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Cathy Fleming

Tax Investigations & Defense Practice Leader
Related Info
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York and District of New Jersey

B.A., cum laude, Mount Holyoke College

J.D., Columbia University School of Law

Cathy serves as head of the firm's Tax Investigations & Defense Practice. She focuses her practice on complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal cases, and 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.

Cathy represents 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 regularly represents major brokerage houses in arbitrations, often in cases involving millions of dollars. She has significant experience representing public accounting companies and financial institutions.  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 investigations, and representing clients in connection with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and other matters.

Prior to joining Hodgson Russ, Cathy was involved in a number of notable cases:

  • 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 website 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 dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) and light non-aqueous phase liquid (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 has been named each year since 2006 to the 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 is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.




Professional Associations

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 also 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 has served since 1997 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.