| Practice Description: |
Ms. Holmes, an experienced trial lawyer, is a former state trial judge and former federal and state prosecutor. She represents major corporations, state and local agencies, and high profile individuals in a wide variety of litigation matters including whistleblower/qui tam matters, shareholder derivative litigation, internal and government investigations, FCPA & OFAC issues, and compliance and white collar criminal issues.
Notable Cases and Results:
United States v. Conrad M. Black et al. Ms. Holmes co-led the trial team that defended former Hollinger International Inc. executive and corporate counsel Mark S. Kipnis, in which Mr. Kipnis was charged with multiple counts of federal mail, wire and tax fraud stemming from a series of transactions involving the corporation. Following a 16-week trial and two weeks of deliberation, he was convicted of only three counts, one of which the judge dismissed post-trial. His trial team was later successful in obtaining a sentence of five years probation, reduced from a possible sentence that ranged from 30-78 months imprisonment.
United States v. Mohammad Mohammed, et al. This was the first "bankruptcy bust-out" case tried in the country. It involved the prosecution of a complex financial scheme to defraud creditors and violate income tax laws.
United States v. Castellanos, et al. This was one of the largest multiple-defendant interstate narcotics conspiracy cases ever prosecuted in Rockford, Illinois. It involved a complex narcotics trafficking conspiracy, money laundering, and other federal violations.
United States v. Charles Emenogha. This was an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case involving multiple defendants, complex conspiracy allegations, and the first-ever money-structuring charge brought by the Internal Revenue Service.
United States v. Carey Robinson. This was the first trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois charging a violation of the Mann Act.
People v. Vincent Williams, 124 Ill. 2d 300, 529 N.E. 2d 558, 124 Ill. Dec. 577 (1988). This case established the state's right to make a timely written motion for substitution of a judge on the ground of prejudice.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
Year of Birth: 1960
Law School: University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1986
Undergraduate School: University of Illinois, B.S., 1983
Ms. Holmes joined Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP in February 2016 after working at a large Chicago law firm from 2005 to 2016. Before that she was employed by the Circuit Court of Cook County, where she had been an associate judge since 1997. Prior to joining the bench, she acquired extensive federal and state trial experience in a wide variety of areas.
She has tried more than 26 federal jury trials and numerous state court trials in her positions as chief assistant corporation counsel for the city of Chicago, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and assistant state's attorney for Cook County, Illinois.
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
The Chicago American Inn of Court
Economic Club of Chicago
Lawyers Club of Chicago
Illinois Judicial Council
American Bar Association
Section of Business Law
Committee on White-Collar Crime
Forum on Franchising
Section of Litigation
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Board of Managers
Blue Ribbon Committee on Juvenile Justice
Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.
Just the Beginning Foundation, Inc.
Leadership Greater Chicago
Seventh Circuit Bar Association
American Jury Project Commission
Adjunct Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Institute for Paralegal Studies
Instructor, Attorney General's Advocacy Institute
Criminal Trial Advocacy Section of the U.S. Department of Justice
Awards. Honors, Distinctions:
Illinois Super Lawyers, General Litigation
Illinois Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women Lawyers
Illinois Judicial Council Distinguished Service Award
Black Women Lawyers Association Visionary Award
National Bar Association Judicial Council Special Chair Award
University of Illinois
Seaberry Award for Service to the Legal Community
Outstanding Alumni Award for Public Service
Who's Who in Black Chicago Inaugural Edition
AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
Published Legal Writing:
The Nuts and Bolts of Conducting an FCPA Internal Investigation," (Co-Author) Practising Law Institute (May 2008)
"Coping With Internal and Government Investigations," (Co-Author) American Bar Association's 30th Annual Forum on Franchising (October 2007)
"Identity Crisis: Navigating The Ethical Challenges Of Multiple Representation In An Internal Investigation," Corporate Law and Practice Course Handbook Series (June 2007)
"Compliance Programs: The First Step To Protect Against Employee Criminal Acts" (September 2006)
"Sleeping Through the Night ? Tips to In-House Counsel To Avoid Personal Liability" (September 2006)
"Mandatory Waiver of Attorney Client Privilege: Cooperation or Coercion" (May 2006)
Sleeping Through the Night: Practical Tips for Attorneys on Avoiding Personal Liability Related to Advising Healthcare Clients," Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys Quarterly Meeting (December 4, 2007)
"Parallel Investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission and Department of Justice: Counseling Corporate Clients Out of the Investigative Dragnet," ABA White Collar Crime Conference, Atlanta, Georgia (January 25, 2007)
"Direct & Cross Examinations," Chicago Bar Association Program: "Trial Superstars on Presenting Your Case: Winning Over the Court, The Jury and The Media," Chicago (November 16, 2006)
"Civility in the Profession," Chicago Bar Association Basic Skills Program: "Life After Law School," Chicago (October 27, 2006)
"Advice To In-House Counsel On Avoiding Criminal Liability," (Panelist) "Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges Program," Chicago Bar Association and American Bar Association, Chicago (May 12, 2006)
"Sleeping Through The Night ? Tips to In-House Counsel to Avoid Personal Liability," ABA Spring Minority Counsel Program, Seattle, Wash. (April 6, 2006)
"Civil Litigation: Employee Criminal Acts," Minority Corporate Council Association's 5th Annual CLE Expo, Chicago (March 16, 2006)
"Into the Forefront: The Current Role of Minority Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights," (Moderator) "Our Mothers, Our Sisters, Our Daughters, Ourselves," ABA Multicultural Women Attorneys Network, Chicago (February 9, 2006)
Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila was established in 2016 to drive exceptional results and provide elite legal services with value-based pricing. Lean by design, their highly experienced and diverse team is intensely focused on solving their clients’ legal problems as business problems.
Additional Office Locations:
San Francisco, New York