Crowe & Dunlevy recently announced former United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Sanford C. Coats has joined the firm as a director in the Oklahoma City office. He serves as co-chair of the firm’s Criminal Defense, Compliance & Investigations Practice Group and is a member of the Litigation & Trial Practice Group.
“Sandy has an exceptional reputation as a talented, experienced prosecutor, and we are honored he has joined the firm,” said Kevin D. Gordon, president and CEO of the firm. “His experience during his time as U.S. Attorney for the Western District, including his background in white collar investigations, criminal and litigation work, is extraordinary and will help us provide comprehensive legal counsel to clients here in Oklahoma and across the globe.”
Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate in 2009, Coats was U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma for more than six years. He is a member of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys, established to promote, defend and further the office of the U.S. Attorney as one of the principal instrumentalities through which the president carries out his constitutional obligation that the laws be faithfully executed.
During his time as a U.S. Attorney, he served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), meeting regularly with Attorney General Eric Holder to address Department of Justice issues, as well as a member of the AGAC subcommittees on Native American Issues, Criminal Practice, Terrorism and National Security, and Crimes Against Children. He also served as co-chairman of the government-wide Domestic Terrorism Working Group.
Prior to becoming U.S. Attorney, Coats served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in all areas of the Criminal Division for nearly six years. He prosecuted a variety of cases, including child prostitution, child pornography, banking fraud, tax evasion, crimes in Indian Country, illegal immigration, complex drug conspiracies, firearm crimes and violence associated with illegal street gangs. His responsibilities included managing investigations, supervising more than a dozen jury trials and arguing appeals before the Tenth Circuit. In addition, Coats served as team leader of the Major Crimes Team and as Project Safe Childhood coordinator.
He received a national Director’s Award for Superior Performance as Assistant U.S. Attorney for his work in the prosecution of multiple child prostitution cases. In 2007, Coats volunteered for short-term assignment to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans as part of a special initiative by the Department of Justice following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to assist in the prosecution of violent, firearm and drug crime.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Coats served as a legal intern for United States District Judge Tim Leonard and as a law clerk for Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Marian P. Opala.
In addition to his work as a federal prosecutor, Coats has served on the board of directors and as president of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, served on the board of directors of the Harding Fine Arts Academy in Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Bar Association Law School committee.
Coats received his Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in Louisiana. He is the son of Andrew M. Coats, who was appointed as the 11th dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, sixth director of the Law Center and is also a director with Crowe & Dunlevy.