Manda 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.
Manda 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.
Manda 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, Manda was considered among the best trial attorneys and most thoughtful advocates. Manda 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.
Manda started her career serving clients in private practice and is looking forward to using her unique expertise working with government agencies to the immediate benefit of organizations and individuals faced with complex and challenging problems. Before her work as a federal prosecutor, Manda worked at Am Law 100 law firms in New York and Washington, DC, for more than six years, representing corporations and executives in investigations and enforcement actions by the Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and offices of the United States Attorneys regarding stock option backdating processes, alleged criminal antitrust violations, involvement with the subprime mortgage crisis, the financial crisis of 2008 and other corporate conduct. Manda also represented corporate clients in complex litigation, including work on antitrust, consumer protection and breach of contract cases, as well as shareholder derivative actions, trustee litigation, multidistrict litigation, and temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in the context of hostile takeovers.
- Served as the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s International Coordinator, National Security Cyber Specialist, Human Trafficking Coordinator, Civil Rights Point of Contact, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and Law Intern Coordinator.
- Served as co-lead trial counsel at a one-month jury trial of national significance regarding the death of George Floyd resulting from three police officers' criminal civil rights violations.
- Served as lead trial counsel at a one-week jury trial resulting in the first criminal prosecution of H-2A (agricultural) work-visa fraud in the nation, securing convictions of wire fraud, mail fraud, fraud in foreign labor contracting, visa fraud and conspiracy based on the defendants' scheme to collect kickback payments and other unlawful fees from foreign guest workers.
- Served as co-counsel at a two-week jury trial of the ringleader of a multi-million-dollar scheme to obtain smartphones through identity theft and other fraud and resell the smartphones abroad at a substantial profit, securing convictions of access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to transport stolen goods and to commit access device fraud.
- Served as lead counsel at a seven-day jury trial of an owner of an illegal massage parlor who used force, threats of force, fraud and coercion to induce women, including one minor, to perform commercial sex acts during appointments with customers, securing convictions of sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and committing those crimes while registered as a sex offender.
- Engaged in an investigation and led the drafting of a 100-page report pursuant to a corporate monitorship for medical devices company resulting from alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
- Represented corporate executive in investigations and enforcement actions by offices of the United States Attorneys, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and a Special Litigation Committee regarding stock option backdating processes at a healthcare company.
- Represented a pharmaceutical company in a civil suit by the FTC alleging that the company was violating the Sherman Act.
- Represented directors of a company sued by the company’s trustee based on allegations that the directors didn’t take timely action with respect to investments.
- Represented auto parts manufacturer in an investigation by the Department of Justice Criminal Antitrust Division relating to alleged unlawful customer allocation.
- Engaged in award-winning pro bono work, including representing survivors of gender-based violence in asylum applications, representing survivors of domestic violence at the Bronx Family Court and acting as lead counsel at a trial in United States Immigration Court, obtaining a grant of asylum from the bench for a victim of political violence.
- Columbia Law School, J.D., 2003
- Hamline University, B.A., 2000, summa cum laude, with departmental Honors in Legal Studies
- Minnesota, 2023
- New York, 2005
- Law Clerk to Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, Minnesota Supreme Court, 2003-2004
- Attorney General’s David Margolis Award for Exceptional Service, United States Department of Justice, 2024
- Inspector General Special Achievement Team Award, United States Department of Labor, 2016
- Award of Appreciation, United States Secret Service, 2015
- President’s Volunteer Service Award, conferred by President Barack Obama for volunteer work in Tanzania with Lawyers Without Borders, 2010
- Pro Bono Achievement Award, Sanctuary for Families Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services, 2007
- Honoree, New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel, 2006 and 2008
Civic & Professional
- University of St. Thomas School of Law, Adjunct Professor, September 2022-December 2022
- University of Minnesota Law School, Adjunct Associate Professor, January 2014-May 2019, Spring Semesters
- Enslavement Prevention Alliance – West Africa, Legal Officer, 2010
- Lawyers Without Borders, Special Counsel, 2009-2010
- Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific, Legal Volunteer, 2007
News & Insights
Publications & Presentations
- Co-author, “Ghana’s Human Trafficking Act: Successes and Shortcomings in Six Years of Implementation,” American University Washington College of Law’s Human Rights Brief, Volume 19, Issue 1, 2011