U.S. Attorney's Office Returns More Than $235 Million in Fiscal Year 2020 to Crime Victims and the United States Government – Department of Justice

BOSTON – U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced today that the District of Massachusetts collected more than $235 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2020. Of this amount, $208,282,537 was collected in civil actions, including $77,933,472 in restitution for crime victims, and $27,194,175 was collected in criminal actions.   

“I’m proud of the work the civil and criminal prosecutors in my office have done to secure more than $235 million in collections, restitution to crime victims, and asset forfeitures, in 2020 alone,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The District of Massachusetts has long been a leader in financial recoveries in the areas of health care fraud, securities fraud and civil settlements, and we will continue to aggressively pursue collections that return money to victims of crime and U.S. taxpayers, and deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains.”

The 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices jointly collected over $8 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2020. The $8,064,931,805 in collections in FY 2020 represents nearly four times the appropriated $2.25 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases by the Office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit, which recovered government money lost to fraud or other offenses. Settlements with three pharmaceutical companies for illegal use of third-party foundations as conduits to pay kickbacks account for the office’s largest civil collections. In September 2020, Gilead Sciences paid $97 million and Novartis paid $51 million in July 2020, and Sanofi-Aventis paid $11.85 million in February. 

In addition to these civil and criminal collections, in Fiscal Year 2020 the Office’s Asset Recovery Unit was responsible for the collection of $77,933,472 in restitution for crime victims, as well as forfeiture of $22,449,306 in criminal proceeds or other property involved in crimes. The Asset Recovery Unit locates, seizes, and forfeits proceeds of crime, including health care fraud, securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, drug trafficking, as well as money and property involved in money laundering. The Unit pursues forfeiture of ill-gotten gains both domestically and abroad and works closely with units across the Office and its law enforcement partners to ensure that crime doesn’t pay. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the Department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the Department’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes the funds collected to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

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5 ways legal recruiting is transforming, from how firms hire partners and hot practice areas. Top recruiters lay out what this means for the year ahead.

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Like virtually every other industry, the legal sector felt the initial shockwaves of the pandemic. Earlier last year, law firms pulled the trigger on layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts, while certain practice areas saw a slow-down in work as clients sought to reduce spending.

And, while legal recruiting didn’t escape unscathed, especially in the earlier months — total hiring in 2020 was down by almost 28% compared to the previous year, per data from Firm Prospects — the situation quickly stabilized.

“The legal industry as a whole has realized that it hasn’t been hit as hard as everyone thought they would’ve been,” said Meredith Frank, a partner at the recruiting firm, Major, Lindsey & Africa. “They got through it stronger than they would’ve expected.”Meredith Frank headshot

While hiring in the last three months of 2020 was 28% lower than the same quarter in 2019, total law firm hires saw an uptick of 44% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter last year, according to Firm Prospects — signaling a positive outlook from firms.

Law firms were able to do this by taking immediate measures to manage and preempt the anticipated impact of the pandemic by doubling down on billing and connections, Frank explained. Actions like implementing pay cuts, furloughs, and hiring freezes helped, too.

The overall stability of the legal industry led most law firms to resume hiring by the middle of 2020 — and to prove they’d still pay good money for prominent lawyers who can bring in big business.

Read more: The 16 biggest lawyer moves that defined 2020, according to the industry’s top legal recruiters

Insider spoke with seven prominent industry recruiters about five important trends in legal recruiting in a year that was heavily defined by a global health and economic pandemic — and what this means for the year ahead.

‘Cautious optimism’ in the legal sector going into 2021

Law firms have fared well in weathering the onset of the pandemic’s storm, recruiters agree.

Anderson Karen Web[1]

Certain sectors, like technology, healthcare, and life sciences have especially seen robust demand, as has bankruptcy and data privacy, said Karen Andersen, a managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa’s partner practice group. Capital markets and corporate work have been “plugging along,” too.

Law firms were able to come out okay in terms of overall revenue by the demand generated in these practice areas, as well as by reducing overhead costs with remote work, said Jesse Hyde, director at Lateral Link. He added that corporate activity “really picked up” in the fourth quarter, as evidenced by a boom in IPOs and “blank check” companies, for example.

These practice areas will continue to see a surge in demand in 2021, said Andersen and Hyde.

Jesse Hyde Lateral Link

“The whole industry was able to turn on a dime and adapt to the situation,” said Andersen. “I would say there’s cautious optimism in the legal sector going into 2021, especially with the vaccines that are coming out. There’s a very vibrant demand for legal services.”

Read more: 9 recession-proof legal practice areas set to boom, according to top lawyers and recruiters

A shift toward highly strategic lateral recruiting

This past year has seen a “major shift” in focus by most law firms to what Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Frank calls a “highly strategic approach to recruitment,” as opposed to more of an opportunistic one.

Given the industry-wide squeeze in cash flow, firms only looked for candidates that would immediately add value: Frank said she saw a huge uptick in requests for restructuring and bankruptcy, healthcare and regulations, and labor and employment lawyers.  

“We also generally continue to see requests for various litigation-type practices, primarily in the white-collar space,” said Frank. The past four years under former president Donald Trump Jr. has seen a substantial cutting of red tape on regulations, and government enforcement and investigations are expected to heat up again with the new Biden administration. 

That said, the uptick in demand for talent came primarily from those firms that were on a more stable footing. “We saw a complete pause from some firms, while others that were financially secure took advantage of market disruption caused by the pandemic and continue to be bullish in their lateral hiring strategies.”

Another caveat is that recruiting efforts were primarily centered around “the real core” of a firm: partner recruiting, rather than associates.

“Certain firms have taken advantage of other firms shutting down completely to really work on their partner recruiting efforts,” said Lauren Smith, principal at Parker + Lynch.

Nicole Spira


However, hot practice areas such as white-collar, M&A, and bankruptcy still see demand, even among associates, said Nicole Spira, founder of Cardinal Search Partners.

“It’s going to be an extraordinarily busy year,” said Spira.

The virtual environment has made recruiting easier

The convenience and confidentiality afforded by the virtual work setting have reduced a lot of the friction when it comes to recruiting.

Because of less travel and covert visits to a competing law firm’s office, candidates had the ability to meet many more people throughout the course of the recruiting process, said Frank of Major, Lindsey & Africa.

“They’re able to get a much better sense of the firm and its culture,” said Frank.

Joshua DullJoshua Dull, a partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Miami office, said that he was “surprised” that firms made a lot of hires without meeting them in the flesh.

The pandemic has also created the opportunity for lawyers to take a step back and reevaluate their long-term career goals, Dull added.

Diversity and inclusion will play an increasingly important role in driving hiring demand

Law firms have been taking greater steps toward boosting their diversity, an industry-wide move that was catalyzed by the renewed calls for social justice after the murder of George Floyd. 

These efforts have been bolstered by pressure and incentives from large corporate clients like Microsoft and Intel, who are setting stricter diversity standards for the outside counsel they choose to hire, from the number of diverse lawyers working on matters to billable hour distribution requirements.

Read more: An inside look at how Big Law firm Perkins Coie built up a diverse attorney base, winning major clients like Microsoft and Intel

Law firms are also recognizing the advantages of having a more diverse workforce, said Frank.

More gender-diverse companies are 25% more likely to outperform their least diverse counterparts, while the chances of outperforming in terms of profitability are boosted to 36% for more ethnically representative companies, per a McKinsey study conducted in May.

Some recruiters, like Gloria Sandrino, a principal at Lateral Link, saw big lateral moves like those of Reginald Brown from WilmerHale to Kirkland & Ellis as indicative of firms’ heightened desire to double down on their D&I initiatives.Gloria Sandrino Headshot

“Firms are factoring in diversity in their hiring decisions,” said Sandrino. “I’m hearing more and more about that from firms, and these moves show that they’re doing more than just talking the talk.”

Read more: Meet 7 diversity leaders who are fighting for equity and inclusion in Big Law and the advice they have for firms

Some in-house lawyers are considering moving back to law firms

Another interesting trend of the past year was an increasing demand from in-house lawyers who are looking to either move back to a law firm or find a similar position at another company.

This is especially the case because of the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, which forced many businesses across various sectors — from retail to restaurants — to file for bankruptcy.


“Inside counsel are typically considered cost centers to companies, so the first place they’re going to go to are law firms” if that company shutters, said Parker + Lynch’s Smith.

Legal departments have also been evolving in the last several years, creating a “new breed” of in-house counsel who are asked to wear many more hats, explained Dull of Major, Lindsey & Africa. This can lead to less job satisfaction, despite the fact that in-house gigs have historically been seen as having a better work-life balance than a job at a firm.

A move from in-house back to a law firm, however, can be “very difficult” because these lawyers don’t have a book of business they can bring with them. Plus, in-house lawyers tend to be pretty senior, and may ask for higher compensation than firms are willing to shell out, Smith said. Instead, she predicts that these lawyers will likely end up landing an in-house job at another company.

SEE ALSO: The 16 biggest lawyer moves that defined 2020, according to the industry’s top legal recruiters

SEE ALSO: Government lawyers had a harder time landing a cushy partner role at a big law firm in 2020. Here are the 12 hires that turned heads.

SEE ALSO: The 7 dos and don’ts of virtual interviews for Big Law summer associate programs, according to hiring decision-makers at Skadden, Latham & Watkins and a top industry recruiter

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Disney Argues 'Criminal Minds' Class Action Is "Trial by Ambush" – Hollywood Reporter

A demurrer argues the suit brought by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing over alleged sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation purports to include a “hopelessly vague” class of people who worked on ‘Criminal Minds.’

Disney is asking an L.A. judge to dismiss a sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaint from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing for being “hopelessly vague” about which Criminal Minds workers it’s suing on behalf of.

In May 2020, DFEH sued Disney, ABC and other companies and individuals connected to the procedural. The agency alleges that director of photography Greg St. Johns “engaged in sexual harassment, discrimination and harassment” against on-set workers, and it filed a complaint on behalf of “a group of persons who worked on set for the production of the television series Criminal Minds — including Anthony Matulic and Dauv McNeely.”

On Jan. 12, Disney and the individual defendants (except for St. Johns, who is separately represented) filed a demurrer to the complaint, asking L.A. County Superior Court Judge Daniel J. Buckley to examine whether the agency has to meet the requisite standards for commonality among members of the class and whether the “hopelessly vague class definition” dooms the litigation.

With regard to the class definition, the defendants argue the lack of detail deprives them of due process and unduly prejudices their ability to investigate the claims and defend themselves.

“The DFEH’s Section 12961 class action seeks to involve every person who worked on the television production, Criminal Minds, at any time, with zero way of knowing who the witnesses are, what documents are relevant, and what events are at issue,” writes attorney Jennifer Baldocchi in the filing. “Simply stated, this is trial by ambush, depriving Defendants of basic, fundamental, and required due process under the California Fair Notice Standard.”

By leaving the case open to “potentially every single person, whether employee, contractor, or otherwise, who ever set foot on the Criminal Minds production set over twelve years” the defendants say DFEH fails to meet the commonality standard required for it to bring a class action on behalf of itself in the public interest.

“Without a description of an identifiable group sharing common issues of fact or law, it is impossible to know who to interview or depose, what documents to review, and how to craft or respond to discovery, and which witnesses to call at trial,” writes Baldocchi, adding that more than 10,000 people worked on the series over 14 seasons.

“The FAC alleges that Matulic resisted a butt slap, McNeely was threatened with physical violence, an unnamed crew member was pantsed, and that some other alleged unidentified men were subject to unwanted touching, kisses, or caresses by St. John,” writes Baldocchi. “However, the FAC fails to explain how a single butt slap shares commonality with alleged physical violence or being pantsed.”

A hearing on the demurrer, which is posted below, is currently set for Feb. 17.

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Chicago attorney David Pasulka arrested on new sex assault charges – Chicago Sun-Times

A prominent Chicago attorney already facing rape and sexual abuse charges was arrested again this week after two more women stepped forward, accusing him attacking them four years ago.

One of David Pasulka’s former client’s said he pressured her to have sex with him while they prepared for her case in his office in May 2017, Cook County prosecutors said, detailing the new allegations Wednesday.

Pasulka, now 61, allegedly went on to pull up the woman’s dress while they were alone in a conference room. He then touched her inappropriately and threatened that if she didn’t sleep with him, she would lose custody of her children, prosecutors said.

The woman reported the incident to her family and kept an invoice of the meeting.

Pasulka allegedly assaulted the woman several other times between 2016 and 2017, but those instances fell outside of the statute of limitations, prosecutors said.

Between, 2016 and 2019, Pasulka also raped and sexually abused a 31-year-old paralegal while threatening to destroy her reputation, prosecutors said.

Three of the attacks took place during teleconferences when the pair were alone in an office, prosecutors said. In one instance, Pasulka allegedly touched that victim inappropriately and kissed her. In another, he allegedly touched himself while kissing the paralegal, who worked at his firm. On a third occasion, he allegedly slid his hand under her clothing.

Then around Thanksgiving 2017, Pasulka allegedly threw himself on the woman, pinned her against a couch in his office and raped her. Just minutes before, Pasulka told his other colleagues to go home and ordered the woman to go to his office, prosecutors said.

The following summer, Pasulka sexually assaulted the woman in his office again, prosecutors said. As he touched her below her clothing, he allegedly said, “this is mine.”

The paralegal never told anyone about the attacks because she was afraid Pasulka would ruin her career, prosecutors said. Later in 2018, the woman monitored Pasulka’s emails and learned about another victim, prosecutors said.

She left the firm after realizing she was not the only one being abused by Pasulka, prosecutors said.

Pasulka, a prominent family law practitioner, had been out on bond after he was arrested over the summer for allegedly placing a hand under a client’s dress, raping an associate and sexually abusing another female colleague.

Pasulka, who also has a pending misdemeanor DUI case, has been living at Fresh Start Sober Living, his defense attorney said Wednesday.

Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Pasulka held on $100,000 bail for the new sexual assault, aggravated sex assault and criminal sexual abuse charges.

Pasulka is expected back in court Feb. 9.

David Pasulka

David Pasulka
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'Cowboys for Trump' leader detained by FBI after pledging to bring guns to DC


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The far-right leader of “Cowboys for Trump” has been arrested in Washington, DC, after last week pledging to bring guns to the nation’s capital on the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In a statement, the FBI’s Washington Field Office told Insider that Couy Griffin, an elected Republican county commissioner in New Mexico, was detained Sunday afternoon by US Capitol Police, who then notified the bureau. Griffin “was the subject of an arrest warrant for his role in the January 6 Capitol riots,” the FBI said.

A criminal complaint, dated January 15, accuses Griffin of entering restricted grounds without lawful authority.

A police affidavit in support of the complaint cites videos posted to Griffin’s Facebook page — since deleted — where he boasts of attending the January 6 insurrection and pledges to return in order to plant a US flag on the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“We could have a 2nd Amendment rally on those same steps that we had that rally [on January 6],” Griffin said in another video. “You know, and if we do, then it’s gonna be a sad day, because there’s gonna be blood running out of that building.”

As Insider reported last week, Griffin reaffirmed his intent to travel again to Washington, DC, for Biden’s inauguration, stating at a January 14 Otero County commissioners hearing that he would be bringing two guns in his car along with him. One, he said, would be placed under the front passenger seat — a violation of DC law, which prohibits keeping any firearm within reach of a vehicle’s occupant.

“I embrace my Second Amendment, I will keep my right to bear arms, my vehicle is an extension of my home in regard to the constitution law, and I have a right to have those firearms in my car,” he asserted. Those remarks are cited in the police affidavit used to request a warrant for his arrest.

Griffin has a history of making inflammatory and racist remarks. Last year, he declared that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat” in a video that was shared on Twitter by President Donald Trump; he also declared that supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement should “go back to Africa.”

Democrats are calling for him to leave public office.

“I am demanding that Couy Griffin immediately resign from the Otero County Commission or my office will seek his removal,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said Sunday.

The local Republican Party, for its part, is distancing itself from Griffin.

“Mr. Griffin does not represent The Republican Party of New Mexico nor does he speak for the party,” Mike Curtis, a party spokesperson, told Insider. The state GOP “does not endorse or condone the statements made by [the] Cowboys for Trump founder,” he said, and “condemns violence and any threats of violence against any person or group.”

Griffin could not immediately be reached for comment.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com


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Are All Seasons of 'Criminal Minds' on Netflix? – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Each episode of this series holds a new mystery for the team to unravel. With some seasons listed on Netflix’s streaming platform, it’s perfect for binge-watching. However, not every episode of Criminal Minds is available on this subscription service.

Here’s what we know about the original drama series, Criminal Minds, and how to watch it, both on live television and on subscription services. 

'Criminal Minds' Episode Titled 'Taboo''Criminal Minds' Episode Titled 'Taboo'
‘Criminal Minds’ Episode Titled ‘Taboo’ | Darren Michaels/CBS via Getty Images

‘Criminal Minds’ ran for 15 seasons

Running for several years, the drama series, Criminal Minds, introduced the world to several characters who worked for the FBI. For 11 seasons, Thomas Gibson played BAU unit chief Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner on Criminal Minds

Other returning characters included the genius Dr. Spencer Reid, portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler, and the always empathetic Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, played by A. J. Cook.

Together with the other members of the BAU, these FBI agents created UnSub profiles for their cases, oftentimes catching the murderers they’re looking for, other times learning more about themselves. 

The series even included appearances from celebrities like Frankie Muniz, Jane Lynch, Cameron Monaghan, and Elle Fanning. After running for 15 seasons, Criminal Minds premiered its last episode.

“I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last twelve years. I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won’t be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and, most importantly, the best fans that a show could ever hope to have,” Gibson said in a statement following his removal from the drama series.

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RELATED: ‘Criminal Minds’: What Happened to Thomas Gibson After He Was Fired for Kicking a Producer?

‘Criminal Minds’ is available for streaming on Netflix

This series first premiered on television but has since made the switch to the streaming platform, Netflix. Now, 12 seasons of Criminal Minds, each holding about 20 episodes, are available for binge-watching on any device, thanks to the subscription service. 

The 12 seasons do not make up the show’s entire run on television. However, most seasons are listed in the streaming library. Because of the partnership with Netflix, this series isn’t available on rival subscription services like HBO MAX, Disney+, and Hulu.

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RELATED: Matthew Gray Gubler Says He’ll Carry Memories of ‘Criminal Minds’ ‘In His Heart’ After Series Finale

There are other ways to watch this drama series

Without a subscription to Netflix, there are a few other ways to watch this series. Episodes play on the television network Sundance. Criminal Minds is also available on CBS All Access, a platform that allows subscribers to view already released television shows and movies, as well as live television. 

Fans can also purchase digital and physical copies of this series and select seasons, thanks to online retailers like Amazon and eBay. Walmart has Criminal Minds: The Complete Series on DVD available for purchase, although it’ll cost fans over $100. DVDs of complete seasons also are available via Walmart, costing fans about $10 each. 

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John Helms a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer and Former AUSA Explains How The Biden Administration Will Impact the 93 US Attorneys – GlobeNewswire


Now that Joe Biden has won the Presidential election, it is important for all those interested in federal law enforcement and federal criminal justice to consider how a Biden presidency might affect the landscape. As a long-time former federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Texas and Dallas criminal defense lawyer for both federal and state crimes. I have seen many times how a change in the presidency can change federal law enforcement and criminal prosecution priorities. Below, I will outline the areas where changes are most likely and describe what I foresee.

How Presidents Shape Federal Criminal Justice Policies

First, it is important to remember how a new President can change federal criminal justice. Federal crimes are prosecuted under the authority of the United States Department of Justice. The head of the Justice Department is the United States Attorney General. Below the Attorney General are 93 United States Attorneys. Each United States Attorney is responsible for a regional district. For example, in Texas, there are four United States Attorneys—one each for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas. Each of these United States Attorneys leads an office of prosecutors, who are called Assistant United States Attorneys. These are the lawyers who usually represent the United States in court.

The President appoints the Attorney General and each of the United States Attorneys. The President will usually appoint people who have the same general philosophy as the President. President Biden will therefore appoint a new Attorney General and a new group of United States Attorneys who tend to share his views on federal criminal justice.

The Attorney General establishes federal law enforcement and criminal justice priorities for the entire country. The 93 U.S. Attorneys carry out those priorities by directing their offices on how to accomplish them. In addition, federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the DEA are part of the Justice Department. They follow the policies and priorities that the Attorney General establishes.

Different presidential administrations have different priorities. Here are the main areas in which I expect the Biden Administration’s priorities to change from the Trump Administration’s:

1. Immigration.

The Trump Administration made immigration enforcement one of its highest priorities. For example, as a matter of policy, the Justice Department directed federal prosecutors to prosecute criminally all federal immigration crimes—even misdemeanors, such as illegal entry into the United States, under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a). In the past, administrations from both parties had tended not to prosecute these cases criminally. Instead, those caught illegally entering the United States were either deported immediately, or they were allowed to plead guilty the same day they were caught, receive a sentence of time served, and were then deported right away.

Under the Trump Administration, this changed. People caught illegally entering the United States were held in custody and processed through the judicial system. The judicial process alone includes docketing their cases, assigning a prosecutor and often appointing a defense lawyer, having court hearings, preparing presentence reports for the judges, and holding sentencing hearings. In districts near the United States/Mexico border, this put an enormous strain on the federal courts, federal law enforcement agencies, and federal detention facilities.

I expect the Biden Administration will go back to a policy of allowing persons caught illegally entering the United States for the first time to plead guilty immediately and be deported. This will more effectively utilize federal law enforcement and judicial resources.

It is important to understand that, although illegal entry into the United States is a federal misdemeanor, illegal reentry after a prior deportation, under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b), is a federal felony. The difference is that a person can only be charged with the misdemeanor crime the first time they are caught illegally entering the United States, but if they are caught after they have been deported before, they can be charged with a felony.

Prior to the Trump Administration, the Justice Department under Presidents from both parties had generally prosecuted illegal reentry cases only when the person had committed a serious felony crime before being deported. The type of crime that would have normally triggered an illegal reentry prosecution was called an “aggravated felony.” Those who had not committed an aggravated felony were normally charged with the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry and deported.

As a matter of policy, the Trump Administration aggressively prosecuted illegal reentry cases, even if the accused had not committed an aggravated felony. I expect that Justice Department under the Biden Administration will change this and go back to something similar to the prior policies.

Finally, under the Obama Administration, those who qualified for DACA status (brought to the United States as young children, no significant criminal history), were not arrested and removed from the United States. President Trump threatened to end this policy and to begin actively attempting to deport those with DACA status.

In Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the Univ. of California, No. 18-587 (U.S., June 18, 2020), however, the United States Supreme Court held that the Trump Administration had not followed proper legal procedures for ending DACA protections. The decision would have permitted the Trump Administration to end DACA protections, however, if all proper legal procedures were followed. I certainly expect that the Biden Administration will restore DACA protections and will push for legislation giving DACA recipients a path to citizenship.

2. Drug Crimes.

Another area in which the Trump Administration changed Justice Department policy is the enforcement of federal laws criminalizing marijuana distribution. The Justice Department under the Obama Administration essentially looked the other way at marijuana distribution in states that had legalized marijuana possession. Under the Trump Administration, the Justice Department officially ended this policy, although actual federal prosecutions for marijuana sales that were legal under state laws were rare.

I expect that the Justice Department under President Biden will revert back to the Obama Administration policy of not enforcing federal laws against marijuana distribution if the activity is legal under the law of the state where it takes place. Since such prosecutions were rare under the Trump Administration, the practical effect may be to open up investment and business activity involving marijuana distribution activities that are legal under a state’s laws, at least to a degree. This is because such a new policy would reduce uncertainty for those engaging in legal activity under relevant state laws. This does not mean, however, that large-scale marijuana distribution is likely to be permitted in states where marijuana is illegal.

3. Civil Rights Investigations of Law Enforcement.

In recent times, we have seen many instances of shootings of unarmed people—particularly black men–by law enforcement and those acting like law enforcement. Although the Justice Department under the Trump Administration has not had an official “hands off” policy on these incidents, it has not exactly investigated them aggressively or made them a law enforcement priority.

I expect this to change under the Biden Administration. First, I expect federal law enforcement to begin working more intensively with local law enforcement to try to prevent these types of incidents from occurring. Second, I expect to see more federal investigations of local police departments that appear to have a problem with systemic racism. Third, I expect more aggressive investigation and prosecution of local police officers who kill unarmed citizens in violation of their civil rights.

Hopefully, these measures will reduce the kind of incidents that have caused massive unrest and will help restore faith in local law enforcement.


Each new presidential administration has different law enforcement and criminal justice priorities. They are formulated through federal agencies like the Justice Department, under the direction of the Attorney General. They are implemented through the 93 United States Attorneys around the country and the Assistant United States Attorneys they oversee.

I expect the Biden Administration to make a number of changes from the Trump Administration, including those described above. Hopefully, these changes will meaningfully improve the administration of justice in this country.

Law Office of John M. Helms


Media contact:

R. William 


This news has been published for the above source. John Helms Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer [ID=16450]

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The 7 dos and don'ts of virtual interviews for Big Law summer associate programs, according to hiring decision-makers at Skadden, Latham & Watkins and a top industry recruiter

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After a semester-long delay, many law schools’ on-campus interviews for summer associate programs are kicking into gear at last.

OCIs are typically held just before a law student’s second year, and are the first formal stage in the talent pipeline for many law firms. This year, due to the pandemic, many schools pushed their OCI programs to January, and have also moved them from in-person to online.

These shifts have left many students feeling uncertain about various aspects of recruiting, from hiring needs to what law firms are looking for.

Fortunately, the legal market has weathered the storm of the pandemic fairly well. “I’d say it’s pretty healthy and almost back to where we were, right when the pandemic began,” said Ru Bhatt, partner at the recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa, in a digital event hosted by Insider.

WATCH: How to land a Big Law summer associate job panel

In fact, hiring decision-makers at two Big Law firms, Latham & Watkins and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said that their hiring needs haven’t changed as a result of the pandemic: Latham is looking to hit last year’s class size — around 213 summer associates — this year, while Skadden is looking to hire around 160 students.

Here are some of the takeaways from our insider panelists on the dos and don’ts of virtual recruiting.

Do be aware of the interview process at each firm

While first-round screening interviews are typically arranged by the school, callback interviews are more firm-specific. At Latham, callbacks are usually with six to eight attorneys, though students can also request to talk to others in specific practice areas they may be interested in, said Julie Crisp, partner and vice chair of the firm’s recruiting committee.

Skadden’s callback interviews are with four to six attorneys: two partners, two associates, and two junior associates doing more informal coffee chats. According to Carol Sprague, Skadden’s director of talent acquisition, the firm is piloting an additional component to their callbacks. Students will be asked to complete a performance analytics assessment using Suited, a recruiting platform that uses artificial intelligence, to determine more intangible traits like a candidate’s values and whether those align with the firm’s. Sprague noted that Suited will not be determinative this year, but instead serve as an additional resource for Skadden when evaluating a candidate.

Read more: Kirkland & Ellis recruiting chairs and industry insiders lay out how to get hired at the top-ranking law firm

Don’t fret over pass/fail grades

Many law schools implemented a pass/fail grading system in the spring semester due to the pandemic, causing students to worry about how firms will consider these grades. But hiring experts agree: fret not. 

While grades aren’t totally out of the picture, law firms examine candidates more holistically.

“Ultimately, we’re looking for self-starters that have a high degree of responsibility, judgment, maturity, and have excelled in rigorous academic and professional environments,” said Crisp.

Skadden’s Sprague added that legal experience is not a must-have, so long as a candidate is able to demonstrate the characteristics that they’re looking for.

Do take advantage of this year’s virtual format and network

Before an interview, it’s important to do your research by reading materials available online or speaking with people who’ve worked at the firm.

Bhatt suggests that students reach out to lawyers and any alumni working at the firm to see if they’re available for a ten-to fifteen-minute conversation. (He also recommends checking out this guide on how to not be a networking leech.)

“Lawyers are more available now,” said Bhatt. “Ask them questions about what they do on a day-to-day basis when it comes to different practice areas.”

Former summer associates are also great people to network with, said Crisp, who recommends reaching out to schools’ career services to help coordinate those connections.

If you feel daunted by the prospect of reaching out to busy lawyers, Sprague said that the recruiting department within a firm is another good resource for students, and can help connect them to other attorneys at the firm.

Don’t overprepare and do be yourself

“There is such a thing as overpreparation,” warned Bhatt.

Sprague agreed, adding that you don’t want to seem canned or over-rehearsed. “You want to be able to have a conversation. You want to be yourself,” she said.

Even though it can be tougher to make natural conversations over Zoom, making sure you’re giving good body language, making eye contact through the screen, and appearing professional can all go a long way in making a good impression.

Read more: How to stand out during Morgan Lewis’s individually-tailored virtual interview process, according to the Big Law firm’s recruiting manager

Do be on your toes for interview questions

So you’ve made it to the interview. What kinds of questions should you be prepared to answer?

Bhatt breaks down the questions into three main categories: “The first is ‘do I like you,’ or the chemistry test. The second is ‘are you smart enough to do the job,’ which is the math test. The third is the motivation question: ‘why are you interested in my firm and my firm specifically?'”

If you don’t know what the interviewer is going for, it can be helpful to try to categorize that question in your head to figure out how you should best answer a question.

Some of the standard questions asked during interviews include: Why did you go to law school? Why are you interested in this firm in particular? Can you tell me about this specific experience on your resume? (On that note, Sprague emphasized that it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to talk about everything listed on your resume — even if it’s at the very bottom and happened six years ago.)

Even some out-of-the-box questions are designed to gauge your abilities as a lawyer. For instance, one question asked at some Latham interviews is: “Which Harry Potter house are you?” Another one at Skadden: “What are your five favorite movies?”

“We want to make sure you can think on your feet, think of an answer, and communicate that to us,” said Crisp.

Don’t ask stupid questions

On the flip side of the table, candidates should also be prepared to ask thoughtful questions backed by prior research on the firm.

“Here’s the thing: I think there is such a thing as a dumb question — you want to make sure you don’t ask any of those,” said Bhatt. “These are questions that you can answer easily by looking at the firm’s website. Don’t ask where their other offices are, you don’t need to know exactly how many people are in a group.”

Instead, Bhatt suggests that you ask questions that are focused on the role and responsibilities you’ll be having as a summer associate. “Ask about training, ask about what summer associates are assigned to, whether you’ll need to choose a practice area. All of those things are important and show that you’re being thoughtful about this role that you’re potentially going to take on,” he said.

While students should be doing most of the talking, Sprague said that asking about the interviewers’ own experiences at the firm can be helpful in getting a feel for the firm and its culture.

“People love to talk about themselves, so always have a couple of questions that say: What made you choose Skadden or Latham? When you were a summer associate, what were the best things about your summer?” suggested Sprague.

Do know yourself when it comes to picking a firm and a practice area

It’s understandably a stressful time for law students who are looking at different firms and different practice areas.

Crisp said that she didn’t know if she wanted to do transactional or litigation, and, in part, ended up choosing Latham because it offered a rotational program, where she could try out both practice areas firsthand.

Read more: 9 recession-proof legal practice areas set to boom, according to top lawyers and recruiters

Bhatt advised that what’s most important is to focus on what your ultimate career goals are.

“Those first three years are essential and almost determinative for the rest of your legal career, so it’s really important to focus on what kind of training will I receive, and is it going to be something that can help me achieve my ultimate career goals,” Bhatt said.

Ultimately, Sprague said that it boils down to finding the firm that you feel is the best fit for you.

“Don’t overanalyze it. Just find a place you’ll be happy in,” she said.

SEE ALSO: The Big Law career guide for law school students, graduates, and young lawyers, from landing a job at elite law firms to picking a practice area

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'Criminal Minds': The BAU's Most Visited City – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Criminal Minds aired its final episode in February 2020. For 15 seasons, fans tuned in to see the members of the elite Behavioral Analysis Unit fly off in their private jet to solve the most disturbing and troubling of crimes. Because each episode found the team on the scene of a new crime, they found themselves in many different towns and cities. Do you know what city was visited by the BAU the most often? 

Los Angeles, California, was the most visited city on Criminal Minds

The BAU might have been based on the East Coast, but the pair spent a fair bit of time out west. During the show’s lengthy run, the team flew out to Los Angeles fifteen times to solve cases. The first mention of LA came toward the end of the first season. During the 18th episode, the team flew out to LA to do a seminar for the LAPD. Before they could leave, they were dragged into a case when a Hollywood starlet finds people dying around her rather rapidly.

The Los Angeles skyline | Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Criminal Minds’: What Would Penelope Garcia’s Salary Be in Real Life

The team visited other California cities, too, but none as often as LA. San Francisco, California, where Penelope Garcia was from, was the focus of just four episodes. San Diego was the focus of five episodes, while Palm Springs, CA, was mentioned only once in 299 episodes.

The Washington D.C. metro area was the most visited area, though

While the team spent a fair bit of time in LA, the Washington D.C. metro area saw a fair bit of action, too. The D.C. metro area was the focus of 17 episodes during the show’s 15-season run, while Quantico, VA, was the focus of an additional five. According to Fandom, the first D.C. based case the team worked on came in the first season’s seventh episode. The episode focused on a serial killer who stalked and moved in with families before killing them.

The skyline of Washington, DC, including the US Capitol building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the National MallThe skyline of Washington, DC, including the US Capitol building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall
The skyline of Washington, DC | Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Most seasons of the show included at least one episode in the Washington D.C. area, but some seasons had more than others. Season 11 and season 15 had the most episodes focused on the area. Both seasons included three D.C. centered episodes each.

Why was Criminal Minds canceled?

After 15 seasons, the members of the BAU signed off. Fans of the series weren’t pleased with the show’s cancellation and have debated the actual reason behind the decision since the final episode aired. Simply put, Criminal Minds was canceled because it no longer fit in with the network’s new focus. Looper points out that the series was one of the network’s oldest shows, and a rebranding seems to be just around the corner. The ousting of Les Moonves might have something to do with it, too, argues the publication.

Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia in 'Criminal Minds'Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia in 'Criminal Minds'
Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia in ‘Criminal Minds’ | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)

RELATED: Revealed: Why A.J. Cook Really Left ‘Criminal Minds’

Criminal Minds also had some behind-the-scenes drama and a lot of movement in the cast. Neither issue spells success for a show, and, after 15 years, it just seemed like time to call it quits. The series is still available on streaming platforms and in syndication. Luckily, fans can still relive the show’s most harrowing moments.

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Attorney Roberta Kaplan is about to make Trump’s life extremely difficult – The Washington Post

Jackie Molloy for The Washington Post

Lawyer Roberta Kaplan at her New York vacation home. She has three cases pending against President Trump.

On the other side of Donald Trump’s turbulent presidency, the lawyers are waiting.

Leaving aside his Senate impeachment trial, mounting government investigations include a civil probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a criminal probe by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and a federal probe by acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Michael Sherwin that may include Trump’s role in the catastrophic storming of the U.S. Capitol this month.

But already pending for the soon-to-be South Florida retiree is a trio of lawsuits that allege defamation, fraud and more fraud — all of which are helmed by one attorney.

Roberta Kaplan’s clients include writer E. Jean Carroll, who filed a defamation case after Trump claimed she was “totally lying” about her allegation that he raped her a quarter-century ago in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room, and niece Mary L. Trump, who claims that Trump and two of his siblings deprived her of an inheritance worth millions.

“I became the go-to person to sue the president,” says Kaplan, 54, with considerable relish.

She is in many ways the ideal legal adversary to take on Trump. Kaplan is a brash and original strategist, with neither a gift for patience nor silence, a crusader for underdogs who has won almost every legal accolade imaginable. Kaplan, says New York Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in an email, “has been indispensable in the fight against the cancer of hate and division that Trump spent four years exacerbating.”

Before the presidency, Trump was often as engaged in legal tussles as he was in real estate, suing and threatening to sue his way out of financial trouble. With a return to private life, “his terror is that he will no longer be protected by the office and will have to deal with these lawsuits,” says his niece. Trump faces the prospect of spending considerable time in the role of defendant. Kaplan says she will seek to depose him in all three cases. Trump’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment on the cases in this story.


For much of her career, there was little in Kaplan’s professional bio to suggest she would become an attorney suing behemoths. Kaplan, known to all as Robbie, is a self-described “traditionalist,” in pearls, pumps and, pre-coronavirus, superior blond highlights, who long worked as a top commercial litigator at Paul, Weiss, one of the nation’s preeminent firms, where the fees tend to be if-you-have-to-ask-you-surely-can’t-afford-us.

But she became increasingly identified as an advocate for liberal causes and outside-the-box legal strategies. She is a lesbian, an observant Jew and a die-hard Democrat for whom 12 hours constitutes a light work day.

“My maternal grandmother always hated a bully,” Kaplan says during a series of phone interviews. “One really good job for going after bullies is to be a lawyer.”

Since launching her own firm four years ago, Kaplan has initiated a constellation of cases against powerful, often intimidating forces: white supremacists, major Hollywood players, the president of the United States. Legal writer Dahlia Lithwick calls her “an attorney general for the resistance.”

Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan says of their frequent legal conversations: “Robbie’s not calling about feelings. She wants to fix it first. She’s the least diffident person I’ve ever met. Plenty of smart people worry about failing. They worry about every little thing. Robbie doesn’t worry about that. In a really disarming way, she doesn’t care if people view her as hyperaggressive.”

Jewel Samad

AFP/Getty Images

Kaplan speaks after arguing the Edie Windsor case before the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2013. The court ruled in favor of Windsor, seen in a pink scarf, and struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

In Kaplan’s third Trump case, she represents participants in ACN, a multilevel marketing company promoted on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” They’re suing not ACN, but the former host and his three oldest children, accusing them of endorsing the company as a promising business opportunity.

While Trump billed himself as a populist, Kaplan perceived a consistent disconnect in how Trump University and other enterprises allegedly took advantage of the very people whose interests he claimed to champion.

“Because of his prominence, he marketed his ability to convince unsophisticated, very poor Americans to invest,” says Kaplan, who was indignant that Trump “would exploit people like this to line your own pockets.”

(In a Business Insider story, a Trump organization spokesperson responded to the suit by saying, “Before enrolling with ACN, every participant acknowledged in writing that they are ‘not guaranteed any income.’ ” In that story, ACN co-founder Robert Stevanovski claimed the plaintiffs were told that Trump was getting paid to endorse the company. “I think it’s politically motivated that they’re going to sue him and the family and not us,” he said.)

Kaplan remains most celebrated for the Edie Windsor case that, in 2013, successfully struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, paving the way with stunning alacrity for the legalization of same-sex marriage two years later to the day.

Among Kaplan’s strategic moves — “I don’t know where I found the chutzpah to do this” — was to help coax Bill Clinton to publish a Washington Post opinion piece renouncing his 1996 support of DOMA before she appeared before the nation’s highest court.
United States v. Windsor
remains the only U.S. Supreme Court case that she has ever argued.

Family photo

Roberta Kaplan at her 1988 college graduation from Harvard University.

“A little girl with a big mouth.” That’s how Kaplan’s grandmother described her, meant with affection. Growing up in Cleveland, she was a rigorous student who designed a plan. Head East to a top school (Harvard), train as a lawyer (Columbia), become a New Yorker.

Five years ago, that plan expanded to landing a top Justice Department position in Hillary Clinton’s administration.

So, no.

Instead, in the summer of 2017, Kaplan launched her own boutique firm, still a rarity among female corporate lawyers, creating an unusual model that combines lucrative commercial litigation with a progressive public-interest practice. Free from the agendas of risk-averse institutional clients, Kaplan and her colleagues became free to take on any case they believed had merit.

One week after the firm moved into its 71st-floor offices of the Empire State Building, the furniture yet to arrive, Charlottesville erupted.

Believing that Trump’s Justice Department seemed unlikely to seriously investigate and prosecute the people responsible for the violence during the “Unite the Right” rally — he infamously claimed there “were very fine people, on both sides” — Kaplan announced, and this was her precise language to friends and colleagues: “I want to sue Nazis.”

Because, why not?

Within days, Kaplan and her team flew to Virginia. The firm adopted an outside-the-box approach and sued two dozen avowed neo-Nazis, white supremacists and associated groups, invoking the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act to argue that they conspired for months to commit racially motivated violence, thereby making it more of a challenge for the organizers to adopt free speech as a defense. The case is scheduled for trial in October.

Rogelio V. Solis


Outside the federal courthouse in Jackson, Miss., in 2016, Kaplan addresses the media while representing the Campaign for Southern Equality and a lesbian couple who challenged state legislation prohibiting same-sex marriage.

In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct revelations, Kaplan co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which offers financial assistance for plaintiffs filing harassment cases, and she now serves as chair of the Time’s Up organization. Many women who say they have been sexually harassed or assaulted have come to her. The actress Amber Heard sought Kaplan’s representation in ex-husband Johnny Depp’s $50 million case involving a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece by Heard; he alleges she defamed him by implying that he domestically abused her. (The op-ed does not explicitly name him.) In the complaint, the actor denies any abuse took place.

Heard says of Kaplan, “I’m instantly drawn to the type of individual who can look upon the Goliath and say ‘I think I can take you.’ That kind of energy and temerity is rare in the world, especially in the legal world.”

Suing the powerful has brought repeated threats. Kaplan has an apartment in Manhattan but requested that her country home’s location, where she has spent the pandemic working, go unnamed.

Kaplan says the greatest abuse she’s received on social media has come not from neo-Nazis, white supremacists or Trump’s true believers, but from Depp’s vehement online champions.

Tristan Fewings

Getty Images

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Though Kaplan no longer represents Heard in a $50 million defamation lawsuit filed by Depp, the two remain close.

A hallmark of Kaplan Hecker & Fink is crafting complaints in layman’s language that pack a wallop. The Mary Trump brief is a doozy. “For Donald J. Trump, his sister Maryanne, and their late brother Robert, fraud was not just the family business — it was a way of life,” the complaint begins, before alleging three duplicitous schemes, “The Grift,” “The Devaluing” and “The Squeeze-Out.”

Says Mary Trump, “That brief is literature.”

The president’s lawyers, in an effort to have the case tossed, claimed that the complaint is “laden with conspiracy theories.”

When Carroll first met with Kaplan, the lawyer quickly understood her client’s objective. “I don’t give two flying figs about an apology,” Carroll says. “I am dying to get him in a deposition. I want him to say that I’m not a liar. I just want him to admit that he lied and that, yes, it happened.”

[E. Jean Carroll case: Trump can delay providing DNA sample if he turns over other evidence, accuser says]

The last few years of Kaplan’s professional life, with her firm swelling from four to 43 elite lawyers, are inextricably intertwined with Trump. Without his election, Kaplan may not have launched her own firm as quickly or filed three lawsuits against him.

“I’m ready. I’m excited,” says Kaplan. In the Carroll case, Kaplan believes that Trump’s proclivity for false and misleading statements, with more than 30,000 of them during his White House term, according to The Post, will be tested when he is under oath. During a 2007 Trump deposition, lawyers caught him making exaggerated claims 30 times, according to a 2016 Post investigation.

“When we depose you, you’re not going to get away with that,” Kaplan says. “He had the mantle of the presidency, and that’s now gone.”

Jackie Molloy for The Washington Post

“My maternal grandmother always hated a bully,” Kaplan says. “One really good job for going after bullies is to be a lawyer.”

Kaplan is celebrated for her candor. She’s active in LGBTQ causes, recently serving as the board chair of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She rhapsodizes about her “big gay Jewish wedding” in 2005 to Rachel Lavine, a liberal activist who serves on New York’s Democratic committee.

Yet Kaplan remained in the closet until law school graduation.

“Robbie is one of the most conventional radicals you’ll ever meet,” Lithwick says.

In 1991, Kaplan came out to her parents at age 25. It did not go well. Her mother walked up to a wall and began banging her head, repeatedly, in dismay. “Which she has apologized for over and over again,” Kaplan says. The family remains close.

Kaplan experienced a rare episode of depression, which led her to consult a therapist named Thea Spyer, who referenced her lesbian relationship in an effort to comfort Kaplan — and whose death in 2009 left a punitive estate tax bill to her partner, Edie Windsor, because their marriage wasn’t legally recognized, sparking the Supreme Court case that helped define Kaplan’s career.

Why did such an outspoken person hide her true identity for so long?

“I’d never been a burn-down-the-ramparts sort of person. I believed in working in institutions,” says Kaplan. “Living a life very much on the margins didn’t appeal to me. I really wanted to have kids. I really wanted to be part of the Jewish community. I really wanted to have a career. All of this would have been unavailable in the world I grew up in.”

She has all of that — the marriage, a son (Jacob, now 14), a goldendoodle. On Sunday mornings, she participates in a Talmud discussion group with her rabbi and Lithwick.

Family photo

Kaplan holds her son Jacob in 2006. The previous year, she married political activist Rachel Lavine at their “big gay Jewish wedding.”

“Also, I knew when I met Rachel there was no way I was going to be able to be in the closet and be with Rachel,” Kaplan says. “Those two things were completely incompatible.” Everyone in the New York gay rights movement knew Lavine. Politics, civic engagement and intellectual rigor were part of the attraction. On an early date in a romantic Chelsea bistro, the two argued at length over the comparative power of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks during the Russian Revolution.

Although known for her fresh legal arguments, Kaplan was comfortable working in a large firm. She seemed unlikely to go out on her own. In many ways, it’s the boldest professional move she’s made.

“What makes a good litigator and lawyer is being a pessimist and risk averse because you need to be looking at problems around the next corner,” says Karlan, who helped prepare Kaplan for the Supreme Court argument. “Robbie has been as successful as she is because she doesn’t appear to be that kind of thinker. She’s an optimist.”

The firm’s high-profile cases have attracted top legal talent, like Joshua Matz, who briefly left the firm last year to help the House Judiciary Committee draft articles of impeachment.

“We’ve learned that in presenting options to Robbie, she will presumptively favor the most aggressive option,” Matz says. “She is jaw-droppingly strategic and savvy on the one hand, and extremely bold on the other.”

Jewel Samad

AFP/Getty Images

At the Supreme Court in 2013, Kaplan walks with Edie Windsor, left, who had been ordered to pay federal inheritance tax of $363,000 following the 2009 death of Thea Spyer, her partner of more than four decades. Kaplan had consulted Spyer, a therapist, after coming out to her family in 1991.

It’s also a menschy practice. “What’s unusual is the sheer amount of contact she has with her clients,” Karlan says. Kaplan celebrated Passover with Windsor, who died in 2017. She’s available at all hours for phone consultations. Gifts of food are constant. She sent Heard a box of chicken soup, lox and bagels.

Citing logistical challenges that were better served by local counsel, Kaplan’s firm no longer represents Heard in the defamation case that is scheduled for trial in May.

Yet Kaplan continues to offer Heard legal advice on the case and other legal matters. They speak regularly, sometimes daily. “She is the bravest lawyer I have ever met. She doesn’t get intimidated or scare easily,” Heard says. “The well-behaved woman never interested me. There’s a rebellious part of Robbie. I think of her as my Jewish mother.”

Kaplan’s close friend Sharon Nelles, head of litigation at Sullivan & Cromwell, says: “If you can come at the world the way she does, you are not reined in by whether there are social constructs or boundaries. You can create your own mold. Lawyers for the most part react. Robbie acts.”

Nelles recalls a time when Kaplan called to consult on a case. “She’s yapping at me on the phone and then lets out a little screech.”

Nelles asked what was wrong. “Oh, I’m having a medical procedure,” Kaplan said. “Let me call you back when I get off the doctor’s table.”

Mary Trump hired Kaplan to sue President Trump, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and the estate of his late brother Robert Trump “because I want justice for my daughter, and for me, and for my dad. If Donald Trump is not going to be held accountable for other things, he needs to be held accountable for this,” she says, adding: “Maybe that will start the dominoes to fall. Maybe other people will feel that they, too, have options and will come forward.” Kaplan’s firm regularly fields inquiries from potential clients who wish to sue Trump.

[Inauguration 2021: Follow our live updates]

Carroll cannot wait for her day in court with Trump. She’s already picked out her outfit. Black. Armani.

She also views her lawsuit as symbolic, saying, “It’s for all the women in the country who have been harassed or assaulted by powerful men, and feel helpless to do anything about it.”

So Carroll’s doing something about it.

“I don’t have to be brave,” she says. “Because Robbie Kaplan is brave for me.”

What does Josh Hawley think he’s doing?

It began on a gold escalator. It may have ended at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

Lovely, little Delaware — long famous for corporations, chickens and credit cards — is ready for its big moment

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