Paul Kish is an experienced Atlanta federal criminal defense lawyer who specializes in representing people and companies who are under investigation or actually being prosecuted for possible criminal conduct. Paul mostly works in the federal court system, but he will take a state-court case if he believes his involvement will make a difference for his client. Whether he takes a case in federal or state court, he specializes in the following areas.
For over 36 years, most of Paul’s work has been in the federal court arena. Federal criminal defense is a specialty, and some otherwise very fine criminal defense lawyers do not feel comfortable in these type matters. A person facing a federal criminal case is confronted with the awesome resources and power of the United States government. These cases are often far more complex than those Paul faces when he goes to state court. Furthermore, the potential sentences in a federal criminal case are often far more serious than the same case in the state court system. Additionally, the procedural rules are also different from a similar case brought in state court. Another big difference is the individuals on the other side of the courtroom. The prosecutors and federal agents are often more well-financed, and even though there are many fine state court prosecutors and investigators, they usually have far fewer resources than their federal counterparts. Federal cases are also different in that they regularly come with significant amounts of publicity. To top it off, anyone charged in a federal criminal matter could be facing mandatory penalties, and even if not, the client could get significant punishment based on the wickedly complicated Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Paul takes on many different kinds of criminal cases here in Atlanta and elsewhere, but his cases often fall into several categories. Quite a few of his clients face investigations or are actually prosecuted for economic crimes. These include mail and wire fraud, which are the workhorse statutes used in federal criminal fraud investigations and prosecutions. Other economic crimes brought against Paul’s clients are allegations such as healthcare fraud. This area is currently the subject of vigorous investigation and prosecution by federal authorities, and many of Paul’s clients include medical practitioners and those who operate companies that provide medical and mental health services. Other economic crimes that Paul works on arise out of the securities industry, where individuals and companies who are often regulated by the SEC sometimes come under that agency’s microscope. Paul also works on economic crimes arising out of real estate and mortgage businesses, and in the banking industry. One more large area of Paul’s practice in the economic crime arena involves federal contractors.
A slightly different kind of economic criminal case can be described as “public corruption”. Paul has worked on many such matters, where his clients are sometimes in the political arena themselves. These clients often have to deal with political and public relations issues along with defending against an investigation or prosecution. Other clients in this type of matter are employed by or have contracts with government agencies or otherwise receive federal funding.
“Money Laundering” crimes have become a regular feature of many criminal indictments. These crimes often arise out of a case where the prosecutors allege that Paul’s client committed a different crime, such as fraud or dealing in drugs. The prosecutors then claim that using or moving the “proceeds” of the crime is the separate crime of laundering those same ill-gotten gains. Other money laundering crimes come out financial businesses, where prosecutors contend that Paul’s clients did not follow all the rules and regulations that impact these highly regulated organizations.
On occasion, Paul’s clients face investigations or prosecutions arising out of what happened through some form of an electronic communication, what is sometimes called an “internet crime”. These cases are especially difficult, requiring an intimate understanding of internet-based communications, social media platforms, and forensic investigations of computers, phones, tablets and other devices where evidence might or might not be found.
As an Atlanta federal criminal defense lawyer, Paul also handles cases where his clients are alleged to have violated the drug laws. Sometimes, clients face charges involving distribution of marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, opioids, methamphetamine, hallucinogenic and other illegal controlled substances. Some drug cases involve people or companies who have a legal right to possess and even prescribe controlled substances. Paul’s clients have been accused of operating what are sometimes referred to as a “pill mill.” Other times, clients are accused of not operating their business or medical practice in accordance with general standards in the field.
Paul has worked on federal criminal matters for over 36 years. Most of his cases involve what are sometimes referred to as “white collar crimes”. Just about any crime can fall within this category, but these cases are almost always more complex and complicated. Normally, these cases arise out of a business context. In this modern and data-driven world, defending against these “business crimes” means that the attorney needs to be very well-versed in evaluating, assessing and presenting only the most crucial facts out of a huge body of information that most organizations create for even the simplest transaction.
In addition to crimes arising out of the business world and over the internet, Paul also works on cases involving gun law crimes. Guns are very controversial in the United States, and there is a huge body of laws and regulations that impact the legality of purchasing, selling, possessing and using guns. Paul has been in the forefront over the years in fighting against many theories used by prosecutors when they claim that clients have violated some of these gun laws. Despite the fact that guns are an emotional issue for some people, Paul regularly handles such matters.
Paul helps his Atlanta clients and those throughout the United States in all stages of the criminal process. For some clients, they want him to be involved from the very beginning, at the point when the government has just started a criminal investigation focused on a company or an individual. This is often the place where having an experienced attorney can make the biggest difference. For some situations, the best tactic is to monitor the investigation but provide no information to investigators or prosecutors. Other cases are at the opposite end of the spectrum: Paul arranges for his client to be interviewed after obtaining a promise of immunity from the prosecutor, assuming that the client has truthful and helpful information to provide. It takes many years of experience to know the difference between such cases, and that experience is needed to guide the client through this difficult and scary part of a case.
Other times Paul is hired to work on witness representation. In these matters, prosecutors want to use Paul’s client as a witness in front of a Grand Jury that is investigating whether a crime happened and who committed such a violation of law. These situations often arise when an investigation is focused on a company or group of businesses suspected of criminal wrongdoing. Often, Paul’s client is not suspected of committing the crime, but the prosecutors believe the client has useful information. Testifying in front of a grand or trial jury is both scary and dangerous, so clients should always consult an experienced lawyer before agreeing to be a witness.
Paul is an Atlanta criminal defense attorney who has also handles thousands of sentencing hearings. Some clients either lose their case after a trial or plead guilty, but both cases result in a complex hearing at which a Judge needs to decide the appropriate punishment. Sentencing hearings can be extremely complex and time-consuming, especially in federal criminal cases. The lawyer needs to know about the complicated Sentencing Guidelines, ways around those rules, and tactics designed to put the client’s personal situation in the best possible light. Paul has handled sentencing hearings for 36 years.
State Court cases are both similar to and yet different than federal criminal matters. Paul, who mostly practices criminal defense in Atlanta, has also agreed to work on state cases in Georgia courts from the mountain counties up north, throughout central Georgia, and down to counties in the southernmost part of the state. Paul goes where his clients need him to be.
The vast majority of Paul’s work is handling criminal cases in various contexts. However, he will also handle related situations. For example, Paul has experience assisting professionals with licensing issues that arise out of criminal investigations. He helps professionals and others in the securities field in reacting to investigations and requests for information. Paul also works on settling potential False Claims Act cases if the matter arises out of a criminal investigation.
The following pages give more detail about the various areas in which Paul Kish practices.