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Ethics in Banking and Financial Services 2018


Speaker(s): C. Evan Stewart, James J. Benjamin, Jr., James Q. Walker, Michael J. Dell, Susan E. Brune
Recorded on: Aug. 14, 2018
PLI Program #: 220599

James Walker concentrates in government investigations and enforcement proceedings, complex commercial litigation, professional liability and legal ethics.  Mr. Walker represents companies and senior executives in investigations of potential violations of the securities laws, and law firms and lawyers in litigations and proceedings involving investigations of criminal, regulatory and/or professional misconduct claims.  Mr. Walker is the Chair of the New York County Lawyer’s Association Professional Ethics Committee.  He has served on the New York City Bar’s Professional Discipline, Professional and Judicial Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Securities Regulation Committees, and on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, where he has been a member since 1996.  Mr. Walker frequently lecturers on legal ethics, internal investigations and corporate governance, and has published articles addressing on attorney-client privilege, professional ethics, and issues arising under the securities laws.  Mr. Walker also serves as General Counsel to Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP.


Michael J. Dell is a leading trial and appellate lawyer who has been successfully resolving business disputes for his clients for more than 30 years. Michael represents corporations, accounting and financial services firms, and individuals in civil litigation in state and federal courts, in internal investigations, and in connection with investigations and enforcement proceedings before government and regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). His work on behalf of his clients involves a broad range of business matters, including securities, accountants’ and auditors’ liability, commercial, real estate and insurance, patents and intellectual property, False Claims Act, ERISA, fiduciary and employment, antitrust, and trusts and estates lawsuits. A skilled advocate, Michael has extensive experience representing clients in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, including arbitrations and mediations before FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the American Arbitration Association, the International Center for Dispute Resolution, JAMS, the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution and other ADR forums. Although he most often represents defendants, Michael has secured many judgments and settlements on behalf of plaintiffs.

Education

  • J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1978
  • Associate Editorial Director, Harvard Law Review, 1977-1978
  • Editor, Harvard Law Review, 1976-1977
  • B.A., with honors, Oxford University, Wadham College, 1975

Clerkship

  • Honorable Stanley A. Weigel, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1978-1979

Honors and Distinctions

  • Woodward White Inc.’s Best Lawyers in America (2010-2019)
  • Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC’s Benchmark Litigation (2007-2019)
  • Thomson Reuters’ New York Super Lawyers (2006-2018)
  • Chambers and Partners’ Chambers USA (2014-2018)
  • Legalease’s Legal 500 US (2011-2018)
  • NYSBA’s Empire State Counsel Honor (2015)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1992
  • New York, 1979

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court


Susan E. Brune has been consistently recognized for excellence in the practice of law.  Susan focuses her practice on white collar matters, helping individuals and entities through investigations involving the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, FINRA and other criminal and regulatory bodies.

Susan has repeatedly warded off indictment and regulatory charges through sound strategic choices, meticulous preparation and forceful advocacy. When cases are brought, she is equally effective. A seasoned trial lawyer, she obtained the acquittal of a Bear Stearns hedge fund manager in a federal jury trial.

In 2010, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers conferred upon her the Hon. Thurgood S. Marshall Award for Outstanding Criminal Practitioner, an award conferred annually on one practitioner in New York.

After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office and before founding Brune Law P.C., Susan founded and for 18 years led Brune & Richard LLP, a firm that The New York Times described as “a top-flight New York litigation boutique.”

Susan is a graduate of Harvard Law School.


C. Evan Stewart's practice focuses principally on the financial services industry, where he handles litigation matters for domestic and international clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, in arbitration forums, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the U.S. Supreme Court. He advises clients on a range of complex commercial matters, including antitrust, bankruptcy, class action defense, ethics, intellectual property, internal investigations, securities litigation, and tax controversies.

Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the "Top Trials of 2005" for his successful representation of Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for "late trading" mutual funds. More recently, Mr. Stewart successfully represented Gary Prince against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May of 2013, after a three week bench trial in federal court, the judge dismissed all six charges of securities fraud against Mr. Prince.

Mr. Stewart previously served twelve years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The Nikko Securities Co. International Inc., and as a director of Nikko Financial Services Inc. Additionally, Mr. Stewart served as First Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Head of Litigation at E.F. Hutton & Company Inc.  Since 2003, Mr. Stewart has been tasked by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to, among other things, oversee and litigate all of the disputes arising out of the company's Private Wealth Management Division.

Recognized as a Super Lawyer for Securities Litigation since 2009, Mr. Stewart has also been hailed as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation since 2010. In 2016, Mr. Stewart received the Sanford D. Levy Award from the New York State Bar Association's Ethics Committee for having "significantly contributed to an understanding of professional ethics by the publication of an article, commentary or a series of articles or commentaries on the subject." In 2008, he received the Modaq Content Award for writing the most popular article in the United States. Since 1980, Mr. Stewart has been AV(R) Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Stewart is a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct law professor at Fordham Law School. He has been a regularly contributing columnist for the New York Law Journal since 1990, the New York Business Journal since 2006, and has published approximately 300 articles on diverse legal subjects.  He is also frequently featured in the national media and regularly speaks across the country on securities professional responsibility and complex litigation issues.


James J. Benjamin Jr., a leader of Akin Gump’s securities enforcement and litigation practice group, represents institutional and individual clients in a wide variety of government and regulatory investigations and litigation. He has served as lead counsel in numerous internal investigations and has conducted numerous jury trials. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of white-collar crime and government investigations.  Before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Benjamin served for more than five years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he served as deputy chief appellate attorney and as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Mr. Benjamin previously served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr. and John Paul Stevens. He received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1987 from Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and he earned his J.D. with honors in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the research and projects editor of the Virginia Law Review.