Philadelphia partner Meredith C. Slawe and associate Mira E. Baylson discussed “Lessons from a Complex Public Corruption Trial: Defense Perspectives on the Chaka Fattah Prosecution” on June 21, 2017, as part of a program hosted by the ABA White Collar Young Lawyer’s Division.

Last summer, former Congressman Chaka Fattah and four co-defendants went to trial in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on a 28-count public corruption indictment alleging, among other things, a $1 million illegal campaign loan and a series of alleged quid pro quo transactions involving a wealthy supporter. The ensuing trial lasted six weeks and involved more than 50 witnesses – including former Governor Ed Rendell and Senator Robert Casey – as well as a huge volume of both paper and electronic records. Ultimately, each defendant was convicted of some of the allegations, with sentencing ranging from probation to multiple years of incarceration.

Meredith and Mira were members of Bob Brand’s legal team, which was headed by partner Barry Gross. Mark Lee of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, who represented Chaka Fattah, and Matt Newcomer from Post & Schell, who represented Bonnie Bowser, also spoke on the panel.

The panelists provided a first-hand account of this complex, high-profile trial and explored the various defense strategies and lessons learned from this experience.

Topics included:

  • The handling of large volumes of pre-trial discovery
  • Jury selection in the social media era
  • Cross-examination tactics and witness preparation
  • Closing argument strategy and sentencing advocacy

For more information, please visit the event website.

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