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About Stephen

Stephen Braga chairs the firm’s national Government Enforcement & Investigations practice. He has over 35 years of experience representing individuals and companies in criminal and civil matters before trial and appellate courts throughout the United States.

He has played a leading role in many high-profile white collar cases and investigations in Washington, DC over the course of his career, including defending public relations executive Michael Scanlon in all aspects of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. In the course of this work, as exemplified below, Steve has represented numerous Executive Branch and Congressional officials in addition to private individual and corporate clients. Other career highlights include acting as lead counsel in securing the release in two separate high-profile representations of men who had spent decades in prison for wrongful murder convictions: Marty Tankleff, who was exonerated on an appeal argued by Steve, and Damien Echols, a member of the “West Memphis Three,” who was freed from death row on a deal negotiated by Steve.

Steve was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2008.


Recent Notable Matters

Poultry processing company — represented company and its senior management in an industry-wide price-fixing and bid-rigging investigation by the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice

Energy services company — represented company’s former country manager for China in an FCPA investigation by the Fraud Section of the US Department of Justice and the Securities & Exchange Commission

Energy services company — represented technical manager in an FCPA investigation of the company’s operations in Vietnam being conducted by the Fraud Section of the US Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission

Energy company officers and employees — represented four officers and employees of a Fortune 200 Oil Field Services Company in FCPA investigations arising out of Africa and Russia*

Brazilian CEO — represented the CEO of leading Brazilian corporation in global FCPA investigation*

Harry I. Martin, Jr. — defended Intelligent Decisions’ Owner and Chief Executive Officer Harry I. Martin, Jr. against federal program bribery and fraud charges*

Officers of Japanese shipping corporation — represented two officers of Japanese shipping corporation in antitrust price-fixing investigation by the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division*

Korean employee — represented employee of Korean corporation in federal industrial espionage investigation*

Patricia Cornwell — represented author Patricia Cornwell in a Federal Election Commission investigation of presidential campaign contributions*

Pharmaceutical company — represented Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company in internal investigations of FCPA allegations in multiple countries around the world*

Pharmaceutical company — defended Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company in civil false claims act litigation concerning the off-label marketing of certain drugs*

Michael Scanlon — defended public relations executive Michael Scanlon against criminal proceedings arising from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, including related Senate and civil proceedings*

John T. Korsmo — defended Chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board John T. Korsmo against federal false statements charges*

Fortune 50 company — represented Fortune 50 company in internal investigations of FCPA allegations in China and the Philippines*

Larry D. Thompson — defended Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson against post-911 civil litigation concerning the terrorist rendition program*

Ricardo Sanchez — defended Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez against civil claims arising from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal*

Enron employee — represented Enron employee in connection with the federal investigation of the company*

White House staff — represented White House Travel Office Director Catherine Cornelius in the Travelgate investigation; White House Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Operations Janet Green in the White House Database investigation; and White House Assistant to the President for Management and Administration Jodie Torkelson in the Lewinsky grand jury investigation*

Defense contractor — represented Fortune 100 defense contractor in SEC accounting fraud and revenue recognition investigation*

Maryland politician — represented former Maryland lieutenant governor in a federal grand jury investigation of state government spending*

Marathon Oil — defended Marathon Oil in class action seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in product liability damages for the corrosive effects of allegedly defective gasoline on underground storage tanks in West Virginia*

Dominic F. Antonelli, Jr. — represented Washington, DC real estate magnate Dominic F. Antonelli, Jr. in federal bank and bankruptcy fraud investigations*

Mark Nathanson — defended California Coastal Commissioner Mark Nathanson against federal extortion and criminal RICO charges*

Rick Hendrick — defended NASCAR owner and Honda mega-dealer Rick Hendrick against commercial bribery charges*

ABC and Chris Wallace — defended ABC and Chris Wallace at trial against defamation claims arising from a “Primetime Live” news broadcast*

* Work completed prior to Bracewell



Georgetown University Law Center,
magna cum laude
Fairfield University,
cum laude

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


American College of Trial Lawyers
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
Board of Directors, 2011–2017; President, 2015–2017
Proclaim Justice Wrongful Conviction Organization
Board of Directors
American Bar Association



On the Challenges of the Alford Plea

September 2, 2020
Washington Lawyer




The Legal 500 United States
Dispute Resolution - Corporate Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense, 2020 - 2021
BL Rankings
Best Lawyers
Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2010 – 2022; Commercial Litigation, 2007 – 2022; Criminal Defense: General Practice, 2010 – 2022; Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2006 – 2022; Legal Malpractice Law: Defendants, 2011 – 2022; Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), 2011 – 2022; Litigation - Securities, 2011 – 2022; Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants, 2011 - 2022
Fairfield University, Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, 2018
National Law Journal
Pro Bono Hotlist, 2012
Death Penalty Focus Abolition Award, 2012
New York State Gideon Champion of Justice Award, 2008
US District Court for the District of Columbia, Law Clerk