- November 30, 2015
Thomas T. Cullen
Woods Rogers PLC
Other legal specialties: Government and internal investigations
Education: Furman University, bachelor’s degree, cum laude; College of William & Mary School of Law, law degree, Order of the Coif
Children: Anne Bradley, 7; Gray, 5
Hobbies or pastimes: Playing with my children, running, fly fishing
First job as a lawyer: Law clerk to Judge Robert E. Payne, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Fan of: Washington Redskins
Favorite vacation spot: Kiawah Island, S.C.
Recently read book: “Being Nixon” by Evan Thomas
Career mentors: My father, Richard Cullen: He taught me to use common sense and treat people with kindness. Judge Payne: He taught me to overprepare for court.
What was your most interesting criminal case?
As a federal prosecutor in Charlotte, N.C., I helped dismantle what was, at that time, one of the largest online prostitution services in the United States. This wiretap investigation, which we conducted with the FBI, the IRS and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, culminated in convictions of the principal owner, “the SouthPark madam,” and several of her associates. We also prosecuted a handful of wealthy clients who, among other things, had claimed prostitution expenditures as business deductions on their tax returns.
Do we need prison reform?
We need criminal-justice reform, particularly as it relates to the prosecution of nonviolent drug offenders. At the federal level, that means restricting the use of mandatory minimums to appropriate cases (e.g., leaders, violent offenders) and reducing (further) the disparity between crack and powder cocaine. At the state level, reform would include wider application of diversion programs and drug courts for first-time offenders, especially when addiction is the underlying issue.