Michelle Nasser is a Chambers-ranked former federal prosecutor with extensive first chair trial and investigation experience and a broad national civil and criminal litigation practice. Michelle splits her time between Dowd Bennett’s Chicago and St. Louis offices.
As a former AUSA, Michelle specializes in and internal investigations. Michelle acts as lead attorney in representing companies and individuals who are targets, defendants and witnesses in financial fraud and white collar matters, including healthcare and government contract fraud, accounting and securities fraud, False Claims Act, FCPA, tax fraud, and public corruption. Michelle has successfully represented publicly-traded companies, corporate executives, doctors, and high-ranking government officials in sensitive, complex, and high-profile white-collar matters initiated by the United States Department of Justice, U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, and prosecutors in various jurisdictions. Michelle regularly represents a large healthcare corporation in responding to federal CIDs issued across the country, defends companies and medical providers in FCA litigation, and leads a variety of corporate internal investigations related to government inquiries. Michelle is recognized in the Chambers and Partners Guide for her accomplishments in “Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.”
Michelle maintains an equally active civil litigation practice, routinely representing corporations and individuals in a variety of complex civil commercial litigation matters, including both the defense and prosecution of an array of claims such as breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, employment discrimination, theft of trade secrets, and negligence in state and federal courts. As part of her civil practice, Michelle was one of the lead lawyers representing St. Louis and the Regional Stadium Authority in the high-profile litigation arising out of the Rams’s 2016 relocation from St. Louis to Los Angeles. Michelle conducted and defended numerous depositions of key witnesses in the NFL matter, which resulted in a historic $790 million settlement against the NFL and its teams shortly before trial.
Michelle also has an active regulatory practice and has successfully advocated for many individuals and corporate clients before licensing boards.
As a lead trial counsel, Michelle has tried to verdict 15 federal district court jury trials and one federal district court bench trial. She also was a lead trial counsel in a state court matter that was dismissed by opposing counsel after four days of jury selection. She has questioned scores of witnesses in court and has taken and defended depositions of both fact and expert witnesses. She also has argued countless contested hearings involving constitutional, statutory, evidentiary and sentencing issues.
As appellate counsel, Michelle has briefed and personally argued 11 appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Before joining Dowd Bennett, Michelle served for more than 13 years as a federal prosecutor and supervisor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, serving in the office’s Major Case, Financial Crimes, General Crimes, and Violent Crimes sections. She led and supervised government investigations, prosecutions, trials and appeals involving various criminal offenses, ranging from complex financial, tax and healthcare fraud, to embezzlement, identity theft, money laundering, cybercrime, racketeering, violent crime, civil rights violations, extortion, human trafficking and public corruption. From 2010-2016, in addition to her other responsibilities at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Michelle led the office’s Human Trafficking Program, which entailed supervision of all federal human trafficking investigations and cases in the Northern District of Illinois.
Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Michelle was an associate at a large law firm in Chicago, and a law clerk for a federal judge in Chicago.