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John Marshall Award recipient Michael Elston steered federal national security, fraud, and corporate investigations during his tenure with the U.S. Department of Justice. Beginning as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and the Eastern district of Virginia, Michael Elston prosecuted Internet offenses with the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) unit. Michael Elston also contributed to high-profile national security cases, including the prosecutions of Zacarias Moussaoui and John Walker Lindh.Appointed to Chief of Staff and Counselor to Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, Michael Elston reviewed capital cases and work from the Pardon Attorney’s Office. He also contributed to the development of the McNulty Memorandum, which outlined the requirements for charging corporations with federal crimes. Along with managing daily ODAG operations, Michael Elston helped leadby the Justice Department’s efforts to get the Senate to ratify the US-UK Extradition Treaty and shaped protocols for searching Capitol Hill offices.From 2005 to 2006, Michael Elston assisted a standing Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference by weighing in on proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure’s Rule 16, which governs criminal case pretrial discovery. Michael Elston also represented the government’s interest on the U.S. Sentencing Commission as Commissioner Ex Officio concurrent to his other duties with the U.S. Department of Justice.A Partner at McGuireWoods LLP, Michael Elston practices in the areas of white-collar criminal defense, appellate litigation, and internal corporate audits and investigations. Michael Elston also recently assisted a foreign client to receive approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to purchase a portion of a US-based company. In his career, Michael Elston has also argued more than 20 cases before federal appeals courts.Michael Elston earned his J.D. from Duke University Law School, graduating with High Honors and recognition in the Order of the Coif. His undergraduate degree in Political Science comes from Drake University, where Michael Elston received the Oreon E. Scott Award and Theta Chi’s Reginald E. F. Colley Trophy.

Work experience



Aug 1999Mar 2006

Assistant U.S. Attorney

U.S. Department of Justice


Shughart Thomson & Kilroy PC




Duke University Law School


Drake University