FBI general counsel to deliver UGA’s inaugural Talarico Lecture

FBI general counsel to deliver University of Georgia's inaugural Talarico Lecture

Athens, Ga. – Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel of the FBI, will highlight the inaugural Susette M. Talarico Lecture at the University of Georgia. Caproni’s lecture, “Current Challenges for the FBI-View from the General Counsel,” will be given in the UGA Chapel at 3:30 p.m. on April 16. The lecture is co-sponsored by the School of Public and International Affairs’ department of political science and the criminal justice studies program.

Caproni, a native of Georgia and a 1979 graduate of the UGA School of Law, took the job of general counsel of the FBI in 2003. Since that time, she has played a leading role in developing the bureau’s new guidelines and rules for domestic operations. The new guidelines, which took effect in October 2008, reflect the FBI’s continued transformation from the nation’s pre-eminent law enforcement agency to a domestic intelligence agency with a national security mission and law enforcement mission.

Caproni’s responsibilities include helping agents understand the legal parameters within which they can identify, investigate and detain suspected terrorists. Her duties also include expediting requests for subpoenas for national security wiretaps, responding to litigation challenging the FBI’s newfound powers under the Patriot Act and ensuring no laws are broken when intelligence gatherers share information with criminal investigators, both within and outside the agency.

“As general counsel at the FBI, Ms. Caproni has exercised extraordinary leadership in developing policies that achieve a balance between protecting U.S. citizens from terrorism, while preserving constitutional rights to privacy and civil liberties,” said Elaine Weeks, director of the criminal justice studies program.

Caproni was appointed the first female general counsel for the FBI by Director Robert Mueller. Prior to that, her legal career included nine years as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, three years as general counsel of the New York State Urban Development Commission, three years as the director of the Pacific Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission and two years at the law firm of Simpson, Thacker & Bartlett.

The lecture is made possible by a fund created to honor longtime UGA faculty member Susette Talarico, who passed away in 2007 following a 17-year battle with breast cancer. A faculty member for more than three decades, Talarico was the Albert Berry Saye Professor of American Government and Constitutional Law, Emerita as well as a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. A charter member of UGA’s Teaching Academy, Talarico was known for her innovative approach to teaching and mentoring, and for her contributions to curriculum development at the university-she served as the driving force in the creation of the interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program in criminal justice.

“Ms. Caproni is in many ways the ideal inaugural Talarico lecturer,” said Weeks. “Her stellar legal career in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she zealously prosecuted organized crime cases, as well as her leadership at the FBI, reflect the ideals that Susette promoted to students during her 30 years of teaching legal and judicial studies at UGA.”

For more information on the School of Public and International Affairs, see http://spia.uga.edu.