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White Collar Criminal Defense

When the stakes are high, clients seek Warner’s White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group to help them stay on the right side of the law. Our team includes former assistant United States attorneys, Criminal Justice Act defenders, experienced eDiscovery attorneys and trusted trial counsel. We are uniquely suited to help clients at every stage of the investigatory process. Most importantly, we take the time to watch and predict enforcement priorities. We understand that our clients want to be responsible corporate citizens, so we make that our top priority.

Overview

Solutions That Work in the Real World

Warner provides a wide array of pre-charge, preventative services, including performance of internal investigations and compliance audits. We count among our attorneys some of the state and country’s foremost specialists in almost every area of substantive law, like false claims and anti-kickback statutes, health care, consumer protection, securities regulation, Title IX, environmental protection, immigration and product regulation. We can help you identify potential problems and formulate a response.

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Results

Congressional Testimony

Warner as been involved in some of the largest state investigations in Michigan in the past decade. In one case, Warner collected, reviewed and produced millions of documents in response to subpoenas and FOIA requests from the state Attorney General, Department of justice, Congress and nearly every major news organization in the country. The Warner team assisted with witness preparation — including testimony before Congress — and ultimately the defense of criminal charges.

Historical Sexual Abuse

Warner attorneys have become the go-to source for assisting organizations with the prevention of sexual abuse and resolution of historical cases of sexual abuse. Warner attorneys have helped religious organizations audit files, update policies and procedures, conduct investigations into allegations of current and historic abuse, and defended organizations and its employees against potential criminal charges and civil liability.

Fraud

Our attorneys routinely investigate and counsel clients regarding allegations of fraud. From the first allegation to the final step in the appellate process, Warner is by our client’s side to provide you with guidance and, if needed, a rigorous defense at trial. Recently, we represented an organization accused of providing false information to the Government in relation to federal defense contracting. The organization not only escaped criminal indictment but also avoided any bar from government contracting.

Federal Firearms

Members of the Warner team obtained a not-guilty verdict on all counts following a week-long federal jury trial. The Government had alleged that the individual defendant had violated various provisions of federal firearm law by possessing a certain class of firearm. The Warner team successfully convinced the jury that the Government was incorrect and obtained an acquittal.

Controlled Substances

Our attorneys have handled dozens of matters involving controlled substances. In recent years, we have been lead trial counsel in one of the largest methamphetamine conspiracies in the history of the Western District of Michigan, have tried Title III wiretap cases involving the distribution of narcotics, and regularly advise clients on the tricky interplay between state and federal marijuana laws.

Appellate Expertise

In 2020, our attorneys secured a landmark victory from the Michigan Supreme Court in a criminal case that could reshape police procedures. For the first time in history, the Michigan Supreme Court has held that improper police procedure in obtaining an eyewitness identification required the defendant to be granted a new trial. This decision affirms a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to have law enforcement use a proper lineup in the suspect identification process.

What We See On the Horizon

Contact your Warner White Collar Criminal Defense team for insight into these and others issues:

  • Cannabis. Reducing the prevalence of illegal narcotics has long been a priority for both state and federal law enforcement. Although Michigan has legalized the use of cannabis in some circumstances, marijuana remains illegal for all purposes and in all places under federal law. Our attorneys can help you navigate this complicated legal framework to keep you on the right side of the law.
  • Renewed Focus on False Claims Act and Fraud Prosecutions. Whether it is mail fraud, bank fraud, PPP loan fraud or false statements in connection with the receipt of federal money, the federal government continues to focus efforts on criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits. Warner’s team has extensive experience conducting internal investigations and audits, responding to civil and criminal document requests, preparing witnesses and defending individuals and companies accused of these offenses. And we keep our eye on trends in these prosecutions to help alert our corporate clients to areas of focus for the Department of Justice and state authorities.
  • Easing the Burden of Document Review. As technology evolves and our lives revolve around greater use of that technology, the burden of responding to subpoenas and document requests increases. Our attorneys understand that cost is one of the driving concerns for our clients. Fortunately, we serve you with a constant eye on your legal spend and do all we can to lower the price tag of responding to grand jury subpoenas, civil investigative demands or other governmental document requests. Our Criminal Defense attorneys together with our eDiscovery Center leverages technological expertise and years of experience collaborating with clients and outside counsel to help you reduce the costs of collecting, reviewing and producing documents.

Representative Experience

The group has worked on the following recent representative matters, among others:

Internal Investigations

  • Conducted internal investigation at banking institution as part of response to regulatory agency inquiry.
  • Completed several internal investigations related to claims of sexual and other employee harassment at employers in manufacturing/engineering, colleges/universities and professional service firms.
  • Represented multiple religious institutions and assisted with internal investigations regarding allegations of historical abuse.
  • Conducted multiple investigations for clients related to theft by employee.
  • Regularly conducts internal investigations for health care, manufacturing, automotive and other clients regarding false claims act allegations.
  • Assisted with safety compliance audit at manufacturing facility.
  • Completed internal investigation into allegations of historical illegal hazardous waste disposal.

Discovery Counsel

  • Collected and reviewed more than four million documents in environmental criminal investigation and produced responsive, non-privileged documents to state and federal investigators, state legislature, United States Congress and various media outlets in response to subpoenas and FOIA requests.
  • Assisted with privilege review of paper and tens of thousands of electronic documents collected by law enforcement pursuant to search warrant.
  • Responded to numerous Grand Jury subpoenas, investigative subpoenas and other document requests to nearly every state and federal agency.

Trial

  • Successfully defended client in federal trial against federal firearm charges.
  • Obtained acquittal on most serious charges for client in week-long assault case in state court.
  • Provided experienced trial counsel for individual and corporate clients against a variety of fraud, firearms, immigration, controlled substances and other charges.
  • Counseled clients concerning the immigration and other collateral consequences of criminal convictions.

Appeal

  • Represented criminal defendants on appeal in the Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeal.
  • Filed applications for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court regarding a criminal sentencing issue.
  • Regularly represent clients in appeals in the Michigan Court of Appeals.
  • Recently argued appeal regarding motion to set aside conviction in front of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Strengths Snapshot

Our attorneys draw on extensive experience and expertise to provide counsel in these areas:

  • Appellate and supreme court practice
  • Cannabis
  • Controlled substance offenses
  • eDiscovery
  • Environmental crimes
  • False Claims Act
  • Firearms regulations and offenses
  • Fraud: health care, mail, wire, bankruptcy, bank, PPP, etc.
  • Grand jury representation
  • Immigration
  • Internal investigations
  • Pre-charge negotiations
  • Sexual abuse investigations, prevention/detection training, defense
  • Securities offenses
  • Subpoena responses
  • Title IX
  • Trial practice
  • Witness preparation