WASHINGTON, DC, and PHILADELPHIA, July 21, 2022: Continuing to add to the firm’s extensive roster of former government officials, Morgan Lewis will welcome two partners from separate divisions of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Kathryn (Kate) Deal and Justin Weitz.
Justin has served in the DOJ for nearly 10 years, most recently as the acting principal assistant chief in the Criminal Division’s Market Integrity and Major Frauds Unit. He will be resident in Washington, DC, and will advise on complex financial, securities, and procurement enforcement matters as well as the dynamic area of cryptocurrency.
Kate has more than 16 years of experience handling class actions, mass proceedings, and other civil litigation in private practice. Most recently, she served as an assistant US attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where she prosecuted economic crimes and other federal offenses. She will be resident in Philadelphia and will focus on high-stakes trial work and the defense of complex litigation, including putative class actions, mass torts, and related government proceedings.
“Today’s complex litigation and enforcement issues are rarely able to be handled in a vacuum. Kate and Justin’s skillsets each add depth to the cross-practice rapid-response approach we bring to clients who need comprehensive, practical guidance delivered with a business-minded solution,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon. “Their individual backgrounds within government, leading of cross-discipline teams, and extensive trial records enhance our ability to serve as a trusted advisor to our corporate clients and tackle emerging issues across numerous sectors. This fits well with our dedicated industry approach to address the unique challenges and opportunities facing companies across a sector.”
Prior to joining the US Attorney’s Office, Kate was a partner at another global law firm, where she represented Fortune 500 clients at trial and in aggregate civil litigation, including putative class actions, collective and mass proceedings, multidistrict litigation, and state attorney general actions. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Kate secured trial and arbitration victories for clients, including in product liability, securities fraud, trademark infringement, unfair competition, sexual harassment, and unlawful discrimination cases. Her trial experience extends to bellwether cases in multidistrict and mass tort programs. In addition, Kate has defeated or favorably resolved portfolios of putative class, mass, and individual actions and arbitrations, involving alleged violations of privacy-based statutes, consumer protection laws, and civil RICO provisions, among other claims. She has advised clients on compliance and risk mitigation programs, data privacy, arbitration agreements, and corporate governance. During her recent tenure as an AUSA, Kate investigated and prosecuted a variety of white collar crimes, ranging from pandemic fraud and money laundering to public corruption and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
As acting principal assistant chief in DOJ’s Market Integrity and Major Frauds Unit, Justin spearheaded the team dedicated to investigating and prosecuting corporate fraud. Prior, he served as assistant chief in the Securities and Financial Fraud Unit, where he worked on criminal investigations and prosecutions related to financial markets, securities law violations, securities fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and procurement fraud. He played a key role in building the procurement fraud and bribery program within the Fraud Section, which focuses on large and multinational investigations into alleged misconduct, fraud, and corruption involving government contractors. He also served as a trial attorney in the Fraud Section and in the Public Integrity Section. In addition, Justin is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he co-teaches a course on complex securities investigations.
“We have a long tradition of attracting high-caliber, accomplished talent, and Justin and Kate are just two recent examples,” said J. Gordon Cooney, leader of Morgan Lewis’s global litigation practice. “Their combined backgrounds will only be increasingly relevant for our clients and add strength to our litigation and enforcement bench across practices, positioning us well to address developing trends coming from courts and the US government.”
Morgan Lewis is one of the most active class action defense law firms in the United States for federal and state representations. The firm’s 350-strong practice spans across the globe, with a noteworthy track record in regions where collective actions are most frequently filed.
Morgan Lewis is proud of its many alumni who are currently serving in the government, such as Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite of the DOJ’s Criminal Division. Morgan Lewis is now home to more than 40 DOJ and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alumni. In Philadelphia, that includes partner Zane Memeger, who served as the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for nearly seven years before rejoining the firm in 2017. Partner Kelly Gibson held numerous national and regional leadership roles at the SEC, including serving as the acting deputy director of the Division of Enforcement, as leader of the Enforcement Division’s nationwide Climate and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Task Force, and as director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office, until joining the firm in May 2022. She reunited with Jeffrey Boujoukos, who also served as director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office, to co-lead of the firm’s securities enforcement practice.
In DC, Justin will reunite with Sandra Moser, the former chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section who joined the firm in September 2020. His arrival also follows that of former government agency leaders in DC, David Plotinsky and Erin Martin, who joined the firm earlier this year from the DOJ and the SEC, respectively. Also in DC, partner Barron Avery, who focuses on procurement fraud matters, joined Morgan Lewis as leader of the government contracts team.