Landmark White-Collar Crime Trials: Individual Prosecutions in Wake of Major Disasters

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: September 26, 2016
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12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
  • How to anticipate enforcement approaches that may be taken by the government in the wake of major incidents
  • Different defense tactics that can be used to represent individuals accused of playing a role in significant environmental and worker-safety incidents
  • Central legal issues in some of the most high-profile trials in the worker safety and environmental arenas
Runtime: 1 hour and 31 minutes
Recorded: September 26, 2016


Defense counsel from some of the most significant white-collar environmental trials in recent history and a leading academic and former Chief of DOJ's Environmental Crimes Section will discuss the government's prosecution of individuals in the wake of two major incidents: the explosion of the Upper Big Branch Mine and the explosion of the Deppwater Horizon.

This program was recorded on September 26th, 2016.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Eric R. Delinsky

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Describing Eric Delinsky’s representation of an executive charged with securities fraud, a federal judge once stated in open court, “no fee, no matter how high, could have secured better representation.” Recognized as one of Washington, DC’s top litigators by The National Law Journal, Washingtonian, and Chambers USA, Eric represents clients in government investigations and prosecutions and contested civil litigation. An attorney who prides himself on rolling up his sleeves to accomplish the most critical work himself, Eric is a tenacious advocate who staffs his matters with smaller, but highly experienced legal teams. He regularly defends CEOs, CFOs, in-house counsel, and other business executives against allegations of securities fraud and foreign corrupt practices by the U.S. Department of Justice, and the SEC. He has extensive experience as well in defending such clients in parallel securities litigation brought by shareholders. Eric also defends individuals against allegations of public fraud. He has represented lobbyists, undersecretaries, White House officials, and government attorneys in criminal, ethical, and congressional investigations. Many of his representations remain confidential, as charges and media attention have been avoided. As a civil litigator, Eric represents companies and their officers in business litigation and arbitration. He is frequently called upon to defend businesses accused of malpractice or malfeasance by other businesses. His experience in such matters extends to the financial services, health care, insurance, consulting and legal industries. Prior to joining Zuckerman Spaeder, Eric served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, a position in which he focused on fraud prosecutions. Before that, he was as an associate at Williams & Connolly LLP.

Eric has served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching trial practice, and as a law clerk to the Hon. Joseph L. Tauro of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

David M. Uhlmann

Univsersity of Michigan Law School

David M. Uhlmann is the Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice, the director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program, and a Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Sustainability. His research and advocacy interests include corporate crime, criminal and civil enforcement of environmental laws, and climate change and sustainability.

Since joining the Michigan Law faculty in 2007, Professor Uhlmann has published in the Michigan Law Review, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, the Maryland Law Review, the UC Davis Law Review, the Utah Law Review, the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, the Environmental Law Forum, and the American Constitution Society's Issue Briefs series. Professor Uhlmann leads the efforts of more than 150 Michigan Law students participating in the Environmental Crimes Project, the first comprehensive empirical study of criminal enforcement under U.S. pollution laws. His first article regarding the Environmental Crimes Project, "Prosecutorial Discretion and Environmental Crime," received honorable mention as the top environmental law article of 2014. Professor Uhlmann has testified before Congress, appeared on CNN, Frontline, NPR, and other national news stations and programs, written multiple op-eds in The New York Times, and lectured widely about environmental crime and sustainability issues.

Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, Professor Uhlmann served for 17 years at the U.S. Department of Justice, the last seven as chief of the Environmental Crimes Section, where he was the top environmental crimes prosecutor in the country. He led an office of approximately 40 prosecutors responsible for the prosecution of environmental and wildlife crimes nationwide. Professor Uhlmann coordinated national legislative, policy, and training initiatives regarding criminal enforcement and chaired the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Policy Committee. He also served as vice chair of the annual American Bar Association's Environmental Law Conference and was on the planning committee for the ALI-ABA Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws Seminar. His work as lead prosecutor in United States v. Elias was chronicled in the book The Cyanide Canary (Free Press, 2004).

Professor Uhlmann received a JD from Yale Law School and a BA in history with high honors from Swarthmore College. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Marvin H. Shoob of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.

David Gerger

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

David is Managing Partner of the Houston office and chair of the Houston White Collar and Corporate Investigations Group.

Over 25 years, David has handled hundreds of investigations, trials, and appeals for individuals and businesses, foreign and domestic, public and private. The biggest victory can be quietly stopping a case, and David has helped clients avoid charges in many DOJ, SEC, and other government investigations. But David is equally known for his courtroom victories in cases involving: antitrust, environmental, securities, immigration, commodities, banking, domestic or foreign bribery, elections, government contracting, and other areas. David also is recruited to try civil cases, often to join or substitute for counsel before trial.

David is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and a former Federal Public Defender who has long been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” and “SuperLawyers.” After graduating Yale College and University of Texas Law School, he clerked for two federal judges and practiced for 25 years before starting the Houston office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Best Lawyers, Texas Edition, named David "Best White Collar in Houston" for 2015-2016.

Brian M. Heberlig

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Brian M. Heberlig defends individuals and corporations in all phases of federal criminal investigations and prosecutions with an emphasis on trial work. Chambers USA 2016 describes him as a "premier" criminal defense attorney with “spectacular” courtroom advocacy, with one source noting that "he is an outstanding and well-rounded lawyer, a very good public speaker, detail-oriented and well prepared."

Recently, Mr. Heberlig secured an acquittal for David Rainey, the highest ranking BP executive charged in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, on a false statements charge tried in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mr. Heberlig defends corporate executives, public officials, and other individuals and entities in matters involving allegations of public corruption, securities and accounting fraud, campaign finance violations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, antitrust conspiracies, health care fraud, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, environmental crimes, and export violations.

Mr. Heberlig also conducts internal investigations on behalf of corporate clients to examine allegations of criminal conduct and handles parallel civil proceedings arising out of criminal investigations, including multi-district securities fraud litigation, Congressional investigations, Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement proceedings, and Federal Election Commission matters.

Mr. Heberlig chairs the firm’s White-Collar Criminal Defense Group, which was named a Law360 White-Collar "Group of the Year" in 2016, and The National Law Journal's Washington Litigation Department of the Year in White-Collar Crime in 2014. He has been repeatedly recognized as a top white-collar defense attorney by Washingtonian magazine, The National Law Journal, The Legal 500 US, Law360, and Best Lawyers in America, and has been named by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Washington, a recognition based on a vote of peers. Mr. Heberlig also currently serves as a co-chair of the DC Regional Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s White-Collar Crime Committee.

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