Fredrikson attorney Manda M. Sertich received the Attorney General’s David Margolis Award for Exceptional Service from U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland at the 70th Annual Attorney General’s Awards held in Washington, D.C. This is the Department of Justice’s highest award for employee performance and is traditionally granted to just one team every year. Sertich receives the award as a former federal prosecutor on a team of 13 attorneys, agents and support staff from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who investigated and prosecuted the former Minneapolis police officers convicted of federal civil rights violations for the death of George Floyd.
“It was a privilege to devote the prior decade of my career to public service as a federal prosecutor and to seek some measure of justice for the family and loved ones of George Floyd,” said Sertich. “It is an honor to be recognized by Attorney General Garland, along with the entire dedicated and talented prosecution team, for our work on a case of national significance.”
“Each of today’s recipients has served with distinction, and in so doing, they have enabled the Justice Department to advance its work on behalf of the American people,” said Attorney General Garland in a statement released after the ceremony by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota.
Sertich served as co-lead trial counsel at the one-month jury trial of Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane for violating George Floyd’s civil rights and thereby causing his death. Mr. Thao and Mr. Kueng were charged with failure to intervene in Derek Chauvin’s unlawful use of force, and all three defendants were charged with deliberate indifference to Mr. Floyd’s medical needs. Sertich coordinated the presentation of expert medical testimony, presented the testimony of numerous witnesses to the crime, cross examined one of the defendants and his expert witness and performed the closing argument. The jury found the defendants guilty on all counts, and the defendants were each sentenced to terms of imprisonment.
Sertich is a seasoned and respected trial attorney who combines her decade-long tenure as a federal prosecutor with her years of experience in private practice to effectively represent corporations and individuals in sensitive government investigations and enforcement actions, white collar criminal defense matters, internal investigations and complex civil litigation. Sertich thrives when tackling high-stakes, highly scrutinized cases with novel legal issues and far-reaching implications. She uses her keen creativity and practicality to develop the most advantageous arguments for her clients, resolve disputes and present evidence. Above all, she values people and a commitment to finding the right result for every unique situation while managing competing interests.
Sertich has appeared in federal court countless times and has tried nine federal cases to jury verdict and one case to verdict at a bench trial; she has also successfully briefed and argued numerous cases before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. While working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota, Sertich was considered among the best trial attorneys and most thoughtful advocates. Sertich led attorneys and agents in dozens of criminal investigations, including investigations relating to fraud, cybercrimes, civil rights violations, national security threats, human trafficking and child exploitation.
A full list of recipients has been published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs.
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