Josh Gessler

Edward De Sear

I grew up in the town of Saddle River, New Jersey, a suburb about 40 minutes outside of New York City. With its wooded rolling landscape and small-town charm, Saddle River is a pleasant place to live. Large houses, a mix of stately older homes and well-executed McMansions, sit on sizable plots of land, thanks to two-acre zoning.

It was a peaceful and bucolic locale, and when I visit my parents, it seems much the same. My colleague Staci Zaretsky, our newest full-time contributor here at ATL, also grew up there — and concurs with my assessment.

But Saddle River, like the suburbs depicted in such films as American Beauty and Happiness, is not without its drama. Yesterday Edward De Sear, 64, a resident of Saddle River and a capital-markets partner at the distinguished international law firm of Allen & Overy, was arrested at his home and charged with distributing child pornography. The charge of distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

UPDATE (12:00 PM): Make that a former partner of Allen & Overy. De Sear has resigned from the firm, according to a statement issued by A&O. Read it in full after the jump.

Let’s learn more about the allegations against Ed De Sear, hear from someone who knows him, meet his high-powered defense counsel — and check out his beautiful and historic home….

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A Few Good... Boys and Girls?

If we hadn’t already bestowed Lawyer of the Day honors on Angela West, the Harvard Law grad who maybe shouldn’t have had that extra espresso shot at Peet’s, we’d give them to Lieutenant Commander Mark Tilford. He’s an attorney for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps down in Corpus Christi, Texas.

One would expect a lawyer for the military — the Navy, no less — to be a paragon of virtue. But if the federal criminal charges against him are true, Lt. Cmdr. Tilford may have been more interested in probing than probity.

According to the Corpus Christi Caller Times, Tilford has been indicted on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography. And this might not be his first sex-related brush with the law….

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He bakes the most wonderful pies I have ever tasted in my life.

– McLean resident Joan Bretz, discussing her neighbor Joshua Gessler, the Arnold & Porter associate and George Mason adjunct law professor accused of producing child pornography.

Joshua Gessler

Today brings bad news for Arnold & Porter — or maybe make that Arnold & Porno. If the allegations are true, the venerable Washington-based law firm has been employing a lawyer who made child pornography, starring a 15-year-old girl.

A 41-year-old associate in the Tysons Corner office of A&P, Joshua Gessler, has been charged with one count of producing child pornography and five counts of possession. The accusations, reported last night by NBC Washington, are on the lurid side.

Gessler connected online with a 15-year-old prostitute back in April, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant, and offered her $200 to meet up — with the condition that she not be “camera shy” (i.e., that she be willing to be photographed).

Josh Gessler allegedly brought some equipment to their get-together. And we’re not talking about a camera and a tripod….

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