Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Leotta served in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland for more than eight years, as an Assistant US Attorney prosecuting fraud and public corruption, Appellate Chief, and Ethics Advisor. His government service culminated in a detail to the White House Counsel’s Office as Deputy Associate Counsel.
As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Leotta investigated charges of fraud in government contracting and procurement, corruption in federal and state government, mortgage fraud, health-care fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement from federal programs, and numerous other federal offenses. Some highlights of his career as a federal prosecutor include:
- A trial stemming from Jack Abramoff's corruption of congressional offices and executive branch officials;
- A RICO prosecution involving the bribery of a state senator;
- A law-enforcement-corruption trial against Coast Guard petty officers assigned to drug-interdiction duty;
- A wire-fraud and obstruction-of-justice trial against a commercial mortgage lender;
- An embezzlement trial against a school principal; and
- A health-care fraud investigation of a national health-insurance company.
As Appellate Chief, Mr. Leotta managed the appellate work of more than 70 AUSAs. He directed the briefing of hundreds of briefs in the Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals, trained AUSAs in appellate advocacy, and personally argued cases of particular significance to the US Attorney’s Office.
As Ethics Advisor, Mr. Leotta advised the US Attorney, Assistant US Attorneys and staff on financial disclosures, conflicts of interest, and other ethics rules.
During his detail to the White House Counsel’s Office, Mr. Leotta helped manage a team of 12 attorneys vetting President Obama’s executive branch nominees.
Prior to his government service, Mr. Leotta was a litigation associate at Williams & Connolly LLP where he focused on First Amendment and media law issues, including representation of the National Enquirer and Star Magazine. He represented corporations involved in libel and defamation claims, contract disputes, employment actions, attorney-malpractice claims, and securities enforcement actions, among other matters.
After graduation from Harvard Law School, Mr. Leotta served as a clerk to the Hon. Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.