Cathy Fleming


Business Litigation
Tax Investigations & Defense
Business Crimes, Regulatory Offenses & Corporate Investigations


B.A., cum laude, Mount Holyoke College
J.D., Columbia University School of Law


New York (4/7/1980)
New Jersey (12/18/87)
U.S. Supreme Court (6/3/96)
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second (5/29/98) and Third Circuits (12/5/90)
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (12/18/87)
U.S. District Courts for the Southern (4/22/80), Eastern (4/22/80), and Northern Districts of New York (2/2009)

Cathy focuses her practice on complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal cases. Cathy, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has extensive experience in commercial, securities, employment, tax, antitrust, health care law, and international extraditions. Cathy has tried more than 50 cases to verdict, most of which have been in federal courts, including in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California. She conducts internal integrity audits and investigations for corporations and public bodies. She also provides counsel to corporate management and committees and has represented members of special committees in defense against shareholder complaints in federal and state tender offer litigation. She advises boards on issues of governance.

Cathy represents large companies and their executives and employees in investigations, including criminal investigations, tax investigations, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) enforcement proceedings, class-action lawsuits, and other civil cases. She represents major brokerage houses in arbitrations, often in cases involving millions of dollars. She has acted as co-lead counsel in securities litigation, acted as lead counsel in defense of a number of SEC enforcement cases involving various industries, and defended public accounting firms in numerous proceedings stemming from frauds committed by accounting firm clients.

A significant portion of Cathy’s work cannot be disclosed, since the matters were never made public. A small sample of Cathy’s experience includes representing clients before New York State and federal tax authorities, representing clients in health care and SEC investigations, and representing clients in connection with Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) matters.

  • Cathy was co-counsel to a Turkish banker in the first ever prosecution (SDNY) of a foreign banker charged with secondary sanctions violations which received enormous world-wide press.  Our client was acquitted of money laundering charges at trial, although convicted on other counts.  His case is on appeal
  • Cathy obtained an acquittal from a jury in Bronx Supreme Court for a contractor accused of perjury in connection with a grand jury investigating a former New York City police commissioner. The trial lasted 11 weeks.
  • In a joint defense effort with six national law firms, Cathy was lead counsel for a senior manager of an international logistics provider who faced federal criminal charges of conspiring to employ illegal aliens at plants nationwide and impeding the lawful functions of the IRS and Social Security Administration. Five of the defendants, including our client, received only minimal fines of $1,000 to $5,000 each.
  • In a case receiving international media attention, Cathy successfully defended against four federal attempts to extradite a former deputy attorney general of Mexico. She thereafter successfully prevented his deportation by convincing a federal court that the statute on which the government relied was unconstitutional (United States v. Reno, District of New Jersey).
  • In a case of first impression, Cathy obtained the decision of a federal court requiring the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey to retract a report published on its Web site that revealed grand jury material and ordered the United States attorney to apologize to her client, a former lieutenant governor of Texas.
  • Cathy co-tried to a successful verdict an environmental case involving migration and fate of DNAPLs and LNAPLs (Gussack v. Xerox, Southern District of New York).
  • In a federal criminal antitrust case prosecuting suppliers who sold frozen food to the New York City Board of Education, Cathy defended the only frozen food distributor who went to trial.
  • Cathy defended a former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, against an 18-count indictment. The ten-week federal prosecution resulted in a hung jury.
  • Cathy successfully represented a client resulting in the client and seven companies being removed from the OFAC list.


Cathy is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  Cathy was named to the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 New York Metro Super Lawyers list. In 2008, the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA) honored Cathy with the NJWLA’s Platinum Award for Women’s Initiative & Leaders in Law. She was named a Woman of Power & Influence by the National Organization for Women in 2007. Cathy was also awarded the Department of Justice’s Special Commendation Award for her work as a federal prosecutor.  She has been recognized each year since 2006 as a New York Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine for her work in the area of white-collar criminal defense. She is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Selected News

  • Cathy appears as a guest and provided legal analyses on MSNBC from time to time.
  • Turkish banker Hakan Atilla strikes blow in U.S. sanctions trial,, December 15, 2017
  • Gold Trader Zarrab says he was threatened in jail for cooperation with U.S., Reuters,December 7, 2017
  • Zarrab Concedes He Lied About Iran Sanctions Scheme, Law360, December 6, 2017
  • Turkey’s president: Banker’s New York trial is US conspiracy, Chicago Tribune, December 6, 2017
  • Turkish Banker’s Lawyers Launch Attack on Trader’s Testimony, Bloomberg, December 5,2017
  • Zarrab’s Take From Iran Sanctions Plot? ‘Maybe $150 Million,’ He Says, The New York Times, December 5, 2017
  • Turkish Banker’s Lawyers Question Zarrab’s Testimony in Cross-Examination, The Globe Post, December 5, 2017
  • Turkish gold trader says he paid $45,000 bribe to U.S. prison guard, Reuters, December 5,2017
  • Strip-Club Case Puts DEA Staff on Hot Seat,, May 31, 2016
  • Cathy Fleming Tries and Wins High-Profile Bronx Perjury Trial, December 27, 2012
  • Bronx Jury Finds Bernard Kerik Pal Frank DiTommaso Not Guilty of Perjury,” New York Daily News, December 24, 2012
  • “Kerik Is Reluctant Witness in Perjury Trial of Brothers Who Remodeled His Home,” New York Times, September 27, 2012
  • “Jailed ex-NYPD Commish to Testify in Bx. Perjury Trial,” New York Post, September 24, 2012
  • Cathy Fleming Named New York Office Managing Partner, November 2, 2011
  • Q&A With Hodgson Russ’s Cathy Fleming,” Law360, June 21, 2011
  • Cathy Fleming to Participate in National Association of Women Lawyers Leadership Summit, December 3, 2010
  • “Flexibility Key For Women Rejoining Legal Ranks,” Law360, October 19, 2009
  • Cathy Fleming Travels to Cuba as Part of Legal System Research Program, October 9, 2009


Selected Presentations

  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” July 20, 2017, New York, New York
  • “Diversity in Law,” Harvard Law School, April 3, 2017
  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” Ark Group, University of Chicago, May 19, 2016
  • 39th Annual United States District Court Judicial Conference

West Orange, NJ, March 19, 2015

  • 10th Annual Turnaround Management Association Northeast Regional Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY, August 28, 2014
  • Women Legal 2014

New York, NY, June 3, 2014

  • 2012 New York Summer Seminar Series

Hodgson Russ, June & July 2012

  • New Jersey Summer Tax Seminar

Hodgson Russ, Morristown, NJ, June 5, 2012

  • 17th Annual Labor & Employment Conference

Hodgson Russ, Amherst, NY, November 3, 2011

  • 2011 New York Summer Seminar Series

Hodgson Russ, June & July 2011

  • Today’s Women, Tomorrow’s Challenges: Looking Ahead to the New World of Business Hodgson Russ, Buffalo, NY, September 16, 2010
  • 2010 New York Summer Seminar Series

Hodgson Russ, June & July 2010

  • New Jersey Hospital Association Seminar: New Jersey Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG): Lessons from Other Jurisdictions,” April 9, 2010
  • Webinar: New Jersey Office of Medicaid Inspector General (“OMIG”) – Lessons From Other Jurisdictions, January 26, 2010

Selected Publications

  • Health Care Fraud: First, Do No Harm, New York Law Journal, November 2014
  • Diversity Means Business” Breaking Barriers: Promoting and Retaining Women in the Legal Profession, published by MP Magazine, September 2014
  • “Women Helping Women: Seven Simples Rules to Help Women – and You,” Women Lawyers Journal, January 2014
  • “Becoming a First-Class Second,” New York Law Journal, August 15, 2011
  • Women Lawyers Alliance Conference: “Rainmaking Equals Influence,” May 13, 2011
  • “‘Invisible’ Attorneys Seek Notice,” National Law Journal;
  • “Corporate Integrity Audits and Preventing the Criminal Inquiry,” Winning Legal Strategies for Corporate Governance: Leading Lawyers on Effective Programs for Understanding Regulations, Maintaining Compliance, and Avoiding Liability
  • “Protecting the Audit Committee,” GC New York.
  • “Integrity, New Audit Committee Issue,” GC New York.


Professional Affiliations: Cathy is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, and New Jersey State Bar Association. She was a member of the ABA House of Delegates from 2007-09. She served as president of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the oldest women’s bar association in the United States, from 2006 to 2007, and was a member of the executive board of NAWL from 2004 to 2010. She is also a founding director of the NAWL Foundation and served on its board until 2014. From 2008 to 2012, Cathy served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts, and she served from 1997 to 2016 as a trustee of the Historical Society for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. For four years, she served as a member and hearing chair for the New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committee, District V, Essex County. Cathy also teaches regularly at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.