Business & Practice

Trump Pardons Ex-Nixon Peabody, Greenberg Traurig Partner (1)

Jan. 20, 2021, 6:37 PM; Updated: Jan. 20, 2021, 9:57 PM

A former Big Law partner received one of the 143 pardons and commutations Donald Trump issued before leaving the White House Wednesday.

David Tamman, a partner at Greenberg Traurig and Nixon Peabody before the firms fired him, received a full pardon for his role in a $20 million securities fraud scheme.

Tamman “already paid a significant price” for “a terrible lapse in judgment,” according to a Trump White House statement.

Tamman was convicted in 2012, and a federal appellate court upheld his seven-year prison sentence in 2015. He was released from prison in February 2019, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons records.

The Aleph Institute supported Tamman’s pardon, according to the statement. The Surfside, Fla.-based nonprofit supports the rights of criminal defendants and has reportedly been a key player in Trump’s clemency process.

Aleph has worked with Alan Dershowitz, who represented Tamman on his appeal and was one of Trump’s former impeachment lawyers. The Trump White House statement said that former FBI director Louis Freeh and Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, also supported Tamman’s pardon.

Freeh, a former chairman of Pepper Hamilton who has previously worked with Dershowitz, last summer sold his risk management consulting firm to AlixPartners. Freeh didn’t respond to a request for comment about Tamman’s pardon.

Coffey said he reviewed materials about Tamman’s case as requested and concluded a pardon was appropriate. He said he never represented Tamman and didn’t receive compensation for the pardon.

“A pardon does not cancel the conviction or even suggest that it was unjust,” Coffey wrote in an email, noting that Tamman served his time. “It is an act of forgiveness.”

Coffey, who once represented former Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, is now a name partner at Miami’s Coffey Burlington.

In its statement, the Trump White House said that Tamman “accepts full responsibility for his actions and numerous friends and colleagues have attested that he is a decent man.”

Tamman joined Greenberg Traurig in 2009 after being fired by Nixon Peabody, which he sued for wrongful termination. That lawsuit was subsequently dismissed, according to court records.

“We were not aware of this pardon in advance and played no role in the decision,” Nixon Peabody said in a statement.

Tamman, who worked out of Greenberg Traurig’s office in Santa Monica, Calif., was terminated by the firm in 2011. Greenberg Traurig declined to comment on Tamman’s pardon.

State Bar of California records show that Tamman was disbarred in 2016.

Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Alfred Pirro Jr., an attorney, lobbyist, and former real estate business partner of Trump, was granted a last-minute pardon by the former president. Pirro, who was convicted of tax fraud in 2000, is the ex-husband of prominent Trump supporter and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.

Pirro’s daughter, Ropes & Gray restructuring partner Cristine Pirro Schwarzman in New York, didn’t respond to a request for comment about her father’s pardon or the lawyers who worked on it.

(Updates story throughout with comments from Coffey and Nixon Peabody, as well as information on Pirro's pardon.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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