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Defending a Charles Ponzi or Bernie Madoff


Presented at the California Bar's Eighteenth Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium

This panel explores ethical issues that arise when lawyers represent clients alleged to be involved in financial fraud or other illegal behavior. Panel attorneys litigate actions brought against lawyers accused of participating in or aiding and abetting their clients’ activities. Ethical issues include client confidentiality, the duty to withdraw, options to report up or out, and conflicts between individuals acting for the client.


  • Scott B. Garner: Moderator; Vice-Chair, Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct; Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Irvine
  • Elliot A. Peters: Partner, Keker & Van Nest LLP, San Francisco 
  • Jennifer A. Becker: Member, Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct; Partner, Long & Levit LLP, San Francisco
  • Joy A. Kruse: Partner, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, San Francisco
  • John R. Sheller: Partner and Leader of Lawyers for Professionals Department, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Los Angeles

About Elliot Peters
For three decades Elliot Peters has litigated, tried and advised clients in some of the nation's most high-profile, high-stakes complex commercial and white collar criminal cases. Mr. Peters has tried more than 50 cases on behalf of CEOs, leading law firms, and major corporations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has also been named Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer and The Recorder, the Litigator of the Week byThe American Lawyer, and one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California by theDaily Journal.

For complete conference information, please visit the Bar's event page at this link