White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations
Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph provides comprehensive representation to highly regulated businesses, and in many cases, these businesses have entered complex disputes with state or federal governments requiring the intervention of competent counsel. These disputes can take many forms. In some cases, the government has sent correspondence to a regulated business advising the business that it has failed in some material way to comply with federal law. In many of these cases, such as those which begin with Cease and Desist Letters issued by state banking regulators and Warning Letters issued by the FDA, the issuing agency posts the correspondence on the internet, and the firm is then asked to respond with the utmost sensitivity and urgency. In other cases, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Department of Justice may announce itself to a regulated entity by issuing a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) or other formal demand for information, and in these cases, the firm is requested by its clients to determine what, exactly, is being investigated and why, and to work with the government in limiting the scope of the investigation so that it does not unduly burden the client’s business.
Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph also represents clients which are the subjects and targets of grand jury investigations. In these cases, the violation of law which the government believes to have occurred is normally of a very significant nature, and typically the government believes that the regulated entity violated the law with specific intent and in a manner that injured members of the public or the government itself.
When a client is the subject or target of a grand jury investigation, Mr. Ittleman is often retained for purposes of determining what is being investigated and how to most effectively minimize the potential fallout of the investigation. In these cases, Mr. Ittleman is required to develop a thorough understanding of the client’s business and the governing laws and regulations, and a good working relationship with the federal government and counsel to the other parties under investigation.
In many cases, both civil and criminal, litigation against the federal government is unavoidable, and the firm has been retained to serve as counsel in many such lawsuits. On the one hand, civil litigation may follow the government’s issuance of a warning letter, CID or cease and desist letter, where the government and regulated party cannot settle their dispute outside of court along mutually acceptable terms and especially where the regulated entity does not believe that it is subject to the agency’s jurisdiction. In these cases, the firm is often asked to sue the federal government in federal court in an effort to have the government’s conduct declared to be unlawful, and in other cases, the firm is called in for representation when the government has filed suit seeking to have the regulated entity’s conduct permanently enjoined. Litigating civil actions against the federal government requires the firm to possess a strong working knowledge of constitutional law, administrative law, and the rules governing litigation in federal court.
On the other hand, in the most extreme cases, a grand jury has returned an indictment alleging that a party under investigation has violated federal law in some material way, and the party then finds itself named as a defendant in a criminal case. In these circumstances, the firm is retained for purposes of challenging the grand jury’s indictment and vigorously defending clients in court. The firm has represented a host of defendants in federal criminal cases nationwide.
Some of the criminal offenses the firm’s white collar criminal defense attorneys have been retained to address include: