NEW YORK, Sept. 8 2004 LAWFUEL – Best for law, law news, legal news, law articles & attorneys — Leslie R. Caldwell, who recently served
as Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s special task force
investigating the Enron corporate scandal, will join Morgan Lewis as a partner
in its New York City office, the firm announced today.
Ms. Caldwell, one of the most respected and best-known federal prosecutors
in the country, joins Morgan Lewis’ Global Litigation Practice, where she will
take a lead role in the firm’s corporate investigations and criminal defense
“I am extraordinarily pleased to be joining Morgan Lewis,” Ms. Caldwell
said. “Its commitment to building a top-notch, national white collar crime
practice and its well-earned reputation for integrity and excellence made it
the natural choice as I rejoin the private practice of law.” Caldwell said
she was impressed with Morgan Lewis’ unwavering dedication to meeting and
satisfying the litigation needs of its global business clients.
In addition to leading Morgan Lewis’ criminal defense team in New York
City, Caldwell will spend considerable time in the firm’s California offices,
enhancing the litigation group’s West Coast practice. This arrangement will
provide Morgan Lewis clients on both coasts with ready access to her more than
20 years of legal experience and winning track record.
In 1987, Caldwell joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern
District of New York, where she worked, trying more than 30 cases, until 1998.
From 1999 to 2002, Caldwell served as Chief of the Securities Fraud Section
and Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the
Northern District of California, where she oversaw the prosecution of dozens
of corporate and financial fraud cases.
In a June 14, 2004 article, The Washington Post reported Caldwell was one
of the four attorneys most sought after by the nation’s top law firms. She
was named one of Fortune magazine’s “People to Watch” in February 2003, and
has been profiled in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post,
the Houston Chronicle, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.
“Her achievements in government are beyond impressive. She was number one
on just about every law firm’s wish list,” said Jim Pagliaro, leader of Morgan
Lewis’ Litigation Practice. “And for good reason. Her professionalism and
skills as an attorney have earned her the respect of judges, prosecutors, law-
enforcement officials, and defense attorneys alike. We are thrilled she has
chosen to join our litigation team at Morgan Lewis, especially in this post-
Enron era, when corporate clients are looking for sophisticated, real world
counsel more than ever.”
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Caldwell successfully prosecuted some of
the most notorious criminals of the past 17 years. In 1989, as a prosecutor
in New York’s Eastern District, she put away a brutal drug kingpin who ordered
the execution-style slaying of a 22-year-old rookie New York City police
officer. She also exposed the influence of organized crime on Wall Street,
obtaining numerous convictions in what some legal observers have called one of
the most significant securities fraud cases ever filed.
Caldwell also worked to rid New York’s Chinatown of gang violence, leading
a series of prosecutions that crippled Asian organized crime groups in the
city. In 1998, then-U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California
Robert Mueller — who is now Director of the F.B.I. — personally recruited
Caldwell to come to San Francisco and establish a securities fraud unit.
Caldwell later became Chief of the Criminal Division in the Northern
All of this was prelude to her appointment as Director of the Justice
Department’s elite Enron Task Force in 2002. As Director, Caldwell led a team
of federal prosecutors, F.B.I. and I.R.S. agents in investigating the largest,
most complex corporate fraud case in history. To date, the Task Force she
assembled has indicted 32 individuals in connection with the scandal,
including Enron’s former chairman Ken Lay and former CEO Jeff Skilling, and
obtained guilty pleas from 11 former Enron executives, including former CFO
Andrew Fastow. In addition, the Task Force obtained the obstruction of
justice conviction of former Enron auditor Arthur Andersen LLP, which was
unanimously affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in
Fran Milone, Chair of Morgan Lewis, said of Caldwell’s addition to the
firm, “It is an exciting day not only for our firm, but for our clients. We
have added one of the premier trial attorneys in the country to Morgan Lewis.
Her unique blend of courtroom experience, knowledge, and legal skill will
enrich our firm and bring untold benefits to our clients.”
About Morgan Lewis: With 1,200 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide, Morgan
Lewis offers seamless service across practice areas and offices. A fully
integrated, multi-practice global law firm, Morgan Lewis assists clients with
all of their legal needs, from day-to-day business decisions to the most
complex global deals and litigation.