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White Collar Firm Lightfoot Vandevelde Joins Crowell & Moring To Form Los Angeles Office

Washington, D.C. - October 6, 2008: The lawyers of white collar law firm Lightfoot Vandevelde Sadowsky Crouchley Rutherford & Levine LLP have joined the law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP, opening its Los Angeles office and boosting its ability to provide corporate and individual clients with top quality white collar litigation counsel in California. The highly esteemed Lightfoot Vandevelde firm, comprised of both former federal prosecutors and former federal defenders, boasts a 35 year history in criminal defense, complex business litigation, and civil rights litigation in Los Angeles. All seven of its lawyers and its entire staff will join Crowell & Moring to launch its new office.

Regarded as one of the foremost white collar firms in California, Lightfoot Vandevelde is listed in California's top band by Chambers USA 2008 for "White Collar Crime & Government Investigations" and includes three fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The new Crowell & Moring attorneys are senior partner Michael J. Lightfoot; partners John D. Vandevelde, Janet I. Levine, and Jeffrey H. Rutherford; senior counsel Stephen B. Sadowsky and John S. Crouchley; and associate Marta VanLandingham.

The Lightfoot Vandevelde lawyers will join Crowell & Moring's White Collar & Securities Litigation Group, which has expanded significantly in recent years through the addition of several former prosecutors and top lateral hires in London, New York, and Washington, D.C. The downtown Los Angeles office will complement the firm's Irvine, California, office of more than 30 lawyers and will bolster the firm's international work in areas including Antitrust, Intellectual Property, Torts, Environment, and Health Care.

"A critical part of Crowell & Moring's plan for enhancing client service internationally is growth in California, which has some of the most challenging litigation in the country and is a crossroads to Asia. Lightfoot Vandevelde's sterling reputation gives us a powerful presence in the important Los Angeles market. Their lawyers share Crowell & Moring's approach to litigation and our concept of partnership. They are tenacious and hard working in the service of their clients. They value team work and are committed to their community. It's a perfect fit and an ideal beginning to our LA office," said Kent A. Gardiner, Crowell & Moring chairman.

John Vandevelde, who will head Crowell & Moring's Los Angeles office, said, "Lawyers may be local, but our clients' challenges are global. Our move is about improving client service and meeting the dynamic needs of white collar clients who, now more than ever, need international capabilities and the infrastructure capable of supporting complex matters ranging from antitrust to health care. Our move is also about achieving the right kind of growth with colleagues who share our values and priority on client service. Crowell & Moring operates as a close-knit team while maintaining the depth and breadth of the finest international law firm."

The Lightfoot Vandevelde team includes some of the most prominent litigators in Los Angeles, who have built their careers on handling complex and often high-profile cases.

  • Michael J. Lightfoot began his career working on desegregation cases as a Trial Attorney for the Department of Justice and later became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, and then the Chief Trial Deputy for the Federal Public Defender's Office in Los Angeles. Recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the California Appellate Project, Chambers USA 2008 noted Lightfoot's reputation as "a long-standing leading figure of the white collar bar."
  • John D. Vandevelde is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, where he served as that office's Chief of Complaints. He has held leadership positions in the American, Federal, and Los Angeles County bar associations, as well as the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. A recipient of the "California Attorney of the Year Award," Vandevelde advises clients on securities fraud, environmental, health care, public corruption, antitrust and other criminal matters and is consistently recognized by his peers as a leading practitioner in California.
  • Janet I. Levine is co-chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) White Collar Crime Committee, was recently President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and handles matters including health care fraud, securities fraud, public corruption, and tax fraud. She began her career as a law clerk to the Honorable Arthur L. Alarcon of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is a former Deputy Federal Public Defender. Among numerous honors, she is a recipient of the "California Attorney of the Year Award."
  • Jeffrey H. Rutherford is a former Deputy Federal Public Defender who began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall of the Central District of California. He handles a wide array of white collar criminal matters, particularly in the areas of public corruption, antitrust, and financial fraud. Named by The Los Angeles Daily Journal to the "2007 Top 20 Under 40" list of lawyers in California, he serves both on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association in Los Angeles and on the Board of Directors of the West Coast Regional Subcommittee of the ABA White Collar Crime Committee, and is a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.
  • Stephen B. Sadowsky has more than 25 years experience defending individuals and businesses in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings with a particular focus on workplace investigations, as well as environment, health care, and securities matters. He is a former law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court.
  • John S. Crouchley has handled a wide variety of criminal and civil litigation cases, including the defense of SEC investigations, and the prosecution and defense of False Claims Act ("qui tam") complaints. He is a recipient of the annual Pro Bono Associate Award from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and was a law clerk for the Hon. William D. Keller in the Central District of California.
  • Marta VanLandingham has experience in a variety of complex litigation matters, working on criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings for clients.

Crowell & Moring's Los Angeles office is located at 800 Wilshire Boulevard. Click for more information about Crowell & Moring's White Collar & Securities Litigation Group and its team of international lawyers.

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 400 lawyers practicing in civil and criminal litigation and arbitration, antitrust, government contracts, health care, corporate, intellectual property and a variety of other practice areas. More than two-thirds of the firm's attorneys regularly litigate disputes on behalf of domestic and international corporations, start-up businesses, and individuals. Crowell & Moring's extensive client work ranges from advising on one of the world's largest telecommunications mergers to representing governments and corporations on international arbitration matters. Based in Washington, D.C., the firm also has offices in California, New York, London, and Brussels.

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An Pham
Senior Communications Manager