David Spears | New York Criminal Lawyer | New York
David Spears, a founding partner of Spears & Imes LLP, concentrates in white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement defense, and complex civil litigation. In all three areas, he has had extensive trial and appellate experience and achieved notable successes.
Mr. Spears spent the early years of his career working in government, including at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., focusing on antitrust matters; as a Trial Attorney and Deputy Chief Trial Attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.; and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. During his years at the SEC and the United States Attorney's Office, Mr. Spears tried a large number of cases involving a wide variety of charges.
In his more than two decades in private practice, Mr. Spears has tried many criminal and civil cases in federal and state courts and before the SEC, FINRA, and arbitration panels. Mr. Spears has also argued many cases in the United States Court of Appeals and New York State appellate courts.
David Spears & Mónica Folch, A Bad Enforcement Policy at FINRA, New York Law Journal (Nov. 14, 2012)
Mr. Spears represented lead defendant Jeffrey Stein in a case in which 19 KPMG accountants and lawyers were charged with federal tax crimes based on their involvement with tax shelters that the government alleged to be fraudulent. In a groundbreaking ruling, the Court threw out the indictment because the government had forced KPMG to terminate the payment of legal fees for the defendants. Mr. Spears argued the motion that resulted in the order of dismissal. United States v. Stein, 495 F. Supp. 2d 330 (S.D.N.Y. 2007); United States v. Stein, 541 F.3d 130 (2d Cir. 2008).
Mr. Spears, together with partners Christopher Dysard and Jason Mogel, represented a group of financial institutions, including Allstate, Bank Leumi, Bayerische Landesbank, International Finance Corporation, Société Générale, and Travelers, in a six-week jury trial in a United States District Court against a major investment bank to recover large losses related to the sale of asset-backed securities. The jury returned a verdict for the Firm's clients resulting in a judgment of $144 million, which was one of the largest jury awards in the U.S. in 2008. The defendant appealed that judgment, and Mr. Spears argued the appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial judgment. 646 F. Supp. 2d 385 (S.D.N.Y. 2009), aff'd, 2010 WL 2836684 (2d Cir. July 20, 2010).
Mr. Spears and partner Jason Mogel represented an executive from a large investment bank against charges by FINRA alleging wrongdoing in the purchase and sale of auction-rate securities for corporate cash management clients. Following a two-week trial in February 2012, the FINRA Hearing Officer overseeing the case issued a lengthy decision rejecting all of FINRA's charges and exonerating the Firm's client of all charges against him. Dep't of Enforcement v. Morrison, FINRA Disc. Proceeding 2008013863702 (2012). A published article by Mr. Spears and associate Mónica Folch discussed important legal and policy issues raised in that proceeding.
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