Ms. Howell provides legislative advice and strategic solutions for computer-based risks, including copyright piracy, computer hacking and technology-enabled theft and fraud. In October, 2006, Ms. Howell was awarded a Director’s Award by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her “valuable contributions” to the successful investigation and prosecution of a defendant convicted of cyber-extortion against one of her firm’s clients.
Ms. Howell serves part-time as a Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission to carry out the Commission’s statutory mandate to promulgate sentencing policies and guidelines for the Federal criminal justice system. She was originally nominated to this position by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November, 2004. She was re-nominated for another term by President Bush on December 7, 2006, and given a recess appointment on December 12, 2006.
Before joining Stroz Friedberg, Ms. Howell was the General Counsel of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where she worked for Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT). She was involved in crafting various laws related to intellectual property, cybersquatting, criminal justice, electronic surveillance, and the criminal penalties enacted as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Among the laws Ms. Howell was involved in crafting since 1993 are: the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), No Electronic Theft Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Deterrence Act, the TEACH Act, identity theft legislation, amendments to the Computer Fraud and Abuse law, and the Homeland Security Act. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she led staff negotiations for the Senate Judiciary Committee on the USA PATRIOT Act. A law review article she authored on the legislative history of this law was published in the George Washington Law Review (August, 2004). While on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms. Howell also worked on the Technology and the Law Subcommittee and the Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition Subcommittee.
Ms. Howell served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, E.D.N.Y, from 1987 until 1993, and tried multiple criminal cases and argued cases before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She supervised the operation of numerous wiretap investigations and conducted lengthy grand jury investigations, including cases against the leadership of the Chinatown Flying Dragons gang, extortion cases resulting in the convictions of twenty-nine New York City building inspectors, and a money laundering case resulting in the seizure of $19 million in cash narcotics proceeds. She received numerous awards, including from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Department of Investigation, and the Attorney General’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance.
She was awarded the 2004 First Amendment Award by the Society of Professional Journalists in recognition of “the important work she has done on behalf of all journalists and those who understand the significance of the government watchdog role the media must practice each day." For her work in vigorously promoting Senator Leahy’s support of the Freedom of Information Act and in crafting the Leahy Electronic FOIA amendments enacted in 1996, Ms. Howell was inducted in the Freedom of Information Hall of Fame.
Ms. Howell served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise, U.S. District Judge, District of New Jersey, and an associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel in New York City. She received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College with honors in philosophy, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She is admitted to bars of the District of Columbia, New York and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ms. Howell is a frequent speaker on digital forensics and cyber-security issues, including CLE presentations at ABA, Bar association and law school conferences.