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November 17, 2016

Upcoming Event: The Limits of Federal Criminal Law

For every American company that fights back against federal criminalization and wins — there are countless businesses that are forced to settle, pony up big fines, or face government prosecution.

That will be the focus of an upcoming Federalist Society symposium, The Limits of Federal Criminal Law, on December 8, 2016 at the National Press Club.

The event will feature attorneys for three such companies that fought the law, and won — FedEx, Warner Chilcott, and Vascular Solutions.

Hear from the Attorney Who Successfully Defended FedEx

Earlier this year, when the Department of Justice sued shipping company FedEx for not policing allegedly illegal shipments from online pharmacies, the company decided to fight back.

Not only did FedEx accuse the feds of wanting to do their law enforcement jobs for them, they said the only way they could effectively police the shipments was by randomly tearing open the packages of innocent Americans.

The Feds were seeking $1.6 billion from FedEx but, realizing their flimsy case, decided to drop all charges just a few days into the trial. While the judge agreed with the Fed’s decision to drop the case, even he noted the prosecution caused the Justice Department some “embarrassment.”

On December 8th, hear more about this story from Cristina C. Arguedas, Partner, Arguedas, Cassman & Headley LLP, who served as counsel for FedEx throughout the trial. 

Learn the Story of Vascular Solutions

In February, a Texas jury acquitted Minnesota medical device maker Vascular Solutions and its CEO, Howard Root, on all counts of criminal conspiracy to advance illegal off-marketing claims about its varicose vein treatment device.

The company earlier agreed to pay a $520,000 civil settlement to resolve related allegations (while denying wrongdoing), but was then criminally indicted. Root and his company fought the feds – and won. Unfortunately, it was after spending $25 million in legal defense costs.

During the course of the trial, prosecutors engaged in what Root describes as “repulsive conduct,” including, “use of grand jury subpoenas to induce questioning outside the presence of a jury, divulging secret grand jury testimony to other witnesses, and telling witnesses to change their testimony or face a threat of firing and exclusion from working at any company that does business with Medicare,” reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

On December 8th, John Richter, partner, King & Spalding, will tell the story of how he helped defend Vascular Solutions and successfully fight back against this overzealous prosecution.

Additional Speakers

The event, which will be moderated by Stuart S. Taylor, contributing editor, National Journal, will also feature:

  • Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, The United States Department of Justice
  • Ben Hatch, Partner, McGuireWoods – representing the government’s position
  • Joseph Savage, Partner, Goodwin Proctor – representing Warner Chilcott

Are there too many federal agencies, giving prosecutors too much power over individuals and corporations? 

Is it good policy to prosecute individual employees of a corporation, as suggested in the Yates memorandum

The event will answer these questions, and more, and take a deep dive discussion into the limits of federal criminal law and prosecutions.

Register for the event here. 

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