For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 38

Lessons Learned from
Getting to Not Guilty
Sharon L. McCarthy and Jay Nanavati

E

very criminal defense attorney knows that
being indicted is a life-changing event for
a client. In many cases, white-collar clients
have never even been issued a traffic ticket
and often are highly respected in their business
communities. Yet a federal indictment for most
white-collar offenses carries with it the prospect
of not only a felony conviction, but prison time,
which, in most cases, is determined by the amount
of money at issue in the alleged crime. One of the
most difficult decisions for the client is whether
to accept a plea offer from the government and
the certainty of a lower sentence even if only
based on acceptance of responsibility, or risk
going to trial and face what most certainly will
be a higher sentence once the court has heard
all of the government's evidence. Once the client
chooses to go to trial, the burden of that decision

38

For The Defense

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Vol. 4, Issue 4

falls on trial counsel, who must do all that he or
she ethically can to provide a vigorous, credible,
effective defense of the client before a jury. In this
article, we share lessons learned and successful
trial strategies from three of our cases, based upon
listening closely to our clients with an open mind.
Of these cases, two trials ended in acquittal, and
one ended in pre-trial dismissal of the indictment.
In U.S. v. John Doe,1 which was tried in the
District of Kansas, Mr. Doe's wife was charged with
a multi-year scheme to underreport income and
overreport expenses from the medical aesthetics
clinic that she owned in suburban Kansas City. Jay
Nanavati represented John Doe who, in addition
to being his wife's boyfriend at the time of the
alleged crime, performed maintenance work at
her clinic. The government alleged that Mr. Doe
assisted his wife in creating a fictitious business



For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 6
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