Partner, Hughes Arrell Kinchen LLP

A native Houstonian, Samy has fifteen years of experience handling criminal investigations, trials, and appeals in all areas of federal criminal law. As a former Assistant Federal Public Defender, Samy knows what it means to represent the interests of those accused or under investigation for a crime.

His cases have included grand jury investigations; bankruptcy and mortgage fraud; tax and health care fraud; money laundering; false statements; domestic and foreign bribery; immigration; firearm and drug violations; import-export sanctions; and mail and wire fraud. He also conducts corporate and internal investigations and handles select civil litigation, including False Claims Act cases. Samy has first-chaired numerous federal trials and argued multiple appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has been recognized as a "Super Lawyer" and in Best Lawyers in America for White-Collar Criminal Defense.

    Professional Background
  • Hughes Arrell Kinchen LLP, Partner, 2017-Present
  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, Of Counsel, 2014-2017
  • Gerger & Clarke, Attorney, 2010-2014
  • Assistant Federal Public Defender, Southern District of Texas, 2003-2010
  • Fellow, Fair Trial Initiative (North Carolina), 2002-2003

    Education
  • University of Texas School of Law, JD, 2002 (Member, Texas Law Review)
  • University of Chicago, MA in International Relations, with honors, 1999
  • Middlebury College, BA in Political Science, with honors, 1996 (Thomas J. Watson Fellow)

    Representative Cases
  • Defense of a businessman in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation by DOJ concerning transactions in the Middle East.
  • Representation of a pharmacist under investigation for health care fraud by the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas.
  • Civil DOJ investigation involving the hiring of "H2B" visa workers from Mexico.
  • In 2015/2016, Samy helped to win the dismissal of "manslaughter" charges arising from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill – partly on arguments that the "manslaughter" statute in question did not apply "extraterritorially", that is, not on a rig located in international waters, 50 miles offshore.
  • Defense of an Iranian businessman indicted under the US-Iran sanctions who received a Presidential Pardon in the 2016 "prisoner swap" over the "Iran nuclear deal".
  • In 2016, Samy won a rare dismissal of all charges in an indictment alleging "money laundering" concerning sales of perfume to Mexico. The federal court found a statute-of-limitations violation.
  • In SEC civil action, successful defense of Noble oil-drilling executive charged with violating the Federal Corrupt Practices Act in Nigeria.
  • In federal civil case, successful defense of KBR employees accused of major crimes at military-contractor base in Iraq.
  • Defense of the "IFCO" immigration-hiring case, resulting in the DOJ's dismissal of all felony charges against the company's Vice President for Human Resources.
  • Representation of major US companies in civil and criminal investigations by the Texas Attorney General's Office. One criminal investigation alleged bribery of state officials to secure a lucrative construction contract—no charges were brought. A civil case involved "consumer fraud" allegations by a major retailer of home goods.
  • Successful representation of individuals and businesses in white-collar investigations by the Harris County District Attorney's Office, including environmental and commercial bribery cases.
  • Internal investigation of federal employment-discrimination claims on behalf of national home-improvement company accused of violations by the EEOC.
  • Dismissal of numerous federal criminal cases after filing "motions to suppress" evidence.
  • Acquittal in federal prosecution charging assault by airplane passenger.
  • Clemency petition on behalf of federal defendant who received 20-year mandatory minimum sentence. In 2016, the President of the United States granted clemency, and the sentence will now expire after completion of a one-year residential drug treatment program.
  • Federal and state habeas appeal of Texas death-penalty case—Samy has uncovered hidden evidence and is litigating for a new trial.

    Publications & Awards
  • Recognized as a leading practitioner in Best Lawyers in America for White-Collar Criminal Defense (2016, 2017)
  • Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" (2017) and a "Rising Star" (2013, 2014) in White-Collar Criminal Defense, Super Lawyers
  • Samy has given presentations on white-collar crime, particular federal offenses, and various aspects of federal sentencing. In 2016, he presented on the DOJ's "Yates Memo" at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' "White-Collar Conference"
  • Samy has published "Doing the Impossible: Appellate Reweighing of Harm and Mitigation in Capital Cases After Williams v. Taylor, With a Special Focus on Texas", Texas Law Review (2001)

    Professional Activities
  • Federal Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Board Member, Texas Defender Service
  • Chair, Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, Southern District of Texas (2017)

    Admissions
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of North Carolina (currently inactive)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Texas, Western District of Texas