Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright recently secured a major win in New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez’s alleged corruption case. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) abandoned and moved to dismiss the corruption case it pursued against the firm’s client, Senator Menendez, marking a complete reversal, on its part, of its prior decision to pursue a retrial in the case. A three-month trial in the fall of 2017 ended with a hung jury where news reports stated that the votes for acquittal were 10 to 2.
This decision by the DOJ followed a decision by US District Judge for the District of New Jersey William Walls acquitting Senator Menendez and his co-defendant Dr. Salomon Melgen of seven of the 18 charges of which they were being prosecuted. Judge Walls had made this judgement based on the evidence presented at the earlier trial in which the government failed to convict Menendez of any wrongdoing. Senator Menendez was being accused of providing political favors in a transactional manner with his long-time friend Dr. Melgen.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by US Co-head of Regulations, Investigations, Securities and Compliance Abbe D. Lowell and included partners Jenny Kramer and Chris Man and associates Victoria Corder and Daniel Kacinski as well as legal assistants Kelly Charles and Kenwyn Williams.
Lowell, who was named The American Lawyer’s Litigator of the Week following this success, stated:
“In light of the results of a three-month trial, all the jury said and the granting of our motion for acquittal on significant counts, we are pleased and grateful that the Justice Department made the right decision to end this case. Despite the five years of this ordeal, Senator Menendez never wavered in his innocence and his commitment to the people of New Jersey. We were fortunate to be able to assist this honorable man.”
Washington, DC Fellow Abbe David Lowell is one of the nation's leading white-collar defense and trial lawyers. His practice focuses on litigation, special investigations and regulatory enforcement. In his extensive career, Mr. Lowell has represented numerous high-profile clients and provided counsel in matters of national and international importance. He has successfully tried numerous complex civil and criminal cases throughout the United States, and has briefed and argued dozens of appeals before federal and state appeals courts and before the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to trying cases and arguing appeals, Mr. Lowell advises clients in their dealings with US Congress and its committees, other legislative bodies and numerous federal and state regulatory agencies. He also works with clients on internal investigations, voluntary disclosure decisions and developing compliance programs to prevent issues from arising with law enforcement agencies.
In criminal matters, Mr. Lowell has successfully avoided charges or defended clients against a wide array of charges, including conspiracy, election law violations, bank fraud, insurance fraud, bankruptcy fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, public corruption, honest services fraud, false claims act, obstruction of justice and false information charges and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In civil cases, he has helped clients win in cases of breach of contract and fiduciary duty, FCPA violations, civil rights violations, conspiracy, employment discrimination, negligence, RICO violations, securities fraud, tortious interference with business and unfair trade practices. He has conducted internal investigations responding to government, whistleblower or other allegations of FCPA, money laundering, securities and other law violations.
Mr. Lowell has been counsel to the US House of Representatives twice, most recently when he was Chief Minority Counsel during impeachment proceedings against President Clinton and before that as special ethics counsel to the House Committee of Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics Committee). He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.