Overview
Jennifer Armstrong
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Experience

Jennifer is a member in the Litigation practice group and co-chair of the firm's Women's Council. She focuses her practice on federal complex commercial litigation, governmental investigations and white collar criminal defense, and antitrust and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance counseling and internal investigations.

Jennifer has achieved a record of success by resolving a variety of business and commercial disputes involving multi-party actions, parallel civil and criminal proceedings, and class actions in federal and state trial and appellate courts. On behalf of plaintiffs and defendants, she represents clients across a wide range of industries, including financial services, healthcare and life sciences, insurance, retail, and transportation. Likewise, her experience covers a broad range of substantive areas of law, including antitrust and unfair trade practices, securities, contracts, and business torts, including breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation, violation of the Unified Fraudulent Transfer Act, tortious interference with contractual relations or prospective business advantage, alter ego/veil piercing, civil theft and civil conspiracy. Her clients include private and public companies, corporate directors, officers and shareholders, and individuals.

Jennifer is experienced in all aspects of corporate criminal defense and enforcement-related litigation, from investigation through trial. She has aggressively defended clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Drug Enforcement Administration, and other regulators involving allegations of violations of the FCPA, antitrust laws, the Controlled Substances Act, healthcare fraud, tax fraud, bank fraud, identity fraud, public corruption, insider trading and other securities violations, bribery, money laundering and conspiracy. Because she has achieved victory in some cases by convincing prosecutors not to pursue charges against her clients, these successes have never become public.

Jennifer also counsels clients on a wide range of antitrust and FCPA compliance issues. In this context, she develops and implements effective antitrust and FCPA compliance programs, works with her clients to formulate strategies to mitigate antitrust and FCPA risks, and regularly provides counsel on potential antitrust and FCPA issues. Jennifer has also conducted corporate internal investigations involving allegations of potential antitrust and FCPA violations.

Prior to joining McDonald Hopkins, Jennifer served as a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and an associate in a national law firm’s Antitrust, Competition, and White Collar Crime practice group. During law school, Jennifer worked as a judicial extern for Judge Karen Nelson Moore in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Jennifer earned a J.D., summa cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where she served as executive editor of the Cleveland State Law Review. Jennifer received a Master's in Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) from Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management. She has a B.A. from Miami University.   

Representative Cases/Matters

BUSINESS/COMPLEX COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

  • Won dismissal of a $700 million False Claims Act action against a nonprofit conservancy district that was affirmed on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.    
  • Won dismissal of all claims against two large technology companies in a 23-count class action complaint alleging federal antitrust violations and tort and consumer-protection claims under the laws of five different states.
  • Represented two publicly-traded corporations in ongoing multidistrict civil antitrust litigation against alleged global cartels.  Negotiated a highly favorable settlement.
  • Represented a worldwide distributor of mechanical power transmission parts in a civil antitrust resale price maintenance case.
  • Won dismissal of all federal civil antitrust claims against a leading food corporation.
  • Won dismissal of a class action complaint alleging violations of federal securities laws against a global financial institution. 
  • Defended a multinational freight transportation company in a class action complaint alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and obtained favorable settlement.
  • Represented 10 high-net-worth individuals that invested over $19 million in a failed corporation against the business’s inside Board of Directors, alleging violations of state securities laws, fraud, and numerous business torts.  Obtained a highly favorable settlement.
  • Defended a construction company in a multi-party civil action alleging violations of Illinois antitrust laws.


    WHITE COLLAR CRIME/INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS

  • Represented a pharmaceutical distributor in Drug Enforcement Administration administrative proceedings and a U.S. Attorney investigation alleging violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Represented a business executive in a federal criminal public corruption investigation. No charges or actions were filed. 
  • Defended a Grammy Award–winning musician against indictment for a felony weapons violation and assault and battery. After filing a constitutional challenge to the indictment, the case resolved with a misdemeanor plea and the imposition of a $250 fine. 
  • Defended an executive in a federal criminal investigation and at trial for alleged healthcare fraud allegations.  Obtained a sentence that was 24 months below the United States Sentencing Guidelines range.
  • Represented a chief executive officer of a manufacturing company in a federal criminal indictment for tax fraud.  Obtained a sentence of six months of imprisonment and six months of home detention, approximately 20 months below the United States Sentencing Guidelines range.
  • Defended a government contractor against a federal criminal indictment alleging multiple counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and false statement.
  • Represented the Board of Directors of a national manufacturing company in connection with an internal investigation of potential FCPA violations.
  • Represented the Board of Executives of a national healthcare corporation in connection with internal investigation of potential antitrust violations.
  • Represented a high-level executive in the financial services industry in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

    ANTITRUST/FCPA COMPLIANCE COUNSELING

  • Counseled numerous clients in health care, construction, and manufacturing industries regarding compliance with Sherman and Robinson-Patman Acts, pricing, vertical relationships, and trade association activities.
  • Counseled numerous clients with international business operations and interests regarding Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance.
  • Provided antitrust and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance training to Board of Directors, senior executives, sales staff, and other high-risk employees.
Credentials

Admissions - Court

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Admissions - State

  • Ohio

Education

  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management
  • Miami University

Honors and Awards

  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Rising Stars (2014 and 2015), an honor awarded to the top 2.5% of Ohio attorneys

Professional Membership

  • Women’s White Collar Criminal Defense Association, Ohio Chapter Co-Leader 
  • Chair, Merit Selection Committee for the Northern District of Ohio Federal Public Defender
  • Delegate, 2015 Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Member, Reappointment and Evaluation Committee of Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio (2015)
  • Member, Attorney Advisory Committee for the United States District Court of the Northern District of Ohio
  • Board Member, Federal Bar Association for the Northern District of Ohio
  • Member, American Bar Association, Antitrust Section
  • Member, American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Section

Public Service and Volunteerism

  • Great Lakes Theater Company, Board of Directors – 2017 to present 
  • Partners in Justice, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, 2013 to present
  • 3Rs Program (Cleveland Metropolitan Schools/Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association), Team Member, 2009-2010
  • Women’s Philanthropic Union Foundation, Trustee, 2002-2004
  • Cogswell Hall, President, 1999-2004
Insights

Blog Posts

External Publications

Events

Events

Speaking Engagements

  • FCPA: Recent Developments, Red Flags, and Compliance Program Design, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Chapter, November 20, 2014
  • Five Things You Should Know About The FCPA, Organization of Women in International Trade, Northeast Ohio Chapter, November 13, 2014
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