NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - Matt Coman joins Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, LLC today as Special Counsel where he will focus on a wide array of litigation matters.  Coman comes to Sher Garner from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana where he served for more than 14 years.  Coman will concentrate his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, environmental litigation, environmental compliance, and internal corporate compliance investigations. 

While a federal prosecutor, Coman prosecuted 28 jury trials with a 100% conviction rate as to all defendants.  In total, Coman has 19 years of experience and 158 jury trials as a trial lawyer.  Coman's body of work as a trial attorney has garnered him several national and local awards in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments.  In addition to his litigation practice at the Department of Justice, Coman served as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division where he supervised all white collar investigations and prosecutions of the office.

Notably, Coman was lead counsel in United States v. C. Ray Nagin.  In that nationally significant case, Coman prosecuted the former Mayor of the City of New Orleans for bribery, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and tax violations.  Following a three-week jury trial, Nagin was convicted on 20 of 21 felony counts and subsequently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. 

Most recently, Coman won the largest fine for a felony Clean Water Act violation in the district when he obtained a $3.1 million fine against Xplor Energy, a subsidiary of HKN, Inc., for the discharge of produced water on an oil and gas production platform in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.   

In addition to his trial practice, Coman briefed and argued multiple matters before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit where he was successful in each case.

In connection with his litigation body of work, Coman has spearheaded hundreds of investigations, providing him with the knowledge and skill to single-handedly conduct internal investigations and corporate compliance programs. Such internal investigations can help corporate clients avoid the many pitfalls which arise in complex and sensitive matters.

"Matt's vast experience representing the Department of Justice in complex litigation will greatly enhance our offerings to existing and new clients," said Leopold Z. Sher, Founding and Co-Managing Partner.  "Matt's skills in investigating, marshalling, and pursuing complex matters will fit nicely with our current team of lawyers.  We are happy to add an attorney of his caliber as we expand the capabilities of our nationally recognized office," said James M. Garner, Founding and Co-Managing Partner.      

Coman will also provide preventative and litigation services for businesses and individuals in regulatory and enforcement actions.  Importantly, Coman will defend regulatory and enforcement matters to include anti-kickback actions, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters, federal tax matters, banking issues (foreign and domestic), export controls, money laundering, and environmental enforcement and compliance (criminal, civil, and regulatory actions covering a wide range of federal statutes).

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Coman was in private practice where his practice concentrated on commercial litigation.  

Notable Cases:

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. C. Ray Nagin (13-11 "C")(former Mayor of the City of New Orleans convicted at trial of bribery, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and tax violations.  Nagin sentenced to 10 years imprisonment).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. XPLOR Energy SPV-1, Inc. (14-202 "R")(felony Clean Water Act prosecution for discharging produced water from production platform).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. Rodney Williams (12-294 "E")(businessman convicted of bribing former Mayor Ray Nagin).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. Frank J. Fradella (12-207 "E")(businessman convicted of former Mayor Ray Nagin and Sarbanes-Oxley Act/Securities Fraud violations).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. Aaron Bennett (11-253 "K")(businessman convicted of bribing Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Irvin "Jiff" Hingle).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. Mark St. Pierre (09-374 "L")(City of New Orleans contractor convicted at trial on all 53 Counts of the Indictment concerning Bribery, Conspiracy, Honest Services Wire Fraud and Money Laundering in May 2011.  St. Pierre sentenced to 17.5 years (210 Months) imprisonment in September 2011).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. Gregory Meffert, et al (09-374 "L")(former Deputy Mayor for the City of New Orleans convicted of accepting bribes and kickbacks from city contractor).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. Anthony Jones (10-340 "K")(conviction of former Chief Technology Officer for the City of New Orleans and city contractor Dwaine Hodges).

♦ Lead Counsel in United States v. Jonathan Bolar (09-138 "I")(Gretna City Councilman convicted as charged at trial (April, 2010) and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment).

♦ Trial Counsel in United States v. Joseph Impastato, 05-325 "K")(St. Tammany Parish Councilman convicted of soliciting bribe from constituent).

Appellate Matters Argued at the United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit:  

♦ United States v. Simpson, 645 F.3d 300 (5th Cir. 2011)

♦ United States v. Tucker, 05-37 "N" (Under Seal By Order of Court of Appeal)

♦ United States v. Williams, 143 Fed. Appx. 598, 2005 WL 1903726 (C.A.5 (La.))

♦ United States v. Hayes, 342 F.3d 385 (5th Cir. 2003)

♦ United States v. Huff, 314 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2002)