Government Investigations, Corporate Compliance + Criminal Defense

Robinson+Cole has a long tradition of representing businesses and individuals in civil and criminal investigations by federal and state authorities. Our knowledge of the law, experience with the investigatory process, and credibility with governmental authorities combine to position our clients as advantageously as possible when responding to a governmental investigation. Our recent experience includes handling investigations by state attorneys general, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department of Justice, the IRS, and the Coast Guard.

Ever-increasing governmental regulation and enforcement makes paramount the need for comprehensive compliance counseling and regulatory advice to avoid enforcement actions whenever possible. Working in conjunction with Robinson+Cole's business lawyers, our defense lawyers regularly conduct internal investigations for public and private companies and their boards on a wide spectrum of compliance matters, including issues implicated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Our compliance experience helps us to assist companies with auditing existing compliance programs, developing document retention policies, conducting compliance education and training, and implementing internal reporting protocols, including compliance hotlines.

But our experience goes far beyond the investigatory stage and compliance programs. The lawyers in our group have decades of experience defending their clients in state and federal court. While many large firms have recently developed criminal defense practices, Robinson+Cole has a long tradition of trying cases that need to be tried to protect our clients' interests. Our recent trial experience includes allegations of antitrust, government contracting fraud, tax fraud, mail and wire fraud, public corruption, and environmental offenses, as well as non-white-collar offenses, such as murder and assault. In this practice area, as in the other areas of our litigation practices, our lawyers are recognized for trying cases. Indeed, state and federal judges regularly appoint our lawyers to represent the indigent, and the federal court also has appointed our lawyers to the administrative committee that oversees the provision of legal services to the indigent in Connecticut.

    • Experience
      • Served as special counsel under the direction of the New Jersey Attorney General's office to the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (formerly known as the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission), an agency of the State of New Jersey which owns, or will acquire, an area in excess of 1,000 acres.
      • Obtained an acquittal for a corporate client after an eight-week federal antitrust trial. The government had alleged a customer and geographic market allocation scheme in the waste hauling industry in Connecticut.
      • Obtained an acquittal for a long-standing manufacturing client after a two-week jury trial in one of the first prosecutions by Connecticut's statewide criminal environmental enforcement team.
      • Coordinated federal, state, and local project permitting for over twenty new or expanded supermarkets in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.
      • Obtained for a manufacturing client a declination of prosecution in a substantial environmental investigation by the Connecticut United States Attorney’s Office and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
      • Represented group home provider in Fair Housing Act defense against enforcement actions by the City of New London, Connecticut.
      • Defended aviation repair station against claims by Federal Aviation Administration that it had improperly returned aircraft parts to service. Issues included disputes over the proper methods for rehabilitating parts and the inconsistent guidance offered by the FAA. Civil penalties approaching $1,000,000 were settled for $10,000.
      • Represented corporate officer during all stages of criminal investigation and federal prosecution by United States Attorney's Office. Argued for and obtained non-United States Sentencing Guidelines and nonjail sentence for corporate officer.
      • Represented Criminal Justice Act client through all stages of federal prosecution by United States Attorney's Office. Obtained favorable mandatory minimum sentence for client after briefing and oral argument on crack-to-powder disparity under United States Sentencing Guidelines.
    • News
      • October 7, 2016

        Ed Heath and Kelly Barnett Pen Article for the Connecticut Law Tribune

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • May 27, 2016

        Chambers USA Recognizes Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Practice Groups

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      • February 29, 2016

        Kelly Frye Barnett Elected to YWCA Hartford Region’s Board of Directors

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      • October 29, 2015

        Hartford Lawyers Pen Article on the US DOJ's Controversial Yates Memo for CLT

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      • September 9, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyer Co-Chairs Fair and Impartial Courts Committee of Connecticut Bar Association

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • November 1, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives 34 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Three National Rankings in U.S. News – Best Lawyers Survey

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      • October 21, 2013

        Super Lawyers® Names 61 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2013 List

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      • August 27, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Lawyers Provide Commentary in Law360

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • November 9, 2012

        Bill Kelleher Comments in Connecticut Law Tribune on Impact of Dodd-Frank Act Decision on Corporate Compliance and Internal Investigations

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      • November 7, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives 32 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Four National Rankings in U.S.News - Best Lawyers Survey

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      • October 1, 2012

        Blog Interviews Partner William Kelleher About Federal Securities Case

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      • September 19, 2012

        David Greene Writes About Debarment on LinkedIn’s FCPA Criminal Practice Group Site

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • July 30, 2012

        Partner Bill Kelleher’s Blog Interviews Published in Financial Fraud Law Report

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      • July 13, 2012

        David Greene Facilitates Q&A at Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

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      • June 12, 2012

        Litigation Partner Bill Kelleher Interviewed About New Whistleblower Rules and Insider Trading Laws

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      • March 9, 2012

        Bill Kelleher Selected to Financial Fraud Law Report Board of Editors

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      • January 30, 2012

        Blog Interviews Business Litigation Partner William Kelleher

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      • October 22, 2010

        Two Robinson & Cole Attorneys Receive 40 Under Forty Award

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      • September 27, 2010

        Recent Supreme Court Decisions Impact the Business Community

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      • June 30, 2010

        Bill Kelleher Outlines Regulatory Developments at the Securities and Exchange Commission

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      • April 15, 2010

        “What To Do When the Government Knocks” Do’s and Don’ts

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    • Publications + Presentations
    • "Feds Lay Down Law on Corporate Misconduct," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored by Edward J. Heath and Conor O. Duffy (10/19/2015)
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      "Closing the Cultural Divide: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the New Enforcement Paradigm," published in Managing White Collar Legal Issues, 2013 Edition (1/2013)

      "The Deepest Cut? Debarment – The Cart That Leads the Horse," published on FCPA Criminal Practice Group networking site on LinkedIn (9/6/2012)

      "Circuit Court Eases SEC's Burden in 'Aiding and Abetting' Case," published in Financial Fraud Law blog, interview (8/27/2012)

      Remove It or Lose It: New Federal Rules Change Defendants' Rights to Remove Cases to Federal Court (05/08/2012)

      "Whistleblower Chiefs Discuss Reporting of Corporate Fraud," published in Financial Fraud Law blog, interview (3/28/2012)

      "What Will The STOCK Act Accomplish?" published in Financial Fraud Law blog, interview (3/22/2012)

      "Longer Prison Sentences Coming for Financial Fraud?" published in Financial Fraud Law blog (2/2/2012)

      "Insider Trading and Financial Fraud Cases Coming to Connecticut," published in Financial Fraud Law blog (1/26/2012)

      "Another Route To Enjoining Deceptive Business Practices," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, authored by Edward J. Heath (3/14/2011)

      "Preserving Privilege: The Careful and Limited Public Use and Disclosure of the Results of an Internal Investigation," coauthor, published in nine publications, including by the Corporate Counsel Committee, Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, American Bar Association; in the Corporate Officers & Directors Liability Litigation Reporter; and as the lead article on the front page of the November 2002 edition of the White-Collar Crime Reporter (11/2002)

      "From the Financial Fraud Law Blog: The Interviews," published in Financial Fraud Law Report (July/August 2012)

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