Phillip C. Umphres is a 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1977 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (BBA in Accounting, with Highest Honors). He re-entered private law practice in 2008 upon his retirement after over 16 years as a Federal Prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. Approximately 75% of his practice is devoted to criminal pretrial, trial and appellate work, with an emphasis on corporate and white collar crimes. He has received an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating of ability and ethics provided by that attorney rating service.
Mr. Umphres began his legal career as a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp, serving for four years in Germany and at Fort Lewis, WA. After two years as a prosecutor he requested reassignment to the Trial Defense Service, winning an acquittal of a serviceman charged with robbery in his first trial as a defense counsel. Following his military service, he joined the Dallas office of the national law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld where for six years (the last two as a partner in the firm) he was engaged in complex commercial litigation and appellate work. Drawn to the practice of criminal law, he left Akin Gump and joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas in 1991 where he practiced until his retirement from federal service in January, 2008.
While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Mr. Umphres handled criminal matters of all types, with a particular emphasis in complex "white collar" and public corruption criminal cases and investigations where his accounting background and training was most valuable. His extensive trial experience includes contested trials of defendants charged with arson, tax fraud, health care fraud, improper asbestos removal and disposal, unlawful importation and possession of federally protected wildlife, mortgage fraud, perjury, bribery of public officials, insurance fraud, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, advanced fee schemes, embezzlement, drug crimes, gun offenses and immigration offenses. He has received numerous citations and awards from federal agencies for work on his cases.
At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Umphres served at various times as the office Health Care Fraud Coordinator, Environmental Crimes Coordinator, and U.S. Secret Service Liaison for offenses involving threats and other offenses directed against the President of the United States. At the time of his retirement he was also serving on the elite Department of Justice evaluation team responsible for visiting and evaluating U.S. Attorney Offices throughout the country.
An outstanding researcher and writer as well as courtroom advocate, Mr. Umphres was one of a handful of AUSAs in the Dallas U.S. Attorney’s Office who not only wrote appellate briefs but also reviewed and critiqued the appellate briefs of other attorneys in the office.
Mr. Umphres served as well as coordinator of the office "mentoring program," responsible for overseeing the training of new attorneys joining the office.
Mr. Umphres has been an adjunct professor at SMU School of Law, having taught in the school’s trial advocacy program in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal and accounting education programs, having spoken – among other topics – on accounting fraud and criminal liability in the corporate setting, health care fraud, trends in corporate fraud, the criminal implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the federal sentencing guidelines.
Outside the practice of law, Mr. Umphres is a licensed pilot of sailplanes (gliders) and is active in The Soaring Society of America, Inc. (the national organization supervising the sport of soaring and gliding in the USA), having served coninuously since 2007 in various leadership roles with this 10,000 member organization, including as Chairman, Treasurer and as a Regional Director.
The University of Texas, 1973-1977 (BBA in Accounting, with Highest Honors)
Harvard Law School, 1977-1980 (J.D. 1980)
U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School (Basic Course 1981)
Supreme Court of Texas, 1980
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1989
U.S. Court of Military Appeals, 1981
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 1980
U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 1991
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2008
U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (Prosecutor) 4/81 - 7/83
U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (Trial Defense Counsel) 7/83-1/85