One of the firm’s core practice areas is the defense of persons and corporate entities charged with white-collar (or economic) crimes. Mr. Lemon’s white-collar expertise has been recognized by the SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers in America publications, both of which consistently rank him as a “top-rated” San Diego lawyer in this practice area (which includes fraud crimes, tax evasion, money laundering, environmental crimes, campaign-finance offenses, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and insider trading).
Economic crimes are frequently – but not exclusively – prosecuted in federal court and are often complex, involving multiple defendants and voluminous discovery. Mr. Lemon has successfully represented numerous professionals charged in high-profile, white-collar cases, including doctors charged with tax fraud and insider trading, lawyers charged with mail and wire fraud, a hedge-fund manager charged with securities and real-estate fraud, and the president of an international telecommunications company charged with criminal contempt and wire fraud.
Like most other criminal cases, the majority of white-collar cases are resolved through pretrial negotiations. But Mr. Lemon’s commitment to thorough preparation and his willingness to try difficult cases remain the cornerstones of the firm’s successful plea negotiations.
And some cases do go to trial. In 2008 and 2009, for example, the firm represented a licensed pharmacist charged with conspiracy, money laundering, and unlawfully dispensing prescription drugs over the internet. The trial – which required special prosecutors from the Department of Justice’s computer-crimes unit and involved seven codefendants – lasted three months and resulted in a hung jury. Before the retrial, Mr. Lemon was able to settle the case for a plea to a misdemeanor with no jail time, no fine, and no criminal or civil forfeiture.
The investigations of white-collar offenses are also typically lengthy and wide ranging, involving numerous potential witnesses and other “persons of interest.” The firm has extensive experience representing individuals and corporations who have received grand jury subpoenas or who have otherwise been contacted by law enforcement.