Vicki Zemp Behenna

Director

Office: Oklahoma City
Email: vicki.behenna@crowedunlevy.com

Phone: 405.239.6682
Fax: 405.272.5276
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Vicki Behenna is a director in the Oklahoma City office of Crowe & Dunlevy. Her practice focuses on litigation matters with an emphasis on white collar defense, government relations and healthcare. Behenna is a member of the firm's Criminal Defense, Compliance & Investigations, Administrative Regulatory and Healthcare Practice Groups.

She has more than 25 years of experience as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma. During her tenure there, she tried fraud cases including bank, wire, mail, corporate and healthcare and was responsible for the prosecution of complex public corruption cases. Behenna’s background and extensive investigative experience with complex investigations resulted in the conviction of many high profile defendants.

Behenna currently serves as executive director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project at the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Her tenacious efforts on behalf of the wrongly convicted give her unique insight into the complex issues in this field and the ability to not only manage the Oklahoma Innocence Project, but also the talent and experience to serve as an advocate in court for clients.

Among her noteworthy prosecutions, Behenna was selected to participate in the Oklahoma City bombing case against Timothy McVeigh as a special attorney to then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Upon completion of the case, Behenna was selected by U.S. Attorney Pat Ryan to serve as senior litigation counsel for the Western District of Oklahoma. Behenna has tried numerous bank fraud cases including a case against State Senator Paul Taliaferro and Dale Mitchell. She was involved in the investigation and prosecution of two high profile public corruption cases involving the Oklahoma State Treasurer’s office and the Senate Pro Tempe. She also was involved in an off-label marketing case that resulted in a criminal conviction of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and a settlement to the government in the amount of $491 million.

Behenna has received several accolades during her 25 year career including the Trial Advocacy Award given by the Association of Government Lawyers in Capital Litigation, Distinguished Service Award from by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Integrity Award presented by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, was recognized by the Western District of Oklahoma as an Outstanding Assistant U.S. Attorney in 2012, and was awarded Distinguished Law Alumna by Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2013.

Behenna is an active speaker and a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, American Bar Association, Oklahoma Association of Women Lawyers and William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court. She serves as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law instructing the trial practice and evidence course. She is diligent in her community service including involvement in several Edmond public schools, the OCU Law Alumni Board of Directors, CARE Center, TEAM Board of Directors and is a lay minister and member of Peace Lutheran Church.

Behenna received her juris doctor from the Oklahoma City University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Oklahoma.

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Professional Experience

  • Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Oklahoma
  • Executive Director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project at the Oklahoma City University School of Law

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Oklahoma Bar Association, 1984-present
  • Federal Bar Association, 1990-91, Past President
  • American Bar Association, 2012-present
  • Oklahoma Association of Women Lawyers, 1984-86, Past President
  • William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court, 1990-present, Emeritus

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Oklahoma, 2012
  • Exceptional Service Awards, FBI, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, 1995-2009
  • Integrity Award, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, 2009
  • Distinguished Service Award, United States Attorney General Janet Reno, 1998
  • First Lady Heartland Award, Oklahoma Women in Law Enforcement, 1998
  • Trial Advocacy Award, Association of Government Lawyers in Capital Litigation, 1997
  • Distinguished Law Alumna, Oklahoma City University, 1997
  • Reflections of Hope Award, Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • United States Court Reporters Association
  • International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators
  • National Contract Management Association, Sooner Chapter
  • NALS, the Association for Legal Professionals
  • Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector, Southwest Intergovernmental Audit Forum
  • Oklahoma City University School of Law, Law of Day and Night for the Innocent
  • William J. Holloway Jr. American Inn of Court
  • Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, Summer Conference
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Bar Conference
  • Speaker, "Key Regulatory Changes and Case Law Developments," 24th Annual Crowe & Dunlevy Healthcare Seminar (April 1, 2014)
  • Speaker, "Overview of Current Trends in Governmental Investigations," Tulsa County Bar Association CLE Seminar (February 13, 2015)
  • Speaker, "Avoiding the Dust Bowl Days: Tips for Government Investigations," 25th Annual Crowe & Dunlevy Healthcare Update (April 16, 2015)
  • Speaker, Seminole Chamber of Commerce (December 2015)
  • Speaker, "Remaining on Target: Preparing for Government Investigations and Minimizing Exposure," 26th Annual Crowe & Dunlevy Healthcare Update (May 2016)

Classes Taught

  • Evidence, Trial Practice, Oklahoma City University School of Law, 1997-present
  • Evidence, Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, Summer 2012
  • Military Justice, Oklahoma Bar Association, November 2011

Community Service

  • Peace Lutheran Church, lay minister and member
  • Blue Star Mothers Chapter 6, 2007-09, Past President
  • CARE Center Board of Directors, 2006-09
  • TEAM Board of Directors, 1997-99
  • OCU Law Alumni Board of Directors, 1998-2003
  • Will Rogers Elementary, Sequoyah Middle School, Edmond North High School PTA & Booster Clubs, 1990-2005
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