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What’s Your Story? Defending a White Collar Client

Total Credits
2.5 - 3.5
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It is generally thought that white collar cases lack the mystery and intrigue inherent in other criminal cases. However, the strategic approach required to successfully defend a white collar case is perhaps more nuanced than those of other criminal cases.

This CLE course will explain everything you need to know about defending a white collar case, including strategic approaches to pre-trial presentations, pre-trial discovery, and joint defense interaction. The course will center on telling the client’s story in a compelling way as well as creating a case storyline necessary to command attention in the courtroom.

Lecturer Bios

John F. Lauro, Esq.

Mr. Lauro grew up in New York and later graduated from Georgetown University in 1979, magna cum laude. He then attended Georgetown University Law Center and graduated in 1982, magna cum laude. While a law student, Mr. Lauro was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Lauro returned to New York and began practicing with the international law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius. He later joined the criminal division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he prosecuted international narcotics and white collar criminal matters. After government service, Mr. Lauro established a practice in Florida and New York, and became a partner with a national law firm. In 1994, he founded the Lauro Law Firm, which now has offices in New York City and Florida. Mr. Lauro specializes in complex criminal and commercial litigation, including the representation of individuals in connection with a wide variety of white collar matters, including those involving health care, securities law, money-laundering, anti-trust, tax, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He has been selected by his peers to be included in the Best Lawyers in America, Florida Super Lawyers and Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. Mr. Lauro also participates extensively in the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College.

Over the past years, Mr. Lauro has tried several significant cases. He represented a businessman/entrepreneur who was acquitted in the first “dot-com” securities fraud trial brought by the Department of Justice in Manhattan. In addition, Mr. Lauro represented a trust fund advisor who was acquitted of all felony charges in connection with a prosecution brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as part of the Evergreen Trust criminal litigation. In 2011, Mr. Lauro obtained a Rule 29 acquittal on behalf of the former president of Medical Manager, Inc. (later WebMD). Most recently, Mr. Lauro was lead counsel for the former Chief Financial Officer of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. in connection with a health care fraud prosecution in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Further information is available at

Jeffrey A. Lamken, Esq.

Jeffrey A. Lamken is one of two founding partners of MoloLamken LLP. Mr. Lamken has argued 21 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and briefed dozens more on a wide range of topics, including administrative law, civil rights, criminal procedure, energy law, intellectual property, and telecommunications law. He also has extensive experience before all 13 federal courts of appeals. Before founding MoloLamken LLP, Mr. Lamken headed BakerBotts LLP's Supreme Court and Appellate Practice in Washington, D.C., and served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the United States Department of Justice. After graduating from Haverford College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1986) and Stanford Law School (J.D., Order of the Coif, 1990), Mr. Lamken served as clerk to the Honorable Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Supreme Court.

Leigh E. Johnson, Esq.

Leigh E. Johnson is a trial lawyer, founding attorney and principal of the Law Offices of Leigh E. Johnson, in Richmond, California. Leigh has a BS in Biology and graduated Cum Laude from John F. Kennedy School of Law in 2003. Since then she has received several accolades including a Patent Law certification, Family Law Specialist designation and admission to practice before the SCOTUS. Currently, she focuses her practice on assisting attorneys preparing for trial in both civil and criminal arenas. Her expertise is in developing an effective storyline that serves as the vortex for opposing counsel. She accurately identifies issues and reconstructs them to achieve positive outcomes within a variety of legal forums from arbitration to trial. Leigh’s philosophy is that in order to obtain the best results regardless of forum, you should always prepare your case as if it were going to trial. Leigh enjoys collaborating with other attorneys and is often asked to conduct focus groups, participate in jury selection, develop storylines, and craft case presentations. As a 2009 graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College (TLC), Leigh was highly regarded by her peers for her depth of knowledge, attention to detail, compassion and integrity. She is currently on staff at TLC and teaches trial skills several times a year. In prior years she lectured on storyline development and focus group methods at Gerry Spence’s Death Penalty College in addition to the Capital Defense College in Texas. She is the President and facilitator of the Bay Area Local Group in Emeryville California. The organization’s mission is to provide local attorneys comprehensive assistance in preparing for trial but focusing on storyline development. Leigh is an active member of several legal organizations and routinely attends seminars and gives presentations to Trial Lawyer Associations and groups in California and throughout the U.S. Leigh also enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family.

Ernest N. Dixon, CPA, CFF

Ernest Dixon (CPA/CFF) is a Managing Director in the Phoenix office of Navigant Consulting. Mr. Dixon has over 25 years’ experience in accounting, auditing and consulting for Fortune 500 clients. Mr. Dixon is an expert in the interpretation and application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. His work has included accounting investigations, white-collar criminal defense consulting, commercial litigation consulting, expert witness testimony, financial due diligence, professional malpractice claims, and business combination transaction structuring. Mr. Dixon has testified as an expert witness in commercial litigation cases in Federal and state courts, served as a consulting expert in defense of allegations of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission, United States Attorneys’ Office, and Department of Justice. Mr. Dixon’s experience has included, internal investigations into allegations False Claim Act violations, analysis of Qui Tam allegations, accounting investigations related to whistleblower allegations of improper revenue recognition for software and energy trading, stock-option backdating, vendor-rebates, and “bill and hold” transactions.

Lauren L. Valiente, Esq.

Lauren Valiente is senior counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense, Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Latin America Practices. In the area of Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense, Ms. Valiente represents clients subject to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, particularly government investigations directed to business dealings in Latin America. Ms. Valiente has participated in internal investigations and defended and counseled clients in connection with government investigations involving various other legal issues, including allegations of health care fraud and financial fraud. She also has experience in securities litigation, defending corporations, officers, and directors in securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions, as well as SEC enforcement matters. In the area of Business Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Ms. Valiente has significant experience in both court-based litigation and AAA arbitration under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, as well as in the defense of claims for fraud, breach of contract, interference with contract, and many other areas of commercial disputes. She also is experienced in a wide range of appellate matters, in both the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Florida’s appellate courts. She also has experience in bankruptcy matters, having represented debtors in chapter 11 proceedings, and creditors in litigating claims against bankruptcy estates. Ms. Valiente is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee, where she serves on the Recruiting Project Team. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 2000, with honors, and received her law degree from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2006), where she was managing editor for the Journal of Law and Public Policy and elected to the Order of the Coif. Ms. Valiente was selected for inclusion on the Florida Super Lawyers – Rising Stars® list for 2012 and 2013. In 2007, she received the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s "30 Under 30" award which recognizes the top 30 young professionals in the Tampa Bay business community. In 2010, Ms. Valiente graduated from the Tampa Connection program, a selective program for up-and-coming leaders in the Tampa Bay business community. Ms. Valiente serves on The University of South Florida’s (USF) Latin Community Advisory Committee, which advises the University’s president on issues affecting Hispanic students and raises money for scholarships for Hispanic students. Ms. Valiente actively mentors undergraduate students in connection with this group. Further information is available at

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