Tech Transfer Central

The Prosecution of Professor Roth and Its Aftermath

Format: CD
Originally presented: November 15, 2011

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Price: $197
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No export enforcement case in recent memory has sparked more attention and controversy than the government’s prosecution of former University of Tennessee Professor J. Reece Roth. On Oct. 3, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Roth’s petition for a writ of certiorari to review his conviction of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The high court’s decision ends his effort to avoid a four-year jail term.

Roth’s criminal prosecution, conviction and appeals have raised serious questions about the application of U.S. export controls to university research, deemed exports, government contracts, the meaning of knowledge and willfulness, the hiring of foreign students and employees, and what constitutes public information. The aftermath of this case will color U.S. export enforcement for years to come — and it’s imperative that you get all the details on the case and its implications for your organization and faculty.

This briefing features an expert faculty – including the lead DOJ prosecutor in the case, an export control expert and former assistant attorney general, and a leading university compliance officer — who will provide detailed guidance to ensure your export compliance program prevents the mistakes that Roth made.


  • How Export Control Laws Apply to Private Sector and Academic R&D
  • What Impact Government Funding Can Have on Application of Export Controls
  • How Do These Rules Apply to Domestic or “Deemed” Exports in the U.S.
  • What Factors Led to Professor Roth’s Criminal Prosecution
  • Lessons Researchers and Exporters Should Learn from the Roth Case
  • How an Effective Compliance Program Can Help Avoid Roth’s Mistakes
  • Proper Steps in Reviewing Research for Export Control Requirements
  • How Industry and Universities Can and Should Cooperate on Export Compliance
  • Whether the Roth Case Has Changed Meaning of “Fundamental Research”
  • What Contract Clauses Trigger Application of Export Control Laws
  • Much, much more…

Our Faculty:

Will Mackie is a career prosecutor who has been with the Department of Justice for 20 years after five years of private practice in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. He and his colleagues in the Knoxville office of the Justice Department led the prosecution of Professor Roth and participated in the appeals process. During his time at Justice, Will has worked primarily on white collar crimes, public corruption, organized crime and money laundering. For the past five years, his work has focused on national security related cases, such as counterproliferation and export control investigations, terrorist organization financing, economic and military related espionage, and domestic terrorism.

J. Patrick Rowan is a partner at McGuire Woods LLP, Washington, DC, where his practice includes export controls counseling and enforcement defense. Before joining the firm, he spent 18 years in the Department of Justice, most recently as assistant attorney general for national security. In that role, he supervised national security prosecutions, including export violations such as Professor Roth’s case. As the leader of Justice’s National Security Division, he directed the coordinated nationwide counterterrorism enforcement program and managed the government’s practice before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Mr. Rowan oversaw the launch and implementation of a nationwide export enforcement initiative, which is an ongoing interagency effort to target the illegal export of sensitive technology and weapons components.

Jahna Hartwig is the ethics and compliance program manager and principal compliance officer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), where she advises on all federal, state and local laws and regulations. As of Nov. 14, she will be joining the law firm of Williams Mullen in Washington, D.C. Earlier, she served as APL’s associate general counsel responsible for export control and international matters and managed its international trade compliance program. She also is a member of the State Department’s Defense Trade Advisory Group and the immediate past co-chair of the export controls and economic sanctions committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law.

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CLP Credits are also available.

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