Neal Stephens is a trial lawyer with 30 years of experience who focuses on white collar and complex civil litigation, including defending actions brought by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Drug Enforcement Administration.
Neal has successfully litigated more than 70 cases through trial and appeal. Neal has served as trial counsel in securities, accounting, and bank fraud matters for Cara Obert (CFO of United Development Funding), Sean Cutting (CEO of Sonoma Valley Bank), Kent Roberts (general counsel of McAfee), and Greg Reyes (CEO of Brocade). Neal has led internal investigations in Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and accounting fraud issues and has provided compliance counseling on FCPA and anti-money laundering (AML) issues. On civil matters, Neal has represented clients in national opioid litigation matters, consumer class actions, trade secret cases, and antitrust matters.
As a federal prosecutor in Miami, Neal led the Narcotics Section and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Neal ran the busiest federal trial unit in the country and oversaw investigations that resulted in the extradition of high-level Colombian traffickers, including members of the Medellin Cartel. Neal received national awards from Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and DEA Administrator Donnie Marshall for spearheading international roving wiretap prosecutions with the vetted team of the Colombian National Police and the legendary "A Team" of agents from DEA/FBI in Miami and DEA in Bogota, New York, and Los Angeles.
Neal has handled pro bono matters for the Northern California Innocence Project for 15 years, representing defendants wrongfully convicted due to prosecutorial misconduct.
Representative Criminal Defense Matters Prior to Joining Jones Day.
Former McAfee General Counsel acquitted in securities fraud trial
Trial counsel for Kent Roberts, former general counsel of McAfee, in parallel stock option backdating cases brought by the DOJ and SEC. Mr. Roberts was the first defendant to defeat both the DOJ (at trial) and the SEC (who voluntarily dismissed prior to trial) in a stock option backdating case.
Trial counsel in stock option backdating trial
Trial counsel for Greg Reyes, former CEO of Brocade, in his criminal retrial and parallel SEC enforcement action regarding allegations of stock option backdating.
Lead counsel in public corruption litigation
Lead counsel for Alfred J.R. "AJ" Villalobos and ARVCO Capital Research in a bribery/securities fraud action filed by the California Attorney General. Obtained a ruling in federal bankruptcy court confirming that the Attorney General made false allegations against Mr. Villalobos in its complaint.
Considerations for Addressing DOJ's Corporate Compliance Guidance on Mobile Devices and Messaging Platforms
Federal Agencies Highlight Benefits of Self-Disclosure, Emphasize Enforcement of Trade Violations in Tri-Seal Compliance Note
- April 21, 2016
What To Do When . . . The Government Shows Up with a Search Warrant: Preparing for, Responding to, and Surviving a Raid
- October 2013
Business Beyond Borders: Protecting Companies from FCPA Violations in High Risk Markets
- October 2013
Managing Fraud and Corruption Risks in M&A: How to Incorporate Transactional Risks into your Due Diligence Process, ACI West Coast FCPA Boot Camp
- June 2012
Indemnity Issues in White Collar Criminal Defense Matters, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
- November 2011
FCPA and the UK Bribery Act 101: The Essential Primer for Life Sciences Compliance, ACI Life Sciences Boot Camp
- July 2011
FCPA Compliance Issues, 18th Annual Private Equity CFO Conference
- May 2011
FCPA, UK Bribery Act and Other Anti-Corruption Developments, Asian Pacific Bar Association
- June 2009
Internal Investigations — Top 10 Problems and How to Avoid Them, Compliance Week 4th Annual Conference
- May 2009
FCPA Compliance — How to Build an Effective Compliance Program
- April 2009
Concurrent Civil and Criminal Action — The Predicament Faced by Clients, Bar Association of San Francisco
- Harvard University (J.D. 1990); Stanford University (B.A. 1987; Varsity Soccer, Team Captain, All-Conference, Buck Club Scholarship)
- California, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, and U.S. District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
- Served with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida (1995-2000), including Regional Coordinator of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Florida/Caribbean Region (1998-2000); Chief, Narcotics Section (1998-2000); and Assistant U.S. Attorney (1995-2000)
Recognized in Northern California Super Lawyers
Recipient of numerous governmental service honors, including Attorney General's Award, DEA Administrator's Award, and commendation from Louis Freeh, Director of the FBI
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (1990-1991)