Thomas C. Green

Green, Thomas C.

Senior Counsel

Washington, D.C. +1 202 736 8069

1501 K Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
+1 202 736 8069

Admissions & Certifications

Thomas C. Green

Senior Counsel

TOM GREEN for many years managed Sidley’s federal and state investigation and white collar defense practice group in Washington, D.C. He is a nationally known and highly regarded trial lawyer who has tried countless complex criminal and civil cases. In June of 2009, Chambers and Partners selected Tom for its USA Award for Excellence in the field of White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations. He is among a very few trial lawyers in the United States who are ranked in Chambers’ Top Tier.

Tom has been featured in the National Law Journal as one of 11 “Winning” litigators in the United States, and named by Ethisphere Magazine to its Hall of Fame honoring “Attorneys Who Matter” in the United States. He has been selected by his peers over 35 successive years for inclusion in the top tier of “Best Lawyers in America,” and was named Best Lawyers‘ 2011 Washington, D.C. White Collar Lawyer of the Year. Tom is recognized as a Litigation Star in the United States in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Benchmark Litigation and included in Washingtonian magazine’s 2013 list of Washington’s Best Lawyers as one of the region’s “best legal minds” in the area of Criminal Defense, White Collar.

Much of Tom’s practice is devoted to counseling corporate officials in connection with state and federal criminal investigations, conducting internal investigations of alleged corporate wrongdoing and advising on the implementation of compliance and anti-fraud programs. In recent years he has assisted the World Bank in the development of its anti-fraud and corruption unit and has conducted significant investigations for the Bank regarding the integrity of the Bank’s lending programs. He has also conducted similar investigations for the Inter-American Development Bank.

For many years, Tom has represented members of Congress and other public officials in responding to some of the most well-known and significant federal and Congressional investigations of official misconduct. He represented former Assistant Attorney General Robert Mardian during the trial of the Watergate case as well as a prominent businessman and political figure in the prosecution of former Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel. He also defended several government officials during the “Whitewater” Independent Counsel investigations. During the Iran-Contra investigation, Tom represented Retired Major General Richard V. Secord. Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. retained Tom in connection with the Senate Ethics Committee’s inquiry relating to Charles Keating. Tom has also represented former Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Tamposi in connection with various investigations into the State Department’s handling of former President Clinton’s passport records, as well as Senator David Durenburger against criminal charges filed by the Department of Justice.

In addition, Tom has represented numerous foreign and domestic corporations and corporate officials in connection with high-profile agency and grand jury investigations pertaining to a wide variety of commercial, accounting, tax and financial fraud violations, as well as criminal antitrust, Foreign Corrupt Practices, environmental, immigration and securities violations. For the past three years, Tom has been very involved in representing Swiss Bankers in connection with on-going Department of Justice investigations relating to their accounts for U.S. clients, and more recently in regard to DOJ’s Program for Non Prosecution Agreements for Swiss Banks.

Currently Tom represents former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert in connection with a federal criminal indictment filed in the Northern District of Illinois.

His extensive trial and criminal defense experience includes the following cases:

  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Richard F. Syron et. al. (S.D. New York): In 2011 Richard Syron, former Chairman and CEO of Freddie Mac, retained Tom to defend him in connection with claims filed by the SEC relating to Freddie Mac’s disclosures regarding subprime loans. In an unprecedented settlement filed in April of 2015, the SEC agreed with Tom that it was not in the interest of justice to continue to litigate the case, and the proceedings were terminated. The settlement provided, inter alia, that Mr. Syron’s donation to the Freddie Mac Fair Fund would be paid by insurance.
  • United States v. Anibal Acevedo Vila et. al. (D.Pr.): In March of 2009, Tom, as lead trial counsel, secured the acquittal of Anibal Acevedo Vila, the former Governor of Puerto Rico, in a heavily publicized six-week jury trial of two consolidated indictments charging tax, mail fraud and money laundering crimes. 
  • United States v. Tyson Foods (E.D.Tenn.): In 2003, Tom persuaded a jury to acquit Tyson Foods, Inc. in a major prosecution which charged the company in a 36 count indictment with participating in a scheme to employ illegal workers in violation of the immigration laws. The indictment also sought a criminal forfeiture of over $100 million. This victory was selected by the National Law Journal in March of 2004 as the most significant defense verdict in the year 2003.
  • State of Oklahoma v. Tyson Foods, et. al. (D. Ok): Tom represented Tyson Foods, Inc. in one of the largest environmental cases ever tried. The State of Oklahoma sought up to $1.6 billion in damages and injunctive remedies in connection with a claim under CERCLA, RCRA and state law alleging pollution of a million-acre watershed. The case was tried between September 2009 and February 2010 in the Northern District of Oklahoma. Tyson prevailed on all of the State’s monetary claims, which were dismissed by the court. The trial court also dismissed the State’s CERCLA and RCRA claims, along with some of the state’s nuisance and statutory claims. The few remaining claims have not yet been ruled upon.
  • Estate of Jack Kent Cooke v. Washington Sports Ventures (E.D. Va.): Tom successfully defended the Estate of Jack Kent Cooke, former owner of the Washington Redskins football team, against claims arising out of the failed sale of the team to a group of bidders.
  • Pickett v. Tyson Fresh Meats (M.D. Alabama): Tom was lead trial counsel for Tyson Fresh Meats (formerly IBP) in the five-week jury trial of this class action in which plaintiffs demanded more than $2 billion in damages. On April 23, 2004, U.S. Senior District Judge Lyle E. Strom granted Tyson’s motion for judgment as a matter of law, ruling that the verdict reached by an Alabama jury in February was contrary to the law and the evidence in the case. The Judge determined Tyson Fresh Meats did not engage in anticompetitive conduct and that Tyson’s conduct was supported by a legitimate business justification. The trial court’s judgment was affirmed on appeal.
  • United States v. Cinergy Corp. (S.D. Indiana): Tom represented Cinergy as lead trial counsel in two successive “bet the company” jury trials in May of 2008 and May of 2009. Both cases were brought by the EPA, certain States and citizen groups and alleged numerous violations of the Clean Air Act relating to 55 repair and replacement projects at Cinergy’s coal-fired generating units. Both cases were brought as part of a broader U.S. Government enforcement initiative against several major electric utilities. As of the conclusion of the 2009 trial, Cinergy was the first and only utility that had elected to contest the charges in a trial by jury. By the time both trials concluded, only fourteen projects were submitted to the juries for decision. Cinergy prevailed on ten of them, which represents the first verdict in favor of a defendant. These two jury verdicts are the only two defense victories in the history of the New Source Review enforcement initiative. As reported in The American Lawyer, the two trial victories “frame the score as 44 to 6” in favor of [Cinergy] “based on the original charges.”

Tom is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and has practiced law in Washington, D.C., for more than 40 years. Throughout his career, he has taught civil and criminal trial practice at clinical programs sponsored by law schools, bar associations and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and he is a frequent lecturer and panelist at professional programs for lawyers conducted by organizations such as the American Bar Association and the American Law Institute.

Tom is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a past president of the Assistant United States Attorneys Association of Washington, D.C. He also served as the initial Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Crime of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Tom is also a former U.S. Army Captain and artillery battery commander and was attached to the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam.

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