Daniel Adams represents individuals, small businesses, and large corporations facing white-collar criminal prosecution, government investigations, and complex business litigation. Having litigated for years in New York, Daniel brings significant trial experience to bear when confronting clients' most pressing legal challenges.
Daniel represents individual and corporate clients facing white-collar criminal prosecution in state and federal court, as well as regulatory investigations pursued by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, IRS, Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina Attorney General's Office, and other enforcement bodies. Formerly a New York public defender and attorney at a prominent global law firm, he has experience defending clients against claims of securities fraud, bank fraud, accounting fraud, real estate fraud, government contract fraud, health care fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, criminal tax evasion, environmental crimes, bribery, political corruption, and other forms of financial mismanagement.
The thing I find most rewarding about criminal defense work is standing shoulder to shoulder with someone whom the government has defined by their worst alleged behavior, the media has vilified, and the courts have identified as a number on a docket. I consider it my duty and my privilege to demand that the “system” stop, explain itself, confront the ambiguities in the law and the inconsistencies inherent in our daily lives, exercise deliberation before wielding such awesome power, and account for the full humanity of the individual before it. There is dignity in each of us, and it deserves no less.
Daniel helps businesses and public institutions plan and conduct internal investigations to assess the risks of, and respond to, concerns raised by federal regulators, internal whistleblowers, and public company shareholders. He has experience investigating alleged securities violations, money laundering claims, corporate governance issues, trade secret misappropriation claims, labor and employment issues, health care fraud, and alleged environmental (including Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act) violations, among other matters.
An attorney with years of experience practicing in Manhattan, Daniel helps companies of all sizes address their most complex legal issues, including matters regarding real estate, contracts, unfair and deceptive trade practices claims, False Claims Act violations, business torts, and securities. Daniel also advises companies on issues pertaining to the regulatory regime governing legal hemp and cannabis.
In addition to his white collar criminal defense practice, Daniel has long represented clients accused of all manner of state and federal crimes, first as a public defender in New York and now as a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel for the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. An experienced trial attorney, he represents clients accused of gun possession, drug trafficking, RICO gang conspiracy, larceny, embezzlement, and more.
White-Collar Criminal Defense
Daniel has over a decade of experience defending clients facing career-defining and potentially life-altering white collar criminal charges, including:
- A prominent political figure charged with alleged bribery, conspiracy, and false statements, resulting in the dismissal of the bribery, conspiracy, and two false statement counts and a probationary sentence for the remaining count, which was terminated early by a presidential pardon.
- A senior bank executive in DOJ, SEC, and CFTC investigations into accounting fraud based on alleged mismarking of illiquid positions. No charges were brought.
- A senior bank executive in DOJ, SEC, and state attorneys general investigations into alleged fraud in the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. No charges were brought.
- A health care professional in a DOJ investigation concerning alleged kickbacks paid for unnecessary drug testing. No charges were brought.
- A high net worth individual in a DOJ investigation into real estate fraud. No charges were brought.
- A senior hedge fund executive in an SEC investigation into mismanagement and accounting fraud. No charges were brought.
- A publicly traded specialty finance corporation in a DOJ investigation into alleged violations of stranger-originated life insurance restrictions, resulting in a non-prosecution agreement.
- A public company board member and audit committee chairman in civil suits alleging accounting fraud, resulting in dismissal of all claims and entry into a non-prosecution agreement.
- A government contractor accused of conspiracy to commit fraud. Achieved sentence for client of less than half of the low end of the applicable guidelines range.
- A senior executive of a health care management practice in a DOJ Medicaid fraud investigation. Negotiated a resolution avoiding exposure to charges carrying significant mandatory minimum and achieved a sentence for client six months below the guidelines range and less than half the range initially calculated by probation.
- On behalf of a public company board of directors, investigated alleged insider dealing arising from share repurchases executed with an activist shareholder, resulting in dismissal of all related lawsuits.
- On behalf of a public company, investigated alleged attorney misconduct during intellectual property litigation, resulting in settlement of all related lawsuits.
- On behalf of an accounting firm, investigated alleged fabrication of foreign accounting files, resulting in a favorable resolution with local regulators.
- On behalf of a national sales and marketing company, investigated alleged theft of trade secrets in connection with a business dispute. The dispute was resolved with no claims filed.
- On behalf of a global agricultural company, investigated alleged money laundering and export/import violations by a customer, resulting in no adverse action against the agricultural company.
- On behalf of privately held towing company, investigated alleged unfair and deceptive practices in towing, resulting in no adverse action against the towing company.
- On behalf of a private equity firm, investigated alleged employment discrimination at a corporate target of acquisition, resulting in successful negotiation of purchase agreement.
- On behalf of a financial institution, investigated alleged illegal gambling by key employee, resulting in resignation of the employee.
- On behalf of an accounting firm, investigated alleged accounting fraud, resulting in no charges filed.
- On behalf of a governmental body, investigated alleged improprieties in contract procurement, resulting in successful resolution of the matter.
Complex Business Litigation
- Defended foreign bank executives in litigation asserting RICO conspiracy, securities fraud, and state tort claims arising out of alleged participation in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, resulting in dismissal of all claims.
- Defended private equity fund in litigation alleging deceptive business practices arising from the purported corporate practice of dentistry, resulting in dismissal of all claims.
- Represented casino and entertainment company in fraudulent conveyance litigation arising out of a multi-billion dollar bankruptcy, resulting in negotiated consensual restructuring and release of all claims.
- Represented drug manufacturer seeking to enforce purchase agreement for transfer of rights to a drug, resulting in substantial payment of amounts owed.
- Represented travel brokerage firm seeking to enforce consulting contract, resulting in substantial payment of amounts owed and dismissal of all asserted counterclaims.
- Defended aerospace company in connection with antitrust, wrongful prosecution, and business tort claims, resulting in settlement of five related lawsuits alleging billions of dollars in damages.
State and Federal Criminal Defense
- Representation on appeal from gun possession charges, resulting in successful petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, vacatur of conviction, and dismissal of all charges.
- Representation in post-conviction habeas petition challenging lack of accommodations provided to deaf individual, resulting in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturning a conviction for murder and ordering retrial or dismissal.
- Representation of primary target in drug conspiracy, resulting in favorable plea to specified term under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C).
- Representation of individual charged in sprawling RICO gang conspiracy, resulting in favorable sentence following plea.
- Trial to verdict of larceny and unauthorized use of a vehicle charges, resulting in acquittal.
- Trial to verdict of case alleging prostitution, resulting in acquittal.
- Trial to verdict of case alleging assault, resulting in reversal of conviction on appeal.
- Representation of hundreds of individuals facing a variety of state criminal charges through dismissal of all claims, plea, or trial.
Honors & Recognitions
Recognized by his peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina’s "Legal Elite" in Criminal Law (2022)
Appointed to the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (2020-present)
Selected for 2018 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society
Selected for 2017 North Carolina Bar Association Leadership Academy
Efforts on the Signal International litigation recognized by American Lawyer as the Global Pro Bono Dispute of the Year (2015)
Harvard Law School, J.D., 2009, President, Harvard Defenders
University of Maryland, B.A., 2003, magna cum laude
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd and 4th Circuit
U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
U.S. District Courts for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina
- RecognitionThirty Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s 2022 “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”Business North Carolina, 01.03.2022
- Press Release07.29.2020
- RecognitionCommunity or Pro Bono Recognition, 12.16.2019
- Press Release09.18.2018
- Press Release02.22.2017
- Press Release09.06.2016
- Speaking Engagements05.10.2021
- Speaking EngagementsBrooks Pierce Attorneys Present Continuing Legal Education on Possible Ethical Pitfalls in Internal Investigations10.16.2018
- PublicationNorth Carolina Business Court Ruling Could Impact the Ability of Businesses to Assert Attorney-Client Privilege Over Communications During Internal Investigations12.10.2020
- PublicationTop Officials at Massachusetts Veterans' Home Face Significant Prison Time Based on COVID-19 Outbreak that Occurred on their Watch09.30.2020
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center: Timely Counsel for your Business, 04.01.2020
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center: Timely Counsel for your Business, 03.19.2020
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center: Timely Counsel for your Business, 03.16.2020
Professional & Civic
Professional & Civic Activities
Member, North Carolina Bar Association (2016-present)
Member, North Carolina Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Council (2019-present)
Member, Greensboro Bar Association
Member, New York Bar Association (2010-2016)
I am an avid traveler, runner, triathlete, and small boat sailor. I find great joy being near, on, or in the water, especially when I am with my family.