George Newhouse is a former federal prosecutor and the newest member of the Richards Carrington team. We couldn’t be more excited to have him. And with experience in appellate law, business and commercial litigation, white collar crimes, and antitrust matters, we believe he’ll prove a major asset to the firm’s clients, as well as to the attorneys he works alongside.
George was recently interviewed to share some information on his background and experience.
What kind of law do you practice, and what kind of cases do you typically get involved in?
I am a trial lawyer. My practice for nearly 30 years has been mostly white-collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation. Following a 12-year career as a federal prosecutor, I moved into defense. I mostly handle white-collar matters, investigations, trials, hearings, and internal investigations for individuals and corporations that find themselves facing off against the U.S. or a state government. I advise these clients on how to handle an inquiry and what the government’s next move might be. These duties range from responding to subpoenas, to searches and inquiries, to a full-blown criminal trial. I’ve handled cases against the various U.S. Attorney’s Offices, SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, and other government agencies. I was a supervisor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in L.A. from 1986 to 1998 so I’ve had the privilege of working with dedicated and determined prosecutors in all varieties of federal investigations. It’s very interesting work and tremendously rewarding.
What’s one of the most interesting cases you’ve ever been a part of?
They’re all interesting in one respect or another. As a prosecutor I handled a number of espionage and terrorism cases, back when such cases were rare. For example, well before the Oklahoma City bombing, we had an individual who tried to blow up the IRS building here in Los Angeles with a truck loaded with ammonium nitrate fuel oil, a very deadly explosive. Luckily, he wasn’t successful, but that was an interesting case to investigate and prosecute. On the defense side, I represented a scientist who was working for a satellite company and who was involved in an attempt, the government alleged, to export technology from the United States. That case involved some very fascinating science and ultimately, we persuaded the government to settle civilly. So, every case is different, but they’re all interesting.
What do you bring to the Richards Carrington team?
Age, experience, enthusiasm and commitment to our clients. I’ve been around the block a few times and feel I have a lot to offer, especially in a firm that’s as collaborative and creative as Richards Carrington. The best part of this firm is the ability, actually the inclination, to try the case if settlement efforts fail, as sometimes regrettably happens.
What’s the best part of your job?
Helping people. It’s a tremendously rewarding situation when you’re able to make a difference in someone’s life: hearing the jury say “Not Guilty” is a very good feeling. Although I had 12 years as a law enforcement officer, I’m still, I believe, involved in law enforcement in the sense that I assist clients in
navigating the sometimes-perilous thickets of the law and thus keeping them out of harm’s way. These days, when the government is coming after you, you’re definitely in harm’s way. So, helping clients avoid legal entanglement is one of the most rewarding things that any lawyer can do.
What’s one thing your job has taught you?
My profession has offered many lessons. First, however, is to view every case differently, and avoid making assumptions, because what appears at first blush is frequently untrue. As we get into a case, particularly on the defense side, we often discover facts and defenses we didn’t see at first. I teach a class, actually, in criminal justice at the University of Southern California, and I tell my students that the cardinal rule of being a criminal defense attorney is that we do not judge our clients. We do what we can, ethically, within the confines of the law to get the best possible result for them. We call that representing the client with “warm zeal.” So, don’t prejudge a case and don’t assume the worst. Expect the best. Work assiduously to help the client deal with what can be an unfortunate situation.
What would you want a client to know about you?
We don’t judge our clients. We support them in their hour of need. Our mission is to assist them with what is typically a bad situation. We’re there to work with them, to help them, and to achieve the best possible outcome in any particular case. That’s justice, and it’s our ultimate aim.
What do you like to do outside the office?
Here in California I enjoy hiking, skiing and riding bikes – sometimes all in the same day! I like being outside. Enjoying the great outdoors in this beautiful state. I like to get a lot of exercise.