Neal Stephens is a trial lawyer with 30 years of experience who focuses on white collar criminal matters and complex civil litigation. Neal represents companies, board committees, and executives in grand jury investigations, including parallel proceedings involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Examples of Neal's trial experience include serving as trial counsel in white collar criminal matters for Sean Cutting (former CEO of Sonoma Valley Bank), Kent Roberts (former General Counsel for McAfee), and Greg Reyes (former CEO of Brocade). Neal has also successfully prosecuted more than 60 cases through trial and appeal as a prosecutor. On civil matters, Neal has represented clients in national opioid litigation matters, consumer class actions, civil RICO actions, trade secret cases, and antitrust matters.
As a federal prosecutor in Miami, Neal served as Chief of the Narcotics Section and Regional Coordinator of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the Florida/Caribbean region. Neal led the busiest federal trial unit in the country and ran proactive international wiretap investigations that resulted in the extradition of high-level Colombian narcotics traffickers and money launderers, including relatives and associates of Pablo Escobar, Fabio Ochoa, and the Medellin Cartel. Neal received national recognition from Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and DEA Administrator Donnie Marshall for successfully prosecuting cases that targeted the Medellin and North Valle cartels.
Neal handles pro bono matters for the Northern California Innocence Project, with a special focus on representing defendants wrongfully convicted due to prosecutorial misconduct at the trial level.
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.
Evidence Collection in Criminal Investigations: Cross-Border Issues and Corporate Employee Considerations
Phishing for Corporate Dollars: The Emerging Global Threat Posed by Spear Phishing and Business Email Compromise
Revisiting My Brother's Keeper: Latest Learning and Best Practices on Dealings with Third Parties under the FCPA
- 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)