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Nelson, Former Jackson County Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Returns to Private Practice at Spencer Fane

January 27, 2022

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Daniel Nelson, former Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Jackson County (Missouri), has joined the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group as an of counsel attorney in the firm’s Kansas City office.

Nelson brings vast experience in business law, prosecution and case management, giving him unique ability to provide clients with creative and efficient counsel related to complex, high-stakes litigation matters. He maintains an extensive track record of success in complex state and federal litigation and regulatory matters, including a focus on trial presentation, forensic accounting evidence, electronic evidence and business reporting requirements.

Most recently in his high-profile role with Jackson County, Nelson oversaw a prosecutor’s office of 152 total employees including 72 attorneys that annually resolved about 4,000 cases. Prior to this, he spent more than 12 years in federal prosecution as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, litigating many complex white-collar cases, including tax, money laundering, health care, and public corruption. This often involved prosecuting complex fraud investigations that involved the FBI, IRS, CFTC, SEC and other agencies.

Nelson served as the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2008 to 2010, giving him a supervisory role in all district litigation and operations for an office of 128 employees including 68 attorneys.

“Dan has a longstanding reputation for being a fierce advocate and is known for his success in achieving positive outcomes in complex litigation matters,” Spencer Fane Chair Patrick J. Whalen said. “We are pleased to welcome such a talented attorney who not only fits with our culture of collaboration but also offers our clients unique experience and perspective.”

Nelson has presented to numerous groups including a large regional meeting of bank examiners and government agents at the Federal Reserve Bank, and a national meeting of white-collar FBI agents. He has lectured on ethics, securities, and cyber law at the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, and the Missouri School of Journalism. He is a Special Master for the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Trial Academy and has served on the Western District Magistrate Selection Committee.

In his previous stint in private practice, Nelson served as a litigation associate in the Washington D.C. office of one of the largest law firms in the country. He focused on securities, including securities arbitrations, and complex business litigation.

Nelson completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri Journalism School, graduating magna cum laude, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia Law School.