Neal Stephens is a trial lawyer with 29 years of experience in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation, including defending actions brought by the DOJ, SEC, FDIC, and other state and federal agencies.
Neal's trial experience includes 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). He also prosecuted dozens of criminal cases through trial as a federal prosecutor. Neal also has led internal investigations and provided FCPA and AML compliance counseling for Fortune 500 companies operating in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. 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 served as Chief of the Narcotics and Money Laundering Section and Regional Coordinator of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). He ran the busiest trial unit in the country and led investigations that resulted in the extradition of high-level Colombian narcotics traffickers and money launderers, including relatives and associates of Pablo Escobar 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 also handles pro bono matters for the Northern California Innocence Project and Jones Day's task force to eliminate human trafficking.
The following represents experience prior to joining Jones Day.
Served as trial counsel for Kent Roberts, former general counsel of McAfee, in stock option backdating cases brought by the DOJ and SEC. Mr. Roberts defeated both the DOJ (at trial) and the SEC (who voluntarily dismissed prior to trial).
Served as trial counsel for Greg Reyes, former CEO of Brocade, in his criminal retrial and the parallel enforcement action brought by the SEC regarding allegations of stock option backdating.
Represented Alfred J.R. "AJ" Villalobos and ARVCO Capital Research in a bribery/securities fraud action filed by the California Attorney General and obtained a ruling that the Attorney General had misrepresented its allegations against Mr. Villalobos.
Represented several Silicon Valley companies regarding investigations conducted by the DOJ regarding allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets.
Represented a company in an insider trading investigation by the SEC regarding the use of an expert referral network service.
Represented a pharmaceutical company in a FCPA investigation regarding its operations in China.
Represented a software company in a SEC enforcement action regarding allegations of accounting fraud.
Represented a CEO in a DOJ investigation related to allegations of off-label marketing.
Represented a biotech company in an insider trading investigation by the SEC.
Represented numerous public and private companies regarding FCPA and AML compliance issues.
Represented a food manufacturer in a federal grand jury investigation related to immigration issues.
Represented the audit committee of a manufacturer of educational products in an internal investigation regarding a whistleblower complaint involving accounting issues.
Represented the audit committee of a data storage company in an internal investigation conducted throughout Asia related to potential FCPA violations, revenue recognition fraud, and embezzlement.
Represented the special committee of a telecommunications company in an internal investigation in Taiwan and China related to allegations of fraud and bribery.
Represented the audit committee of a semiconductor company in an internal investigation related to allegations of accounting fraud.
Represented the audit committee of a medical device company related to allegations of off-label marketing and accounting fraud.
Represented the audit committee of a software company in an internal investigation related to FCPA and embezzlement allegations in Japan.
Represented the audit committee of a software company in an internal investigation related to potential revenue recognition fraud.
Represented the special committee of the board of trustees at St. Mary's College in an internal investigation related to a failed pledge exceeding $100 million.
Complex Civil Litigation
Represented First Data Corporation on breach of contract cases in Hawaii and Texas related to the deployment of network billing software.
Represented Covidien (formerly Tyco Healthcare) on several antitrust cases alleging violations of Sections I and II of the Sherman Act, false advertising under the Lanham Act, and unfair competition under various state laws related to the distribution of various medical devices. Defended cases in federal courts in Texarkana, Los Angeles, Boston, and St. Louis.
Represented USG in product defect cases, including an industry wide national class action related to alleged product defects where plaintiffs asserted violations of California's Unfair Business Practices Act, Section 17200, and California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).
Represented a LED manufacturer in a trade secrets dispute.
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
- July 2009Be Careful What You Wish For: Best Practices for Preparing and Responding to Investigations by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program," coauthor, Bloomberg Law Reports: Risk & Compliance
- January 21, 2009The Next Wave of Internal Investigations," coauthor, The Recorder
- 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)