MEET THE TEAM
With a distinguished career in Federal Law Enforcement; Federal and State criminal prosecutions and investigations; and military and civilian intelligence and litigation experience, Jim Letten joined Butler Snow in 2015 while serving (2013-2016) as Assistant Dean for Experiential learning at Tulane School of Law, and is a partner with the firm, which has some 360 attorneys in 26 cities, including London, Singapore and Hong Kong. Jim utilizes his extensive experience consulting and providing representation on criminal and regulatory investigations by government agencies, as well as internal investigations, government audits, civil fraud cases, and a wide variety of domestic and international matters.
Jim previously served some 36-years as a prosecutor –30 years of it with the United States Department of Justice. Prior to his retirement in 2012, he was the longest-serving United States attorney in the nation, and one of only three U.S. Attorneys appointed to the position by successive presidents from different parties. In all, he spent nearly 12 continuous years as the United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Louisiana. And his accomplishments were significant.
While serving as the Presidentially-appointed United States Attorney, oversaw, from its very inception through investigation, findings, negotiation, settlement, formalization and implementation, the U.S. Department of Justice Consent Decree involving DOJ
oversight of the entire New Orleans Police Department—which was and remains the broadest and most sweeping consent decree of a local PD in U.S. history. He has been and remains over the last 14 years a regular faculty member of the New Orleans Police
Department’s Training Academy—where he has taught both in-service and recruit-level basic legal concepts, stop and frisk, search and seizure, legal liabilities, federal/constitutional laws affecting police and other areas.
Additionally, as United States Attorney Jim served on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee (AGAC); co-chaired the AGAC Subcommittees on Violent and Organized Crime; and co-chaired the Attorney General's Special Policy Review Working Group on Capital Punishment. He also served on the AGAC Subcommittees on Terrorism and National Security, as well as Environmental Issues. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, in addition to receiving a prestigious award for his leadership from the Attorney General of the United States, Jim also helped to establish and eventually served as the Director of the still-active National Center for Disaster Fraud.
Before his appointment as U.S. Attorney, Jim amassed an impressive record, initially as Chief of the Justice Department's Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force in New Orleans, and thereafter as the First Assistant United States Attorney for nearly 7 years, serving as lead prosecutor in the conviction of the entire New Orleans La Cosa Nostra crime family, and thereafter as the lead prosecutor in the investigation, four month trial and conviction of former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards. During his 39- year legal career, Jim has litigated literally hundreds of jury and bench trials in both federal and state courts.
Recently, Jim has provided effective representation for a number of clients including local and international companies in a broad range of matters, and in particular building domestic and international anti-corruption compliance and training programs.
Jim is a retired Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, in which he also served as a fully- credentialed NCIS Agent and Foreign Counter-Intelligence Officer.
Jim received his J.D. from Tulane University in 1979 and is admitted to the State Bar of Louisiana and a number of Federal Courts.