Overview

Erica is a Shareholder and the Chair of Maynard Nexsen’s Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Practice. She is passionate about criminal law and how actual or threatened government investigations and prosecutions can impact companies and individuals and their pending civil litigation and regulatory actions. Erica assists individuals and entities all along the criminal law spectrum from helping businesses prevent, investigate, and remediate potential criminal violations to representing individuals and businesses in active government investigations, criminal prosecutions, and related civil litigation. She has experience in a wide variety of substantive areas including securities, mail, wire, and healthcare fraud, bribery, antitrust violations, trade secrets violations, embezzlement, money laundering (BSA/AML), narcotics and firearms offenses, cybercrime and cryptocurrency, child exploitation, elder abuse, and criminal and civil false claims.

Erica has experience in commercial litigation matters as well and has represented defendants in individual and class actions involving contract, employment, shareholder, and securities claims. Erica has experience with all facets of the state and federal criminal process. She rejoined Maynard Nexsen in 2018 after serving for four years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. As an AUSA, Erica worked with a multitude of federal agencies and state and local task forces to prosecute traditional criminal and white collar matters. Prior to joining Maynard Nexsen as an Associate in 2010, Erica served as Special Prosecutor in the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta and a law clerk to the late Honorable Owen Forrester in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Erica maintains a full docket of appointed criminal cases as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Northern District of Alabama and is actively involved in white collar and criminal defense organizations locally, regionally, and nationally.

Business Crimes Compliance and Internal Investigations

In her compliance and investigations practice, Erica helps clients in a wide range of industries from healthcare to manufacturing across the firm’s national footprint find and fix small problems before they become big government investigations and lawsuits. She assists clients in assessing their risk for committing, or being accused of, business crimes and designing, implementing, and maintaining effective compliance programs so that they can prevent, detect, investigate and fix problems.. Erica also helps clients prepare to quickly and efficiently defend themselves to the public, the government, and other stakeholders if problems do arise..  Clients are currently seeking Erica’s guidance most often about anti-money laundering (AML), antitrust, and Anti-kickback Statute (AKS) concerns.

Government Investigations

Erica represents individuals or entities who are brought into state or federal government investigations as witnesses, victims, or potential defendants. She assists clients with (1) understanding their own risk and potential for criminal prosecution or civil exposure; (2) understanding how a criminal investigation may impact their business, reputation, or other pending legal matters; (3) negotiating and responding to time and cost-intensive grand jury subpoenas, civil investigative demands and other requests for documents or testimony; (4) responding to interview requests, search warrants, and other forms of unanticipated government contact; (5) addressing asset seizures; and (6) advocating for their rights as victims.

Criminal Prosecutions and Government and Whistleblower Lead False Claims Litigation

Erica has represented individuals from all walks of life charged with criminal violations. She is a tireless advocate for her clients because she understands the impact a criminal case can have on an individual’s family, business, finances, and physical and mental health. Erica regularly negotiates favorable dismissals, plea agreements, cooperation agreements, and sentences for her clients, but she is not afraid to litigate a matter through trial if necessary. Erica has successfully tried numerous cases to a jury in state and federal court as both prosecutor and defense counsel. Erica also understands that the specter of a criminal case can have a huge impact on civil or administrative litigation and on the individuals and companies involved. She uses her trial experience and her understanding of criminal matters to help her clients better navigate civil and administrative actions with a criminal component, including False Claims Act litigation.

Community & Professional

  • American Bar Association: Criminal Justice Section
  • Women in White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA) (Co-Chair Tennessee/Alabama Chapter)
  • Alabama State Bar: Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee (Co-Chair), State Bar Leadership Forum
  • Junior League of Birmingham (Sustainer) 
  • Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church
  • Girl Scouts of America
  • Camp Winnataska

Experience

Business Crimes Compliance
  • Advised healthcare services company regarding sales practices that might potentially violate the AKS.
  • Advised registered investment advisor on OFAC sanctions concerns relating to international investors.
  • Advised international healthcare services company regarding sanctions and AML concerns.
  • Advised human resources business regarding illegal money transmission laws.
  • Advised manufacturing company regarding competitor communications and antitrust concerns.
  • Drafted antitrust compliance manual for manufacturing and sales company.
  • Drafted global anti-corruption/FCPA policy for company selling into international markets.
  • Drafted AML policy for registered investor advisor.
  • Drafted sanctions policy for technology company.
  • Drafted government contacts policies for company wishing to prepare its employees for subpoenas, search warrants, and other government contact. 
Internal Investigations
  • Investigated allegations of sexual misconduct for religious institution and coordinated with local law enforcement investigation.
  • Investigated allegations of sexual misconduct for private school and coordinated with law enforcement.
  • Investigated allegedly improper sales practices for technology company operating worldwide.
  • Investigated potentially anticompetitive joint venture and sales practices for agriculture company.
  • Investigated allegations of data privacy violations for financial services company.
  • Investigated allegations of partner embezzlement and tax offenses for business owner.
  • Represented healthcare executive questioned as part of internal AKS investigation by employer.
Government Investigations
  • Represented pharmacy owners in large healthcare fraud investigation.  Clients not charged.
  • Represented pharmacy employees as pool counsel in DOJ healthcare fraud investigation.
  • Represented manufacturing employees as pool counsel in DOJ environmental investigation.
  • Represented business in responding to DOJ antitrust subpoena.  Matter closed.
  • Represented foreign national reported to DOJ for trade secret violations.  Client not charged.
  • Represented publicly traded financial services company in responding to multiple DOJ grand jury subpoenas, CIDs and interview requests as a witness.
  • Represented financial services professionals serving as witnesses in DOJ securities fraud trial.
  • Represented physician investors in responding to grand jury subpoenas in DOJ healthcare fraud investigation.
  • Represented logistics company in responding to FTC subpoena.
  • Represented nonprofit in responding to Attorney General subpoena.
  • Represented publicly traded company in responding to SEC subpoena regarding financial reporting. Matter closed.
  • Represented financial services company in responding to SEC subpoena regarding conflicts of interest.  Matter closed.
  • Represented registered investment advisor in responding to SEC subpoena and negotiating cease and desist order. 
Indicted Criminal Matters
  • Defended police officer in federal criminal trial involving highly publicized allegations of excessive force.  Officer was acquitted.
  • Defended physician in federal criminal trial involving allegations of opioid overprescribing and distribution.  Physician received probation following trial and before receiving a verdict.  
  • Defended individual in federal criminal trial involving firearms offenses. Individual was acquitted.
  • Defended manufacturing company following criminal OSHA charges relating to employee death.
Victim Advocacy, Asset Forfeiture, and Other Matters
  • Assisted manufacturing company in reporting employee embezzlement to federal law enforcement and proceeding through prosecution and restitution.
  • Assisted financial services company in investigating and reporting child exploitation activity by employee.
  • Assisted victim of online harassment in investigating occurrence, reporting to law enforcement, and pursuing prosecution.
  • Defended passive investors in pharmacy in multi-million asset seizure and civil forfeiture action. 
False Claims Act Matters
  • Represented healthcare services company in responding to CID relating to billing of lab services.
  • Represented pharmacy investor in government false claims investigation and action.  Client not named in suit.
  • Represented home health provider in false claims litigation with relator.  Action dismissed.
  • Represented physician in false claims investigation involving improper billing of ancillary service.

Recognitions

Recognition

  • Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Alabama (2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© for Corporate Compliance Law, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2020-present)
  • Best Lawyers® 2021 “Lawyer of the Year” for Corporate Compliance Law
  • Best Lawyers® 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • Super Lawyers, Top Rated White Collar Crimes Attorney, Birmingham, AL 
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars (2014)
  • Super Lawyers

Media

Speaking Engagements

  • April 15, 2024:  The Ortho Forum - Strategic Services Meeting: “Compliance: Best Practices – Compliance Training and a Government Perspective on Hot Topics”
  • November 16, 2023: Office of the Federal Public Defender Northern District of Alabama CLE: “Dealing with the Data Dump – Strategies for Attacking Voluminous Discovery in Federal Criminal Matters”

  • June 9, 2023: Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Annual Seminar: “Challenging Technology Seizures and How to Get Passed Good Faith”

  • November 4, 2022: Alabama Health Care Law Seminar CLE: “2021 Alabama Healthcare Fraud and False Claims Act Update”

  • October 27, 2021: 36th Annual ABA White Collar Crime Institute: “Significant Legal Developments in the South Region”
  • September 9, 2020: Virtual 2020 ABA Southeast Regional White Collar Crime Institute: “Significant Legal Developments in the South Region“
  • September 15, 2020: Alabama State Bar White Collar Crime Committee: “How to Get Paid: Setting Retainers, Finding Coverage, and Other Financial Aspects of White Collar Representation”
  • October 28, 2020: Alabama State Bar White Collar Crime Committee: “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: Lesser Known But Nevertheless Invaluable Tips for Handling White Collar Cases”
  • September 5, 2019: Big Data: The Evolution of Healthcare, RICO and Money Laundering Investigations, Panelist, ABA Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute
  • July 17, 2019: White Collar Criminal Practice: Planning for a Career on Either Side, Alabama State Bar, Panelist, White Collar Crime Subcommittee
  • June 13, 2019: Keeping it Out: Exploring Successful Strategies to Suppress Emails, Text Messages and Other Electronic Evidence, Speaker, Alabama State Bar, White Collar Crime Subcommittee CLE
  • January 16, 2019: How Virtual Currency & The Dark Web are Impacting Financial Crime in Alabama, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) - Alabama Chapter
  • December 4, 2018: Beyond the Statute: Winning Strategies for Relators and Defendants in False Claims Act Cases, Moderator, Alabama State Bar, White Collar Crime Subcommittee CLE
  • October 26, 2018: What To Do When the Government Shows Up, 64th Annual Human Resources Management Conference, Birmingham, AL

Videos/Podcasts

Admissions

  • State Bar: Alabama, Georgia
  • U.S. District Court: Alabama (Northern)

Clerkships

  • Honorable J. Owen Forrester
    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
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