Margaret L. Carter


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Maggie Carter is a skilled trial attorney and former federal prosecutor who specializes in high-stakes civil and white collar criminal trials, complex litigation, sensitive internal investigations and regulatory matters. Her extensive government experience includes the prosecution of complex financial fraud, civil rights, and public corruption cases. Maggie’s industry experience is broad—she has represented companies and individuals in the investment funds, entertainment, financial services, health care, technology, education, and telecommunications industries in criminal, civil, and investigations matters.  Maggie also represents a large public entity on immigration issues and has filed numerous amicus briefs to further the entity’s support of immigrant residents and local law enforcement priorities.

In addition to her practice, Maggie dedicates significant time to pro bono advocacy and community involvement. Together with the ACLU of Nevada, the ACLU National Federation, and the former Federal Public Defender in Las Vegas, she recently spearheaded a civil rights class action against the State of Nevada and Governor to challenge how the State of Nevada provides criminal defense services to indigent defendants. Maggie also serves as co-chair of the firm’s Trial Advocacy Prosecution Program, which trains associates to prosecute misdemeanor crimes in California’s Redondo Beach, allowing the small city to take on special projects it otherwise might not have the resources to handle.


Corporate & Government Experience

  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California (2007-2015)

Honors & Awards

  • Named a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation (2020)
  • “Life Sciences Star” for White-Collar/Government Investigations by LMG Life Sciences (2019-2020)
  • Selected by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of its “Most Influential Women Lawyers” (2018)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Special Recognition Award (2018)
  • Recommended by Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Disputes - Defense (2018) and Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (2019)


Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California


  • Harvard University, J.D.: magna cum laude; Vice President, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau; Articles Editor, Harvard Journal on Legislation
  • Harvard University, A.B., Government: magna cum laude; Stride Rite Public Service Scholar; Harvard National Scholar

Professional Activities


  • Honorable Richard A. Paez, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


  • ABA White Collar Crime Committee, Southern California Regional Subcommittee (2016-present)

Program Co-Chair

  • ABA White Collar Crime Committee, Southern California Regional Subcommittee (2014-2016)

Board Member

  • Western Center on Law & Poverty
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • LACBA Litigation Section Executive Committee
  • Radio Bilingüe, Inc., a national public radio network operating 12 radio stations in California and the Southwest
  • KIPP Academy of Opportunity, a public charter middle school in South Los Angeles (Founding Board Member, 2003-2007)


  • National Advocacy Center Medicare Fraud Seminar: “Indictment Drafting, Charging Decisions and Sentencing Considerations” (2009)


  • “Nevada's Gideon Problem,” Above The Law (December 2017)
  • “A Smarter Bail System,” Daily Journal (August 2017)
  • “Guest Column: DPA, NPA Deals Are Not Up To the Judge,” Daily Journal (April 2016)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Significant Legal Developments in the Regions - Western Region,” National Institute on White Collar Crime (March 6, 2019)
  • “10th Annual SEC & DOJ Hot Topics Briefing: Developments Materially Affecting Corporations, Financial Institutions and Individuals,” PwC - Sandpiper Panel Discussion (December 2016)
  • “The Evolution of Technology and Connectivity: What Investors and Business Owners Need to Know,” UC Berkeley Law School - O’Melveny & Myers Panel Discussion (October 2016)

Private Practice Experience

  • Counsels organizations large and small in investigating possible criminal or regulatory violations, responding to requests from government investigators, and assisting organizations with making referrals to government investigating agencies. Maggie has provided advice on matters including the following:
    • A health plan's compliance with the False Claims Act's overpayment rules.
    • Allegations of health care compliance violations by a former employee of a large national company.
    • Possible criminal wrongdoing by a Chief Technology Officer, including threats to the company's systems, software, and executives.
    • Possible criminal liability for an employee's solicitation of commercial bribes.
    • Referring for investigation a possible criminal threat at a private educational institution.
    • Data breach of a fintech company by foreign security researcher.
  • Counsel in obtaining dismissal of SEC Rule 10b-5 securities fraud class action litigation against premium cable and satellite television network. 
  • Counsel to premium cable and satellite television network, its CEO, and former Chief Revenue Officer in connection with a wrongful termination lawsuit by a former senior executive.
  • Represents a large public entity on immigration issues; advocacy has included numerous amicus briefs to further the entity’s support of immigrant residents and local law enforcement priorities.
  • Represents partner at a consulting firm in civil suit alleging fraudulent overbilling.
  • Represents investment fund and its principals in actions related to positions in portfolio companies.
  • Represents tech company entrepreneur during Department of Justice investigation.
  • Represents small business founder during Department of Justice tax investigation.
  • Counsel to bond consultant in SEC investigation of city officials for fraud and corruption. 
  • Counsel to auto-auctions-related companies in negotiations with California state regulators.
  • Counsel to startup transportation company and its founder in negotiations with local regulators.
  • Core member of the trial team in United States v. Alvarado Hospital, et al., defending San Diego-based Alvarado Hospital against charges of conspiracy and violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. After a seven-month federal criminal trial, followed by four months of jury deliberations, the jury deadlocked. The government later dismissed all criminal charges pursuant to a civil settlement.
  • Represented the former general counsel of Broadcom in a Department of Justice investigation and civil lawsuit involving the largest restatement in the country for alleged stock options backdating.
  • Defended, pro bono, former FBI agent Denise Woo against felony national security charges. The case settled weeks before trial with a favorable no-time misdemeanor plea. The successful representation was featured in American Lawyer magazine and selected for California Lawyer magazine's "Angel Award."
  • Represented two global financial services companies, their chairmen, and their senior executive officers in multinational litigation and international arbitration involving allegations of director negligence, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duties.

Government Experience

  • Conducted a sweeping investigation of corruption and civil rights crimes within jails operated by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, resulting in the convictions of more than 20 officers and former officers, including the Sheriff and Undersheriff.
  • Secured convictions at trial of seven Los Angeles Sheriff's Department officials on obstruction of justice charges. Maggie gave the three-hour closing argument at end of the five-week, six-defendant jury trial, which was covered daily in the Los Angeles Times and other news outlets. Maggie also argued hotly-contested sentencings which resulted in custodial sentences of between 18 and 44 months.
  • Secured a historic 212-month custodial sentence for a corrupt immigration prosecutor convicted after a three-week jury trial of bribe-taking, money laundering, submission of false documents, workers compensation fraud, identity theft, and tax evasion. Maggie successfully defended the convictions on appeal, preparing hundreds of pages of appellate briefing and successfully arguing a complex appeal involving a constitutional challenge to the federal bribery statute.
  • Secured a 48-month custodial sentence after a two-week trial of police sergeant who used excessive force in TASERing and pepper spraying arrestees in back-to-back incidents.
  • Investigated public officials who took bribes from marijuana dispensary operators, leading to convictions of the former Mayor of Santa Fe Springs and multiple public officials in Cudahy.