After decades of experience as a federal prosecutor and now as counsellor to businesses and individuals facing criminal investigation or civil enforcement action, Stuart brings to his white-collar criminal defense, civil litigation, and appellate practice the ability to analyze cases dispassionately while providing clients with the proper balance of empathy and candid advice.
Stuart’s approach is always to look for the best outcome in dynamic environments. In criminal and civil enforcement cases, that can mean persuading the government not to bring charges, negotiating the most advantageous disposition, or aggressively pursuing victory at trial or on appeal. For cases that result in guilty pleas, he puts a premium on sentencing advocacy. In one federal bribery case, his client received a sentence that was more than 80 percent below the term recommended by the federal sentencing guidelines. One attorney involved in the matter later wrote to Stuart that it “was a wonderful experience to watch your attention to detail, charm, and trial skills. I would trust you with my life.”
In civil cases ranging from the False Claims Act to contract disputes, Stuart has won successful outcomes for a variety of plaintiffs and defendants, ranging from early dismissal of meritless claims to highly beneficial settlements. He brings to these representations experience gained from more than 40 felony jury trials and the firm belief that success comes from comprehensive knowledge of the facts and law, speaking and writing plain English, and always understanding how to case looks from the other side of the courtroom, the bench, and the jury box.
In addition to representing businesses, corporate officers and employees, and other individuals involved in white-collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, civil litigation, and administrative proceedings, Stuart has also represented businesses and individuals who are victims of economic crime in their interactions with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. These representations of victims have resulted in millions of dollars in compensation to victims through forfeiture and restitution.
Stuart has briefed and argued many cases before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and other appellate courts, including a successful petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court and a Sixth Circuit ruling that reversed all counts of conviction and resulted in a complete acquittal for his client. He serves on the Criminal Justice Act panels for the Fourth Circuit and District of Columbia Circuit, as well as the CJA panels for the District of Maryland and District of Columbia.
Stuart joined Lerch Early after a 28-year career with the U.S. Department of Justice that included nearly a decade as chief of the Greenbelt branch of the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office and service as a prosecutor with the Antitrust Division. He also spent several years at a premier boutique litigation firm in Washington, DC.
Stuart and his wife Ellen, a geoscientist, are enthusiastic travelers who have visited dozens of countries and virtually every state. Before his knees gave out, Stuart ran marathons–including the Montgomery County Marathon in the Parks and the Marine Corps Marathon–and he now hikes the C&O Canal and the neighborhoods of Bethesda with his wife and their dogs. Stuart and his wife also enjoy scouring the Maryland and Virginia suburbs for the best international grocery stores and undiscovered ethnic restaurants.
Earlier in life, he backpacked around the world and bicycled through northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and France. Stuart also enjoys music and theater and reading history, biographies, and periodicals. He obsessively follows the Nationals and Capitals.
- Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1983)
- Cornell University (B.A. in History, distinction in all subjects, 1979)
- District of Columbia
- New York
- United States Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 6th, 11th and D.C. Circuits
- United States District Courts for the District of Maryland, District of Columbia, and Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
- United States Supreme Court
Honors and awards
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, Criminal Defense: General Practice, and Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2022)
- Named to Top Attorney List by Bethesda Magazine (2019, 2021)
- Director’s Award for Distinguished Service as an Assistant United States Attorney (2009, 2006)
- Gary P. Jordan Award (2009, presented to an AUSA for exemplary performance demonstrating the highest traditions of the office: integrity, ingenuity, dedication to public service, and fairness)
- Barnet D. (Barney) Skolnik Award (2008, presented to one or more AUSAs who demonstrate outstanding professionalism, determination, and creativity in a case of unusual public significance)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Integrity Award (2003)
- Board of Governors, Federal Bar Association, Maryland Chapter
- Simon E. Sobeloff Jewish Law Society
- Wood Acres Civic Association
- Cornell Daily Sun Alumni Association
- American Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Maryland State Bar Association
- Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court (Master)
Lerch Early’s litigation team helps businesses, including nonprofits, and individuals resolve disputes throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
News & insights
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Lerch Early Attorneys Named to 2023 Best Lawyers in America
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Update: Federal Courts Sustain Antitrust Prosecutions for ‘No-Poaching’ Agreements
Last year, I wrote about the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division’s new generation of criminal prosecutions tackling what it called “naked wage-fixing” and “no-poaching agreements.” The Department took the position …
Bethesda Magazine Names 23 Lerch Early Attorneys in 2021 “Top Attorney” List
Bethesda Magazine surveyed more than 1,700 attorneys who practice in Montgomery County asking them to name the attorneys they would recommend in 29 practice areas. Twenty-three Lerch Early attorneys were …
Department of Justice Proposal Would Change How Businesses Approach Reporting Cyberattacks
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• Won dismissal of federal court indictment alleging violation of Major Fraud Act by government contractor (District of Maryland)
• Persuaded government to resolve indicted bank fraud and money laundering case with deferred prosecution agreement (District of Maryland)
• Represented corporation and its president in U.S. Department of Justice price fixing prosecution (Southern District of Texas); represented corporations and employees in price fixing and wage fixing investigations throughout country
• Represented chief information officer of non-profit organization in DOJ wire fraud prosecution (District of Maryland)
• Represented treasurer of legislative campaign committee in DOJ wire fraud prosecution (District of Maryland)
• Represented former federal government background investigator in DOJ wire fraud prosecution (District of Columbia)
• Represented former investment bank executive in DOJ fraud and money laundering investigation (District of Columbia)
• Represented employees of medical device manufacturer in DOJ investigation of “off label marketing” violations of Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (Northern District of New York)
• Represented former executives of information technology companies in Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement litigation and investigations
• Represented corporate victims of embezzlement scheme during investigation, conviction, and sentencing of perpetrators (District of Maryland, Montgomery County Circuit Court)
• Represented target of “elder abuse” investigation and persuaded government to decline prosecution (Montgomery County)
• Represented defendants in federal court motions for compassionate release under First Step Act (District of Maryland, Southern District of Georgia)
• Represented intended victim in law enforcement officer impersonation scheme
• Represented victims of cyberstalking scheme
Civil and Administrative Proceedings
• Won complete dismissal of False Claims Act action against transportation company (Southern District of Florida)
• Won trial judgment for government contractor in breach of contract action (Eastern District of Virginia)
• Won partial dismissal of antitrust class-action lawsuit (Southern District of Texas)
• Won complete dismissal on Eleventh Amendment immunity grounds of all breach of contract claims against state college system (District of Columbia)
• Won summary judgment on behalf of distributor of personal protective equipment and ethnic foods in breach of contract action against supplier (Eastern District of New York)
• Represented educator in successful breach of contract litigation against publisher (District of Maryland)
• Won complete dismissal of claims against corporation for alleged oppression of minority shareholder (Howard County Circuit Court)
• Represented government contractor in contact, tort, fraud, and conspiracy litigation against counterparty and third parties (Eastern District of Virginia)
• Represented former corporate executive in litigation against Securities and Exchange Commission that included novel issue regarding scope of privilege claims related to investigations by Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (District of Maryland)
• Represented U.K.-based creator of educational products in breach of contract and tort litigation (District of Maryland)
• Represented health care professionals in hospital privileges and disciplinary proceedings
- Won 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of bank fraud conviction of real estate developer
- Won 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of sentence in access device and wire fraud case and secured reduced sentence at resentencing
- Won 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of firearms conviction
- Drafted petition for writ of certiorari granted by the U.S. Supreme Court, in False Claims Act case
- Represented law enforcement officer in appeal of RICO and Hobbs Act convictions to 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Represented former U.S. Army Colonel in appeal of sentencing ruling to 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Represented indigent Baltimore residents in appeals of RICO and conspiracy convictions
Disclaimer: Each case is different and past results do not guarantee similar results in future matters.