Press Releases
December 19, 2014

US Attorney Tristram J. Coffin to join Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC

U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont Tristram J. Coffin of Shelburne will leave the federal government in January and join the northern New England law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC.

Coffin announced his plan to return to private practice earlier today, and DRM Managing Partner Paul H. Ode, Jr., later confirmed that Coffin will join DRM as a director in the Burlington office, effective Jan. 12.

“Tris Coffin has served with great distinction as the federal prosecutor for this district, and his deep and current knowledge of complex legal issues will be of great value to clients who, for one reason or another, become engaged with law enforcement at the federal level,” Ode said. “Over his career in both Vermont and Washington D.C., Tris has built meaningful relationships at all levels of government, the legal community, the business world and the media. This will serve him well as he returns to private practice here.”

At DRM, Coffin will represent clients in significant civil and criminal litigation both within Vermont and outside of the state. He will assist clients with internal and external investigations in areas such as health care, corporate fiduciary duties, government contracting and securities.

“On the firm level, Tris has built lasting relationships with many of our attorneys and we are committed to helping him build his practice in government investigations, enforcement, high level litigation and crisis management,” said Robert B. Luce, chair of DRM’s Litigation Practice Group. “We believe this is a perfect fit, and I am delighted to welcome him to the firm.”

Except for three years in private practice in 2006-2009, Coffin has spent the last 17 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont, including the past six years as chief prosecutor. Following the recommendation of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Coffin was appointed to the post in 2009 by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.   As chief prosecutor, Coffin supervised all criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions in the district, served as chief spokesperson for federal law enforcement, built coalitions and managed an active caseload. He dealt with matters that included fraud, organized crime, drug smuggling, child exploitation, internet crime and financial crime. Significant cases included mail and wire fraud, health care fraud, False Claims Act and qui tam cases, extradition, defense contracting, employment discrimination, child exploitation and narcotics and firearms trafficking.

From 2009 to his departure, Coffin served as co-chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Practice of the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, dealing with key issues facing the Department of Justice, including discovery reform, charging standards, sentencing issues, agency tape recording policy, Giglio reform and grand jury practice. He also served on the AGAC Health Care Fraud Working Group, the Cyber Crime Working Group and the Cross Border Crime Forum, addressing issues of U.S.-Canada law enforcement and cooperation.

A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Columbia University School of Law, Coffin was counsel to the Subcommittee on Technology and the Law of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked closely with Vermont Senator Leahy. In that capacity, Coffin assisted the Senator with policies regarding crime, civil rights and court legislation, hi-tech antitrust issues, the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact, and the approval of three nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and many executive and judicial branch nominees, among other matters.


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