Spears & Imes

White Collar Criminal Defense

The attorneys at Spears & Imes have defended individuals in all phases of federal and state white collar criminal proceedings, involving a vast array of charges and potential charges based on dozens of different federal and state statutes. In addition, partners David Spears, Linda Imes, and Joanna Hendon served as Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where they were each deeply immersed in federal criminal practice.

For many years, Spears & Imes has been recognized as a “Leading Firm” among Specialist Firms with expertise in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations by Chambers & Partners in its annual guide to leading law firms and lawyers, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Chambers describes the firm as “offering expert advice in all areas of white-collar criminal defense,” and it has recognized Mr. Spears, Ms. Imes, and Ms. Hendon as “Leading Individuals” in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.

In a criminal matter, our primary objective is always to avoid formal criminal charges altogether, and we have accomplished that objective in a large percentage of our criminal representations. In non-public investigations we go to great lengths to shield our clients from any publicity, and accordingly we never discuss those matters publicly even after they are completed.

When we represent clients who have been indicted, we bring extensive trial experience to bear. In recent years we have tried criminal cases before juries in many U.S. district courts and in the New York State Supreme Court, with notable successes. In addition, we have achieved groundbreaking victories in pretrial practice. In United States v. Stein (S.D.N.Y.), at our urging the district court ruled that a provision of a Department of Justice policy document known as the Thompson Memorandum, which discouraged the payment by corporations of legal fees for employees charged with crimes, violated the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution. Because the government had coerced our client’s employer to refuse to pay his legal fees, prior to trial the district court dismissed with prejudice the indictment against our client.  In addition, that ruling caused the Department of Justice to withdraw the Thompson Memorandum.

We also have represented numerous clients in federal sentencing proceedings. We have broad experience in the pre-sentencing process, including negotiating plea agreements, communicating effectively with the U.S. Probation Office, and preparing a persuasive sentencing memorandum for the court. The firm’s lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the case law regarding sentencing issues. We have achieved favorable results for our clients who chose to accept a plea.