Perkins Coie’s award-winning White Collar & Investigations practice has teamed up with the ABA’s Global Anti-Corruption Committee to launch a podcast series as an extension of our White Collar Briefly blog.

Our first five episodes, linked below, feature fascinating, candid conversations with a variety of special guests, including:

  • American “book of the year” author, editor, screenplay writer and publisher Dave Eggers
  • Joel Esquenazi (defendant in the high-profile US v. Esquenazi FCPA case)
  • Molson Coors’ Global Ethics & Compliance Chief Caroline McMichen
  • Chicago-based U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall
  • University of Colorado COO (and former GC) Patrick O’Rourke
  • Avanos Medical Deputy GC Ross Mansbach

Note that all episodes are available on Spotify, Google Podcast, and Apple Podcast. Additionally, you can visit our blog and subscribe to receive each new podcast, including the highly-anticipated Dave Eggers podcast, in your inbox.

A Conversation with Author Dave Eggers About Criminal Justice Reform

Dave Eggers and Perkins Coie’s Firmwide White Collar & Investigations Chair (and former Chicago federal prosecutor) Markus Funk have a candid and probing conversation about today’s calls for fundamental criminal justice reform.  Dave and Markus cover a wide range of topics, including why we need to fundamentally rethink the state’s treatment of suspects, defendants, and inmates; whether non-violent offenders like actress Lori Loughlin and Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff ought to receive prison sentences; what it means to “defund” the police; the tragic George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ariel Roman, and Ahmaud Arbery cases; how to improve law enforcement recruitment and training; whether it is time to reconsider arresting DUI, shoplifting, and other suspects in the absence of a threat to the public; the epidemic of criminalization and mass incarceration; the importance of empathy in law enforcement; qualified immunity; procedural justice and the need to ensure systemic legitimacy and creditworthiness; and the pros and cons of including imprisonment as part of an incremental punishment regime.

Listen to “A Conversation with Author Dave Eggers About Criminal Justice Reform” on Spreaker

A Candid Conversation With Joel Esquenazi (Defendant in the Landmark US v. Esquenazi FCPA Case)

This episode features a candid conversation with Joel Esquenazi. Joel, joined by Perkins Coie White Collar & Investigation lawyers Chelsea Curfman and Markus Funk, reflects on, among other things, his time as a defendant in the high-profile U.S. v. Esquenazi trial and follow-on appeal, the prosecution of his case, the attention his case has received, FCPA enforcement generally, and what it feels like to be out of prison and in home confinement.

Listen to “A Candid Conversation with Joel Esquenazi (Defendant in the Landmark US v. Esquenazi FCPA Case)” on Spreaker.

A Corporate Insider’s Guide to Internal Investigations

On this episode of White Collar Briefly, Perkins Coie’s White Collar & Investigations attorneys Markus Funk and Chelsea Curfman interview special guest Caroline McMichen, global ethics and compliance chief for Molson Coors Beverage Company, about the hallmarks of a successful internal investigation. Topics include tips for outside counsel on how best to be an effective partner in internal investigations and predictions regarding how the current pandemic and related economic challenges may change the structure of internal investigations in the future.

Listen to “A Corporate Insider’s Guide to Internal Investigations” on Spreaker.

Supply Chain & Trafficking Chat with a Federal Judge

Judge Virginia Kendall and Perkins Coie White Collar & Investigations chair (and former AUSA colleague) Markus Funk’s conversation covers a wide range of topics. In addition to discussing Judge Kendall’s journey from being a federal prosecutor to getting involved in the challenging field of fighting human trafficking, indentured servitude, child labor, and other forms of forced labor that taint the supply chains for goods and services we use every day, Judge Kendall also shares her perspective on common public misconceptions when it comes to the day-to-day realities of this particularly pernicious form of human exploitation. Their candid conversation ends with Judge Kendall providing in-the-trenches advocacy and litigation tips to more junior attorneys making their first foray into a courtroom.

Listen to “Supply Chain & Trafficking Chat with a Federal Judge” on Spreaker.

U of Colorado Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke Discusses All Things Higher Ed

The University of Colorado’s Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Patrick O’Rourke talks to White Collar partners Gina LaMonica and Markus Funk about his path from private practitioner to the GC and then COO of one of the Nation’s premier educational institutions, the reality of higher ed in the age of covid, his most memorable matters (including the “Aurora Theater Shooter” James Holmes investigation and the trial involving infamous former Colorado professor Ward Churchill), what a GC looks for in outside counsel, and tips for attorneys seeking to succeed in a higher-ed in-house position.

Listen to “U of Colorado Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke Discusses All Things Higher Ed” on Spreaker.

The New Normal – A Discussion With Ross Mansbach

A conversation with Ross Mansbach, Deputy General Counsel at Avanos Medical, a publicly-traded medical device and technology company about the impacts of COVID-19, the transition to remote working, and what it all may mean for corporate legal departments and their relationships with outside counsel. White Collar partner Kevin Feldis and Ross discuss a variety of topics including how law firm updates on the evolving COVID legal issues have been a genuine help to busy in-house counsel, and the potential efficiencies and limits to our increasingly virtual way of working under “the new normal.”

Listen to “The New Normal – A Discussion With Ross Mansbach” on Spreaker.

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Photo of Markus Funk Markus Funk

Markus Funk, who from 2016 – 2021 served as the firmwide chair of the White Collar & Investigations practice, is a decorated former federal prosecutor in Chicago, and a former section chief with the U.S. State Department-Balkans. He earned a PhD (DPhil) in…

Markus Funk, who from 2016 – 2021 served as the firmwide chair of the White Collar & Investigations practice, is a decorated former federal prosecutor in Chicago, and a former section chief with the U.S. State Department-Balkans. He earned a PhD (DPhil) in law from Oxford University, where he started his career as a lecturer in law. In 2021, Chambers ranked him “Band 1” for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations – Colorado and also included him in the rankings for FCPA – USA – Nationwide (a first for a lawyer based in Colorado/the Rocky Mountain Region).

In private practice since 2010, Markus focuses on internal investigations, complex commercial litigation both at the trial and appellate levels, white collar criminal defense, corporate social responsibility and supply chain compliance, and corporate counseling. He was selected to serve as a World Bank Group advisor and monitor to an Africa-based company seeking reinstatement following debarment, and he routinely counsels clients and conducts internal investigations and reviews throughout the world. During his time in public service, Markus and his team prosecuted “Operation Family Secrets,” which National Public Radio lauded as “one of the most important criminal investigations . . . in American history” (the 1995 movie “Casino” was based on the charged criminal activities). At the time of his departure from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Chicago Sun-Times described Markus as a “street-smart prosecutor with an Oxford pedigree.”

Markus also is the founding co-chair of Perkins Coie’s Supply Chain Compliance practice and in 2015 was tapped to head up the firm’s Africa Practice. The recipient of numerous awards, he was named Colorado’s “Best Overall Litigator” (2015); “Colorado White Collar Lawyer of the Year” (2015); one of “10 Best Attorneys for the State of Illinois” (2014) and “10 Best Attorneys for the State of Colorado” (2017); and “Lawyer of the Year” (2013). He co-founded the ABA’s Global Anti-Corruption Committee in 2010 and has chaired the section since then. He is also ranked “Band 1” by Chambers and Partners, who in their 2019 assessment quoted one of Markus’ clients, saying “his knowledge and experience base far surpasses any other attorney that we have worked with and he is always extremely thorough and proactive, enabling us to get well ahead of any situation at hand.”