(March 4, 2020, Washington, DC) — Steptoe partners Brian Heberlig, Mike Miller, and Jason Weinstein have been named to The National Law Journal's list of Trailblazers in Criminal Law. The list of 26 lawyers is featured in a supplement in the March issue of the legal publication.
Heberlig is a trial lawyer with a remarkable track record of success, having obtained five acquittals in major federal criminal trials in the past 15 years. He handles all types of white-collar criminal defense matters, conducts internal investigations, and litigates parallel proceedings arising out of criminal investigations.
A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Heberlig's many courtroom successes include the 2015 acquittal of David Rainey, the highest-ranking BP executive charged in the fatal 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest oil spill in US history. Rainey’s acquittal followed intense Speech-or-Debate Clause litigation in which the defense convinced the court to dismiss the lead obstruction of Congress charge on the first day of trial.
In 2017, Heberlig secured a rare Rule 29 judgment of acquittal in favor of a businessman accused of 79 counts of honest services bribery and money laundering. The case involved "pay to play" allegations accusing Richard Ireland of bribing Pennsylvania’s former state treasurer and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Rob McCord, with campaign contributions in exchange for state asset management contracts.
Miller, a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA's frauds bureau, has built a reputation as a go-to New York litigator for high-stakes criminal matters. He has extensive first-chair trial experience representing a diverse array of domestic and international clients, including corporations, business titans, politicians and A-list actors.
Miller recently served as co-lead counsel in two high-profile criminal jury trials in federal court in Manhattan. In the first trial, Miller represented Brian Block, the former CFO of a real estate investment trust, who was accused of manipulating non-GAAP financial metrics. In the second trial, he represented Alain Kaloyeros, the former president of the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, who was accused of bid-rigging in connection with New York State's "Buffalo Billion" high-tech development program. Miller is now actively pursuing appeals in both cases.
Miller is also part of Steptoe's defense of Fethullah Gulen, a moderate Muslim cleric who has been accused by Turkey of starting a coup and is the subject of an aggressive extradition campaign waged by Turkey. Miller handled the oral argument on Steptoe's successful motion to dismiss an action filed against Gulen under the Alien Tort Statute in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Weinstein is a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and a former federal prosecutor, serving as lead counsel in numerous jury trials. He represents clients in criminal investigations before the DOJ as well as other government agencies, and he conducts internal investigations on behalf of both public and privately held companies to examine allegations of criminal or other misconduct.
Since March 2016, Weinstein has served as the lead lawyer on the team representing Volkswagen AG in connection with the criminal investigation and prosecutions relating to the diesel emissions controversy, including negotiating the criminal settlement for the company with the DOJ. VW agreed to plead guilty and pay a criminal penalty of $2.8 billion, a significant reduction of the penalty of up to $34 billion that the DOJ had been seeking.
Weinstein is also widely recognized as one of the leading defense attorneys in criminal matters relating to cryptocurrencies. He represents companies and individuals in cryptocurrency-related criminal matters, including serving as lead counsel for Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, in investigations by federal and state authorities.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.