, WD Missouri 1993-2001, Michelle Jacobs, ED Wisconsin 2009-2010 and Jim Letten, ED Louisiana 2001-2012.
We are also reaching out to potential sponsors for the 2013 conference in Washington. Greenberg Traurig, long time sponsor, is the first sponosr to sign up for 2013, with a generous $15,000 contribution. In addition,  we have pledges for $25,000: Ernst & Young $15,000, PricewaterhouseCoopers $5000 and Perkins Coie $5000.
2013 Sponsors
GreenbergTraurig logo   
National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA).
Richard A. Rossman
Executive Director
27 Oakland Park
Pleasant Ridge, Michigan 48069
Phone: 248-548-8289

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In This Issue
Mary Jo White Nominated for SEC
Todd Jones Nominated for ATF
Lanny Breuer To Leave DOJ
Lorreta Lynch to Head AGAC
Military Commissions in the News
Dick Thornburgh on Pro Bono
Fulbright & Jaworski to Merge with Norton Rose
Pay dues by February 28

2013 Membership Dues Registration Open On Line




2013 membership dues are payable by February 28, 2013. You may register for payment on line and, if you choose, pay by credit card. Lifetime members do not need to register. Not sure whether you are a lifetime member? Check the link in blue below.


Annual dues remain at $150 and senior dues (retired and over 70 years) at $50. 45 NAFUSA members have chosen to become lifetime members. Please consider joining them at a one time payment of $1500.