Michael F. Dearington

Mike focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, white collar defense, and government investigations and enforcement.
Michael Dearington, Associate, Washington, DC at Arent Fox LLP

Mike is a highly sought-after advocate who provides advice to corporate and individual clients in connection with a range of difficult legal issues, and represents clients in all stages of high-stakes litigation, from investigation through trial and appeal. Many of Mike’s clients are in the health care and life sciences industries.

Mike routinely counsels clients on matters involving the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and federal securities laws, as well as complex commercial litigation and white-collar defense matters. He frequently writes and speaks on these subjects, and his work has appeared in or been cited by such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BNA, and various law reviews. His cases have also been profiled by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street JournalAPThe New Yorker, and other news organizations.

Mike clerked for Judge José A. Cabranes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. He also previously served as an extern in the US Attorney’s office for the District of Connecticut, and worked as a legal assistant at an international law firm. 

Government Investigations & Litigation

Mike routinely advises and represents clients in responding to government subpoenas/CIDs issued by the Department of Justice, component US Attorney’s Offices, agency OIGs, the SEC, and state attorneys general, and represents clients in related enforcement proceedings and litigation. Recent government investigations and litigation matters with which Mike has been involved include:

  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of a global pharmaceutical manufacturer in a False Claims Act litigation brought by a qui tam relator alleging Anti-Kickback Statute conspiracy between various manufacturers and PBMs, upheld on appeal by the First and Second Circuits.
  • Obtained declination on behalf of the former president of a benefit management company in a False Claims Act investigation (the former company entered into a $54 million settlement).
  • Obtained declination on behalf of an international medical device manufacturer in an investigation by the DOJ Consumer Protection Branch into possible criminal or civil violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
  • Represented a large public hospital district in a Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, and False Claims Act investigation and litigation in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, leading to a $69.5 million global settlement.
  • Represented three individuals in insider-trading investigations brought by the SEC, including document productions and multiple days of testimony, leading to two declinations, one favorable settlement, and no criminal charges.
  • Represented individuals in a parallel SEC and USAO fraud investigation and litigation involving document productions and SEC testimony, leading to a favorable result.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of three pharmaceutical manufacturers in litigation brought by Louisiana Attorney General’s Office alleging false or misleading reporting of FDA approval statuses and fraudulent Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Represented entities in investigations brought by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts into whether pharmaceutical manufacturers and patient assistance programs violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act relating to the provision of co-pays.
  • Represented a national vein clinic in an investigation brought by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland and various Offices of Inspector General into allegations of billing for medically unnecessary procedures, leading to declination.  

White Collar Defense

Mike regularly represents clients in federal criminal investigations and litigation involving charges of fraud, economic espionage, failure to register as a foreign agent, obstruction of justice, false statements, and conspiracy. Recent representative matters with which Mike has been involved include: 

  • Obtained full dismissal of fraud charges against professor accused of grant fraud.
  • Authored briefs and conducted oral argument in an appeal before the DC Circuit challenging a single count of conviction for conspiracy to steal trade secrets (appeal pending); argued mens rea and jury instructions at district court during trial (acquittal following trial on economic espionage and money laundering charges).
  • Authored briefs and conducted oral argument on a motion to dismiss in a fraud case in the District of Kansas challenging a novel prosecution theory against a university professor accused of secretly working for a second university in China.
  • Authored and presented advocacy to the USAO and FBI in a fraud case in the Northern District of Georgia, leading to dismissal of fraud charges.
  • Obtained pretrial diversion for a client accused of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act and committing bank fraud.
  • Obtained dismissal of a ten-count federal fraud and obstruction of justice indictment on behalf of an insurance executive following pretrial diversion.

Complex Commercial Litigation and Constitutional Law

Mike represents and advises clients in complex commercial contract and other business disputes before courts and other tribunals around the country. Recent representative matters with which Mike has been involved include:

  • Argued successful motion for summary judgment in real estate tax case, obtaining eight-figure settlement on behalf of client and co-petitioner against the District of Columbia (appeal pending).
  • Represented a playwright and a director in a defamation suit in federal court in Washington, DC, resulting in a dismissal upheld by the D.C. Circuit.
  • Representing a professional association accused of defamation based on findings published in an internal investigation report prepared by a law firm on behalf of the association, resulting in dismissal (appeal pending).
  • Represented a global biologics manufacturer in a confidential arbitration against a drug company involving alleged breaches of contract, obtaining seven-figure settlement.
  • Drafted Supreme Court petition in Rails-to-Trails takings case.

Publications, Presentations, & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

Mike’s past awards and recognitions have included:

  • Albert E. Arent Pro Bono Award
  • Member of team awarded 2015 Detained Children’s Champion Award by Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
  • Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, Executive Editor; also voted “Best Blogger” Award
  • Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), Articles Editor
  • Chris Lantz Memorial Outstanding Service Award
  • Dean’s List; Dean’s Scholar
  • Previously served on Board of Bar Association of DC Young Lawyers Section, and ArentFox Schiff Associates Committee



JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2021