Hartunian joins national legal and consulting firm

PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian in his office at the Federal Court House in Albany Wednesday, June 28, 2017.PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian in his office at the Federal Court House in Albany Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

By Kristin Schultz

Gazette Reporter

Newly retired United States Attorney Richard Hartunian will enter private practice with national legal and consulting firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. The firm has offices around the country but Hartunian will work out of New York City and Albany.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP made the announcement on July 11; Hartunian will start in August.

According to the announcement, Hartunian will focus on internal investigations, criminal and regulatory enforcement actions and high-stakes civil litigation.

Manatt’s chief executive officer and managing partner, William T. Quicksilver, praised Hartunian’s legal and leadership skills, as well as his experience.

“With broad-based experience in major, high-profile matters, Rick will provide strong and steady counsel to clients across industries,” Quicksilver said in a statement.

Hartunian worked for the Department of Justice for 20 years, investigating and prosecuting cases. As a U.S. attorney, he served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee under Eric Holder and chaired the committee under Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for me,” Hartunian said in a previous interview. “It’s an opportunity for me to do different kinds of work.”

Hartunian, a Niskayuna High School alumnus, will join the firm as a partner in the corporate investigations and white-collar defense practice.

In a statement, Hartunian said he had a number of options as he considered his post-government life. He chose Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP due to its “collaborative culture” and “environment that values innovation and fosters excellence in client service.”

Although Hartunian will practice in New York state, he will not be in the courtrooms at the James T. Foley federal courthouse. Ethics rules prohibit Hartunian from doing certain work in the federal district for two years following his retirement from the DOJ.

Hartunian had served as the U.S. attorney of the Northern District of New York since 2010. He stepped aside at the request of President Donald Trump — a move that is not uncommon when a new administration takes office. He joined the Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. attorney in 1997.