Fowler Rodriquez Valdes-Fauli announced that former Assistant United States Attorney Peter Thomson has joined the firm as a partner and will lead the firm’s maritime criminal defense division. Mr. Thomson brings an outstanding set of credentials and an impeccable record spanning twenty-three years of service with the U.S. Department of Justice. In this era of heightened criminal enforcement and government scrutiny, corporate leaders and businesses need a counselor of Mr. Thomson’s expertise to guide them through hazardous state and federal legal waters to avoid potential criminal investigations or to defend their company, its officers and employees should the unthinkable happen.
Mr. Thomson will help navigate and defend businesses against a broad spectrum of regulatory, environmental and criminal enforcement incidents and actions related to maritime and environmental offenses, including the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the RICO Act, together with many other regulatory and criminal statutes.
As a federal prosecutor, Peter Thomson managed the “crimes on the high seas” docket in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In that capacity, Mr. Thomson supervised investigations involving crimes committed within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, including crimes of violence committed on oil platforms and on board cruise ships operating in international waters. Mr. Thomson has conducted numerous complex investigations and prosecutions involving the RICO Act, homicides and other violent acts, international drug trafficking, money laundering, alien smuggling, illegal immigration, fraud, and public corruption, as well as sensitive matters involving national security. Mr. Thomson’s trial and litigation experience is extensive. In 1986, as an Assistant District Attorney, he successfully tried over two-dozen cases in state criminal district court. Between 1987 and 2011, he tried nearly thirty criminal jury trials in federal court. Impressively, in all cases, the U.S. government prevailed and the defendants were convicted.
Thomson has received numerous agency commendations and awards during his career, including from the DEA, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Customs Service, the New Orleans Police Department, and the U.S. Postal Service. In 2008, he received a personal commendation from the FBI Director for his superior handling a high-profile public corruption case arising out of Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, Mr. Thomson was one of only three Assistant U.S. Attorneys selected nationwide to participate in the Justice Department’s premier leadership development program. Last year, the leadership program placed Mr. Thomson with the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, Maryland, where he briefed NSA managers on legal authorities related to cyberspace. For successfully completing the program, Mr. Thomson received a special commendation award from the U.S. Attorney General.
Thomson is a native of New Orleans. In 1983, after a stint with the FBI, he graduated from Tulane Law School
, where during summers he studied international law abroad and worked as an intern for U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston in Washington, DC. Between 1983 and 1987 he practiced civil law with the New Orleans law firm of Coleman, Dutrey and Thomson. From 1987 to the present he has worked as a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Louisiana where he has handled hundreds of federal investigations and argued before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has taught at the FBI Academy and published articles on the Patriot Act and on the federal sentencing guidelines. For over twenty years, Mr. Thomson was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Tulane University Law School.