Federal white collar attorney for financial crimes, healthcare fraud, RICO, immigration crimes and other federal criminal matters.
Federal white collar attorney for financial crimes, healthcare fraud, RICO, immigration crimes and other federal criminal matters.
Under Federal law, there are three types of forfeiture: criminal forfeiture, civil judicial forfeiture, and administrative forfeiture.
National attorney for individuals whose civil rights have been violated, whether they are U.S. citizens or immigrants living in the country.
For more than 20 years, Michael Devereux, has successfully fought the government on a daily basis and he has been recognized for his victories. Mr. Devereux is an award winning federal lawyer with an emphasis in white collar defense, forfeiture and civil rights law. Mr. Devereux's appellate practice is unsurpassed, distinguished by the prestigious honor of a published opinion in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Devereux has never been a prosecutor, which is beneficial because Mr. Devereux recognizes that the prosecution doesn't have all the facts and that the facts that the prosecution does have are not 100% accurate. Moreover, facts are generalizations and statistics. Truth cannot be dervied from the facts, only uncertain broad conclusions can be drawn from facts. The same facts can tell two different stories. Defense attorneys are storytellers of truth, of life itself, and of justice. We share the stories of our clients and become the voice of our clients. That's when our storytelling powers shine the most—when we're given an opportunity to use that voice to help someone in need. The key to any case, is for the attorney to put his client in the best light possible. Prior to law school, Mr. Devereux was writer in Hollywood for over ten years. Mr. Devereux can take the facts and tell the truth on behalf of his clients.
The federal court system has three main levels: district courts (the trial court), circuit courts which are the first level of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States, the final level of appeal in the federal system. There are 94 district courts, 13 circuit courts, and one Supreme Court throughout the country.
Courts in the federal system work differently in many ways than state courts. The primary difference for civil cases (as opposed to criminal cases) is the types of cases that can be heard in the federal system. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, meaning they can only hear cases authorized by the United States Constitution or federal statutes. The federal district court is the starting point for any case arising under federal statutes, the Constitution, or treaties. This type of jurisdiction is called “original jurisdiction.” Sometimes, the jurisdiction of state courts will overlap with that of federal courts, meaning that some cases can be brought in both courts. The plaintiff has the initial choice of bringing the case in state or federal court. However, if the plaintiff chooses state court, the defendant may sometimes choose to “remove” to federal court.
Cases that are entirely based on state law may be brought in federal court under the court’s “diversity jurisdiction.” Diversity jurisdiction allows a plaintiff of one state to file a lawsuit in federal court when the defendant is located in a different state. The defendant can also seek to “remove” from state court for the same reason. To bring a state law claim in federal court, all of the plaintiffs must be located in different states than all of the defendants, and the “amount in controversy” must be more than $75,000. (Note: the rules for diversity jurisdiction are much more complicated than explained here.)
Criminal cases may not be brought under diversity jurisdiction. States may only bring criminal prosecutions in state courts, and the federal government may only bring criminal prosecutions in federal court. Also important to note, the principle of double jeopardy – which does not allow a defendant to be tried twice for the same charge – does not apply between the federal and state government. If, for example, the state brings a murder charge and does not get a conviction, it is possible for the federal government in some cases to file charges against the defendant if the act is also illegal under federal law.
Federal judges (and Supreme Court “justices”) are selected by the President and confirmed “with the advice and consent” of the Senate and “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” Judges may hold their position for the rest of their lives, but many resign or retire earlier. They may also be removed by impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate. Throughout history, fifteen federal judges have been impeached due to alleged wrongdoing. One exception to the lifetime appointment is for magistrate judges, which are selected by district judges and serve a specified term.
The district courts are the general trial courts of the federal court system. Each district court has at least one United States District Judge, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a life term. District courts handle trials within the federal court system – both civil and criminal. The districts are the same as those for the U.S. Attorneys, and the U.S. Attorney is the primary prosecutor for the federal government in his or her respective area.
District court judges are responsible for managing the court and supervising the court’s employees. They are able to continue to serve so long as they maintain “good behavior,” and they can be impeached and removed by Congress. There are over 670 district court judges nationwide.
Some tasks of the district court are given to federal magistrate judges. Magistrates are appointed by the district court by a majority vote of the judges and serve for a term of eight years if full-time and four years if part-time, but they can be reappointed after completion of their term. In criminal matters, magistrate judges may oversee certain cases, issue search warrants and arrest warrants, conduct initial hearings, set bail, decide certain motions (such as a motion to suppress evidence), and other similar actions. In civil cases, magistrates often handle a variety of issues such as pre-trial motions and discovery.
Federal trial courts have also been established for a few subject-specific areas. Each federal district also has a bankruptcy court for those proceedings. Additionally, some courts have nationwide jurisdiction for issues such as tax (United States Tax Court), claims against the federal government (United States Court of Federal Claims), and international trade (United States Court of International Trade).
Once the federal district court has decided a case, the case can be appealed to a United States court of appeal. There are twelve federal circuits that divide the country into different regions. The Ninth Circuit, for example, includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, along with territorial courts of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Cases from the district courts of those states and territories are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is headquartered in San Franciso, California. Additionally, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has a nationwide jurisdiction over very specific issues such as patents.
Each circuit court has multiple judges, ranging from six on the First Circuit to twenty-nine on the Ninth Circuit. Circuit court judges are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
Any case may be appealed to the circuit court once the district court has finalized a decision (some issues can be appealed before a final decision by making an “interlocutory appeal”). Appeals to circuit courts are first heard by a panel, consisting of three circuit court judges. Parties file “briefs” to the court, arguing why the trial court’s decision should be “affirmed” or “reversed.” After the briefs are filed, the court will schedule “oral argument” in which the lawyers come before the court to make their arguments and answer the judges’ questions.
Though it is rare, the entire circuit court may consider certain appeals in a process called an “en banc hearing.” (The Ninth Circuit has a different process for en banc than the rest of the circuits.) En banc opinions tend to carry more weight and are usually decided only after a panel has first heard the case. Once a panel has ruled on an issue and “published” the opinion, no future panel can overrule the previous decision. The panel can, however, suggest that the circuit take up the case en banc to reconsider the first panel’s decision.
Beyond the Federal Circuit, a few courts have been established to deal with appeals on specific subjects such as veterans claims (United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims) and military matters (United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces).
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the American judicial system, and has the power to decide appeals on all cases brought in federal court or those brought in state court but dealing with federal law. For example, if a First Amendment freedom of speech case was decided by the highest court of a state (usually the state supreme court), the case could be appealed to the federal Supreme Court. However, if that same case were decided entirely on a state law similar to the First Amendment, the Supreme Court of the United States would not be able to consider the case.
After the circuit court or state supreme court has ruled on a case, either party may choose to appeal to the Supreme Court. Unlike circuit court appeals, however, the Supreme Court is usually not required to hear the appeal. Parties may file a “writ of certiorari” to the court, asking it to hear the case. If the writ is granted, the Supreme Court will take briefs and conduct oral argument. If the writ is not granted, the lower court’s opinion stands. Certiorari is not often granted; less than 1% of appeals to the high court are actually heard by it. The Court typically hears cases when there are conflicting decisions across the country on a particular issue or when there is an egregious error in a case.
The members of the Court are referred to as “justices” and, like other federal judges, they are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a life term. There are nine justices on the court – eight associate justices and one chief justice. The Constitution sets no requirements for Supreme Court justices, though all current members of the court are lawyers and most have served as circuit court judges. Justices are also often former law professors. The chief justice acts as the administrator of the court and is chosen by the President and approved by the Congress when the position is vacant.
The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C. The court conducts its annual term from the first Monday of October until each summer, usually ending in late June.
Consider the following when choosing an attorney:
Comfort Level - Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
Credentials - How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
Cost - How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
Appearance - Appearance isn’t everything, but people do judge a book by its cover. Studies have shown that your attorney's appearance affects perceptions of trustworthiness, intelligence, authority, and success. Appearance not only includes dress - but also presentation. How well does your attorney speak? Does the attorney have energy? Or is the attorney boring and uninteresting? How quickly will judges and jurors tune him/her out?
How long have you been in practice?
How many cases like mine have you handled?
How long can a case like mine take?
How often do you settle cases out of court?
What are your fees and costs?
What are the next steps?
Attorneys at smaller law firms typically have more hands on experience, the bonus of added courtroom experience and the benefit of advanced trial experience. In addition, attorneys in a small firm practice and are more knowledgable in a broad spectrum of law so they tend to be more innovated through recognizing multiple legal solutions quickly. They tend to think outside the box. The lawyer in a smaller law firm has more input in the process and management of your case. Moreover, typically the client gets to speak to the attorney directly. Besides the lower costs, the efficiently of a small firm is a benefit to its clientele.
We provide a free thirty-minute case evaluation. Even if you don't retain us afterwards, everything we discussed during the free evaluation is protected by attorney-client privilege.
Years of Experience
One of The Most Ethical Lawyers I’ve Ever Known...
Let me start by saying I am extremely pleased by Mr. Devereux's work, professionalism, and devotion to his clients. He was very honest and never made any false promises about the outcome of my case nor did he try to seek compensation further than our initial contract. I initially consulted and even hired other experienced attorneys but nothing got accomplished. Mr. Devereux worked on my case for over six months and was able to get my case dismissed which I was told by previous attorneys was impossible. My husband and I are forever grateful for his great work!
Brillant & Informative Attorney
Michael came to us when we were in crisis and had just lost 500k in an internet wire fraud hack job by criminals. He lightened us up with good information and follows up. Just a really nice good guy and easy to talk too.
Internet Extortion Case
When I thought my case was impossible, Michael came to the rescue. His knowledge of internet forensics is beyond impressive. I cannot thank him and his team enough for all of their hard work.
Mr. Devereux and his firm did an outstanding job with understanding and handling my case. From the initial consultation on the phone, Mr. Devereux put me at ease that the situation could be taken care of. Let me just say that I'm not an educated man, but I do know how to treat people, and I know when someone has a good heart. I would like to personally thank Mr. Devereux for communicating with me constantly during the process, and for responding to my emails and/or phone calls in a very timely fashion. Thank you!!!!
Five Stars Isn't Enough...
When I had the good fortune to be represented by Mr. Devereux I was reminded that God does indeed work through others. I owe this man my life, literally. Everyone told me my case was hopeless, that I was a fool to take this to trial and this man had faith in me and his ability to give me a fair trial and ultimately an astounding new belief in humanity. Watching him in action was like watching a surgeon save a life.I believed he truly cared about me and my case. I can't thank him enough. Thank you Mr. Devereux!!
Super Lawyer beat the pants off the Prosecutor & the Judge-WINS unanimously in less than 40 minutes of Jury deliberation.
YES, I highly recommend Michael as a Super Lawyer. Michael took my case to the full jury trial because the issue was politically sensitive and he beat the pants off the Prosecutor. The prosecutor commented such and shook his hand at the end. Michael is a fact driven lawyer. He fights to WIN. Although the experience is troubling for anyone to have to go to court, Michael takes the burden away & off the client.
in Their Fields
If you or your business is facing a legal challenge, contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with an attorney.No Better Team