Hillary Rightler focuses her practice on white collar criminal defense matters including internal, criminal, and SEC investigations. Ms. Rightler has experience representing both individuals and corporations in handling government enforcement issues, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act (including government contracting and healthcare matters), Civil Investigative Demands, securities fraud allegations, and grand jury investigations.
Ms. Rightler performed a significant role in the Volkswagen AG Independent Compliance Monitor & Auditor team that oversaw VW AG’s compliance with Plea Agreement and Consent Decree obligations arising from parallel criminal and civil cases concerning emissions fraud with regard to the company’s diesel-powered cars sold in the United States. She led large working groups of attorneys, auditors, and consultants in reviewing, auditing, and testing the design and effectiveness of the company’s improvements to its compliance program.
Ms. Rightler also has experience in areas of complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis in the area of securities litigation.
Ms. Rightler was named one of the “40 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40” in 2021 by the National LGBT Bar Association and recognized for distinguishing herself in her field and demonstrating a profound commitment to LGBTQ+ equality. She was listed in the 2022 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as "Up and Coming" in the area of White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations Litigation.
Led corporate internal and government investigations of potential misconduct, including criminal antitrust and securities violations, and other criminal statutes.
Assisted multinational companies with training and improvements to compliance programs on several anti-fraud and anti-corruption topics.
Defended individuals and companies in administrative proceedings for violations of federal securities laws.
Represented corporations in civil and criminal False Claims Act investigations and litigation, including government contracting, tax and healthcare matters.
Assisted corporate clients with responses to Civil Investigative Demands issued by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state Attorneys General.
Conducted internal investigations for a hospital system concerning allegations of improper billing and False Claims Act violations. Successfully convinced the Department of Justice not to take action against the hospital system.
Represented a financial institution in a formal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and convinced the Commission staff to close the investigation without taking any action.
In less than three months, convinced the Department of Justice not to take any action against a client employee for allegedly stealing trade secrets from a competitor. During the investigation, our client continued to be a witness and did not have any criminal exposure.
In less than four months, convinced the Civil Division of the Department of Justice that a whistleblower’s claims against a company did not merit the Government’s intervention into a sealed qui tam litigation. Soon after, the whistleblower voluntarily dismissed her litigation.
Successfully obtained dismissals for directors of publicly traded companies in shareholder litigation asserting breach of fiduciary duty claims associated with merger transactions.
Successfully obtained enforcement of contract for investment broker retained in sale of privately-held company after breach by sellers.
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Georgia State University, College of Law J.D. (2010) summa cum laude, first in class
Vanderbilt University B.A. (2004) magna cum laude, Chancellor's Scholar
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