Terree A. Bowers
Terree's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, and government enforcement.
Terree has extensive experience in criminal, civil, and municipal law and previously served as the US Attorney for the Central District of California and the Chief Deputy City Attorney for Los Angeles. He brings more than 35 years of experience in corporate investigations, crisis management, securities fraud, criminal and civil RICO cases, banking and financial institution fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the False Claims Act (FCA), civil rights actions, political corruption and campaign contribution issues, government contracting, health care fraud and regulatory matters, pharmaceutical issues, environmental criminal and regulatory matters, employment issues, customs, tax fraud, antitrust issues, insurance coverage, California Unfair Competition (Section 17200) cases and a variety of other complex litigation matters.
While Terree has a very diverse practice, he also handles regulatory and criminal matters for hospitals, medical health entities/practices and, in certain circumstances, physicians. He specializes in urgent and emergency situations involving subpoenas, search warrants, arrests and fast-moving investigations. He also handles regular investigations by local, state and federal authorities.
Representative cases include:
- Represented a prominent hospital in a patient dumping investigation widely covered by the media. Quietly resolved the case and helped develop new guidelines for the hospital. The multi-hospital investigation lasted months and each time a new hospital was implicated, the media listed all of the other hospitals – except Terree’s client. Not only had Terree resolved the case, but he worked out an arrangement for no further press coverage regarding his client.
- Represented a nursing school being investigated by the FBI and the DOE regarding fraud in grading and graduations. Terree was brought in to represent the Board of Directors. He negotiated with the Chief of the Criminal Division, USAO, and succeeded in getting the entire investigation dismissed and all seized money returned. The resolution was just in time for the school to survive.
- Came into a case to assist another attorney involving a physician under prosecution by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Terree broke a stalemate and was able to resolve the case and save the physician’s career.
As legal cannabis businesses are starting to expand, they have become targets for a variety of criminal attacks. Black market competitors and rogue law enforcement officers are continually looking for ways to steal from and extort legitimate cannabis operations. Terree recently handled a case in which a deputy sheriff and his accomplices served a manufactured search warrant on a cannabis business site in order to rob the operation of both product and cash. Terree handled the delicate negotiations with law enforcement which resulted in the conviction of all perpetrators, including an insider, and he is currently working on getting restitution for the owners. If your cannabis operation is the victim of a crime, there is no one in the country better qualified to represent you than Terree.
Before joining Arent Fox, Terree served as the US Attorney for the Central District of California, where he supervised the work of the Criminal, Civil, Tax, and Asset Forfeiture Sections. He supervised all civil litigation and was the final authority on settlements and civil dispositions as well as tax litigation. During his tenure, the office had a large inventory of qui tam cases and was a national leader in asset forfeitures. As a prosecutor, he established and chaired the first Telemarketing Investment Fraud Task Force in the country and created and headed the Financial Institutions Fraud Task Force for the Los Angeles area. He was also selected to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and the Department of Justice Economic Crime Council.
Terree has received the prestigious US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, among numerous other awards, has taught at the US Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, and has lectured throughout the nation. He also handled terrorism and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act cases and was the point person in the western US for the Department of Justice’s Intelligence Policy Group. He has been honored by many federal agencies, three United States Attorneys General, and one Canadian agency for his outstanding work in a variety of fields.
After serving as the US Attorney, Terree became the Chief Deputy City Attorney for Los Angeles and supervised more than 525 attorneys. He supervised the office's advisory responsibilities to elected officials, commissions, and other city entities, and the office’s preparation of legal opinions and ordinances. While serving as Chief Deputy, the Office twice argued and prevailed before the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 1994, the Department of Justice selected Terree to serve as a US representative on the Yugoslavia War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY). He traveled to Bosnia at the height of the Yugoslav conflict to investigate allegations of genocide and helped present the international arrest warrant case against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. He was promoted to serve as the Legal Coordinator for the Investigations Section of the ICTY and during his final week at the ICTY, gave the opening statement in one of its first genocide trials. He also served as a consultant to the Rwandan War Crimes Tribunal.
While Terree prides himself on “silent victories,” some of his representative matters include:
- Convinced the SEC to drop fraud allegations against a local city and its airport authority;
- Convinced the San Diego United States Attorney’s Office to drop insurance fraud charges against a former NFL player;
- Convinced the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office to close an investigation into an Orange County nursing college;
- Convinced the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to drop a public corruption investigation against a high profile City official;
- Represented a key witness in the federal investigation of Lance Armstrong;
- Convinced the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission to close an investigation against six Los Angeles World Airports officials;
- Negotiated a successful resolution with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office concerning alleged environmental violations in a historic area of Salinas;
- Successfully negotiated with the United States Department of Justice the resolution of alleged Stark law violations by six urologists in Monterey County, avoiding any criminal charges;
- Convinced the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office to close an investigation of an unfair competition investigation into a large national bank and also successfully negotiated the bank’s exposure in two additional unfair competition cases;
- Successfully secured the dismissal of charges against a former regional vice president for a publicly traded medical information technology company after the Department of Justice’s Corporate Fraud Task Force indicted him. Terree convinced the task force to drop all charges;
- Successfully ended an investigation by the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office into a San Pedro fish company;
- Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, settled civil claims against two major groups of insurance carriers and administrators on behalf of medical providers who were not getting paid;
- Negotiated favorable resolutions with The California Air Resources Board for two separate international corporations;
- Secured a non-prosecution agreement from the Brooklyn US Attorney's Office in a securities fraud investigation involving the third largest retail jewelry chain in the country;
- Convinced the Los Angeles US Attorney’s Office not to indict a “target” in a major labor relations fraud case;
- Succeeded in getting a private investigator dismissed from a private civil rights action;
- Served as the lead attorney for the city of Los Angeles in an unfair business practice case against an international public relations firm, and succeeded in obtaining a multimillion-dollar settlement in favor of the city;
- Represented two whistle-blowers who broke open a bribery case in the Oregon prison system;
- Served as the lead attorney and crafted a “win-win” settlement in a case involving a disabled jockey and The Jockey’s Guild; and
- Helped defend a government fraud case in the Western District of Texas which resulted in probation.
Terree’s professional affiliations included:
- American Bar Association (ABA), Member
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Former Member
- Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow
- Standing Committee on Discipline for the Federal District Court, Central District of California, Former Member
- Inner City Law Center, Board of Directors (2005 – present)
- Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Former Member
- Institute for Corporate Counsel, Advisory Board
- Los Angeles Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee, Former Member
- The Human Rights Subcommittee of the ABA International Law Committee (Los Angeles), Former Co-Chair
Publications, Presentations & Recognitions
Terree is regularly listed in Chambers USA in the practices of White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America since 2013, Top Attorneys in Southern California, American’s Most Honored Professionals, AVVO Top Rated Lawyers, Top Rated Lawyers in Commercial Law and received the “Albert E. Arent Award" for pro bono work, among other awards. He also has authored numerous articles and was a contributor and editor for the first set of charging guidelines for the Yugoslav International War Crimes Tribunal.
Terree’s articles include:
- "Opinion: It's Time to Bring Khashoggi's Killers Under Magnitsky Sanctions," The Daily Caller, October 23, 2018
- "Clients With International Interests May Need to Register Under FARA," Daily Journal, October 22, 2018
- "America Should Support the Efforts of the ICC," Daily Journal, September 21, 2018
- "Ending Interpol Abuse: How A Key Tool In Global Law Enforcement Is Being Hijacked By Rogue Regimes," Huffington Post, March 16, 2017
- “White Collar Defense Roundtable,” California Lawyer; July 2010
- “Partners in Justice for Darfur,” California Lawyer; January 2008
- “What to Do When a Corporate Crisis Hits,” 2009 Institute for Corporate Counsel, Los Angeles, CA; December 1, 2009
- “Justice Sought for Darfur War Crimes,” Los Angeles Times; June 12, 2007
- “Americans Will Train Sudanese Lawyers,” Los Angeles Daily Journal; May 29, 2007
- “Switching Sides: Prosecutors Move to Defense,” Los Angeles Daily Journal; January 12, 2006
- “Weekend America,” National Public Radio; November 27, 2005
Life Beyond the Law
Terree served on the Los Angeles Executive Committee for Human Rights Watch and has participated in an ABA program training Sudanese attorneys, as well as the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.
Bar & Court Admissions
- California Bar
- Kosovo Bar
- Supreme Court of the United States
- US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- US District Court, Central District of California
University of Texas School of Law, JD, Counsel Award, Ed Guleke Scholarship, 1979University of Texas, BA, Plan II Honors Program, Alpha Phi Omega - Distinguished Service Key, The Dad's Association's Outstanding Male Student, Phi Beta Kappa, Friars, 1976