Author Archives: Sara Kropf

Trial for the Terrified

By Dan Portnov I’ll make a confession: I am not a trial attorney. If you need a Johnny Cochran or Benjamin Brafman-type courtroom wizard, I’m not your guy and I never will be. Still… I love trial. I’ve done several … Continue reading

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Why Do White-Collar Criminal Defense Lawyers All Seem to Know Each Other?

By Sara Kropf When I first started doing white-collar criminal defense work as an associate at a big firm, I noticed that the partner always seemed to know the other lawyers on the case. They had been AUSAs together, or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

OIG Investigations – Why Lawyers and Federal Employees Should Both Worry (Part IV)

By Dan Portnov If you’re a federal employee or individual under investigation by an Office of Inspector General, waiting for an update or some sign of progress from the OIG can be agonizing. As we’ve written before,[1] OIG policies and … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Investigation, OIG investigations | 1 Comment

The Reach of Federal Blackmail and Extortion Statutes (Part II)

Note: This is the second part of an article that was first published in the ABA Criminal Justice magazine. By Sara Kropf In Part I of this article, we analyzed the difference between blackmail and extortion and examined the various … Continue reading

Posted in Blackmail/extortion, Travel Act | Leave a comment

Jeffrey Epstein is Dead. Now What?

By Dan Portnov (photo from USAToday.com) In perhaps the biggest news story of a slow August, Jeffrey Epstein apparently hung himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan early Saturday morning.[1] Epstein’s suicide launched multiple conspiracy … Continue reading

Posted in civil case, Congressional investigation, Criminal Investigation, Detention issues, DOJ policy and practice, OIG investigations | Leave a comment

The Reach of Federal Extortion and Blackmail Statutes (Part I)

Note: This article was first published in the ABA’s Criminal Justice magazine in Summer 2019. By Sara Kropf In early February 2019, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos published an explosive blog post accusing the National Enquirer’s owner, American Media Inc. (AMI), … Continue reading

Posted in Blackmail/extortion, Travel Act | 1 Comment

Sweet Release: Alternatives to Incarceration

By Dan Portnov Last week convicted and newly accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found injured in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), while awaiting his trial. This came shortly after his attorneys lost their bid to have … Continue reading

Posted in Bail, Pre-Trial Motions Practice, Sentencing | 1 Comment

Rule 17(c) Subpoenas – The Unfair Limits on a Defendant’s Ability to Prepare a Defense (Part 2)

By Sara Kropf In the first post on this topic, I described the basics of Rule 17(c) subpoenas. This post will offer some practical tips to convince a court to issue a subpoena to a third party to obtain documents … Continue reading

Posted in Discovery/Brady | 2 Comments

Investigating the Investigators: Highlights from Recent DOJ OIG Investigations

By Dan Portnov Office of Inspector General investigations don’t always make the news. After all, no one ends up in jail or paying back billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains as a result (usually). However, one federal agency’s OIG seems … Continue reading

Posted in DOJ policy and practice, OIG investigations | 1 Comment

Rule 17(c) Subpoenas – The Unfair Limits on a Defendant’s Ability to Prepare a Defense (Part I)

During a criminal investigation, the government has nearly unlimited powers to gather evidence against a defendant. It can use grand jury subpoenas—usually with no court oversight unless the recipient objects—for documents or to compel testimony of any witness. It can … Continue reading

Posted in Grand Jury Subpoena | Tagged | 3 Comments