The Champion

May 2010 , Page 42 

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Fighting for Downward Sentencing Variances For White Collar Defendants: Useful Post-Booker and Post-Gall Trends

By Matthew Newcomer

Today’s white collar criminal defense attorney will appear with clients before a sentencing judge that, for better or for worse, has more substantive discretion than she did before the Supreme Court’s decisions in United States v. Booker1 and Gall v. United States.2 Since these landmark rulings, much has been written about the danger that the “new sentencing regime” is leading to sentencing disparities and inequities that, as one circuit court judge recently complained, “can be explained by little more than the identities of the sentencing judges.”3 Notwithstanding the need for meaningful reform of draconian Sentencing Guidelines, defense counsel is constrained to work within the existing system to obtain the best sentence possible for the client.

This article highlights a number of successful, post-Booker arguments that have been used to obtain below-Guidelines sentences for white collar criminal defendants, and that have withstood appellate scrutiny post-Gall. Although these arguments

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