Haub Law Hosts Symposium on Public Corruption Prosecution After McDonnell

February 16, 2018 Press Release

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law (Haub Law) announces that the school will host a symposium on public corruption on March 9th at the Judicial Institute on the Haub Law campus. The symposium, "Public Corruption Prosecution After McDonnell” features current and former prosecutors and defense attorneys, members of the judiciary and media, along with academics to explore current legal issues of public corruption and the challenges of prosecution of corruption cases. The event is open to the public and CLE credit will be available. The program is presented by the Pace Law Review and will run from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Prosecution of public officials at the State and Federal level for official misconduct plays a significant role in helping to keep our democratic institutions functioning properly. The legal issues surrounding those prosecutions, particularly after the landmark case of McDonnell v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2355 (2016) is a topic that requires insight and input from law enforcement, practitioners, academics and the media that covers these cases. This symposium will be a unique opportunity to bring together these disparate groups for challenging and though-provoking discussion.

The symposium will be divided into three moderated panel discussions. The first panel focuses on how the McDonnell ruling affects prosecutors’ ability to police public corruption and features prosecutors and a defense attorney who can speak to the issue. The second discussion convenes lawyers, professors and members of the media to discuss legislative solutions to public corruption and the third discussion will center on issues unique to public corruption prosecutions and how to handle them.

All members of the public are welcome to attend and registration is free. Register here.

A full schedule is as follows:

Time Activity Presenters Room
9:00 AM Check-in & Continental Breakfast   Judicial Institute Lobby
  Greetings & Introduction Dean David Yassky Judicial Institute Lobby
10:00 – 11:15 AM

How has McDonnell affected prosecutors’ ability to police public corruption? What guidance does McDonnell offer public officials and people who interact with them about the limits of what they can and cannot do?

Moderator: Honorable Vincent Briccetti, SDNY District Court

Amie Ely, Director of the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute’s Center for Ethics and Public Integrity

Alexandra Shapiro, former SDNY AUSA and partner at Shapiro Arato LLP, defense attorney for former NYS Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

Dan Stein, former Criminal Division Chief and Chief of Public Corruption at SDNY; partner Mayer, Brown & Platt

Lecture Hall
11:15 – 11:30 AM Group Break    
11:30 – 12:45 What activities should be prohibited by criminal “public corruption” statutes? Should Congress amend the “honest services” provision of Title 18 to override McDonnell, in whole or in part? If so, what should the amendment say (Panelists are invited to draft proposed legislation)?

Moderator: Dean David Yassky, Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Kathleen Clark, Professor Washington University of St. Louis

Allen Dickerson, Director of Litigation at the Institute for Free Speech

Erica Orden, Wall Street Journal

Jennifer Rodgers, Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School

Lecture Hall
12:45 – 2:00 PM Lunch Speaker: Richard French, President of RNN Network and Host of Richard French Live Omni Room

2:00 – 3:15 PM

Special Problems for prosecutors in public corruption prosecutions: What are some issues unique to public corruption prosecutions and how do/did you handle them? Such as pretrial/trial publicity, timing with respect to elections, need for independent counsel).

Moderator: Mimi Rocah, Distinguished Criminal Justice Fellow at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University/Former Federal Prosecutor

Carrie Cohen, former AUSA, SDNY, partner Morrison and Forester

Daniel G. Cort , Chief, Public Integrity Bureau, New York State Office of the Attorney General

Ben Gershman, Professor Elisabeth Haub School of law at Pace University

Steve Cohen, Former Counsel to Governor Cuomo

Lecture Hall

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