Ronald J. Friedman

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7032 |

Areas of Practice

Ron Friedman is Chair of Lane Powell’s White Collar Criminal Defense, Regulatory Compliance and Special Investigations Practice Group. Ron represents individuals and businesses in a variety of complex regulatory, civil and criminal proceedings, as well as conducting internal investigations and assisting businesses with compliance. Ron came to Lane Powell after a distinguished career with the United States Department of Justice for which he received many awards. Ron served as a Federal Criminal Prosecutor in Seattle for 22 years. Before that, Ron practiced white collar criminal defense in Washington, D.C.

Ron is a litigator who focuses on advising and defending companies and individuals facing government investigations or enforcement actions in the United States and around the world. His clients rely on his extensive experience in managing all phases of a compliance issue from the internal investigation to the final resolution.

Ron focuses on complex litigation and regulatory compliance with an emphasis on matters involving the Food and Drug Cosmetic Act, Uniform Controlled Substances Act, financial crimes, environmental crimes, and criminal and regulatory investigations involving banks, businesses, corporate executives, pharmaceutical distributors and health care entities. Ron represents individuals and companies in a variety of contexts, including clients who are the target or subject of criminal and regulatory investigations, clients wishing to implement adequate compliance and due diligence protocols, clients who are witnesses in grand jury proceedings, and clients accused of criminal wrong-doing at all stages of proceedings, including indictment, trial, and on appeal. Ron’s focus includes business loss prevention and compliance, false product claim issues, securities fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, drug diversion and regulatory practice issues. Ron has extensive experience in the areas of government procurement fraud, health care fraud, defending qui tams, and cases involving the pharmaceutical and medical industries, including retail drug chains, product manufacturers and distributors, and foreign companies seeking to do business and comply with the laws of the U.S. Ron represents all varieties of DEA registrants and medical professionals in a variety of criminal, regulatory and licensing proceedings. Ron also assists clients in general business and licensing matters.

Prior to joining Lane Powell, Ron worked in every unit of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and participated in combined investigations with the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, resulting in civil enforcement decrees, fines and penalties. Ron conducted hundreds of investigations resulting in indictments, jury trials and appeals. All matters brought to trial resulted in conviction, and all matters argued before the United States Court of Appeals were affirmed. In addition, Ron served as Supervisor of federal grand juries in Seattle for six years, where he oversaw numerous grand jury investigations, examined witnesses and litigated matters involving compliance with grand jury subpoenas.

Ron is responsible for developing multiple highly successful and nationally recognized federal law enforcement programs, including Operation Stolen Valor, which resulted in the conviction of numerous individuals for committing armed services fraud, and Operation Midnight Express, which resulted in the conviction of numerous health care providers and civil fines against pharmaceutical distributors for committing regulatory violations and unlawfully importing and diverting pharmaceuticals.

Ron has substantial experience in investigations involving the United States import and export laws, bank secrecy and currency reporting laws, FDA laws, DEA laws, False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Ron has received numerous local and national awards, including the Director’s Award from the United States Attorney General for excellence in a case involving foreign corporations conducting unauthorized business in the United States in violation of U.S. law.

Professional Experience

  • Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Office, Seattle, Wash., Assistant U.S. Attorney (1987-2009)
  • Eastern District of Louisiana, Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman (1985-1987)
  • Schwalb, Donnenfeld, Bray and Silbert, Washington, D.C., Associate (1983-1985)

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington
  • District of Columbia


  • Harvard Law School (J.D.)
    • Massachusetts Public Defenders (1983)
    • Harvard Defenders (1980-1982)
  • University of Virginia (B.A., with highest distinction)

Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Chair, White Collar Criminal Defense, Regulatory Compliance and Special Investigations Practice Group
  • Antitrust and Trade Regulation
  • Financial Institutions
  • Food, Beverage and Hospitality
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Bribery and International Anti-Corruption
  • Health Care
  • Litigation
  • Long Term Care and Seniors Housing
  • Mortgage and Consumer Finance
  • Securities Litigation

Representative Matters and Clients

  • Represented President of hospital services corporation in federal criminal case alleging securities fraud and market manipulation
  • Represented President of environmental inspection company in federal criminal case alleging conspiracy to defraud and violations of Clean Air Act
  • Represented major league sports franchise in DEA regulatory investigation
  • Represented retail drug store chain and pharmacists in DEA and state regulatory investigation alleging noncompliance and records violations
  • Represented national food manufacturer in FDA action seeking a recall; recall averted
  • Represented aircraft parts supplier in due diligence FCPA investigation
  • Represented national engineering firm in Qui Tam civil fraud investigation
  • Represented Chief Financial Officer of national labor corporation in whistleblower investigation alleging accounting fraud
  • Represented Chief Financial Officer of national engineering company in Department of Defense fraud investigation
  • Represented Chief Executive Officer of oil drilling company conducting business overseas in criminal case alleging wire fraud and tax evasion
  • Represented chain of health care clinics and corporate officer in FDA investigation alleging unlawful importation of a misbranded drug, sale of an unapproved new drug and false statements
  • Represented national medical product wholesaler in FDA investigation alleging misbranding and improper sale of merchandise.  Recall averted; product deemed compliant
  • Represented medical trauma training center in DEA regulatory compliance investigation
  • Represented health care entity and employees in state regulatory compliance investigation and licensing matters
  • Represented national environmental company in investigation alleging violations of the Clean Water Act, RCRA and FIFRA
  • Represented Washington state political party official in federal criminal investigation alleging fraud and false statement
  • Represented national drug wholesaler and distributor in FDA criminal investigation alleging sale of stolen merchandise
  • Represented financial investment advisor in federal criminal case alleging bank fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and unlawful conversion
  • Represented public school fiscal officer in investigation alleging theft and public corruption
  • Represented construction company in State investigation alleging criminal noncompliance with construction permits
  • Represented seafood processing company in State investigation alleging criminal violations of fisheries law
  • Represented media representative in FBI investigation alleging unauthorized disclosure of classified information
  • Represented pharmacies, pharmaceutical, and health care companies in licensing matters and regulatory compliance

TV/Radio Interviews

  • “Pharmacies Under Siege,” Interviewed by St. Petersburg College Center for Public Safety Innovation (September 20, 2012)


  • “New, Final DEA Drug Disposal Rules Are Shady on Details,” Law360 (September 19, 2014)
  • “Beware Pharmacy Record-Keeping Violations,” Law360 (April 9, 2013)
  • “The Case for Compounding Pharmacy,” Law360 (November 9, 2012)
  • “DEA Audits: Coming to a Theatre Near You,” American Bar Association Health Law Section Newsletter, ABA Health eSource (October 2011)
  • “Lessons from the Failed Prosecution of In-House Pharmaceutical Counsel,” American Bar Association Criminal Litigation Section Newsletter, Co-author (Fall 2011)
  • “Understanding the New Washington State Pain Medication and Opioid Rules,” Washington State Pharmacy Association Website (June 2011)
  • “A Knock at the Door:  Responding to Government Investigations,” Physicians Risk Management Update (January 2011)
  • “Increased Scrutiny of Medical Providers:  A Cause for Reflection and Diligence,” American Academy of Pain Management’s quarterly magazine, The Pain Practitioner (Summer 2010)
  • “When is a Kickback a Kickback? — Navigating the Perilous Road of Marketing Incentives in the Pharmaceutical Industry,” Contract Pharma Magazine (May 2010)
  • “Swallowing the Wrong Pill — Criminal Drug Diversion by Medical Professionals, A Prosecutor’s Perspective,” Pain Medicine News Magazine (May 2009)
  • “Don’t Take the Money and Run — Be Careful When a Client Pays in Cash,” National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Magazine (July 2007)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Law Enforcement Responses to Fraud Rings, Burglaries and Robberies,” National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, Co-presenter (April 7, 2015)
  • “D&O Liability: Business Judgment Rule — A Safe Harbor in Civil and Criminal Cases?” Lane Powell Commercial Law Developments Seminar, Co-presenter (December 16, 2014)
  • “Representing Clients Targeted by Law Enforcement for a Voluntary Interview,” Muslim Advocates Webinar (June 3, 2014)
  • “National Days of Remembrance: Confronting the Holocaust,” City of Lynnwood (May 5, 2014)
  • “‘Drugs R Us’: Navigating the Perilous Road Between Patient Needs and Government Scrutiny Involving Controlled Substances,” Oregon Health Care Association Annual Conference (September 16, 2013)
  • “Impact of Guidelines in Federal Healthcare Fraud Cases,” National Federal Sentencing Guidelines Conference (May 23, 2013)
  • “2013 Regulatory Enforcement Update,” Washington State Pharmacy Association’s Annual New Drugs New Laws Conference (February 10, 2013; April 21, 2013)
  • “Understanding the Evolving Law and Heightened Scrutiny Regarding Controlled Substances, Pharmacies and LTC Facilities,” Oregon Health Care Association Spring Expo (March 14, 2013)
  • “Pharmacies Under Siege,” Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Webcast (December 6, 2012)
  • “2012 Regulatory Enforcement Update,” American Society for Pharmacy Law Annual Conference (November 16, 2012)
  • “Protect Your DEA Registration And Your Revenue’s Practice,” DecisionHealth Webinar, Host (January 26, 2012)
  • “Navigating the Difficult Road of Effective Pain Management: Understanding the New Opioid Rules,” Evergreen Hospital Medical Center Continuing Medical Education (December 16, 2011)
  • “Commercial Law Developments,” Lane Powell Seminar, Seattle (December 15, 2011)
  • “DEA Decisions:  Making Sense of Dissonant Decisions When Representing Pharmacists,” American Society of Pharmacy Law Annual Conference (November 18, 2011)
  • “Increased Law Enforcement Scrutiny of DEA Pharmaceutical Registrants:  Caught in the Crosshairs,” Continuing Medical Education Presentation to Marion General Hospital and Grant County Medical Society (October 20, 2011)
  • “Responding to and Cooperating With Government Inquiries:  Putting Your Best Foot Forward,” Lane Powell’s 29th Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Seattle (September 20, 2011)
  • “Controlled Substances in Long Term Care Facilities:  Where We Were, Where We Are and Where We’re Headed,” American Health Lawyers Association Webinar (August 10, 2011)
  • “Regulatory Enforcement Actions At Pharmacies — Principles and Pressure Points,” Washington State Pharmacy Association Annual Meeting (June 3, 2011)
  • “From the White Collar Suites to the Meanest of Streets:  Finding More Effective Negotiating Strategies With the Government,” Federal Criminal Defense Bar Discussion (May 18, 2011)
  • “Health Care Compliance:  Preparing for Regulatory Investigations,” Washington Academy of Pain Management (April 27, 2011)
  • “Pharmacy and Compliance in the Long Term Care Setting,” Health Care Compliance Association’s 15th Annual Compliance Institute (April 12, 2011)
  • “Politics, Ethics and Risks of Pain Prescribing,” Everett Clinic Ethics Committee (March 25, 2011)
  • “Avoiding and Responding to Government Investigations of Medical Providers Who Prescribe Controlled Substances,” Washington State Society of Healthcare Attorneys’ Winter Quarterly Presentation (March 1, 2011)
  • “Defending a Financial Fraud Case and Getting a Good Result,” Northwest Fraud Investigators Association Conference (November 5, 2010)
  • “Emerging Challenges to Medical Professionals 2010,” Civil Division of the King County Prosecutors Office (June 15, 2010)
  • “Defending Financial Fraud Cases,” Northwest Fraud Investigators Association Conference (April 16, 2010)
  • “Legal Hazards to Physicians Posed by Social Networking Sites,” University of Washington Medical School (April 15, 2010)
  • “Hate Crimes and the Holocaust,” Washington Holocaust Education and Resource Center (March 16, 2010)
  • “Responding to Audits and Investigations of One’s Medical Practice,” Washington Society of Addiction Medicine Conference (March 4, 2010)

Awards and Honors

  • Named as one of The Best Lawyers in America®, White Collar Criminal Defense (2011-2016)
  • Named as a “Washington Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers® magazine, White Collar Criminal Defense (2013-2014)

Professional and Community Activities

  • Executive Vice President, Board of Directors, Holocaust Center for Humanity, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting ideals of tolerance, and preventing hate, bigotry and genocide (2011-Present)
  • Executive Vice President, Board of Directors, The Valley School, a Nonprofit Primary School in Seattle, Wash. (2011-Present)
  • Board of Directors, American Jewish Committee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to religious tolerance and fostering democratic principles worldwide (2012-2014)
  • Mentor, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Success in Law School Mentoring Program (2015)
  • Member, Washington State Pharmacy Association (2012-Present)
  • Member, Washington State Attorney General’s Prescription Drug Advisory Group (2010-2012)
  • Member, American Society for Pharmacy Law (2011-Present)
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) (2010-Present)
  • Member, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) (2010-Present)
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), Fraud and Abuse Practice Group (2010-Present)
  • Member, Washington State Society of Health Care Attorneys (2010-Present)
  • Member, Speakers Bureau, Washington State Bar Association (2010-Present)
  • Faculty, American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Legal Services Advocacy Training Program, University of Washington School of Law (2010)
  • Faculty, Trial Advocacy, University of Washington School of Law (1994-2005)

Ronald J. Friedman

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7032 |


Ronald J. Friedman

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7032 |