Joan has over two decades of experience representing companies and individuals in white collar criminal investigations and trials, as well as complex civil litigation and administrative enforcement matters. She represents clients across a range of industries.
Joan previously served for 10 years as a member of Ropes & Gray’s governing Policy Committee and also served for many years as head of the firm’s Government Enforcement practice.
Recently, she was lead trial counsel for Kurt Mix, a drilling engineer, in a two-count felony obstruction of justice case related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Mr. Mix was indicted in May 2012 and went to trial in December 2013 in federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana. In November 2015, in response to a defense submission and three weeks before a scheduled re-trial, the Department of Justice dismissed all obstruction of justice charges against Mr. Mix.
Throughout her career, Joan has been dedicated to public service—in government, in community organizations and in leadership roles on diversity and inclusion initiatives in the legal profession.
Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, Joan served as an Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Appeals Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. As a federal prosecutor, she investigated and tried nearly a dozen cases involving a wide range of criminal conduct, including obstruction of justice, financial fraud, sexual exploitation, racketeering and organized crime.
At Ropes & Gray, Joan has been active in pro bono work. She also has chaired the firm's Diversity Committee, served as the Policy Committee liaison to the firm’s pro bono committee and participated actively in the Women’s Forum.
Publications & Presentations
- “Women in the Courtroom: A View from the Jury Box,” 30th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, March 3, 2016
- Quoted, “U.S. Bid to Prosecute BP Staff in Gulf Oil Spill Falls Flat,” The Wall Street Journal (February 26, 2016)
- Co-author, “DOJ's prosecutorial zeal led to Deepwater debacle,” The Houston Chronicle (January 5, 2015)
- "What Every Private Equity Professional Should Know About the Expanded Scope of Global Anticorruption Enforcement,” The Journal of Private Equity, Vol. 13, No. 4: pp. 73–85, Fall 2010
- “Corporate Prosecutions: The Survival Dilemma,”The National Law Journal, (January 21, 2008)
- “The Criminalization of Truthful, Non-Misleading Off-Label Promotion: Constitutional, Legal and Policy Concerns,” ABA Health Care Fraud Conference, May 2006
- “Deferred Prosecution Agreements: Ray of Hope or Guilty Plea By Another Name,” Inside Litigation, Winter 2006
- “Corporate Criminal Liability and Punishment in the 21st Century: Departures from Constitutional and Criminal Norms and Anomalies in Practice,” White Collar Crime, 2005
- “Willfulness Under the Federal Securities Laws and Intent-Based Defenses to Federal Securities Prosecutions,” White Collar Crime, 2001