Jonathan Biran focuses his practice on complex civil and criminal litigation at the trial and appellate levels. Jonathan has successfully represented both individuals and corporations in federal and state courts. In white collar criminal cases, when clients bring Jonathan on board prior to being charged, Jonathan conducts his own thorough investigation with the goal of convincing authorities not to go forward with charges. One recent success in such a situation involved a client of Jonathan’s who received a target letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland relating to a federal mortgage fraud investigation. After Jonathan became involved in the case, he conducted his own investigation, which showed that the client was innocent. After Jonathan presented his findings to the Assistant U.S. Attorneys and investigative agents, the government decided not to prosecute Jonathan’s client. In cases where Jonathan is retained after an indictment has been filed, he applies his extensive trial experience to aggressively contest the charges in pretrial motions and, if necessary, at trial. Jonathan’s current and recent clients in white collar criminal matters have included physicians and others under investigation for alleged health care fraud offenses and/or FDA misbranding offenses; former loan officers and other financial industry professionals for alleged bank fraud and other fraud offenses; and business owners under investigation for various fraud and tax-related offenses.
Jonathan brings the same level of tenacity, knowledge, and judgment to his civil cases at both the trial court and appellate levels. One of Jonathan’s areas of expertise in civil cases is representing plaintiffs in labor and employment cases. He also represents both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial disputes.
Jonathan was a federal prosecutor for more than 17 years. Prior to leaving government service, Jonathan served as the Appellate Chief of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, where he supervised the appellate work of several dozen Assistant United States Attorneys, in addition to maintaining his own significant appellate caseload. Before serving as the Appellate Chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jonathan was a member for several years of that office’s Fraud and Public Corruption Unit, where he prosecuted major white collar criminal cases in Baltimore and Greenbelt, Maryland, including public corruption offenses, procurement fraud, mortgage fraud, and other economic crimes. While in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jonathan was the founding coordinator of the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which is comprised of more than two dozen federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies with a stake in combating mortgage fraud. Jonathan has lectured widely on trial and appellate advocacy, and has been quoted frequently in the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and other media publications, regarding cases of interest. While he was an Assistant United States Attorney, Jonathan was selected to be one of the trial advocacy instructors for new federal prosecutors at the Department of Justice’s nationwide training facility, the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina.
Jonathan has successfully argued many cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, as well as in other federal Courts of Appeals, including:
- United States v. Ortiz, 669 F.3d 439 (4th Cir. 2012)
- United States v. Moore, 477 F. App’x 102 (4th Cir. 2012)
- United States v. Poole, 640 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2011)
- United States v. Jackson, 608 F.3d 193 (4th Cir. 2010)
- United States v. Mills, 485 F.3d 219 (4th Cir. 2007)
- United States v. Bonner, 313 F.3d 110 (2d Cir. 2002)
- United States v. Kanchanalak, 192 F.3d 1037 (D.C. Cir. 1999)
In his career as a federal prosecutor, Jonathan was lead counsel in numerous complex grand jury investigations and trials, including cases involving allegations of health care, mail, wire, bank, and securities fraud; tax offenses; and controlled substance diversion by doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals. Under Jonathan’s leadership, the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force held hundreds of individuals and companies accountable for their part in the financial meltdown of the late 2000s. Jonathan also served as the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s lead in handling cases referred by the National Security Agency Office of Inspector General. He received the United States Attorney’s Award for Excellence in the Prosecution of Fraud.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland, Jonathan was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut for more than five years. While in Connecticut, in addition to prosecuting white collar criminal cases, as well as gun, drug, and various other federal criminal cases, Jonathan was the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s liaison to the Mashantucket Peqout and Mohegan Tribes relating to federal law enforcement at the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. Jonathan’s notable cases in Connecticut included the prosecution of several local public officials in the City of Waterbury for corruption offenses, a sophisticated international marriage fraud ring for which Jonathan received an award from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and more than a dozen managers and salesmen of an automobile dealership in a multi-million dollar wire fraud case.
Jonathan began his career in the Department of Justice as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section. While a prosecutor in the Public Integrity Section, Jonathan investigated and prosecuted federal, state and local officials, and others for corruption and related offenses in the District of Columbia, Virginia, California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, Oklahoma, and other states.
As a federal prosecutor, Jonathan worked closely with investigative agents from virtually every federal law enforcement agency, including the FBI, IRS, FDA, US Postal Inspection Service, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, Diplomatic Security Service, NSA OIG, HHS OIG, HUD OIG, SSA OIG, and others.
Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Jonathan worked on the Independent Counsel investigation of the Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton Administration, the late Ron Brown. Before the Brown investigation, Jonathan was an associate in the Washington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he worked in the white collar defense practice group. Jonathan received his B.A. from Swarthmore College, where he was elected by his classmates to be the Senior Class Speaker at Commencement. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was Executive Editor of the Stanford Law Review and received the Board of Editors Award for Outstanding Editorial Contribution to the Stanford Law Review, as well as the award for the best brief in the Hurlbut Moot Court Competition. After graduating from Stanford Law School, Jonathan served as a judicial law clerk to then-United States District Judge David F. Levi of the Eastern District of California, who is currently the Dean of Duke Law School.
Jonathan is the Vice President and member of the Board of Trustees of the Baltimore Bar Foundation, and also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellowship. Jonathan is also a member of the editorial board of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Appellate Blog.
Jonathan has been recognized as one of Maryland’s Super Lawyers.