Brady says health care white collar crimes a prosecution priority

August 2, 2010
| By Pete Daly |
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With President Obama’s focus on national health care, veteran West Michigan attorney James S. Brady said he has no doubt white collar crimes in that arena are a priority with federal prosecutors, with Medicaid and Medicare fraud “two prime examples.”Brady, who has been chair of the criminal law practice group at Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids for years, has left that firm to join Dykema Gossett PLLC, where he will start today to help grow the Grand Rapids office as managing member.

Dykema, a national law firm with about 10 attorneys in its Grand Rapids office, “has asked me to help facilitate and develop, on a national level, their white collar practice, either in the health care area or the regulatory area. It’s right up my alley,” he said.

“Dykema has had a long presence in Grand Rapids. They’ve had quality lawyers over the years and I know most of them, but they’ve never really made the impact in the Grand Rapids market that they deserve, based on the quality of the lawyers they have,” said Brady, 65.

Dykema, which has its headquarters in Detroit and offices in California, Illinois, Texas and Washington, D.C., envisions “significant growth” in the Grand Rapids office in the next 12 to 18 months.

In his new role, Brady will lead Dykema’s strategic growth plan in Grand Rapids, which includes a major focus on the recruitment of “key lateral additions” in select practice areas, including health care, life sciences, energy, real estate, corporate, financial institutions, environmental and litigation. As part of the firm’s broad litigation practice, Brady will help oversee and expand its white collar defense practice.

Appointed by President Jimmy Carter, Brady served as U.S. Attorney for the Western Judicial District of Michigan from 1977-1981. He was involved in prosecuting white-collar criminal matters involving fraud, embezzlement, grand jury investigations, money laundering and counterfeiting. He also worked extensively on white collar criminal matters in the arenas of health care, environment, governmental agency, tax and others.

Dykema’s outgoing Grand Rapids office managing member, Brian Page, who held that position for seven years, will now focus on his management role as co-chair of the firm’s national lending practice and chair elect of the Michigan Land Title Standards Committee. Page also will focus on his commercial real estate, finance and business transactions practices.

“With Jim’s stature and reputation in West Michigan, we immediately identified him as a natural fit for the role of office managing member, as he will help us to propel our growth and diversification strategy moving forward,” said Page.

“Jim is a very high-profile, active and well-known attorney in the West Michigan legal market and has earned a professional reputation as the go-to counsel for high-risk, high-profile litigation matters,” added Rex E. Schlaybaugh Jr., Dykema’s chairman and CEO in Detroit. “Adding an attorney of Jim’s pedigree reaffirms our commitment to aggressively expand our Grand Rapids office and strengthen our white collar litigation practice nationally. His proven leadership skills, prosecutorial experience and defense track record, combined with his active and long-standing civic involvement and participation, will prove invaluable as we grow the office.”

Brady said Dykema’s national practices in securities, antitrust, trade regulation and government policy (state and federal), as well as the firm’s strong presence in the automotive, energy, financial services and insurance industries, are points of differentiation that add to its strength in the Grand Rapids market.

“When the opportunity first emerged, I was very intrigued, as Dykema has developed an impressive national platform and maintains a stellar reputation in several key practices that are in high demand,” said Brady.

Most recently, Brady has focused his practice on the representation of various business entities, executives, medical professionals and other individuals in criminal matters involving a wide variety of corporate, government and individual crimes. He has significant knowledge regarding internal government processes and has worked closely with state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Michigan State Police, and Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

Brady said he has had “a lot of good years at Miller Johnson.”

"This is an opportunity for Jim to manage an office and pursue a more nationwide white collar criminal defense practice. Although we are sorry to see Jim leave, we thank him for all he has done for Miller Johnson over the years and wish him the best in his new endeavor," said Craig Mutch, managing member of Miller Johnson.

Brady is active in many professional associations, including the Michigan State Bar Foundation, where he is a Fellow, the American Inns of Court, American Trial Lawyers Association, Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys, Federal Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan and the Grand Rapids Bar Association.

He was appointed by former Gov. Jim Blanchard in 1988 to the board of trustees of Western Michigan University where he also served as chairman. Brady currently serves on the board of the Western Michigan University Foundation and previously served as chair.

In 2009, he received the Donald R. Worsfold Distinguished Service Award from the Grand Rapids Bar Association. He was recognized in 2009 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a “Leader in the Law,” and honored with the St. Thomas More Award by the Catholic Lawyers Association of Western Michigan in 2008.

Additionally, Brady is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, First Amendment Law, Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense, DUI/DWI Defense, Family Law, Personal Injury Litigation, White-Collar Criminal Defense and Product Liability Litigation. He is a Michigan “Super Lawyer” for Criminal Defense and listed in Who’s Who in America.

Brady, who describes himself as a “native son” of Grand Rapids, received a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School and a B.S. from Western Michigan University.

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