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Jean-Jacques (J) Cabou



J Cabou is a litigator and a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Investigations practice. At both the trial and appellate level, J’s principal focus is on defending individuals and corporate entities against criminal and other government investigations, including in civil enforcement proceedings. J has particular experience in white collar matters and is a recognized authority on both state and federal civil forfeiture, seizure, and racketeering laws.

As an experienced commercial litigator, J continues to represent clients in certain complex civil litigation matters, especially where parallel criminal or regulatory enforcement action is present or threatened.

J has served as lead counsel for clients in matters before the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals, and United States District Court, as well as Arizona’s trial, appellate and Supreme Courts.

J represents entities across industry sectors, including virtual currency, money transfer, gaming, wholesale pharmaceuticals, legal services, and music and entertainment promotion. J’s individual clients include executives in these and other industries, as well as public officials and other prominent individuals.

In 2012, J co-founded Perkins Coie’s Corporate Social Responsibility & Supply Chain Compliance (CSR) practice. The CSR team counsels clients from numerous industries on integrating the expanding mandates of laws, such as the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, into their compliance programs. J and the CSR team also assist clients in investigating and mitigating compliance risks in related areas, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act.

J is also a member of the firm's Arts, Entertainment and Sports industry group. J is among a small group of lawyers nationwide who have advised athletes and team staff in matters involving eligibility for collegiate or Olympic teams and has represented athletes in investigations and arbitrations involving the NCAA and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

At both the University of Chicago Law School and the ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, J was an adjunct professor, teaching a seminar entitled “The Law and Policy of Policing.” J remains a regular lecturer on criminal law issues, especially issues affecting white collar defendants. J has long been active in the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and serves on its Board of Directors. He also has served on the Boards of the Arizona State Bar Criminal Justice Section and the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice. J is recognized by numerous client and peer review organizations including Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America.

In 2005 and 2006 J served as Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Assistant for Public Safety, with policy and operational responsibilities for the nation’s second-largest police force. During his tenure in Chicago, J was recognized by the Chicago Police Department for his outstanding contributions to the city’s public safety.


Government Investigations and Criminal Defense:

  • Successfully defended a public official from allegations of sexual misconduct brought during the final weeks of his campaign for office. Prosecution declined to file charges and client won his election.
  • Led the briefing and argument on behalf of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office into the Commission’s open meeting law practices. Judge declared the investigation to be unconstitutional and entered summary judgment on all counts in favor of the Commission.

  • Led the defense of an individual against civil forfeiture and criminal racketeering charge relating to internet gambling. Alone among over a dozen other defendants, the client had his charges dismissed and his property returned following extensive trial and appellate court practice.

  • Lead counsel in multi-district FDA criminal investigation and civil forfeiture proceeding on behalf of a pharmaceutical wholesaler.

  • Represented multi-state vending company in civil forfeiture proceedings. Successfully resolved the matter without trial.

  • Lead appellate counsel in challenging the unconstitutional felony conviction of a veteran police officer. The Court of Appeals vacated the conviction, holding that the trial judge deprived the officer of his constitutional right to present a defense. Arizona v. Aguilera, 1-CA-CR 09-0371, 2010 WL 2926574, (Ariz. Ct. App. Jul. 27, 2010).

  • Lead counsel on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as amicus curiae before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Mohammad El-Mezain and Elashi v. United States (the Holy Land Foundation case).

  • Lead counsel on behalf of a large governmental insurance entity in responding to a state Attorney General’s investigation into its business and financial practices.

  • Represented a prominent law firm in responding to an investigation by a state Attorney General into its client services practices.

  • Lead counsel on behalf of multiple individual criminal defendants in habeas corpus and other special writ proceedings, including certiorari proceedings before the United States Supreme Court.

  • Lead counsel on behalf of multiple individual defendants in responding to investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, state attorneys general and other state prosecutors and regulatory agencies.

Selected Internal Investigations:
  • Led the internal investigation of a police department into financial improprieties and official misconduct by the department’s chief, deputy chief, and command staff.

  • Led the internal investigation of an asset management and electronic controls company regarding a breach of its credit card data security.

Professional Recognition

  • Named a "Southwest Rising Star" by Super Lawyers, 2012 - present
  • Chambers USA: Leading Lawyers: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2011 - present
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2011 - Present: Criminal Defense: White-Collar 
  • Chicago Police Department Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Safety, 2005 - 2006

Professional Leadership

  • Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Board of Governors, 2009 - 2011
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Board of Directors, 2012 - present
  • Arizona State Bar, Criminal Justice Section Executive Council, 2009 - 2011
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
  • Governor's Citizen's Traffic Stop Advisory Board

Community Involvement

  • Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
  • Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Adjunct Professor, 2007- 2011
  • The University of Chicago Law School, Lecturer in Law, 2005 - 2006

Related Employment

  • Osborn Maledon, P.A., Phoenix, AZ, Partner, 2010 - 2012; Associate, 2004 - 2010
  • City of Chicago, IL, Office of the Mayor, Assistant to the Mayor for Public Safety, 2005 - 2006


  • Hon. Mary M. Schroeder, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2003 - 2004


  • The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 2003
  • University of Virginia, B.A., Government and Foreign Affairs, with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 1999

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Arizona Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit


  • Spanish
  • French