Stuart F. Pierson



Stuart F. Pierson
T: (202) 803-5852
F: (202) 775-5937


Representative Experience Selected Publications Distinctions Work Experience
Bar and Court Admissions Education

Stuart Pierson, Counsel to Morvillo LLP, has 40 years of experience in white collar, internal investigations, compliance and complex litigation. His clients include corporations, executives, political figures and journalists. He specializes in Justice Department, SEC, congressional and other government investigations, federal and state litigation and counseling on the increasing compliance requirements for business organizations. Stuart has been selected as a Best Lawyer in America in the area of Criminal Defense: White-Collar Law from 2010 to 2016, and recognized in DC Super Lawyers, also in the area of White Collar Law.

Representative Experience
Enforcement and Internal Investigations

  • Representation of Phaedra Almajid, a former employee of the Qatar bid team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. After the head of the FIFA Ethics Adjudicatory Chamber investigating the award identified her, contrary to the FIFA promise of confidentiality, Ms. Almajid agreed to speak publicly about her employment on the Qatar bid and its efforts to win and retain the 2022 World Cup award. See BBC interview with Ms. Almajid, released November 19, 2014.
  • Advice to and representation of Volt Information Sciences, Inc., a $2 billion public company, for internal investigation and SEC matters (2009-2013).
  • Representation of official of national housing company in response to federal allegations of kickbacks (2008).
  • Internal investigation for Security National Bank, a regional bank. Resolution of internal needs and compliance remediation (2007-2008).
  • Representation of government sub-contractor in response to investigation of alleged gratuities provided to military transportation officials relating to award of shipping business (2004-2007).
  • Representation of Stiles Kellett, chair of the Worldcom Board of Directors' Compensation Committee in class actions and over 100 individual actions consolidated in the Southern District of New York arising from the collapse of WorldCom, Inc. (2004-2006).
  • Representation of federal government lawyer in criminal investigation concerning allegations of inappropriate conduct in a sentencing proceeding (2006).
  • Representation of global technology company in federal investigation of municipal procurement fraud (2000-2003).
  • Representation of former employees of the Democratic National Committee in investigations by both houses of Congress and the Department of Justice concerning campaign financing (1997 - 2000).
  • Representation of former Congressman Charles N. Wilson in various federal investigations as he was the principally effective advocate for assistance to the Afghan resistance to Soviet occupation. (1983-1999) See also Charlie Wilson's War, Atlantic Monthly Press.


Advice to clients on the established elements of an effective compliance plan for public and private business and regulated entities, including Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission policies.

Complex Litigation

  • Omaha Public Power District v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., District Ct., Douglas Co., NE: Representation of utility on claims for breach of contract and negligence for failure to maintain defendant railroad's roadbed and infrastructure in the Powder River Basin, causing failure to deliver required coal supplies (2007-2008).
  • Contract Arbitration: Representation of Midwest utility in response to an arbitration claim that it had intentionally undermined sale of a substantial company asset (2003-2004).
  • United States v. Church, et al., S.D. WV: Representation of second defendant charged with conspiracy to obstruct a federal bank examination (1999 - 2002).

Early Landmarks

  • U.S. v. Washington, 384 F. Supp. 312 (W.D. WA 1974) (the “Boldt Decision"): lead plaintiff’s counsel for the judgment recognizing Indian off-reservation treaty fishing right of Pacific Northwest Indians to take up to 50% of the harvestable salmonid stock as the supreme law of the land. Judgment revolutionized Pacific Northwest fisheries management, and steadily improved the lives of the Indians. Upheld in four Supreme Court challenges.
  • Martin Marietta v. Evening Star, 417 F. Supp. 947 (D.D.C. 1976): counsel for defendant newspaper in establishing that public corporations have the same First Amendment burden as individuals to prove actual malice to recover for defamation on a matter of public interest.
  • Manuchar Ghobanifar (mid-1980s): Counsel for the Iranian middle man in the Iran Contra affair, who was never charged or required to testify in the grand jury or congressional proceedings.

Legal Ethics

Chair, D.C. Court of Appeals Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (1992-1998).

Selected Publications

  • Author of "Responding to a Criminal Investigation," Privacy & Data Security Law Journal, June 2007.
  • Author of "Individual Legal Expenses: Should You Have A Policy?," July 2006.
    Author of "A Trap for the Unwary: Can a Company Deny Advice-of-Counsel Evidence?," March 2006.
  • Other periodic publications concerning cases and representations, and articles in media periodicals on developments in the law.


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar Law (2010-2016)
  • Lives of Consequence, Profile of Stuart Pierson, Hobart and William Smith Colleges (2016)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, White Collar Law (2015)

Work Experience

  • Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 1998-2012
  • Private Practice in Washington D.C., 1973-present
  • Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of Washington, 1973-1975
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of Washington, 1971-1973
  • Trial Attorney, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1968-1971

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Other U.S. Courts of Appeal
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland


  • Duke University (J.D., 1968)
  • Hobart College (B.A., cum laude, 1965)


NYC Tel: 212-796-6330 | NYC Fax: 212-240-8267 | Washington DC Tel: 202-470-0330 | Washington DC Fax: 202-775-5937

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