BRIAN SUN, 55
FIRM: Jones Day LLP
LAW SCHOOL: USC Gould School of Law
CLIENTS: Greenberg Glusker firm and Bertram Fields in the Anthony Pellicano-related civil litigation, former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona, Wen Ho Lee
A nuclear scientist accused of fraud. A law enforcement official accused of corruption. An attorney tainted by the scandal that spread from an unethical private investigator.
And that’s just a sample of the high-profile cases that Brian Sun has successfully defended.
Sun said the case of former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona, who was indicted on public corruption charges in 2007, was his most challenging of his 29-year legal career.
“They don’t teach you in law school how to deal with cases where there is intense media scrutiny, and a lot of distorted information is being reported,” he said.
A jury earlier this year found Carona guilty of one felony count, but cleared him of the five other charges filed against him.
A federal judge then sentenced Carona to 66 months in prison, but he has yet to serve any time. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal recently ruled that an appeal filed by Carona’s legal team raised an issue that is likely to result in reversal, an order for a new trial, or a sentence that doesn’t include prison time.
In other high-profile cases, Sun won a $1.6 million settlement for Wen Ho Lee, who had been accused of nuclear espionage, and helped prevent attorney Bertram Fields from being indicted in the Anthony Pellicano scandal.
Sun went to USC for undergrad and law school. Then he worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission as a law student and then served an apprenticeship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. Both experiences piqued his interest in criminal matters.
Sun then became an assistant U.S. Attorney in 1982 and tried drug money laundering cases, which led to him to testifying before Congress and helping draft legislation on the issue.
Sun has been in private practice since 1986. But he also finds time to travel.
“If I wasn’t an attorney, I would be a travel critic for the New York Times,” Sun said. “I like to critique food and nice places.”
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