Rees Morgan is a trial attorney with a practice focusing on white collar criminal defense, SEC and other regulatory enforcement actions, and the trial of business disputes in federal and state courts. Rees has tried to verdict multiple matters, including as first chair in five federal jury trial victories. Rees has litigated more than a dozen writs and appeals, and argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior to joining the firm, Rees served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Southern District of California, where he prosecuted cases involving fraud and identity theft, organized crime and racketeering, and narcotics and firearms trafficking conspiracies. While serving as a federal prosecutor, Rees was specially designated as an Anti-Gang and Violent Crime AUSA tasked with developing and implementing gang eradication efforts on behalf of the office. Before becoming an AUSA, Rees was a litigation associate with Latham & Watkins LLP in San Francisco, where his practice focused on securities fraud and white collar criminal defense.
- Successfully tried a four-week federal jury trial in Houston on behalf of a Fortune 200 company, obtaining a $34 million verdict in favor of his client.
- Successfully defended a complex commercial arbitration in Denver, achieving a complete defense verdict and a nearly $5 million award on his client's counter-claim.
- Secured a complete defense victory by obtaining summary judgment on behalf of his client in a multi-million dollar civil fraud action in California State Court.
- Successfully tried two arbitrations on behalf of Fortune 200 companies, one as plaintiff resulting in an award in favor of his client exceeding $13 million, and another as defendant in a breach of contract action that resulted in a complete defense verdict.
- Represents multiple financial services companies in connection with SEC investigations, as well as several individuals charged with various frauds by U.S. Attorney's Offices.
- Secured summary judgment on behalf of a company and individual executive officers accused in a securities fraud class action of committing a nearly $3 billion securities fraud.
- Obtained favorable settlement of SEC investigation and corresponding civil litigation into financial services executive.
- Obtained favorable settlement of unfair competition action involving financial services company accused of unlawfully obtaining proprietary information.
- Represented former CFO of publicly-traded company against stock option backdating allegations.
As an AUSA, Rees:
- Tried to verdict and won nine federal felony cases.
- Served as lead prosecutor in fraud investigation involving over 200 victims in three states and millions of dollars in losses; obtained guilty pleas by all conspirators.
- Served as co-lead AUSA in federal RICO investigation resulting in indictment of 38 members and associates of a criminal enterprise engaged in the sex trafficking of minors.
Honors & Awards
As a federal prosecutor, Rees received awards from the U.S. Attorney's Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Drug Enforcement Administration for his successful prosecution of a variety of complex crimes.
Rees has been named a Rising Star by SuperLawyers in Business Litigation and White Collar Criminal Defense since 2013.
Publications & Speaking Engagements
- Co-Author, "The Education of Judge Rakoff: Insider Trading Liability After Newman," The Daily Journal (July 2015)
Rees is a member of the California State Bar, the American Bar Association, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. Rees also was appointed to the Northern District of California's Criminal Justice Act Panel, a panel of attorneys serving indigent defendants charged with federal crimes. Rees also serves on the Pro Bono Advisory Board of Swords To Plowshares, an organization dedicated to assisting military veterans. Rees was named by the City Council of Lafayette, California to serve as a Commissioner on Lafayette's Crime Prevention Commission.
Rees earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2003 where he was inducted into the Raven honor society and served as President of the Student Bar Association. Prior to law school, he graduated with honors from the College of William & Mary (1999), where he majored in political science and history. Between undergraduate and law school, Rees served for a year as an Americorps volunteer assisting residents of federally-subsidized housing throughout the Central Valley of California.