W. Carl Lietz III
Carl Lietz is a trial lawyer whose practice is focused primarily on complex, federal criminal matters in the white-collar area. For over 20 years, Carl has worked almost exclusively in federal court, defending individuals and entities that are facing or dealing with federal criminal charges, and the seemingly overwhelming power of the United States.
At the beginning of his career, Carl clerked for two federal judges. This experience not only gave him the first-hand opportunity to watch trial lawyers in action (and meet his future law partner), but it also cemented his desire to pursue a career as a federal, criminal trial lawyer. After completing his second federal clerkship, Carl worked for several years at a highly-regarded, Atlanta law firm that specializes in white collar matters, before accepting a position as a trial attorney with the Federal Defender Office in Atlanta.
Trial attorneys need to know how to try cases, and there is no question that the Federal Defender Office is the best place to learn this critical skill. Lawyers in the Defender Office are in court weekly, if not daily, handing the most serious and challenging cases that exist in the federal system. For this reason, Carl especially enjoyed and benefitted from his time in the Defender Office, because it allowed him to acquire the skills that one must possess to successfully defend cases against the United States. In his five-year term in the Defender Office, Carl tried a significant number of federal cases, litigated hundreds of evidentiary and sentencing hearings, and argued cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. In addition, he was also a member of the defense team in the Olympic Park bombing case of United States v. Eric Robert Rudolph.
In 2006, Carl and his long-time friend left the Defender Office and started their own trial practice firm, specializing in federal criminal matters. And since forming Kish & Lietz, Carl has continued to dedicate himself to the defense of individuals threatened or dealing with federal criminal charges, mostly in the white-collar area. Carl regularly represents doctors, business men and women, corporate officers, and other professionals on a whole range of matters, including cases involving allegations of overprescribing, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, bribery, money laundering, public corruption, criminal copyright infringement and a host of other federal crimes. Indeed, because of his vast experience in this area, Carl is qualified to handle anything and everything in federal court.
Carl is "team" player and for this reason, other lawyers routinely bring him into substantial, white-collar and other cases to work as a member of a multi-lawyer team. Among other responsibilities, he has been brought into matters to try cases as co-counsel, write pretrial motions, litigate issues involving expert witnesses, and prepare the mitigation portion of a sentencing presentation. In addition, it is not uncommon for civil lawyers to bring Carl into a civil matter or a matter with quasi-criminal implications, particularly when that matter may ultimately get presented to a jury.
In 2016, Carl was inducted as a Fellow into the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, a national, legal, honorary society for outstanding criminal trial lawyers, with admission to fellowship by invitation only. In addition, in every edition since 2012, Carl has been selected for inclusion into The Best Lawyers in America (White-Collar Criminal Defense). Carl regularly lectures at national and local seminars pertaining to federal criminal law, and for the last seven years, he has taught a trial practice course as an adjunct faculty member at the Georgia State University, College of Law.
In addition to practicing law, Carl currently serves as a member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He is also a member of the Federal Bar Association's White Collar Law Committee, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Lawyers Club of Atlanta.
J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law, cum laude, Vermont Law School; Member of Debevoise Moot Court Advisory Board, 1995
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1994
B.S., Florida State University, 1992
Trial Attorney, Federal Defender Office, Atlanta, Georgia, 2001-2006;
Law Clerk, Judge Orinda D. Evans, United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 1997-1998;
Law Clerk, Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, 1996-1997;