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United States Department of Justice
Accomplishments and Honors
Federal Defense
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Accomplishments and Honors

During his first two or three years with the Department of Justice, Dr. Belcher experienced several disappointing outcomes in cases assigned to him for prosecution, including two mistrials, one acquittal, and two convictions that were reversed on appeal. Seeking to learn from his mistakes, Dr. Belcher dedicated himself to honing his trial skills through long hours of preparation, seeking advice from more experienced prosecutors, and reading every book and article that he could find on trial practice, beginning with his favorite book on litigation, The Art of Cross-Examination, by Francis L. Wellman, published in 1906, and going forward from there.

For approximately seven years beginning in early 1988 and continuing through his departure from the Department of Justice in 1994, Dr. Belcher obtained convictions of more than 25 defendants in 18 separate criminal tax jury trials of up to one month in length without a loss and without having any conviction reversed on appeal. As far as Dr. Belcher is aware, and based upon his conversations with former supervisors in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, no other federal prosecutor in the country won more favorable jury verdicts in criminal tax cases during that time period. Dr. Belcher is proud of the fact that many of the cases assigned to him during this period of time had been returned to the Tax Division by different United States Attorneys based upon their stated belief that the cases were unwinnable under local conditions.

Dr. Belcher received numerous awards and commendations while serving with the United States Department of Justice. Most notably, in 1987 and again in 1991, Dr. Belcher was named “Outstanding Attorney” of the Tax Division. In June 1990, the Assistant Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service for Criminal Investigations named Dr. Belcher as an “Honorary Special Agent,” based upon Dr. Belcher’s “distinguished prosecutorial achievements relative to fraud in the savings and loan industry investigated by the Dallas Bank Fraud Task Force.” On August 26, 1994, the Criminal Investigation Division for the Nashville District of the Internal Revenue Service presented Dr. Belcher with a second “Honorary Special Agent” award in recognition of his successful prosecution of “cult leader” Tony Alamo in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.


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