Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC

The Clark Building
400 20th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
205-581-0700 (phone)
205-581-0799 (facsimile)

You don't see yourself or your company as a criminal.

Prosecutors and regulators may think otherwise. They don't really care how you see yourself.

That is where we help.

The lines between criminal, civil and regulatory enforcement are more blurred than ever. Tools formerly devoted to organized crime—wiretaps and body wires, search warrants and informants—now appear in cases alleging securities-fraud, health-care abuse and public corruption. There are 4,000 federal criminal statutes, and tens of thousands of related regulations. When Congress feels political pressure to "do something", it often criminalizes previously innocent, customary business conduct. When a social or economic issue—health care, for example, or the environment—gains increased media or budgetary attention, prosecutors are tempted to over-reach.

That is when we help.

Lightfoot lawyers regularly represent businesses and individuals in white collar criminal matters in federal and state courts—pretrial, at trial and on appeal. We also represent our clients before Congress and federal regulatory agencies, and in specialized investigations such as military proceedings. Our lawyers have conducted numerous internal investigations for a wide variety of firms and companies, advising senior management and boards of directors in a practical business manner.

The best enforcement action or criminal investigation is the one that stops. Our lawyers provide responsive, hands-on service so that in many instances the indictment never happens, the subpoena never issues, and the story never breaks. For that reason, we cannot share many of our best moments. Other representations are public, however, and we would be happy to discuss them with you. In some of those matters, we have:

  • Advised the owner of a compounding pharmacy with respect to a federal investigation.
  • Guided the former chief credit officer of a national bank through parallel grand jury, civil class-action and federal regulatory proceedings.
  • Counseled the regional manager of a large food broker with respect to a federal fraud investigation.
  • Represented a developer as a witness in a state investigation.
  • Represented (with local counsel) the CFO of a specialty pharmacy in a federal prosecution under the Anti-Kickback Statute. Case was tried and client acquitted.
  • Represented (with co-counsel) a lobbyist in a large public-corruption investigation brought by DOJ's Public Integrity Section, which alleged vote-buying in a state legislature. Case was tried and client acquitted.
  • Assisted a federal health-care researcher in a criminal and civil investigation into the loss of computerized health information. Client not indicted or sued.
  • Counseled a county commission and commissioners subpoenaed as part of a nationwide SEC investigation into interest-rate "swaps" on government bonds.
  • Represented a senior officer and director of an outpatient healthcare company in parallel civil, criminal, Congressional and administrative proceedings. Client was the only senior executive not charged.
  • Represented the president of a gasoline company in a Clean Air Act grand jury investigation. Client not indicted.
  • Assisted a pharmaceutical company in a military criminal investigation. Client and employee not charged.
  • Represented an officer of a poultry company in a Clean Water Act case. Client not indicted. Conducted an internal investigation for a major insurance company whose Birmingham office director was accused of accepting kickbacks.
  • Represented with regard to extradition issues a German national indicted for civil and criminal environmental offenses in Germany.
  • Reviewed contracts with sales representatives abroad for compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Provided comments on proposed Alabama business crime legislation.
  • Represented a national accounting firm responding to a grand jury subpoena in a criminal antitrust investigation.
  • Assisted institutional healthcare clients in responding to contacts by government investigators; advised clients on threatened qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act.
  • Represented the environmental engineer at a quarry in a joint federal/state investigation into the quarry's environmental management practices and alleged false statements made to inspectors.
  • Assisted a healthcare provider with potential Medicare fraud issues.

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Watch a presentation by Jack Sharman: CIVIL LESSONS FROM CRIMINAL TRIALS