February 2015

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).
Lynch Confirmation Hearings Begin

Loretta LynchConfirmation hearings began before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 28 and 29, for Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General. 


Matt Apuzzo of The New York Times profiled her on January 13, 2015. In an article entitled Nominee for Attorney General Less an Activist Than Holder, Apuzzo writes,

Ms. Lynch, President Obama's nominee to become the next attorney general, is easy to misread. Mr. Obama predicted that she would carry on the legacy of Eric H. Holder Jr., an African-American who proudly declared himself an activist and became the administration's most outspoken voice on race.


But while Ms. Lynch shares Mr. Holder's views on issues such as the strained relations between the police and minorities, her friends and colleagues describe someone cautious and comfortable staying in the background who sees her role as that of a traditional prosecutor and not a civil rights advocate. Those differences are likely to become clear when confirmation hearings on her nomination begin in the Senate in the next few weeks.


The Times quotes Ronald T. Hosko as one of "Mr. Holder's most vocal critics." Hosko is president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund and a former assistant director of the F.B.I. Hosko offered only praise for Lynch,

Mr. Hosko said his old colleagues had told him to expect an aggressive prosecutor and a reluctant political figure.


"It was all very, very positive," he said. "I haven't heard any reports that she's weak in the knees, that the office is afraid."


The Times also quotes Paul Fishman, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, "It's never about Loretta, said Fishman. "It's always about the work."


Sally Yates also awaits confirmation as the Deputy Attorney General, but is serving as Acting DAG as Jim Cole has left the Department to return to private practice. Eric Holder has announced, however, that he will remain in office until his successor is confirmed.



Former U.S. Attorneys Support Lynch for AG

Twenty five former United States Attorneys have written a letter to Senator Grassley, chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary,  and Patrick Leahy, the ranking member, supporting the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.


In a strong showing of bipartisan support, the letter is signed by former U.S. Attorneys who have served in Republican administrations as well as Democratic administrations.

We firmly believe that Ms. Lynch will make an outstanding Attorney General. And, we are very pleased that the President has nominated a sitting U.S. Attorney to be Attorney General. Indeed, if confirmed, this would be the first time in almost two centuries that a U.S. Attorney would have been directly elevated to Attorney General.


As you might expect, we are proud of our service in the Justice Department and believe that serving as U.S. Attorney provides a strong background to be Attorney General. Both because of that and because of her own strong personal qualifications, we believe that Ms. Lynch has the experience, temperament, independence, integrity, and judgment to immediately assume this critically important position.


Click here to view the letter and the list of 25 signatories. 



John Walsh To Head AGAC

John Walsh Attorney General Eric Holder announced on January 22, 2015, the appointment of United States Attorney John F. Walsh, shown left, for the District of Colorado as chair of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys (AGAC).  Attorney General Holder also appointed United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian for the Northern District of New York to serve as vice chair.  Both appointments are effective immediately.


"Throughout their respective tenures in Colorado and the Northern District of New York, John Walsh and Richard Hartunian have been thoughtful leaders of the United States Attorney community, fierce advocates for the citizens they serve, and champions of the cause of justice," said Attorney General Holder.  "Each of them has been instrumental in addressing sensitive legal issues, handling difficult cases, and shaping and implementing critical Smart on Crime reforms.  I thank John and Richard for agreeing to lead the Attorney General's Advisory Committee - and for lending their perspectives and deep experience to the pressing policy questions about which I, and Attorney General-designate Loretta Lynch, will surely look to them for guidance and counsel."


U.S. Attorney Walsh previously served on the AGAC from February 2011 to January 2013 as the chair of the Medical Marijuana Working Group and co-chair of the White Collar/Fraud Subcommittee.  He replaces U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Attorney General nominee Loretta E. Lynch.


Richard Hartunian U.S. Attorney Hartunian, shown right, was appointed to the AGAC in April 2013 and has served as the chair of the Border and Immigration Subcommittee in addition to serving on several committees.  He replaces Acting Deputy Attorney General and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Quillian Yates.




Mueller Releases Report in NFL Investigation


NAFUSA member Robert Mueller, the former F.B.I. director, was retained by the N.F.L. to investigate how the league handled the domestic abuse case involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Mueller released his findings on January 8, 2015.


Mueller found that the N.F.L. and Commissioner Roger Goodell did not have or view the video that showed Rice punching his fiancee in an elevator before Goodell suspended Rice for two games in July. But the league made little effort to pursue the case even after it "possessed substantial information suggesting a serious event had occurred inside the elevator," according to Mueller's report. Mueller concluded that the league was aware of the magnitude of the encounter but nevertheless agreed to a light punishment of Rice.



Doug Jones Featured on PBS

Doug JonesNAFUSA Secretary Doug Jones will be prominently featured on PBS as part of the "America Reframed" series that follows two schools in the Birmingham area- one white, one black- as they collaborate on a production of "To Kill a Mockingbird."


Jones, former United States Attorney for the ND of Alabama, was the prosecutor of the the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. He is joined in the documentary by Attorney General Eric Holder; Congressman John Lewis; Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree; Pulitzer Prize winning writers Rick Bragg and Diane mcWhorter; as well as actors from the 1962 film.


"Our Mockingbird" will air on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 on WORLD Channel at 8 p.m. (check local listings),  Click here to view Our MOCKINGBIRD Press Release.



Stern Interviewed on Boston Bombing Trial

Don Stern AMI photo NAFUSA Immediate Past President Donald Stern, former U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, currently with Affiliated Monitors, and Stephanie Roberts Hartung, a professor at Suffolk University Law School, discuss the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They speak with June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio's "Bloomberg Law."


Click here to hear the Bloomberg Law recordings. Stern is interviewed on January 2nd and 20th 




George Terwilliger Moves to McGuireWoods


George Terwilliger
McGuireWoods announced on January 29, 2015, that NAFUSA member George Terwilliger has joined the firm as co-chair of the white collar practice and leader of the new Strategic Risk and Crisis Management group.



George served as the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont 1986-1991 and the Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush and helped lead the Bush legal team in the 2000 Florida election recount. In the private sector, Terwilliger counsels clients in internal investigations and enforcement proceedings, especially those involving the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other agencies.


Also making the move from Morgan Lewis is Robert Bittman, whose practice focuses on issues impacting multinational corporations, particularly matters arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and False Claims Act, as well as Todd Steggerda, who brings to McGuireWoods more than 16 years of experience in government contracts litigation.


Richard Cullen "Attracting George Terwilliger, Bob Bittman and Todd Steggerda is a coup for any firm," said NAFUSA member Richard Cullen, shown right, chairman of the firm and a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia 1991-1993, and former Virginia attorney general who established the firm's white collar practice. "Their experience, connections and leadership will be a tremendous asset for our clients. We are delighted they are joining us to launch the Strategic Risk and Crisis Management practice."



Heffelfinger Named Co-Chair of Judicial Selection Committee in Minnesota

Tom HeffelfingerU.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken announced on December 29, 2014, the formation of a judicial selection committee to assist them in making a recommendation to the President to fill a vacancy on Minnesota's federal district court that was created by Chief Judge Michael J. Davis's decision to assume senior status. Judge Davis sent a letter to President Obama announcing he would retire from regular active service as a United States District Court Judge in August of 2015 and continue to serve as a senior judge.


The Committee is co-chaired by NAFUSA member Thomas Heffelfinger, shown above, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and current partner at Best & Flanagan, and R. Ann Huntrods, a partner at Briggs and Morgan and former head of that firm's employment law practice group



Roger Heaton Appointed Illinois Public Safety Director

Roger Heaton Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced in late January the appointment of NAFUSA member Roger Heaton, shown right, as Public Safety Director.


Heaton has 30 years of legal experience, including spending more than four years as the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois (2005-2009), appointed by President George W. Bush. Most recently, he was a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson. He also spent two years as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.


Until joining the administration, Heaton was an Administrative Law Judge with the U.S. Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. He presided over federal administrative hearings of disability claims under the Social Security Act.


Heaton earned his law degree from Indiana University and holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Tris Coffin Joins Downs Rachlin Martin

Tris Coffin NAFUSA's newest member, Tristram J. Coffin, left his position as United States Attorney for the District of Vermont on January 12, 2015, to join the northern New England law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC as a director in the Burlington office.


At DRM, Coffin will represent clients in significant civil and criminal litigation both within Vermont and outside of the state. He will assist clients with internal and external investigations in areas such as health care, corporate fiduciary duties, government contracting and securities.


Except for three years in private practice in 2006-2009, Coffin has spent the last 17 years in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Vermont, including the past six years as chief prosecutor. Coffin was appointed to the post in 2009 by President Barack Obama. From 2009 to his departure, Coffin served as co-chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Practice of the U.S. Attorney General's Advisory Committee, dealing with key issues facing the Department of Justice, including discovery reform, charging standards, sentencing issues, agency tape recording policy, Giglio reform and grand jury practice. He also served on the AGAC Health Care Fraud Working Group, the Cyber Crime Working Group and the Cross Border Crime Forum, addressing issues of U.S.-Canada law enforcement and cooperation.


A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Columbia University School of Law, Coffin was counsel to the Subcommittee on Technology and the Law of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked closely with Vermont Senator Leahy. In that capacity, Coffin assisted the Senator with policies regarding crime, civil rights and court legislation, hi-tech antitrust issues, the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact, and the approval of three nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and many executive and judicial branch nominees, among other matters.


The 60-plus attorneys at DRM apply creativity, connections and experience to solve the toughest legal problems. From offices located in Vermont and New Hampshire, DRM represents regional, national and international entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, technology businesses and Fortune 100 companies. The legal services provided by the firm include bankruptcy and business restructuring, general business, captive insurance, renewable energy and telecommunications, health law, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and land use, environmental,tax, and trusts and estates, plus legislative and regulatory services through the firm's Government and Public Affairs group. DRM is the exclusive member firm in Vermont for Lex Mundi - the world's leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in more than 100 countries worldwide.



Jenny Durkan Joins Quinn Emanuel

Jenny Durkan Jenny A. Durkan stepped down as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington at the end of September and, on January 7, 2015, joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP as a partner. The firm announced it was opening in office in Seattle, and that Durkan would be based there. She became a member of NAFUSA in late January.


Durkan  will serve as Global Chair of the Cyber Law and Privacy Group, and join the firm's White Collar & Corporate Investigations practice. Duran was in the first group of six U.S. Attorneys nominated by President Obama in May 2009; she was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in September 2009. During her five years as U.S. Attorney, Durkan was a member of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee, and chaired its sub-committee on Cybercrime and IP Enforcement. She served on the DOJ's Cyber Advisory Committee and IP Enforcement Taskforce, and co-chaired the Taskforce's criminal and civil enforcement working groups. In addition to Seattle, Durkan will practice out of the firm's Washington, D.C. office.


Durkan is Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Washington. Before serving as the U.S. Attorney in Seattle, Durkan was known for her work in noteworthy litigation, including serving as trial counsel to defend Washington Governor Christine Gregoire in the disputed election re-count of 2004.


Quinn Emanuel is a 700+ lawyer business litigation firm-the largest in the world devoted solely to business litigation and arbitration with 18 global office locations.



Stevens AUSA Suspensions Overturned By Merit Systems Protection Board

On January 2, 2015, the United States Merit Systems Protection Board voided the suspensions of two Alaska Assistant United States Attorneys, James Bottini and James Goeke, in the public corruption cases against former Sen. Ted Stevens. Bottini was represented by NAFUSA Board Member Ken Wainstein.


Bottini and Goeke were members of the 2008 federal criminal prosection team of Sen. Stevens. Although a jury convicted the Senator, the government moved to vacate the conviction on the grounds that its prosecution team had failed to disclosed information that was exculpatory or could have been used for impeachment. The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) found that Bottini and Goeke had recklessly, although not intentionally, committed professional misconduct in handling some of this information.


The Merit Systems Protections Board found that the Department committed harmful procedural error by deviating from its Professional Misconduct Review Unit (PMRU) disciplinary process. The Board found two harmful errors. The first, the agency replaced the proposing official after he authored his memorandum explaining why he believed OPR's findings of reckless professional misconduct were not supported. Secondly, the agency designated the PMRU Chief, rather than a subordinate PMRU attorney, to serve as the proposing official.


Although the Board did not reach the merits of the substantive charge against the appellants, based on the procedural errors, it cancelled the suspensions and ordered the agency to pay the appellants back pay, interest and other benefits.


View decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board here. 




George Landon Phillips Dies

George Landon Phillips George Landon Phillips, former United States Attorney, Southern District of Mississippi 1980 to 1994, died January 26, 2015. He is survived by his wife Nicole and three children, Garrison, Margaret, and Mary. He had battled esophageal cancer since July 2013. His primary residence was Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Since the early 1980s, he also maintained a ranch residence 200 miles west of Denver, out from Silt, Colorado; he named the spread Redwing from the turn of century song by the same name. Over the years and particularly in recent years, he and Nicole and the children have worked, lived, and played part time on their farm out from Hattiesburg and part time at Redwing Ranch.


Upon receiving his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1973, George returned to Hattiesburg where he practiced law and served as a county prosecuting attorney. In 1980, he was appointed the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. At the time of his appointment, George was the youngest U.S. Attorney in the United States. Bringing his background in local law enforcement to the forefront, he became a major player in the development of Law Enforcement Coordinating Committees (LECC), a program that became mandated for all U.S. Attorneys' Office, and for which he received national appreciation. George served two terms on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee (AGAC), 1981-1982 and 1988-1991. He is remembered for being instrumental in designing the official flag for the Office of theUnited States Attorney.


George made the fight against public corruption a priority, especially corruption in local and state government. During his tenure, in a major nationally-recognized undercover operation into county corruption involving federal program funds, seminal case law interpreting the enforcement and scope of 666, Title 18, in application to local and state government officials and agents was developed. George earned the well-deserved reputation as one of the nation's leading U.S. Attorneys in the fight against public corruption. He served until 1994, leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office as the most senior U.S. Attorney in service. The Congressional Record of 1994 commends George for his outstanding law enforcement accomplishments. During his term as United States Attorney, he served four Presidents, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan (two terms), George H.W. Bush and William Clinton.


Following service as U.S. Attorney, George served as Special Counsel to Mississippi senior Senator Thad Cochran (R) for six years. However, law enforcement service was his first passion and he answered the call by acceptance of the position of Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Governor Haley Barbour recognized George's exceptional leadership qualities and then appointed George the Commissioner of Public Safety, the top State law enforcement position. He served with distinction as Top Cop in the monumental emergency disaster efforts addressing the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe in August 2005. In 2008, President George W.Bush appointed George to the position of Mississippi State Director for USDA Rural Development, his last position of public office, ending an outstanding career of public service.


Although retired from public service, for the last three years George has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), an organization of which he has been a member of and served for more than 30 years. A lifelong steadfast horseman, he was a dedicated participant in the affairs and projects of the AQHA, having served as a National Director since 2002. For a number of years preceding his death, George and Nicole dedicated a major portion of their daily lives and activities to the AQHA. The AQHA has been near and dear to his heart for most of his adult life.


A memorial service will be held on February 3, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. As is our custom, NAFUSA arranged for an American flag to be flown over Main Justice and it will be presented to George's family at the memorial service by NAFUSA member James Tucker, a close friend and colleague of George and his family.



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2015 Dues Notice
Email notices went out in January: 2015 NAFUSA membership dues are payable by February 28, 2015. 

Dues remain at $150 for regular members, $1500 for lifetime and $50 for seniors (fully retired and over 70). 

If you have not yet paid your 2015 dues, please register online by clicking on the red link below. You may pay by credit card or mail a check. Please fill out the online registration even if mailing a check. 

John McKay, Michelle Jacobs and Steve Biskupic have become the latest lifetime members.  A full list of lifetime members can be reviewed here. Lifetime members do not need to fill out the 2015 registration form. 

The NAFUSA Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) tax-deductible entity, has announced it will undertake a project to fund grants to U.S. Attorney Offices throughout the country to fund projects not normally paid by DOJ but consistent with NAFUSA principles. The NAFUSA board voted to transfer $25,000 of NAFUSA funds to the Foundation as seed money for this important initiative.

Please consider making a separate tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation for this purpose.  As the Foundation has a separate bank account, contributions cannot be processed on the same credit card used for dues payment, as that process is linked to the NAFUSA bank account. Contributions should be made by check payable to 
NAFUSA Foundation and mailed to 27 Oakland Park Blvd, Pleasant Ridge, MI 48069. If you wish to use a credit card, call Rich Rossman at 248.548.8289 and he can process your contribution manually over the phone. 

Scottsdale Conference
Mark your calendar for October 15-18 at The Phoenician in Scottsdale. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Rich Rossman.
National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA).
Richard A. Rossman
Executive Director
27 Oakland Park
Pleasant Ridge, Michigan 48069
Phone: 248-548-8289