Author Archives: Sara Kropf

How to Pick a Fair Jury

I don’t care what jury consultants say, picking a jury is an art and not a science. For most trial lawyers, it’s based on gut feelings and sizing people up quickly and peeks at what a juror’s t-shirt says or … Continue reading

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A (Small) Victory in a Battle With OIG

By Dan Portnov As readers of Grand Jury Target know, we have a healthy respect for the various Offices of Inspector General (see here, here and here). OIG investigations can lead to serious consequences and, to add further anxiety, much … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Litigation Strategy, OIG investigations | Leave a comment

Can Michael Cohen Reject a Presidential Pardon? Yes. But Would He?

On August 21, 2018, former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to multiple criminal counts, including campaign finance fraud. During his plea hearing, Cohen implicated the President in the crime, saying that Cohen had paid Stormy Daniels (a) at … Continue reading

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What’s a Mistrial?

Late in the afternoon of September 5, 2018, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth declared a mistrial in the second trial of Nicholas Slatten. The jury had been deliberating for a remarkable 16 (!) days when it sent a note … Continue reading

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Why Isn’t Michael Cohen Getting a Cooperation Agreement? (Part Two)

Last week, I wrote about the somewhat surprising fact that Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, allocated at the plea hearing that President Trump directed him to make an illegal campaign donation, and yet didn’t have a written cooperation agreement. In fact, … Continue reading

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Why Isn’t Michael Cohen Getting a Cooperation Agreement? (Spoiler: He Probably Is) (Part One)

Much was made this week of the fact that Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty without a written cooperation agreement. He pleaded guilty to multiple federal offenses, including tax fraud, campaign finance violations and bank fraud. The guidelines range … Continue reading

Posted in Plea Agreement, Sentencing | Tagged , | 5 Comments

What It Takes to Be a Trial Lawyer, If You Are a Woman

When I saw the title of the recent article in The Atlantic by Lara Bazelon, “What It Takes To Be a Trial Lawyer, If You’re Not a Man,” I couldn’t wait to read it. I’m a trial lawyer. I’m also … Continue reading

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Government Contractors Conducting Investigations: A New Normal?

By Dan Portnov Here in DC, government contractors are everywhere and vital to keeping nearly all federal agencies running. Absent an Edward Snowden-level scandal, the integration of contractors and their day-to-day work in government offices largely goes unnoticed (and underappreciated). … Continue reading

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Yes, Maybe the Government Does Hate the Attorney-Client Privilege—The Challenge of Protecting the Privilege for Civil Investigative Demands

With all the talk in the media about grand jury subpoenas, it’s important to understand that subpoenas aren’t the only way that the government can demand documents and testimony. One of the little-known but often-used methods is a Civil Investigative … Continue reading

Posted in Attorney client privilege, False Claims Act | Leave a comment

Initial Coin Offerings and SEC Enforcement: Protecting Investors (Part IA)

  By Dan Portnov Last week I had the pleasure of attending a reception featuring SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson, who spoke about FinTech, ICOs and crypto-assets. Jackson’s prepared comments and subsequent Q&A session were a rare look into one Commissioner’s concerns and hopes for … Continue reading

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