WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 30, 2008) — McDermott Will & Emery is pleased to announce that Washington, D.C. partner Abbe D. Lowell will for the fourth year serve as program co-chair for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and Georgetown Law Center's 4th Annual White Collar Seminar "Defending White Collar Crimes." The seminar will be held at the Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C., on November 6 and 7, 2008.
Mr. Lowell, who heads the white-collar criminal defense practice at McDermott, litigated dozens of criminal and civil cases during the savings and loan crisis and argued an S&L case before the Supreme Court of the United States. Based on his 20 years of litigating white-collar criminal cases, Mr. Lowell has compared the 1980s S&L crisis to the state of the current economy.
"The similarities of the government investigations during the S&L crisis and now are unusually striking," commented Mr. Lowell. "Based on my work during the S&L crisis and the newly announced investigations I have found the most effective way to explain the ramifications of these investigations is to discuss how situations today could possibly play out."
To do this, the CLE program will address and Mr. Lowell has prepared hypothetical cases, based on the current economy, to be used during the program's panel discussions. The first hypothetical involves the Department of Justice Criminal Division indicting an executive of the mortgage products department of one of the nation's largest investment banking firms for conspiracy, securities and wire fraud counts. In addition an executive at one of the nation's more recognized credit rating agencies is indicted for conspiracy and for fraud for giving credit ratings to the investment banks portfolio that were inflated and for being influenced in this rating by the receipt of luxury gifts. This hypothetical will be used for panel discussion on Thursday entitled, "How Do You Pronounce Daubert? – The Critical Nature of Expert Testimony."
On Friday, Mr. Lowell will moderate, "Bull's Eye on Companies – Defending the Corporation, Including Going to Trial" and Jeffrey E. Stone, head of McDermott's Trial Department, will be a panelist. The hypothetical for this panel involves a publicly traded lending company. A CEO was hired in 1999 to grow the company's portfolio of residential loans. The CEO's annual compensation was correlated to the growth in the size of the company's loans. The company's chief lending officer expressed concern about the growth strategy and the means in which it got there. The CLO received a bonus with a 50 percent increase that year and did not raise concerns again. In early 2008, housing prices in the country began to plummet, unemployment started to rise and people began defaulting on mortgages. The lending company began a large number of foreclosure proceedings. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia read the news reports and began a grand jury investigation to determine whether the lending company or its officers and directors were engaged in illegal practices to create the loans in the first place, maintain the loans or package and sell the loans to other institutions.
In response to the current economy, McDermott recently launched a Markets Restructuring Group that advises on market stabilization legislation, criminal and civil liability, bankruptcies and reorganizations, antitrust and M&A. Members of the Firm's White-Collar Criminal Defense Group, one of the United States' largest and most accomplished, are actively involved with this new Markets Restructuring Group. Our white-collar criminal defense practice includes more than 30 highly experienced trial lawyers in offices throughout the United States and abroad.
For more information on the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the "Defending White Collar Crimes" seminar visit: http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/Events/WhiteCollar.