Eric MacMichael has extensive experience handling white collar criminal matters and complex civil litigation. He has represented numerous individuals and companies under investigation or indictment by the Department of Justice in such areas as securities fraud, insider trading, banking-related crimes, tax evasion, accounting and revenue recognition fraud, antitrust (including bid rigging), computer crimes, mail and wire fraud. Mr. MacMichael has also represented individuals and businesses in civil cases involving breach of contract, securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and professional negligence claims. He litigates matters throughout the United States and has tried cases to verdict in many state and federal courts, and before arbitration panels.
He was recently awarded the 2012 California Lawyer magazine California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award for achievements in pro bono work for overturning the unjust conviction of Caramad Conley, imprisoned for more than 18 years for a crime he did not commit.
Cases of Note
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Former Chief Executive Officer: We are currently defending the former CEO of Fannie Mae in an SEC action filed in the Southern District of New York related to Fannie Mae’s disclosures regarding its exposure to “subprime” and “Alt-A” residential mortgages.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Executive: The Securities and Exchange Commission launched a securities fraud suit in California federal court against our client, a former vice president of sales. The SEC claimed he grossly inflated his company's revenue in order to raise additional capital from investors. We also defended him in a parallel criminal investigation. We were able to prevent any criminal charges from being filed, and resolved the SEC case for a small penalty.
United States v. Lance Armstrong: We represented American cyclist and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into professional cycling, which terminated on February 3, 2012 with the announcement that there would be no charges and the investigation was being closed.
United States v. Executive: We defended a high-ranking company official in one of the nation’s first criminal stock options backdating cases to go to trial. We obtained the dismissal of the majority of the charges. Our client was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment on the remaining charges.
AUL Corporation v. Executives: We represented three individuals in a breach of contract and California corporations code action relating to terms of an investment contract. We settled favorably on the eve of trial.
Caramad Conley v. State of California: In this pro bono habeas corpus case, we overturned the unconstitutional conviction of Caramad Conley, who had been wrongly sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a double homicide he did not commit. We discovered thousands of dollars of undisclosed payments and other benefits given to a the linchpin prosecution witness by the San Francisco police, none of which had ever been disclosed to Mr. Conley or his trial counsel. We used this evidence to convince California Superior Court Judge Marla Miller to vacate Mr. Conley’s conviction. The State elected not to appeal Judge Miller’s ruling or retry Mr. Conley, and instead released him from custody after 18 years of unlawful imprisonment. For his efforts on Mr. Conley’s behalf, lead trial counsel Dan Purcell was awarded the 2012 California Lawyer magazine Attorney of the Year Award for achievements in pro bono work.
Rembrandt Technologies, Inc. v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: We served as lead counsel for Comcast in a patent infringement case involving high-speed Internet and digital TV services. Rembrandt Technologies, Inc. originally filed the case in the Eastern District of Texas, but in conjunction with other co-defendants, we obtained multi-district consolidation and transfer to the District of Delaware. Based upon claim construction, Rembrandt conceded non-infringement of all patents, preserving only its right to appeal the claim construction as to the ninth. The Federal Circuit then upheld the claim construction on that last patent that resulted in non-infringement. We also helped Comcast secure an exceptional-case determination and a resulting award of over $10 million in fees and costs.
Publications and Presentations
- "White Collar Crime and Securities Enforcement: 2016 in Review," Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report, 2017, co-authored with Brook Dooley and Nick Goldberg
- "2015 in Review: Securities Enforcement," Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law & Accountability Report, 2016, co-authored with Brook Dooley and Julia Choe
- "White Collar Crime and Securities Enforcement: 2015 in Review," Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report, 2016, co-authored with Brook Dooley and Nick Goldberg
- "White Collar Crime and Securities Enforcement," Bar Association of San Francisco, 2015
- "White Collar Crime and Securities Enforcement: 2014 in Review,"Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report, 2015, co-authored with Eric MacMichael
- "White Collar Crime and Securities Enforcement: 2013 in Review," Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report, 2014, co-authored with Brook Dooley and Andrew Dawson
- "White Collar Crime and Securities Enforcement: 2012 in Review," Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report, 2013
- "Trends in White Collar Crime and Securities Enforcement," Bar Association of San Francisco, 2013
- "5 Rules for Protecting Yourself in a White-Collar Criminal Investigation," The Street, 2012
Awards and Honors
- California Lawyer of the Year, California Lawyer, 2012
- Order of the Coif, UC Berkeley School of Law , 2003
- Prosser Award in California Marital Property, 2003
- Prosser Award in Contracts, 2000
- Certificate in Law and Technology from the Berkeley Law and Technology Program
- Former Co-Chair of the ABA International Criminal Litigation Subcommittee