Areas of Practice

Criminal Defense

Doug O’Connell represents both corporations and individuals under investigation or charged with crimes in Federal and State Court. He has more than two decades of criminal law experience both as a federal and state prosecutor and as a Defense Attorney.

He has extensive jury trial experience having first-chaired more than 100 jury trials in both federal and state courts.  His years of service as an Assistant County Attorney, Assistant District Attorney and Special Assistant United States Attorney provided invaluable insight and an in-depth understanding of the government’s approach and strategy in investigating and prosecuting criminal allegations.

Doug O’Connell frequently handles cases in multiple states across the country, and has a well-earned reputation for fierce, unrelenting legal representation. Doug considers it a high compliment that two separate law enforcement officer associations have retained him to represent their members.

Federal White-Collar Crimes & Investigations

Doug has extensive experience with federal investigations and criminal cases such as theft, embezzlement, money laundering, wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, bribery, government contract fraud, foreign corrupt practices act (FCPA), conspiracy, racketeering (RICO), import / export violations including ITAR matters.  He also represents clients in investigations and or charges related to classified government matters. Doug has an active Top Secret (TS-SCI) clearance, and has been repeatedly sought out to work on cases involving classified documents and programs.

Corporations, privately held firms and individuals often seek Doug’s guidance in responding to federal grand jury subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and “target” letters. Defense contractors facing allegations of procurement fraud turn to Doug for advice and counsel.  He has particular skill in investigating cases and negotiating with prosecutors, federal agents or other government officials to mitigate potential liability and exposure. His experience allows him to analyze complex matters and devise the best strategies to diminish the government’s concerns during the investigation phase, advocating to U.S. Attorneys for lesser charges and, if needed, trying the case before a federal jury.

Representative Matters (Partial):
  • Represented more than a two dozen clients under investigation for federal white-collar fraud; all avoided criminal charges.
  • Successfully thwarted enforcement of DOJ Civil Investigative Demand.
  • Effectively represented a defendant accused of wire fraud; negotiated a resolution drastically minimizing criminal liability.
  • Provided advice and counsel to a firm on the receiving end of a federal search warrant.
  • Supervised the preparation of a corporate client’s response to a federal grand jury subpoena.
  • Negotiated an effective resolution with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) on behalf of a small business under investigation, avoiding criminal charges.
  • Successfully represented a defense contractor in suspension and debarment proceedings.
  • Represented a client charged with bribery and conspiracy; resolved the case prior to trial minimizing all punishment.

State Criminal Cases

Doug has extensive experience representing defendants in Texas state courts. All felonies, State Jail felonies and misdemeanor offenses under the Texas Penal Code and related laws, including Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Aggravated Assault, Theft, Family Violence, and firearms offenses.

Representative Matters (Partial):
  • Negligent Homicide. Case dismissed.
  • Theft. All charges dropped after restitution paid.
  • Firearm at Airport. Case dismissed.
  • Interference with Public Duties. Case dismissed.
  • Driving While Intoxicated. Doug has an excellent track records of effectively negotiating cases down to a lower level offenses, and in some cases getting the case dismissed.
  • Theft by Public Servant. Successfully negotiated the case from felony level to misdemeanor charge. Obtained a Deferred Adjudication for client.
  • Poaching. Case dismissed with administrative restitution.
  • Official Misconduct by Law Enforcement Officers. Successfully prepared several officers for Grand Jury appearances; none indicted.
  • Public Intoxication / Disorderly Conduct. Doug has successfully represented college scholarship, professional and Olympic athletes charged with misconduct and or intoxication related offenses.

Whistle Blower Representation

Doug, and the Attorneys he works with believe that if you have the guts to blow the whistle on fraud and corruption, you deserve representation. Various Federal laws provide financial incentives for Whistle Blowers to report fraud, provided they’re the first party to disclose the information via a sealed lawsuit in Federal Court.  These same laws prohibit retaliation against the Whistle Blower. Likewise, most states have laws providing for Whistle Blowers to recover part of the damages recovered by the Government.  If you believe that you know about fraud against the Government, contact Doug to discuss your situation in a confidential consultation.

Types of Whistle Blower Cases
  • Fraud Against the Government – Qui Tam Lawsuits under the False Claims Act (FCA).
  • Securities Fraud – Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) -Dodd-Frank Violations.
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – Illegal bribes and influence over foreign officials.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Whistle Blower Program.
  • Health Care Programs fraud.
  • Failure to Secure Online Data and Personal Identifying Information (PII).
  • Sexual Harassment & Gender Discrimination in connection with Government contracts.

Representing Military Service Members & Veterans

A thirty-year veteran of the US Army, Doug O’Connell has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to his veteran brothers and sisters.  He regularly represents military service members and veterans unwittingly caught in the legal system, including in civilian and military courts, security clearance issues, administrative separations, and petitions for the correction of military records. If you are a service member or veteran and you think you need an attorney, call Doug O’Connell.  Doug will help you analyze your situation.  If it’s not something within his expertise, he will assist you in contacting an attorney that can help you.

Known for his aggressive defense of service members, Doug is sought out by other attorneys for advice and guidance on defending service members. He is well known for his ability to develop mitigating or exculpatory evidence especially where the client has suffered Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other service connected disabilities.

Colonel (Ret) O’Connell regularly handles a variety of military justice and related matters including:
  • Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP & AR-RAP) Defense.
  • Court-Martial – Summary, Special & General Court-Martials.
  • Article 32 Hearings.
  • Petitions for the Correction of Records.
  • Administrative Discharge – Separation Hearings.
  • National Guard Technician Discipline Issues.
  • Security Clearance Revocations.
  • Officer Promotion Review Boards.
  • Special Boards of Inquiry.
  • Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment Allegations.
  • 15-6 Investigations.

Representing Crime Victims

A crime victim is never required to retain a private attorney. For some victims however, the legal system can be overwhelming. The physical and emotional stress of going to court, meeting with law enforcement, prosecutors and court staff can be confusing and exhausting. Due to the overloaded criminal justice system, crime victims sometimes feel marginalized and their opinions irrelevant to the outcome of the case. Other victims experience stress and anxiety stemming from concerns that the perpetrator won’t be held accountable for their actions.

Individuals, organizations and families routinely engage Doug to provide representation when they have been victimized. Past clients have felt a measure of relief to have someone who can explain the process, the court actions and answer their questions in an unhurried and comprehensive manner. Likewise, Doug’s clients have gained confidence in outcome based on Doug’s involvement and advocacy.

Doug often conducts an independent investigation to ensure law enforcement and prosecutors have an accurate understanding of the nature and seriousness of the offense. He ensures all of the relevant evidence is gathered and given appropriate consideration. Most importantly, Doug serves as a forceful advocate to safeguard the victim’s opinions and interest in justice. When necessary, Doug meets with prosecutors to push for an appropriate resolution to the criminal case consistent with his victim-client’s views and desires.

Examples of Doug’s Advocacy for Victims of Crime:
  • Embezzlement. When a Veteran’s charity discovered embezzlement by a former employee, they engaged Doug to steer them through the legal process. When Doug felt the case was not being given the appropriate level of attention, he demanded meetings with senior prosecutors to push for action.
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault. In one of the most traumatic types of cases, Doug took aggressive steps to ensure the prosecutors, defense attorney, and Court understood the victim’s resolve and commitment to justice. Despite the case dragging on for nearly a year, Doug was always present to observe Court settings – guaranteeing that the case would not fall through the cracks or be plea bargained down to a slap on the wrist.
  • Stalking and Harassment. When the government failed to act, Doug successfully brought a court action on behalf of the victim for the stalker’s violation of a protective order.
  • Theft and Fraud. Doug’s been engaged to investigate complex cases where hard working people were swindled out of large sums of money. Bringing in investigators auditors and accountants as necessary, Doug develops the evidence and when appropriate, presents the case to prosecutors in a near trial ready posture.
  • Family Violence. When the system seemed to fail, and a young woman and her child were caught in an ongoing cycle of domestic violence, Doug’s guidance helped provide a clear legal strategy that allowed her to escape with her child and start a new life.

Security Clearance Issues

Doug holds an active U.S. Government Top Secret Clearance, with additional special authorization to access Sensitive Compartmented Information: TS/SCI.

Doug advises and counsels government employees, military personnel, contractors and university employees responding to questions in the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF-86). In some cases, Doug can facilitate expunction actions or orders of non-disclosure for court documents, minimizing the risk of background investigators drawing flawed conclusions. He provides clients with strategies to deal with past legal issues that could potentially surface during security clearance interviews. Likewise, Doug works with clients determine if they need to self-report current incidents or developing situations to their security manager.

Doug represents cleared personnel in connection with security clearance periodic re-investigations, suspensions and revocations. He aggressively defends clients in rebuttal documents and administrative hearings. Clients also rely on Doug’s expertise to prepare for security clearance polygraph examinations. Having undergone the government’s security clearance polygraph examination, Doug understands how past transgressions can induce unwanted stress.

National Security & Defense Contractors

Doug advises contractors and corporations operating in the defense and intelligence sectors facing legal challenges.  He works with his individual and corporate clients to navigate through investigations and works to avoid criminal charges, civil lawsuits or administrative or regulatory sanctions.  When necessary, Doug is fully prepared to fight through pre-trial hearings and take cases to jury trial.

  • Procurement Fraud Investigations & Charges.
  • Civil Investigative demands.
  • Grand Jury subpoenas.
  • The National Industrial Security Program (NISP) / facility clearance issues.
  • Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI).
  • Special Access Programs (SAP).
  • Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA).
  • Security clearance issues -Department of Defense & Department of Energy. 
  • International Traffic In Arms (ITAR) and U.S. Export Controls. 

Corporate Investigations

Doug conducts investigations for individual and corporate clients seeking an independent investigator, when the investigation is sensitive in nature, and or when the client has a need to maintain the protections of the Attorney-Client privilege.  Workplace investigations often center around involve elements of sexual harassment, discrimination, embezzlement, regulatory noncompliance and other types of workplace misconduct.

Doug will diligently ascertain the facts, determine corporate or individual liability, make recommendations for corrective action and advise on regulatory self-reporting. Depending on the complexity of the investigation, Doug has the ability to assemble multi discipline teams of trusted professionals – Private Investigators, Forensic Accountants, Auditors, Forensic Computer Examiners, Intelligence Analysts – all working under the direction of Doug to produce Attorney work-product reports.

External Investigations
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Bribery
  • Kick Backs
  • Financial Mismanagement
  • Anti-Corruption
  • Money Laundering
  • Fraud
  • Theft
Employment Standards of Conduct
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Background Misrepresentation
  • Toxic Leadership
  • Online / Cyber Misconduct
  • Threats of Workplace Violence
Security Investigations
  • Data Breach
  • Cyber Crimes
  • Physical Security Violations
  • Threats of Violence
Due Diligence Investigations
  • Key Management Background Investigations
  • Asset Searches
  • Pending Litigation, Judgments and Claims
  • Regulatory Compliance

Civil Litigation

Most people go through their entire life without ever having to sue someone in court.  Sometimes, through no fault of their own, people are forced to take legal action to protect their rights, their family or their property.  Other times, people are forced to take legal action to compel another party to simply do the right thing.

Representative Matters (Partial):
  • Litigated a defamation case against a privately held company on behalf of a retired senior military officer.
  • Brought legal action against an oil field services company following a fatal accident where two Soldiers died as a result of the company’s negligence.

Other Sensitive Matters

Doug regularly advises clients with sensitive matters not easily defined by legal categories.  Clients have turned to Doug to assist with situations requiring security personnel, missing persons and complicated international logistics.

Doug works hard to fashion discreet, low profile solutions to challenging situations.

He maintains an extensive network of current and former military special operations, state & federal law enforcement, and intelligence community personnel.

Representative Matters (Partial):
  • Steered a client responding to a subpoenaed by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Russian influence investigation.
  • Guided a high profile national media celebrity through an alarming and difficult personal security situation.
  • Counseled a prominent public figure regarding unsubstantiated internet-based rumors and accusations.
  • Advised a client on legal issues associated with recovering a child abducted removed from the United States.

A member of:

state
TBC-Logo
Texas_Bar_Foundation
texas-criminal-lawyers
austin-lawyers