CLE: Wrongful Conviction in the Political Context

  • Commons Hotel 615 Washington Ave SE Minneapolis, MN 55414

Course Description

In 2008 The Honorable Ted Stevens, the Republican Senator from Alaska, was indicted in United States District Court in the District of Columbia for not listing on U.S. Senate disclosure forms that he had received alleged “gifts,” including remodeling services on his home in Alaska.  Senator Stevens was a war hero, former United States Attorney, and member of the Senate for 40 years.  He pressed for a speedy trial to clear his name before the impending election.  The jury in Washington DC found him guilty, and he narrowly lost his bid for re-election to the Senate. 

The principal speaker, Craig Singer, was one of Senator Stevens’s trial attorneys.  During the trial the defense suspected that the prosecution team, which included members of the DOJ Public Integrity Section and two Assistant U. S. Attorneys from Alaska, were hiding exculpatory evidence and obstructing justice.  The defense filed many motions before and during trial, which grew in number and intensity as the trial progressed, for disclosure of evidence of innocence in the hands of the prosecutors. Eventually, the indictment was dismissed, but not after stunning events involving an FBI whistleblower and the removal of the original prosecution team.

Mr. Singer will explain how it happened to Senator Stevens, and will describe the sustained defense efforts to find the truth.  A short panel discussion will follow.

Faculty Bio

Craig Singer

Craig Singer concentrates his practice in three broad areas: professional liability, criminal defense, and appellate work.  Craig has represented numerous lawyers and law firms, including some of the nation’s largest firms, in federal and state courts, government investigations, and arbitration proceedings in many jurisdictions around the country. In his criminal defense practice, Craig has also represented individuals and entities in criminal cases or investigations relating to various alleged offenses including mail and wire fraud, RICO, antitrust, environmental crimes and securities fraud.  In his appellate practice, Craig has handled appeals for clients in significant civil and criminal matters in state and federal courts nationwide.

Marnie Fearon

Marnie Fearon practices in the area of general litigation. Her litigation experience includes real estate, construction, commercial, landlord/tenant, employment disputes, and white collar criminal defense. She assists clients in successfully resolving disputes and litigating cases. She also advises employers on compliance with state and federal laws.

Susan Gaertner

Susan Gaertner represents companies and individuals facing federal and state court enforcement actions, and she conducts internal investigations when allegations of misconduct are raised. Susan is an experienced trial attorney, having served as Ramsey County Attorney from 1995 to 2011. Susan took a hands-on approach and successfully prosecuted many high-profile and complex cases in civil and criminal court.