Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Continues Los Angeles White Collar Defense Expansion With Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

Mike Emmick Joins Firm's Business Trial & Government Contracts Practice Groups

November 5, 2009

Michael W. Emmick has joined the Los Angeles/Downtown office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as special counsel.  Emmick will be working in two of Sheppard Mullin's practice groups: Government Contracts and Regulated Industries, and Business Trial, including White Collar and Civil Fraud Defense. 

Emmick was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 25 years in Los Angeles, where he handled over 35 criminal trials, chiefly in the white collar arena, including a 7-month RICO trial and 5-month police corruption trial.  At the U.S. Attorney's Office he held 5 supervisory and management positions, including 8 years as Chief of the 30-attorney Public Corruption and Government Fraud Section, and 7 years as Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney.  From 1997 to 2000, he was detailed to the Office of Independent Counsel in Washington, D.C., where he worked on the Clinton/Lewinsky investigation, first as Associate Independent Counsel and then as Deputy Independent Counsel.

Emmick is principally known for his work on high-profile white collar cases and long term investigations of complex fraud or corruption matters, often involving public figures or large corporations.  For example, he worked on the real-estate fraud prosecution of former Arizona Governor Fife Symington in the District of Arizona; the espionage-related prosecution of suspected Chinese double-agent Katrina Leung; the class-action securities-fraud kickback investigation of the Milberg Weiss law firm; and investigations of various congressmen and other elected officials suspected of bribery, conflicts of interest, and election crimes.  In the 1990's he spearheaded the prosecutive efforts (and related False Claims Act litigation) against numerous defense and aerospace contractors; and he later worked in cooperation with that industry through DOJ's Government-Aerospace-Industry Working Group re Reciprocal Cooperation and DOJ's Parallel Proceedings Working Group.

Emmick's outstanding work as a prosecutor has resulted in several significant awards.  He was a member of the trial team that received DOJ's second highest award, The Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service, for the 2006 prosecution of the leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.  Emmick also received DOJ's Director's Award, Special Commendation for Outstanding Service; the Anti-Defamation League's Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate Crimes; two DOJ Special Achievement Awards; and numerous other commendations.

Since 1986 he has served as an adjunct professor at four Los Angeles law schools (USC, Loyola, Southwestern, and Pepperdine) where he taught White Collar Crime, Federal Criminal Law, Trial Advocacy, Advanced Trial Advocacy, Anti-Corruption Methods, Evidence, and Advanced Criminal Procedure.  He has also taught at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and the Hastings Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy.  A prolific public speaker, Emmick has delivered over 150 speeches and presentations to bar associations and groups of prosecutors, defense lawyers, businessmen, and others.

After leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2007, Emmick served as Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Pepperdine Law School and Loyola Law School.  During that time, he also worked as a white collar defense lawyer, representing various clients including a witness in the corruption prosecution of Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona; a defendant in a federal telemarketing fraud case; and a multi-national company being investigated for suspected commercial bribery.

Emmick has also kept up his obligations to the bar and pro bono matters.  He was Vice-Chair of the ABA's West Coast White Collar Crime Committee, and he spent 6 years on the Judicial Appointments Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has also worked with the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Adopt-a-School Program, and the LEAD Program (a leadership program for elementary school children). 

Emmick is also committed to supporting the "rule of law" in foreign countries.  He was a member of the Core Organizing Committee of the Public/Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan; he spent three months training lawyers, judges, and legislators in the Republic of Georgia on behalf of the DOJ; and he conducted shorter DOJ training programs for regional and country representatives in Jamaica, France, Moldova, and Russia.  He is currently working as a consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, preparing a "toolkit" of techniques for addressing organized crime and corruption.

Emmick's graduated in 1978 from UCLA Law School, Order of the Coif, where he was Comment Editor on the UCLA Law Review.  He received a B.A. in 1974 from UC Santa Barbara, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude.  After graduation from UCLA Law School, Emmick was a judicial clerk to Judge Ellsworth A. VanGraafeiland III on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.  During law school he did an extern-clerkship with Justice Frank Richardson on the California Supreme Court.  

Earlier this year, Bryan Daly, Chuck Kreindler and Peter Morris joined the Los Angeles/Downtown office of Sheppard Mullin as partners in the firm's Business Trial and Government Contracts practice groups, specializing in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation.  The partners previously practiced at Mayer Brown in Los Angeles, as part of a five attorney group that joined Sheppard Mullin.  Emmick worked with Daly, Kreindler and Morris at the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Also, this week Jerold B. Neuman and Michael J. Kiely joined the Los Angeles/Downtown office of Sheppard Mullin as partners in the firm's Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group.  Neuman and Kiely are joined by a team of three associates: Alfred Fraijo, Jr., Claudia Gutiérrez and Phillip M. Tate.  The group most recently practiced together with Allen Matkins in Los Angeles, where Neuman chaired the firm's Land Use and Government Relations practice group.

Sheppard Mullin has more than 200 attorneys based in its Los Angeles offices.  The firm's Government Contracts and Regulated Industries practice group includes 40 attorneys and the Business Trial practice group includes more than 200 attorneys firmwide.

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with 550 attorneys in 11 offices located in the United States and Asia.  Since 1927, companies have turned to Sheppard Mullin to handle corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.  In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100.