Author Archives: Sara Kropf

What Happens If Your Client Dies While the Appeal Is Pending? (Hint: Appeals Matter)

David Brooks apparently lived a rather lavish lifestyle. As the head of a successful body armor company, he was rumored to have thrown a $10 million bat mitzvah party for his daughter that included performances by 50 Cent and Aerosmith. … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Restitution | Leave a comment

Government Wins Finders Keepers: Criminal Forfeiture Cannot Be Used to Repay a Las Vegas Debt

What happens if a defendant’s cash is subject to forfeiture but he also owes someone else money? Who gets the forfeited cash? In a recent case out of the First Circuit, the court applied the forfeiture statutes to deny a … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture | Leave a comment

Should a Court Erase a Prosecutor’s Name from an Opinion about Brady Violations?

I was perusing recent opinions from the courts of appeal for possible blog post ideas when I came across an odd-looking errata sheet. Here’s an excerpt: That’s odd, I thought. I took a look at the original opinion in the … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Brady violations, Discovery/Brady, Prosecutorial misconduct | Leave a comment

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Misled Judge: The Aaron Schock Case

Elected officials under government investigation try to avoid indictment like any other white-collar client. They know that if charged with a crime, it will be nearly impossible to win re-election. Once indicted, though, they fight back, and fight back hard. … Continue reading

Posted in Grand jury, Prosecutorial misconduct, Public Corruption | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is DOJ Changing Its Practice on Press Releases after Dismissal or Acquittal?

I’ve written about vented several times (see here and here) about DOJ’s practice of leaving press releases announcing indictments on its website even after the defendant has been acquitted of the charges or after the charges have been dismissed. DOJ’s … Continue reading

Posted in Dismissal of charges in indictment, DOJ policy and practice, SEC policy and practice | Leave a comment

Speedy Trial Act Strategy in White-Collar Cases (Part II)

A few months ago, I wrote Part One of this series about Speedy Trial Act strategy in a white-collar criminal case. This post is going to go into a bit more detail about the pros and cons of invoking the … Continue reading

Posted in Speedy Trial Act, Trial preparation | Leave a comment

Fourth Circuit Finally Concedes that the Government Cannot Take Your Stuff Before Trial

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post predicting that the Fourth Circuit would stop allowing federal prosecutors to seize untainted assets before conviction. (Buffing fingernails on shirt.) And now it has. Okay, my prognostication was not exactly out … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Continuing education | Leave a comment

Fight the Power, Part IV: The Government Backs Off Absurd Claims of “Witness Tampering”

A defendant has a constitutional right to prepare a defense to criminal charges. In a white-collar case, contacting potential witnesses is as important as reviewing the document trail. Why does the government feel threatened when we do our jobs? I … Continue reading

Posted in Discovery/Brady, Obstruction | Leave a comment

Can a Defendant Get Attorney’s Fees If He’s Acquitted and There’s Prosecutorial Misconduct?

In a civil case, a defendant cannot recover attorney’s fees from a plaintiff, even if the defendant wins. There are a few exceptions to the “American rule,” such as a when there’s a statute governing the case or the contract … Continue reading

Posted in DOJ policy and practice, Prosecutorial misconduct | 1 Comment

Speedy Trial Act Strategy in White-Collar Cases (Part I)

Being under criminal investigation is a stunningly powerless situation. You can’t control when the government starts an investigation, how long it lasts or when it will end. The Speedy Trial Act presents one of the few times when a criminal … Continue reading

Posted in Pre-Trial Motions Practice, Speedy Trial Act, Trial preparation | 1 Comment