fbpx
Erica Williamson Barnes
Shareholder
PROFILE
AWARDS
AFFILIATIONS
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Erica's Profile

Erica is passionate about criminal law and how actual or threatened government investigations and prosecutions can impact companies and individuals and pending civil litigation and regulatory actions. She assists individuals and entities all along the criminal law spectrum from helping businesses prevent, investigate, and remediate potential criminal violations to representing individuals and businesses in active government investigations, criminal prosecutions, and related civil litigation. Erica has experience in a wide variety of substantive areas including securities, mail, wire, and healthcare fraud, bribery, anti-trust violations, trade secrets violations, embezzlement, money laundering, narcotics and firearms offenses, cybercrime and cryptocurrency, child exploitation, elder abuse, and criminal and civil false claims.

Erica has experience in commercial litigation matters as well and has represented defendants in individual and class actions involving contract, employment, shareholder, and securities claims. Erica has experience with all facets of the state and federal criminal process. She rejoined Maynard Cooper in 2018 after serving for four years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. As an AUSA Erica worked with a multitude of federal agencies and state and local task forces to prosecute traditional criminal and white collar matters. Prior to joining Maynard Cooper as an Associate in 2010, Erica served as Special Prosecutor in the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta and a law clerk to the late Honorable Owen Forrester in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Erica also maintains a full docket of appointed criminal cases as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Northern District of Alabama and is actively involved in white collar and criminal defense organizations locally, regionally, and nationally.

Compliance and Internal Investigations

In her compliance and investigations practice, Erica advises clients in a wide range of industries from healthcare to manufacturing across the firm’s national footprint. She assists clients in assessing risk and designing, implementing, and maintaining effective compliance programs so that they can prevent, detect, investigate and fix problems before they result in government investigations and litigation. Erica also helps clients prepare to quickly and efficiently defend themselves to the public, the government, and other stakeholders if problems do arise. Much of Erica’s current practice, focuses on pre-transaction financial crimes diligence, post transaction implementation, and internal investigations for private equity firms and their portfolio companies.

Government Investigations

Erica represents individuals or entities who are brought into state or federal government investigations as witnesses, victims, or potential targets. She assists clients with (1) understanding their own risk and potential for criminal prosecution or civil exposure; (2) understanding how a criminal investigation may impact their business, reputation, or other pending legal matters; (3) negotiating and responding to time and cost intensive grand jury subpoenas and other requests for documents or testimony; (3) responding to interview requests, search warrants, and other forms of unanticipated government contact; (4) addressing asset seizures; and (5) advocating for their rights as victims.

Criminal Prosecutions and Civil Litigation with a Criminal Component

Erica has represented individuals from all walks of life charged with criminal violations. She is a tireless advocate for her clients because she understands the impact a criminal case can have on an individual’s family, business, finances, and physical and mental health. Erica regularly negotiates favorable dismissals, plea agreements, cooperation agreements, and sentences for her clients, but she is not afraid to litigate a matter through trial if necessary. Erica has successfully tried numerous cases to jury in state and federal court as both prosecutor and defense counsel. Erica also understands that the specter of a criminal case can have a huge impact on civil or administrative litigation and on the individuals and companies involved. She uses her trial experience and her understanding of criminal matters to help her clients better navigate civil and administrative actions with a criminal component.

Erica's Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America© for Corporate Compliance Law (2020)
  • Superlawyers, Top Rated White Collar Crimes Attorney, Birmingham, AL (2014 to Present)
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars (2014)

Erica's Affiliations and Civic Involvement

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Criminal Justice Section
  • Women in White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA) (Co-Chair Tennessee/Alabama Chapter)
  • Birmingham Bar Association: Criminal Justice Section
  • Alabama State Bar: Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee (Co-Chair), State Bar Leadership Forum

Civic Involvement

  • Vestavia Planning and Zoning Commission (Chair)
  • Junior League of Birmingham
  • Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church
  • Girl Scouts of America

Erica's Speaking Engagements

  • September 5, 2019: Big Data: The Evolution of Healthcare, RICO and Money Laundering Investigations, Panelist, ABA Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute
  • July 17, 2019: White Collar Criminal Practice: Planning for a Career on Either Side, Alabama State Bar, Panelist, White Collar Crime Subcommittee
  • June 13, 2019: Keeping it Out: Exploring Successful Strategies to Suppress Emails, Text Messages and Other Electronic Evidence, Speaker, Alabama State Bar, White Collar Crime Subcommittee CLE
  • January 16, 2019: How Virtual Currency & The Dark Web are Impacting Financial Crime in Alabama, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) – Alabama Chapter
  • December 4, 2018: Beyond the Statute: Winning Strategies for Relators and Defendants in False Claims Act Cases, Moderator, Alabama State Bar, White Collar Crime Subcommittee CLE
  • October 26, 2018: What To Do When the Government Shows Up, 64th Annual Human Resources Management Conference, Birmingham, AL
CONTACT
T 205.254.1115
vCard
BAR ADMISSIONS
State Bar:Alabama, Georgia
U.S. District Court:Alabama (Northern)
EDUCATION

Duke University School of Law (J.D., High Honors, Order of the Coif)

Vanderbilt University (B.A., Political Science and Economics, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)

JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS

Honorable J. Owen Forrester
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia

August 15, 2019
130 Maynard Cooper & Gale Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020
Maynard Cooper & Gale is pleased to announce that 130 of the Firm’s attorneys have been recognized as leaders in their practice areas in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a peer-review guide highlighting att...
December 14, 2018
VIRTUAL CURRENCY REGULATION: WHAT DO ALABAMA BANKERS NEED TO KNOW? – ALABAMA BANKERS ASSOCIATION BOARD BRIEFS
October 29, 2018
MAYNARD COOPER HOSTS ALABAMA STATE BAR WHITE COLLAR CRIME COMMITTEE
Birmingham, AL. Maynard Cooper was pleased to recently host the Alabama State Bar White Collar Crime Committee for a Continuing Learning Education seminar entitled “The Art and Science of Cross Examination.” The program featur...
September 20, 2018
THREE LITIGATION SHAREHOLDERS JOIN MAYNARD COOPER & GALE
Maynard Cooper & Gale is pleased to welcome three Shareholders—Erica Williamson Barnes, Noah “Chip” Hicks, and Robert Jones. All experienced litigators, Ms. Barnes joins the Firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice in Bir...