Marla Poirot is a white-collar trial lawyer and investigator in Foley Gardere’s Houston office. She leads the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice in Texas, representing both individual and corporate clients in all facets of white-collar criminal matters. Marla works to keep clients out of newspaper headlines, but if they find themselves there, she and her team also vigorously defend them at trial.
For over 20 years, Marla has conducted internal investigations, assisted clients in responding to government search warrants and grand jury subpoenas, and worked with state and federal prosecutors to favorably resolve criminal investigations on behalf of clients. Her goal is to assist clients in navigating the treacherous waters of a criminal investigation and to resolve investigations short of criminal charges if at all possible. Marla has spent years negotiating and building credibility with prosecutors and government investigators over the course of hundreds of complex criminal investigations and ultimate resolutions, and she brings that credibility, creative thinking, and experience to bear for the benefit of each of her clients.
In addition to mail and wire fraud and corruption investigations, Marla has particular experience and strength working on DOJ, SEC, and EPA criminal matters related to alleged environmental violations, securities fraud, and the multitude of regulatory issues facing the energy and health care industries. These matters often involve Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and various U.S. export controls and sanctions programs. She regularly advises health care providers and technology companies in connection with compliance issues facing the relatively new and rapidly developing telemedicine and telehealth industries.
Marla has developed a niche practice defending individuals and companies against environmental criminal charges brought by the Harris County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office, as well as U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country. She has an impressive track record of resolving many such cases short of any criminal charges at all (by way of pretrial intervention or deferred prosecution agreements, or other civil and regulatory resolutions) and of deftly achieving reductions from felony to misdemeanor charges where appropriate.
Marla also assists clients with proactive steps to achieve compliance and avoid regulatory or criminal scrutiny altogether. Her experience here includes working with clients to perform a reasonable risk analysis and then crafting an appropriate compliance and training program to fit each client’s needs. Marla has experience with the drafting, design, implementation, training, and evaluation of all aspects of client compliance programs.