The Pennsylvania Innocence Project presented the 2023 Maureen Rowley Award to Duane Morris partner Leigh Skipper. Leigh is the former Chief Federal Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He succeeded Maureen Rowley in that role in 2009 and led one of the largest and most respected federal defender offices in the country until 2022. After graduating from law school, Leigh spent his career working in criminal defense at the Federal Defender and the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Leigh has served as the president of the Barrister’s Association of Philadelphia and the National Association of Federal Defenders and as the chairman of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Judicial Selection and Retention Committee. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and chairs the Public Defender Committee.
Read more about Leigh on the Pennsylvania Innocence website.
Duane Morris partner Michael Lipman was quoted on ABC10 News in San Diego in reference to the “Fat Leonard” Francis extradition case. Francis, who pleaded guilty to bribing U.S. Navy officers, removed his GPS monitor and fled to Venezuela. From the article:
Lipman has both prosecuted and defended extradition cases during his career. He says several factors can come into play in determining how long Francis could remain in Venezuelan custody.
That includes the terms of the extradition treaty, Venezuelan law, and whether Francis has the right under Venezuelan law to challenge extradition. However, Lipman says sometimes countries can negotiate outside of the treaty.
“You have no idea what’s going on between the United States and Venezuela and what debits and credits can be called on regardless of what the relationships are with the country.”
Lipman also said it is even possible Venezuela decides to avoid any of that trouble by simply returning Francis.
To read the full text of the article and view the video, please visit the ABC10 News website.
On June 3, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division’s Washington, D.C., office filed a statement of interest in a relator’s action, arguing that “[c]onduct giving rise to a regulatory violation can also give rise to” False Claims Act liability.
The case is U.S. ex rel. Patricia Crocano v. Trividia Health Inc., before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Specifically, the DOJ requested “that the ruling not foreclose the possibility that, under certain circumstances,” conduct that violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations “could be material to the government’s payment decisions and provide a basis for FCA liability assuming all necessary FCA elements are demonstrated,” colloquially known as “fraud on the FDA.”
This filing makes clear the DOJ’s decision to reawaken a theory of liability thought to be dead.
To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Eric Breslin, Frederick R. Ball and Brittany Pagnotta, originally published in Law360, please visit the firm website.
By Mario J. Cacciola
On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United State held that a violation of the Miranda rules does not provide a basis for a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Writing for the majority in Vega v. Tekoh, 597 U.S. (2022), Justice Alito stated, “The question we must decide is whether a violation of the Miranda rules provides a basis for a claim under § 1983. We hold that it does not.” In reaching its decision, the Court rejected the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals finding that Miranda constitutes a violation of Fifth Amendment protections, and described Miranda as “set of prophylactic rules” that are “constitutionally based” rather than a de facto violation of the Fifth Amendment. As a result of the Court’s decision, the relief individuals may seek when facing a violation of Miranda is limited to seeking to exclude any wrongfully obtained statements from use at trial. Continue reading “Supreme Court Declines to Allow Miranda Violations as a Basis For a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Claim”
On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States recognized a constitutional right for citizens to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense. The opinion invalidates the licensing regimes for carry permits in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia. Although New York and New Jersey each allow for licenses to carry, they were previously limited to those who could show some extraordinary need, and therefore not available to the average citizen. In New York Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen, the Supreme Court held that such restrictions are unconstitutional and that law-abiding citizens have a right to carry a gun for self-defense purposes.
This means that, for the first time since the early and mid-20th century, respectively, residents of New York and New Jersey will be permitted to carry firearms in public.
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.
On June 3, 2022, the Civil Division of the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in a relator’s action in the Southern District of Florida, arguing that “[c]onduct giving rise to a regulatory violations can also give rise to [False Claims Act] liability.” Specifically, requesting “that the ruling not foreclose the possibility that, under certain circumstances, conduct giving rise to violations of the [Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act] or FDA regulations could be material to the government’s payment decisions and provide a basis for FCA liability assuming all necessary FCA elements are demonstrated,” also known as “fraud on the FDA.”
To read the full text of this Alert, please visit the firm website.
On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down New York’s restrictive concealed carry licensing regime as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, invalidating licensing regimes in an additional six jurisdictions. In so doing, the Court rejected the long-standing practice of balancing the text and history of the Second Amendment with governmental interest, known as “means-end” scrutiny.
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.
After leading the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for 14 years, Leigh Skipper is joining Duane Morris’ white-collar defense division at the end of June.
Skipper, who has served as chief federal defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 2009, is slated to join the firm’s Philadelphia headquarters June 27 after serving his last day at the federal community defender office on June 17. The move brings Duane Morris a public defender’s perspective in government investigations and commercial litigation following a slew of prosecutor-side hires.
To read the full text of this article, which originally appeared in The Legal Intelligencer, please visit the firm website.
As the crypto industry continues to grow and market volatility remains high, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced its plan to increase its regulation of the area. The SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, which was created in 2017, will expand from thirty to fifty positions. The unit is tasked with protecting investors from crypto-related frauds and scams. The increase in staffing will allow for more investor protection focused on the areas of crypto asset offerings, crypto asset exchanges, crypto asset lending and staking practices, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and stablecoins. The twenty additional positions will mostly consist of supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, trial counsels, and fraud analysts. Continue reading “The SEC Ramps Up Efforts to Police Crypto Industry”
On October 28, 2021, Deputy United States Attorney General Lisa Monaco issued a memorandum marking the first major announcement on corporate criminal enforcement from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) under the Biden Administration (“Monaco Memo”). Most notably, this memorandum: (1) reinstates the Individual Accountability Policy originally announced in the Yates Memo and (2) guides prosecutors to look at all prior misconduct, not just those instances similar to the misconduct at issue in the present investigation. Continue reading “DOJ Reinstates and Augments Prior Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies: Now Requiring Disclosure of ALL Involved Individuals and Consideration of ALL Prior Corporate Misconduct”