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Government Investigations 2021: Investigations Arising from Data Breach and Privacy Concerns and Parallel Proceedings


Speaker(s): Christine M. Ryall, David C. Shonka, Edward L. Stanton III, Elizabeth Roper, Erich P. Schork, Jonathan E. Swerdloff, Julie Lewis, Kamil R. Shields, Kathleen A. McGee, Manfred Gabriel, Matthew A. Lafferman, Patrick Butts, Ronald J. Hedges, Timothy L. Abrahams
Recorded on: Jan. 27, 2021
PLI Program #: 305660

David C. Shonka is a partner at Redgrave LLP in Washington, DC.  With his outstanding record as a trial and appellate litigator and legal strategist, David is considered a thought leader in the broader legal community.  His practice focuses on all things Information Law including privacy, security, eDiscovery, cross border data transfers, government civil law enforcement investigations, and information governance.  Prior to joining Redgrave LLP, David served three terms as the Acting General Counsel at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and ten years as the agency’s Principal Deputy General Counsel.  In both roles, he oversaw the Office’s Litigation, Legal Counsel, and Opinions and Analysis Groups, as well as FOIA, Employment Law, and Energy Counsel Staff.  David is currently a member of the Sedona Conference® Working Group on Data Security and Privacy Liability (WG11), serves on the Steering Committee for International Electronic Information Management, Discovery and Disclosure (WG6), and is a former member of the Steering Committee for Electronic Document Retention and Production (WG1).


Julie Lewis, President, CEO and Founder of Digital Mountain, has over 20 years of experience working in the high technology industry primarily in data security, computer forensics and electronic discovery. Prior to founding Digital Mountain, Julie worked at VERITAS Software with next-generation storage, security and search companies. At VERITAS, she managed operations for new product releases across sales, marketing, product management, legal, engineering and customer support. Before joining VERITAS, Julie worked in the venture capital and investment banking industries in both the Silicon Valley and Boston areas focusing on the Internet Infrastructure, security and software sectors. In addition, Julie worked for two of the Big 4 accounting firms doing financial and IT auditing, as well as M&A due diligence as a CPA. She also worked for Applied Magnetics, a publicly traded provider of disk and tape drive components. Julie earned an MBA under fellowship from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a BA in both Business Economics and Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is a member of the High Tech Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA), American Bar Association, Sedona Conference's Working Groups on E-mail Management and Archiving (WG1) and Data Security and Privacy Liability (WG11), Cloud Security Alliance and has received her EnCE (Encase Certification in Computer Forensics). Julie is the founding Director of the Silicon Valley Chapter of Women in eDiscovery.


Manfred Gabriel is an attorney in Holland & Knight's New York office who leads the firm's Legal Support Services organization. In this role, Mr. Gabriel oversees Holland & Knight's comprehensive and integrated eDiscovery and fact-finding unit, which assists clients in managing the risks and costs of eDiscovery by leveraging advanced technology and workflows. In addition, he provides clients with a wide range of services from enterprise-level eDiscovery management to delivery on large, complex eDiscovery projects. He has assisted clients in:

  • responding to litigation eDiscovery requests, including data identification and collection, data processing and hosting, and structuring document reviews, quality control and document productions
  • advanced eDiscovery workflows, with a particular focus on technology-assisted review or predictive coding,
  • statistical sampling and statistical process control, as well as streamlining and integrating the various aspects of complex eDiscovery projects
  • data privacy and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), especially for international companies active in the U.S.
  • litigation readiness, litigation holds and data preservation
  • sophisticated fact development to minimize the risk in litigation while strengthening the client's case

As an antitrust attorney, Mr. Gabriel has successfully assisted clients in responding to large, fast-paced regulatory requests. He has worked with Fortune 1000 companies in several industries, including high-tech, transportation, pharmaceuticals and financial services. Mr. Gabriel has testified as a 30(b)(6) witness on eDiscovery process and data spoliation issues.

In addition, Mr. Gabriel teaches eDiscovery at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Gabriel led the managed-review offering for a multinational professional services network. In addition, he led global engagements (including time in India to lead a team of 70) in eDiscovery, contract intelligence and litigation readiness. Mr. Gabriel also consulted on data privacy and cross-border discovery, including GDPR and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).


Christine Ryall is a Chief Trial Attorney with the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, D.C.  Since joining the CFTC in March 2000, Ms. Ryall has conducted and supervised numerous investigations of violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission Regulations and represents the CFTC in enforcement actions in federal district courts throughout the U.S.  Prior to joining the CFTC, Ms. Ryall served as a Senior Counsel with the Florida Real Estate Commission in Orlando, Florida, handling administrative evidentiary hearings and proceedings before state appellate courts.  Ms. Ryall also served as an Assistant Public Defender with the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida in Tallahassee, Florida, as first-chair in numerous jury and bench trials, hearings, and appeals in a variety of criminal cases.  Ms. Ryall holds a J.D. from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. from Clemson University.


Ed Stanton is a partner with Butler Snow where he serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee as well as the Commercial Litigation Practice Group leader. His practice includes conducting internal investigations, defending white collar cases, and advising corporate clients on a variety of C-suite issues.  Prior to joining Butler Snow, Ed served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee from 2010 — 2017 and as Senior Counsel with FedEx’s litigation department in Memphis.  Ed currently serves as the federal court-appointed Monitor and Special Master over the Memphis Police Department in connection with a consent decree prohibiting the MPD from conducting political intelligence.

Ed is the former President of the National Bar Association – Ben F. Jones Chapter and he is a recipient of the Memphis Bar Association’s Sam A. Myar Award – the highest honor bestowed upon an attorney under the age of 40 for outstanding service to the legal profession and community.  Ed obtained his B.A. (’94) and J.D. (’97) degrees from the University of Memphis.  Ed and his wife are the proud parents of two children.


Elizabeth Roper is the Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau (CITB) at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She oversees a staff of approximately 70 people, including the attorneys and analysts who handle CITB’s investigations and prosecutions; the Cybercrime Intelligence Unit; and the High Technology Analysis Unit (HTAU), which is responsible for the digital forensics work across the D.A.’s office. CITB handles prosecutions involving cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime, including computer and network intrusions, data breaches and intellectual property theft, child pornography, identity theft, check and credit card fraud, and money laundering.  Liz received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2006.


Erich P. Schork is the Vice President of Barnow and Associates, P.C. His practice focuses on representing plaintiffs in privacy, automotive defect, deceptive trade practice, and antitrust class action cases. He has represented individuals, municipalities, and financial institutions in a number of data breach class action matters. He has been appointed and served as a co-lead counsel in a number of complex class action matters. He has also successfully argued appeals in data breach cases before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, and Seventh Circuits. 

Mr. Schork graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law.


Jonathan is the Director of Global eDiscovery and Client Data Services at Scott + Scott.  Jonathan is a nonpracticing attorney with substantial litigation, eDiscovery, and data privacy experience. Jonathan is also a former web developer, social media maven, and 2009 graduate of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. While a student at the school, Jonathan founded Floor Four Ventures, an alumni-run organization to assist students and recent alumni develop products from their class projects. His specialties include eDiscovery, Information Governance, data privacy, and structured data analysis as well as workflow assessment, process development, and managing large teams.


Kamil Shields is a special counsel in the Firm’s Litigation Group. Her practice focuses on investigations and regulatory enforcement proceedings involving cybercrime matters, public corruption, and bank and wire fraud.

Ms. Shields rejoined the Firm in 2019 from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in both the Cyber Crime and Fraud and Public Corruption sections. In her capacity as an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Shields served as lead prosecutor in 13 jury trials, investigated and indicted dozens of cases, drafted and argued procedural and substantive motions, worked with expert witnesses, and coordinated with victims of fraud and other crimes.

Her representative matters include the prosecution of individuals engaged in concerted business email compromise schemes through means of ransomware, cyber intrusions resulting in the unlawful acquisition of personal identifying information used to commit wire and bank fraud affecting thousands of victims, an extortionate racketeering scheme involving demands for virtual currency, and romance scam frauds in which victims were induced to pay monies by means of social engineering. Ms. Shields was part of the team that successfully litigated the requisite standard by which the government may compel biometric access to electronic devices during the execution of a search warrant, an issue of first impression in the District of Columbia. Additionally, Ms. Shields investigated several high-profile public corruption and fraud matters involving, among others, alleged violations of the federal false statements, obstruction, and perjury statutes, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Ms. Shields received several special achievement awards for her efforts in the office. She is a member of The Edward Bennett Williams American Inn of Court, an invitation-only professional organization devoted to advancing the practice of white collar criminal prosecution and defense.


Kathleen is a highly accomplished technology and regulatory lawyer and former prosecutor with more than 17 years’ experience in the public sector. Her practice has a dual focus on compliance and investigations.

As Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Internet & Technology for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Kathleen was at the forefront of regulation, enforcement initiatives, and public policy involving privacy, data security, and consumer protection, among other issues. Earlier in her career, she served as Director of the Office of Special Enforcement in the New York City Mayor’s Office, where, as lead counsel, she directed litigation on a number of intellectual property and civil nuisance matters and was a policy leader on issues ranging from data analytics to human trafficking. While with the Mayor’s Office, Kathleen also developed the New Business Acceleration Team to streamline regulations and fast-track new business development. Kathleen started her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office in New York, where she prosecuted domestic violence, child abuse, and sex crimes.

Kathleen's public sector experience gives her an edge in counseling emerging and mature companies on a broad spectrum of regulatory issues concerning technology, data security, and privacy. She has in-depth knowledge of matters involving unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAPs), as well as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), emerging privacy and data security laws, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, Kathleen's experience in municipal government and her understanding of how the administrative code affects business has given her a unique perspective on the intersection of commerce and the law. Clients appreciate her insights into how to identify unanticipated problems and develop creative, business-focused solutions.

Kathleen also provides counsel to individuals and companies facing investigations. As outside counsel on internal investigations, she is an effective fact-finder on matters such as alleged employee malfeasance and intellectual property claims, among others. She also represents clients in government-facing investigations, including white collar criminal defense. Clients in this area benefit from both her sophisticated grasp of technology-related criminal matters and her on-the-ground experience as a lead prosecutor in both jury and bench trials.

Kathleen is admitted to appear before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.


Matthew Lafferman is a managing associate based out of the Washington, D.C. office of Dentons US LLP and a member of the firm’s White Collar and Government Investigations practice group.

Matt has substantial experience representing companies and individuals in investigations by U.S. government agencies—including the US Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission—into range of legal matters, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, securities fraud, and US sanctions laws. In these representations, he has advised clients on collateral issues that often arise in cross-border matters, such as data privacy laws, the Stored Communication Act and the related CLOUD Act, and the use of ephemeral and end-to-end encryption messaging applications. Matt’s experience also covers a variety of other areas, including criminal defense and civil litigation, in addition to congressional investigations.

Prior to joining Dentons, Matt served as a judicial law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Patrick Butts, CEDS, IGP is Director of Legal Operations and Information Governance for Hilltop Securities in Dallas, Texas. Hilltop Securities is a Texas-based diversified financial services company, servicing clients from offices across the United States in Public Finance, Capital Markets, Wealth Management, Structured Finance, Clearing Services, Corporate Finance and Securities Lending.

In his role with Hilltop Securities, Patrick’s responsibilities are distributed between management of corporate legal related processes and practices; consultation with in-house and outside counsel regarding management of legal initiatives; integration of an Information Governance program, consisting of records management, information classification, risk management, security and privacy; supervising and managing the work flow and activities of the E-Discovery team and assisting with discovery for complex litigation, regulatory investigations and other disputes; leading the development of policies and procedures, training requirements and strategic vision for the E-Discovery program and platform and collaboration with technology and business units on information governance.


Ronald J. Hedges, J.D., is a Senior Counsel with Dentons US LLP. He served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey from 1986 to 2007. Mr. Hedges is a frequent writer and speaker on various topics related to, among other things, electronic information and is the lead author of Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Third Edition (Federal Judicial Center: 2017), https://www.fjc.gov/content/323370/managing-discovery-electronic-information-third-edition. He is also the Co-Senior Editor of The Sedona Conference Cooperation Proclamation:  Resources for the Judiciary, Third Edition, https://thesedonaconference.org/sites/default/files/Judicial%20Resources%20publication%20announcement.pdf. His full biography is available at https://www.dentons.com/en/ronald-hedges.