News Release

Nationally Recognized Defense Attorney Cristina C. Arguedas to Receive 2017 White Collar Criminal Defense Award from NACDL and Stetson Law

Washington, DC (March 7, 2017) – On Saturday, March 18, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and Stetson University College of Law will present Cristina C. Arguedas with the 2017 White Collar Criminal Defense Award. Ms. Arguedas will receive her award during NACDL's White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson Law in Gulfport, Florida. NACDL and Stetson co-present the award annually to individuals who have made a profound impact on the field of white collar criminal defense advocacy.

Ms. Arguedas is a nationally recognized criminal defense attorney specializing in complex white collar cases, such as public corruption, securities fraud, and environmental crimes, as well as sensational murders. Throughout her career, she has defended both celebrity and low-profile clients. In 1995, Ms. Arguedas served on O.J. Simpson's "Dream Team," where she was tasked to determine whether Simpson should testify in court by putting him through a grueling mock cross-examination. California Lawyer named Ms. Arguedas as the lawyer other lawyers would hire if they got arrested. In 2000, she was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. And in 2010, Ms. Arguedas was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California (an honor shared by only 20 other attorneys in the state). In addition to numerous other awards, she has also been named one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in the United States by The National Law Journal and one of the five most promising women lawyers in the country by Time.

In 2016, Ms. Arguedas served as lead counsel in one of the most significant federal criminal cases of the year – the more than a billion-dollar criminal case of United States v. FedEx Corp. Accused of intentionally shipping illegal internet prescriptions, FedEx was charged with criminal distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy, and money laundering, among others. In a cautionary tale for overreaching prosecutors, not only did Ms. Arguedas and her team secure the dismissal of the criminal case against FedEx, but in doing so the court "conclude[d] that the defendants are factually innocent." Ms. Arguedas and her colleagues discussed the case in a 2016 episode (episode 49) of NACDL's podcast series, "The Criminal Docket."

"We are honored to present this year's White Collar Criminal Defense Award to Cris Arguedas," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack, who will present Ms. Arguedas with the award on March 18. "Ms. Arguedas is a fearless advocate who never shies away from a difficult case and wins an extraordinary number of them. Ms. Arguedas is what every law student and every lawyer aspires to be. She is a consummate professional and a master of her craft. Ms. Arguedas embodies what this award is all about – recognition of an attorney who has made a profound impact on the field of white collar criminal defense advocacy."

Ms. Arguedas earned her J.D. summa cum laude from Rutgers Law School in 1979.

The NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson, March 16-19, is an educational "boot-camp" program for legal practitioners from across the country wishing to gain key advocacy skills and learn substantive white collar law from masters in the field.

A photo of Cris Arguedas is available here. Credit: Shoey Sindel Photography.

About Stetson University College of Law
Stetson University College of Law, Florida's first law school, has prepared lawyers and leaders since 1900. Today, Stetson leads the nation in blending legal doctrine with practical training, evidenced by its top-ranked programs in advocacy and legal writing. Through our academically rigorous curriculum and commitment to social responsibility, Stetson lawyers are ethical advocates ready to succeed in the legal profession.

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Ezra Dunkle-Polier, NACDL Public Affairs & Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7656 or 

Brandi Palmer, Communications Office, Stetson University College of Law, (727) 562-7381 or 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.