Karen Hewitt is an experienced trial lawyer who has successfully litigated hundreds of cases in federal court for more than three decades. She is nationally recognized as a leading practitioner conducting internal investigations involving criminal and civil issues. Karen currently leads the defense of companies in some of their most important complex business litigation. Karen's practice focuses on possible violations of federal law, including the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the False Claims Act. She is Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's California Region, which encompasses five offices and nearly 300 lawyers. She has been recognized in Chambers as a "real powerhouse."
Karen led the defense of an international retailer in a complex FCPA investigation conducted by the DOJ and SEC in four countries. She also has represented major public and private companies in internal investigations on highly sensitive topics, crisis management, compliance, contested proceedings before regulatory agencies, and "bet-the-company" litigation. In the matters Karen leads, she routinely reports to senior management, the board of directors, the audit committee, or a special committee and develops the comprehensive strategy for the company to protect and defend itself from a range of legal and regulatory risks.
Before joining Jones Day, Karen served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, where she focused on national security, border security, cyber and intellectual property crime, white collar and financial crime, civil fraud, violent crime, and narcotics enforcement.
Karen is a former President of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys. She is a Master in the Enright Inn of Court and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of San Diego School of Law.
President Biden Issues Executive Order on "Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence"
Considerations for Addressing DOJ's Corporate Compliance Guidance on Mobile Devices and Messaging Platforms
Key Considerations for Internal Investigations in India Following Recent Regulatory Circular to Indian Auditors
Federal Agencies Highlight Benefits of Self-Disclosure, Emphasize Enforcement of Trade Violations in Tri-Seal Compliance Note
The U.S. Supreme Court Affirms the Government's Authority to Dismiss FCA Qui Tam Cases After Declining to Intervene
- June 20, 2017
Current Issues in Internal and Government Investigations: What Companies Should Know
- March 2017
ABA White Collar Institute Faculty and Panelist, The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- June 9, 2015
KKR General Counsel & Regulatory Affairs Conference
- March 2015
ABA White Collar Institute Faculty and Panelist, The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act — Recent Developments and New Trends
- September 17-19, 2014
Women, Influence & Power in Law Symposium
- October 8, 2013
Current Issues in FCPA Compliance – Meet Our Professionals From Around the World
- June 7, 2012
Jones Day Chicago 2012 MCLE University
- March 30, 2011
Effective Federal Discovery Practice: Taking and Defending Depositions, Federal Bar Association Civil Practice Series
- December 1, 2010
Cybersecurity Issues for Business, San Diego Policy Forum
- October 4, 2010
Security, Data Protection and Privacy: U.S. and International Legal Considerations, National Defense Industrial Association, San Diego Fall Symposium
- University of San Diego (J.D. 1989); University of California, Berkeley (B.A. in Rhetoric 1986)
- California, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits, and U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Central, and Northern Districts of California
- Service with the United States Department of Justice (1992-2010), including Trial Attorney with the Civil Division, Constitutional and Specialized Torts Section in Washington, D.C. (1992-2000); Assistant U.S. Attorney (2000-2006); Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney (third-in-command in U.S. Attorney's Office, 2006-2007); Interim United States Attorney (2007); and United States Attorney (2007-2010)
Chambers USA (Litigation: white-collar crime & government investigations in California, 2022)
Global Investigations Review: "Top FCPA Practitioners" (2022) and "Leading California Commercial Litigator" (2023)
Daily Journal: "Top 100 Lawyers in California" (2012-2021) and "Top 100 Women Lawyers in California" (2013-2022)
Best Lawyers in America (2015-2022)
The Legal 500 United States (2018-2022)
Lawdragon "500 Leading Litigators in America" (White Collar, Investigations, Business Litigation, 2022)
National Law Journal: "Regulatory and Compliance Trailblazer" (2015)
National Diversity Council: "Top 50 Women Lawyers in the United States" (2016)
Recipient of honors for exceptional legal work from the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, State, and Health and Human Services