Notable Articles

New York Law Journal

The Ex Post Clause In The Post-‘Booker’ World

An in-depth analysis of federal sentencing guidelines in the wake of United States v. Booker, which rendered those guidelines advisory rather than mandatory.

The Ex Post Clause In The Post-‘Booker’ World

Could Michael Vick Play Next Season

Attorney Protass discusses how to skim the top off a federal prison sentence.

How to Nail Blagojevich

According to Attorney Protass, Prosecutors could seek a five year sentence for the former Illinois governor, but shouldn’t.

The National Law Journal

Make New Crack Law Retroactive

Harlan Protass and Mark D. Harris discuss how Such a move would permit thousands of men and women who were harshly sentenced long ago to benefit from lawmakers’ enlightened perspectives.

Make New Crack Law Retroactive

The Quality of Mercy Is Strained

Bush commutes Libby’s sentence, while his lawyers come down hard on everyone else.

When Do Kids Get Tried as Adults?

How to pull a child out of the juvenile justice system.

O.J.’s Vegas Defense

Can you legally steal your own property?

Los Angeles Times

Closing crack’s 100-1 ratio

“Lawmakers let pass into law new guidelines proposed by the Sentencing Commission that will cut crack prison terms by an average of just over two years, with the amount of narcotics involved still playing the determining factor in the length of sentences.”

Witness Immunity 101

How to incriminate yourself on the stand without getting in trouble.

Witness Immunity 101

How To Prosecute Eliot Spitzer

Which federal laws might the former governor have broken?

Chicago Tribune

The Misguided CEO Blame Game

“As the stock market continues its dizzying decline and the taxpayer tab for the fix continues to rise, it’s perfectly natural to look for someone to blame… But going after CEOs is nothing more than a clever deception designed to trick the American public into believing that the government has identified the culprits responsible for their economic woes and is doing something about it.”

Madoff Mercy

How long should the Ponzi-schemer go to prison for?

Chicago Tribune

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, but Not Yours

Attorney Harlan Protass explores the legal dilemma posed by recalling presidential pardons on an outdated requirement that they must be physically received and accepted.

Obama Can Fix the Race Gap in Sentencing Law

A stroke of the pen can undo vast racial disparities in criminal sentences.


The Government Can Read Your Emails, But a New Law Might Stop Them

“It is high time for the law to catch up with today’s technologies. And, while not perfect, Senator Leahy’s proposition is a step in the right direction.”

The Government Can Read Your Emails, But a New Law Might Stop Them


Can Dealers Face Murder Charges in Hoffman’s Death?

If suspects sold heroin to Philip Syemour Hoffman, can they be held for his death? Not likely.

The Wall Street Journal

A Saner Approach to Sentencing

Mandatory minimum laws need an overhaul. Congress is ready. Will the President Obama make good on his promises?


Bail Spotlights Law’s Inequity

“We should worry a lot less about whether wealthy criminal defendants like Strauss-Kahn get to stay in their private prisons while awaiting trial, and worry more about calibrating bail amounts to the financial resources of each individual defendant.”

The National Law Journal

Not Guilty? Go to Jail

Attorney Protass discusses the practical application of a practice known as “acquitted conduct sentencing,” in which jail terms can be based on conduct underlying charges that actually ended with not guilty verdicts.

Not Guilty? Go to Jail

Des Moines Register

Life in Prison for Rubashkin is Too Harsh

In this guest article, attorney Protass explores the unjust rationales for imposing long sentences for financial crimes based solely on federal sentencing guidelines.


No Right to Ignore Subpoena

Attorney Protass examines the purpose of subpoenas in the judicial system and the importance of not applying special treatment to individuals based on position.

New York Law Journal

Criminal, SEC Cases: Opposing Discovery Stay Petitions

Attorney Protass discusses that, while the government often prevails in obtaining discovery stays in SEC actions running parallel to criminal cases, they do not have to win.

The National Law Journal

Plea-bargaining Cases: Form over Substance

Court cases ‘Lafler’ and ‘Frye’ provide an important remedy to criminal defendants who receive ineffective counsel, but neither helps lawyers decide whether to go to trial.

Plea-bargaining Cases: Form over Substance

Rajat Gupta’s Trial: The Case for Civil Charges Against Him

Attorney Protass discusses the benefits of finding more worthwhile and effective ways of pursuing insider-trading cases, which would free-up prosecutorial resources to fight other economic crimes that pose a far greater danger to investors.

Blog Posts

Securities Litigation: What to Expect in 2019

The statistics on securities class-action lawsuits for 2018 are in and, though some numbers will come as no surprise, there are some trends to watch for in 2019. According to the New York Law Journal, the total number of securities-related class-actions decreased slightly in 2018…


Topic: Securities Litigation

Case Results

Assault Case Resolved with Reduced Charges

Recently, a licensed securities industry executive was charged with assault after a fight with his girlfriend. Shortly after the charges were filed in New York County Criminal Court, he violated the order of protection that was issued upon his arrest and arraignment. Wanting to avoid…

No Charges Against Hedge Fund Executive Investigated for Mutual Fund Market-Timing

A hedge fund executive turned to attorney Harlan Protass for representation when he received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) inquiring into his trading strategy. Because he knew that his client had not violated any law, attorney Protass and his client fully cooperated with the SEC’s investigation. After not hearing from those regulators for almost two years, however, attorney Protass received notice that the SEC was considering the filing of securities fraud charges against his client. In response, attorney Protass prepared a lengthy “Wells Submission” that ultimately persuaded the SEC of what he already knew – that his client had not violated any law, rule or regulation.