Coblentz represents companies and individuals in a variety of complex matters relating to white collar defense and investigations, including criminal and civil and regulatory enforcement defense, and government and internal investigations. Our team has deep experience in securities, financial, tax, and accounting fraud, as well as False Claims Act violations, insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act claims, antitrust violations, federal grants management, corporate culture, and other areas that often involve multiple jurisdictions and parallel civil, regulatory, and criminal proceedings. We regularly defend directors and officers against suits by shareholders, creditors, bankruptcy trustees, and others. Our experience also includes conducting internal investigations and advising companies in establishing compliance policies, programs, and training in a range of industries.
Our White Collar Defense and Investigations team includes three former federal prosecutors (a past Chief of the Securities Fraud Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California and two Assistant United States Attorneys for the Southern District of California), a former Trial Attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, a former long-time public defender in San Francisco, and other attorneys with prior government experience, including at the California Attorney General’s office.
We have extensive trial experience in high-profile cases, but also understand that convincing the government not to pursue a matter in the first place is the best result. Because we’ve been there both as government attorneys and on behalf of our private clients, we understand the nuances of working with a variety of enforcement agencies – including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and many others – to avoid or temper potential enforcement actions.
When enforcement actions are unavoidable, it is important to have experienced counsel who is both willing and able to take a matter to trial. Our attorneys have tried to verdict scores of criminal and civil matters and have extensive experience litigating for and against the government to obtain the best possible outcome in a difficult situation.
We frequently represent companies and individuals in responding to US federal and state regulatory investigations involving securities and corporate law disputes and have defended clients in regulatory investigations before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Years of experience on both the prosecution and defense side of government investigations have given us a strategic perspective when dealing with criminal prosecutors and regulators. We strive to establish strong working relationships with government attorneys, investigators, and agents and have developed a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness, which significantly contributes to our ability to work with authorities. Our experience leading significant internal investigations for both the government and corporate entities enhances our ability to manage efficient and organized investigations targeted to the issue at hand while minimizing the disruption of our clients. We have worked with federal and state regulators from agencies across the United States, including the SEC, IRS, OCC, Federal Reserve, various California district attorneys offices, numerous state attorneys general, and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices all over the country.
White collar matters and government investigations can sometimes require our clients to perform sensitive, internal investigations typically involving serious allegations concerning key personnel, often implicating important employment-related issues. In these investigations, our employment attorneys and our white collar team collaborate to organize a credible response to an often urgent situation in what can be a trying time in the life of the company. We thoroughly examine all the contested circumstances and provide an objective multi-disciplinary assessment of the facts so important employment decisions can be made based on the highest quality investigative process and product.
Some matters in this area suggest systemic issues calling for systemic solutions. We are also regularly selected by governmental and private parties to complex or class action employment cases – typically national in scope – to serve as Monitors of Consent Decrees that resolve those cases, or as Special Masters to resolve disputes arising under those Decrees. These cases involve wide-ranging injunctive, remedial, and corrective relief that seeks to re-engineer the employment or compliance systems that are alleged to have led to the underlying issues. We have handled multiple cases brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, other law enforcement agencies, or by private class action plaintiffs’ firms against national companies. These assignments require active involvement with both parties to ensure the agreed-upon transformational efforts are working and the Decree is being honored in the execution of those commitments. These assignments can also involve providing consulting services on how to design effective Human Resources and other compliance functions, such as investigations, data analysis, complaint assessment, and training methodologies.