Biography

Pete uses his experience as a former federal prosecutor to defend corporations and individuals against government investigations and prosecutions, primarily involving environmental and regulatory crimes. 

In addition to defense services, he provides corporate compliance counseling. He helps lead the firm's White Collar and Environmental Crimes group. The legal services he offers clients include:

  • Managing all matters to prepare the strongest possible case in anticipation of trial while also working to secure dismissal/closure of investigation.
  • Negotiating favorable plea agreements. 
  • Conducting internal investigations.
  • Preparing presentations to prosecutors to favorably influence their broad discretion and decline prosecutions.
  • Overseeing responses to grand jury subpoenas and search warrants.
  • Developing and assessing the effectiveness of corporate compliance programs.

Background

Pete’s two decades in the federal criminal arena – on both sides of the aisle - uniquely qualify him to counsel clients in a wide range of environmental and regulatory crimes matters. After completing his clerkship for the Hon. Graham Mullen, U.S. District Court Judge in W.D.N.C., he was selected into the Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC, and served as a federal prosecutor in the Environmental Crimes Section. 

During his tenure, Pete received the U.S. Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award. In that specialized capacity, he gained trial experience in highly complex prosecutions; developed a deep understanding of all environmental criminal statutes; received invaluable insight into how prosecutors investigate and evaluate cases; and developed strong relationships with agencies and investigators.

Pete also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of North Carolina (Charlotte), where he gained additional trial experience in a variety of broader white collar crime matters.

Following his government service, Pete has gained invaluable experience in a variety of national law firms, as well as his own boutique federal criminal trial practice. Aside from environmental and regulatory crimes, he has extensive experience defending charges involving all types of fraud (bank; mortgage; mail and wire; healthcare), as well as violations relating to tax, antitrust, securities.

Pete is an adjunct faculty member at Charlotte School of Law, and regularly speaks and writes on a variety of topics including trial advocacy, federal criminal law, business crimes defense, and corporate compliance counseling.

Professional Highlights

  • ABA White Collar Crime Section Environmental Crimes Subcommittee (2012-present)
  • Board Certified in Corporate Compliance (CCEP) through the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE)
  • Selected as Top Criminal Defense Lawyer, Business North Carolina, Legal Elite (2013)
  • One of three finalists for the U.S. Attorney post in the W.D.N.C. (2009)
  • "AV" Rating in Martindale-Hubbell, rated by peers and members of the judiciary (since 2004)
  • Permanent Member, Judicial Conference, U.S. Fourth Circuit
  • Center for Professional and Applied Ethics, UNC-Charlotte, Advisor (2010 - Present)
  • United Family Services, Board Member (2002 - 2009)
  • Men for Change (Domestic Violence Victims' Advocacy Group), Chairman (2002)
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Vice President (1997 - 1999)
  • Numerous Selections to "Legal Elite," "Super Lawyers," & "Best Lawyers in America"
  • "40 Under 40" Award Winner, Charlotte Business Journal (2003)
  • E. Randolph Williams Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service (1996-1999)

Education

  • Rutgers University  (B.S., summa cum laude, 1986)
    • Environmental Science and Policy
  • University of Virginia  (J.D., 1991)
    • Member, Virginia Environmental Law Journal

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • North Carolina

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of North Carolina