Law 360: June 14, 2024

New Jersey-based litigation and white collar boutique Calcagni & Kanefsky LLP added as a partner this week a former prosecutor with 14 years of experience at the New Jersey U.S. attorney’s office and the Union County prosecutor’s office and with dozens of jury trials tried to verdict.

Shawn P. Barnes, previously chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force at the U.S. attorney’s office, has joined the firm as its ninth partner, Calcagni & Kanefsky announced Thursday. The firm also announced it has added Theodore Hawkins as a counsel from Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP and Nicholas Wind as an associate from Sidley Austin LLP.

Barnes told Law360 Pulse during an interview Friday that it was time to wind down his government service but he wanted to keep litigation at the heart of his work even in private practice, and Calcagni Kanefsky offered the perfect opportunity.

“After 14 years of courtroom experience at the government, I was really looking to join a firm with litigators that can walk into any courtroom across the country, federal or state, and handle complex, sophisticated matters and, if necessary, trials with both skill and tenacity,” Barnes said.

Barnes said the drug enforcement team at the U.S. attorney’s office was a “high-paced unit” tackling violations of the Controlled Substances Act and money laundering statutes both domestically and internationally. He started at the U.S. attorney’s office in 2018 in the economic crimes unit, handling complex fraud cases and parallel investigations with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
At the Union County prosecutor’s office before that, Barnes said, he worked in every division and was in the special prosecutions unit handling internal investigations, complex white collar fraud cases and cyber cases when he left. Barnes joined the Union County prosecutor’s office after graduating from Rutgers Law School and Alfred University.

“It was critically important public service and I’m incredibly proud of the matters that I handled during that time and the cases that I brought,” Barnes said of his work as a prosecutor. He also circled back to the growth he experienced as a litigator and the skills he can bring from that time to private practice.

“Being able to walk in to both state and federal court and be able to try jury trials to verdict, and try them well, is definitely a skill set that I developed and honed while at the prosecutor’s office as well as at the U.S. attorney’s office,” Barnes said.

Hawkins is a commercial litigator with experience in mergers and acquisitions litigation, activist investor litigation and more at Olshan Frome. He told Law360 Pulse he joined Calcagni & Kanefsky because he was looking for a firm that was smaller but still had deep experience in complex cases and trials.

“More than anything, I was attracted to the people here,” Hawkins said. “Tom [Calcagni] and Eric [Kanefsky] have created a very collegial environment which starts at the top. Everyone is just very nice and easy to work with, and I find that that’s a very unique thing in the law.”

Hawkins is a graduate of Cornell University and St. John’s University School of Law and previously worked at Winston & Strawn LLP and Labaton Sucharow LLP.

Wind worked at Sidley Austin in transactions for about a year and a half out of the University of Virginia and the Georgetown University Law Center before determining that he wanted to return to litigation, the area of law in which he was originally interested.

“It was time to retool and go to what fulfilled me and what I liked about it,” Wind said of the change.

“This is a firm that is small enough to ensure those personal relationships with clients and with colleagues that are going to be critical to any case,” Barnes said, “but it’s large enough to draw on a really deep pool of talented and experienced litigators.”

By Jake Maher on 6/14/24 at 4:45 PM

Article source here: Law 360