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Thomas C. Green

Senior Counsel

THOMAS C. GREEN for many years managed Sidley’s federal and state investigation and white collar defense practice group in Washington, D.C. Mr. Green 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 Mr. Green for its USA Award for Excellence in the field of White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations. Mr. Green is among a very few trial lawyers in the United States who are ranked in Chambers’ Top Tier.

Mr. Green 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. In 2003, in a nationwide poll conducted by Corporate Crime Reporter, Mr. Green was selected as one of the top five white collar defense lawyers in the United States. He has been selected by his peers over 30 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. Mr. Green is recognized as a Litigation Star in the United States in the 2014 edition 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 Mr. Green’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 Mr. Green 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. Mr. Green has also conducted similar investigations for the Inter-American Development Bank.

For many years, Mr. Green 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. Mr. Green 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, Mr. Green represented Retired Major General Richard V. Secord. Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. retained Mr. Green in connection with the Senate Ethics Committee’s inquiry relating to Charles Keating. Mr. Green 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.

Currently, Mr. Green represents Richard Syron, former Chairman and CEO of Freddie Mac in connection with a congressional inquiry, a SEC investigation and other litigation arising from the appointment of a conservator at Freddie Mac and the events leading up to the credit crisis.

In addition, Mr. Green 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 anti-trust, Foreign Corrupt Practices, environmental, immigration and securities violations. For the past two years, Mr. Green has been very involved in representing Swiss Bankers in connection with on-going Department of Justice investigations relating to their accounts for US clients, and more recently in regard to DOJ’s Program for Non Prosecution Agreements for Swiss Banks.

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

  • United States v. Anibal Acevedo Vila et. al. (D.Pr.): In March of 2009, Mr. Green, 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, Mr. Green 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): Mr. Green 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.): Green 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): Mr. Green 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): Mr. Green 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.”

Mr. Green 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.

Mr. Green is a 1962 graduate of Dartmouth College and received his law degree from Yale University in 1965. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a past president of the Assistant United States Attorneys Association of Washington, D.C., as well as a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers where he served as the initial Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Crime. Mr. Green 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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