Ken has over 25 years of experience handling a wide variety of criminal cases, including wire and mail fraud, securities and bank fraud, government contract fraud, money laundering, pharmaceutical diversion and off-label promotion, economic espionage, FCPA, elder abuse, as well as drugs and homicides. Ken also has extensive experience handling civil litigation, trials and appeals. These include SEC actions and investigations, cases brought by other regulatory agencies, and civil rights disputes, among others. He has handled more than 20 jury trials and has argued more than 30 cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Ken is a recognized expert on criminal defense. He frequently writes and speaks on white collar topics, including having twice served as a panelist on the California Lawyer’s White Collar Criminal Defense Roundtable. He has been a Super Lawyers® honoree every year since 2010, and has been AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 2011. Ken served as a lawyer-delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference from 2010-2014.
- After extensive litigation and an intense 2-day evidentiary hearing, Ken and his partner Jim Riddet convinced a federal judge to suppress key evidence against their client because FBI agents lied to obtain a search warrant for the client’s computer. The case gained nation-wide attention after the defense discovered that Best Buy was conducting warrantless searches of all computers sent to their repair facility. As a result of their work, all charges were dismissed. After briefing and argument, Ken convinced a Superior Court Judge to dismiss murder charges that stemmed from the death of a drug rehabilitation company’s client at a residential treatment facility. Ken and his partner Tom Bienert then hung the jury after a 3 and ½ week trial on the remaining charge of dependent-adult abuse. Their efforts caused the California Attorney General’s Office to dismiss that charge against their client, and resulted in favorable resolutions for all their codefendants.
- In an Anti-SLAPP case before California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, Ken briefed, argued and obtained the affirmance of the dismissal of a complaint against the firm’s client, and obtained an award of attorney’s fees against the plaintiff/appellant. (The original summary judgment in the trial court was obtained by his partners Ariana Hawbecker and Tom Bienert.)
- Convinced the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, North Carolina not to charge his client with government contract fraud and then convincing the Department of Navy in Washington D.C. not to “debar” the client and his partner.
- Obtained freedom for two clients serving life sentences in two separate cases, and the dismissal of murder and racketeering charges in a third.
- In a pro bono case, he obtained lawful permanent residence status for a persecuted Coptic Christian from the Sudan who was seeking asylum and facing deportation.
- Obtained a defense jury verdict in a § 1983 action against a former sheriff’s deputy brought by well-known civil-rights lawyer Steve Yagman.
- Won 3 separate petitions for rehearing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- While these are some of his litigation successes, perhaps most important are the many cases where he has helped his clients avoid charges altogether.
- Ken has also acted as “pool counsel” on cases throughout the United States.
- In many cases where he has not been able to avoid or beat charges, Ken has been able to obtain a substantially reduced sentence or fine for his client.
- Focusing on a Subpoenaed Item’s Potential Evidentiary Use (as Nixon Intended) Will Permit Rule 17(c) Subpoenas to Promote Fair Trials, The Federal Lawyer, Vol. 64, Issue 1 (January/February 2018).
- Nixon May Have Been Wrong, But It Is Definitely Misunderstood, 51 WILLAMETTE L.
REV. 319 (2015).
- Rule 410 and 11(f) Waivers Have No Place in Criminal Plea Agreements, FBA/OC Newsletter (Winter 2015).
- Keeping Internal Investigations Internal, ABTL Report, Vol. XIV, No. 2 (Spring 2012).
- Investigating Corporate Employees in Civil and Criminal Litigation – A Necessary But Difficult Task, FBA/OC Newsletter (Spring 2010) (T. Alarcon, co-author).
- Individual Responses to Federal Subpoenas for Clients with Possible Criminal Exposure, FBA/OC Newsletter (Summer 2007) (T. Bienert and S. Narholm, coauthors).
- We Shouldn’t Let Bush Go It Alone (Unfettered Executive Power Will Be Abused,Sooner or Later), Orange County Register (April 4, 2006).
- Combating the Prosecutor’s Improper Use of Inconsistent Theories, The Champion, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Vol. XXVI, No. 5 (June, 2 2002).
- Washing White Collars with Dirty Money, Los Angeles Daily Journal, (December 12, 2000).
- Outrageous Government Conduct That Shocks the Conscience, The Forum, California
Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Vol. 25, No. 4 (1998).
- Circumventing the Guidelines’ Prohibition against Departures for Youthful Lack of Guidance, The Forum, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Vol. 23, No. 2 (1996).
- Congress Should Debate President’s Policy in the Persian Gulf, The Las Vegas Review-Journal (Dec. 2, 1990).
- Comment, Materiality: An Element of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and a Question for the Jury, 23 LOY. L.A.L. REV. 989 (1990).
- Moderator, Civility and Professionalism in the Practice of Law, featuring panelists James V. Selna, United States District Judge and Cormac J. Carney, United States District Judge, presented by the Warren J. Ferguson Inn of Court (February 13, 2018).
- Moderator, Views From the Bench: The Biggest Mistakes Lawyers Make In Presenting Their Cases, featuring panelists Josephine Staton, U.S. District Judge, Gail A. Andler, O.C. Superior Court Judge, Terry Flynn-Peister, O.C. Superior CourtJudge, and Douglas F. McCormick, U.S. Magistrate Judge, presented by the Warren J. Ferguson Inn of Court (May 12, 2015).
- Moderator, What Is So Different About “White Collar” Criminal Defense, presented by the Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association (June 26, 2014).
- Panelist, The Devil is in the Details: Plea Agreement Practice and Pitfalls, 2013 Annual Criminal Practice Seminar, presented by Federal Bar Association, OC Chapter and Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association (November 7, 2013).
- Presenter, Internal Investigations, Bienert, Miller & Katzman, PLC, Continuing Legal Education Presentation (September 13, 2012).
- Presenter, Organized Crime and Terrorism, to the People’s Procuratorate of Hunan Province, P.R. China, International Education Programs College of the Extended University, California State Polytechnic University (April 12, 2012).
- Panelist, White-Collar Defense Roundtable, California Lawyer, Vol. 31, No. 9 at 42 (September 2011).
Presenter, The Basics of State and Federal Habeas Corpus; Including Death Penalty Cases, Orange County Paralegal Association, (March 24, 2011).
Moderator or Debater, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County, Law Day Presentation (2001-2010, 2012 and 2015).
Presenter, Affirmative and Other Defenses: A Fresh Look, Training Seminar for the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Central District of California (June 11, 1998).
- Presenter, Creative Downward Departures, Advanced Federal Sentencing Practice Seminar, Federal Bar Association, O.C. Chapter (February 10, 1996).
- Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, 2011-2014
- Named one of the top White Collar Criminal Defense attorneys in Southern California every year since 2010 by Southern California Super Lawyers® Magazine
- AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 2011