Jack E. Fernandez
Described as “fearless, devoted, and tenacious” by Chambers USA, Jack Fernandez defends individuals and organizations in white collar criminal cases and has particular experience in cases brought under state and federal False Claims Acts.
Before entering private practice in 1998, Jack was a founding member of the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Task Force for the Middle District of Florida. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he prosecuted several health care fraud cases and tried the first criminal anti-kickback health care case to a jury verdict in the U.S. District for the Middle District of Florida.
Jack understands both sides of criminal and civil false claims act litigation, and he brings that perspective to each client’s case, from individuals facing criminal indictment to corporate clients in bet-the-company litigation.
Beginning with his days at the U.S. Naval Academy, then as a Navy fighter pilot aboard the USS Independence, Jack learned and internalized the core values of loyalty, discipline, hard work, creativity, and teamwork. During his time in the Navy, he flew combat missions in support of the Multinational Forces in Lebanon following the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, and in connection with Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada.
Jack believes the best advocacy starts well before a case even begins, while the case or the indictment might still be avoided. But if it becomes necessary to go to trial, Jack has tried and won many jury and non-jury trials in federal court, and he has argued and won federal appeals.
Jack won an environmental jury trial in the Middle District of Florida against a Fortune 500 company and has tried administrative bid dispute cases, theft of trade secret injunctions, and has litigated numerous other commercial matters. Jack engineered a successful summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida for a large Washington, DC communications law firm in a $100 million federal legal malpractice claim involving Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
In the past decade, though, given government initiatives, especially in Florida, Jack’s practice has tended to focus in the health care arena. Jack has negotiated dozens of federal and state white collar cases involving the health care industry, and has litigated dozens of health care cases arising under the federal and state False Claims Acts.
- Cornell University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1989
- Order of the Coif
- Order of the Coif
- United States Naval Academy, B.S., 1978
District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- Hon. J. Dickson Phillips, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- Assistant U.S. Attorney
- Middle District of Florida
- Recipient, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- Recipient, Navy Expeditionary Medal
- Recipient, Sea Service Deployment Medal
- Best Pilot for Air Combat Maneuvering for Fighter Wing One, Naval Air Station Oceana
- Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Former Board of Directors, Florida Legal Services, 2014-2016
- Former Member, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, 2010-2014
- Co-Chair, Health Care Fraud Subcommittee, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section White Collar Crime Committee, 2010
- Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
- Eleventh Circuit Chair, White Collar Crime Committee
- Member, Goldberg Cacciatori Criminal Inn of Court
- Member, American Bar Association
- Former Member, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, 1999-2001
- Visiting Committee, Cornell Law School, 2010
- Dean’s Special Leadership Committee, Cornell Law School, 2007-2016
- Advisory Committee, Cornell Law School, 2010-present
- Veteran Mentor, The Hillsborough County Bar Association Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Mentoring Program
- Represents a behavioral health care provider in a federal grand jury investigation.
- Represents a company in the education industry and its owner in connection with a joint fraud investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Department of Education.
- In partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project, and the ACLU of Florida, we represent a U.S. legal permanent resident from Jamaica. After our client was arrested and posted bail, local law enforcement officers continued to detain him on suspicion of being in the U.S. illegally, even though there was no request or detainer from immigration enforcement officials. We filed a federal lawsuit challenging his unlawful detention which seeks damages and injunctive and declaratory relief.
- Represented an internationally famous psychiatrist and owner of neuropsychiatric instruments used in the diagnosis and treatment of serious mental health disorders in litigation regarding the licensing of the rights to develop and commercialize digitized versions of his instruments. After two years of litigation in multiple federal courts, we secured a favorable settlement that clarified the parties' respective rights under the license, while avoiding any payment to the plaintiff.
- Represented a hospital in defense of a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging the hospital failed to properly obtain informed consent from patients undergoing surgeries, resulting in purportedly false submissions for payment to Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare.
- Represented a Colombian importer in a Lacey Act grand jury investigation.
- Defended an executive and former general counsel of a major public health care insurance company in connection with federal health care fraud charges. The indictment involved complex legal and accounting issues regarding the Florida Medicaid behavioral health care program. A related civil suit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged fraud, false filings, and related violations of the Securities Act.
- Persuaded the United States Attorney’s Office not to pursue a False Claims Act case against CEO of a local medical provider.
- Resolved a Federal False Claims case against a national medical provider as a simple overpayment.
- Persuaded the United States Attorney’s Office not to pursue Medicare fraud charges against a medical billing company.
- Persuaded the United States Attorney’s Office not to pursue Medicare fraud charges against a medical provider.
- Persuaded the government, post search warrant and demand for mail fraud guilty plea, not to pursue charges against technology company or its CEO.
- Conducted internal investigation for a Fortune 500 company involving long term acute care hospital in Tampa.
- Conducted an internal investigation for an international pharmaceutical company involving disclosures to FDA Advisory Committee.
- Won an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, on behalf of a pharmaceutical company alleged to have violated the False Claims Act on the basis of allegations of off-label marketing.
- Mediated a disagreement involving a complex coding and billing dispute between the state of Florida and a major regional hospital chain.
- Represented a publicly traded national nursing home chain against a criminal investigation led by the Louisiana Attorney General. The allegations were that one of the nursing home employees had caused the death of a resident. After lengthy negotiations with the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, the case was dropped.
- Represented the vice president and general manager of a Fortune 500 company against a False Claims Act lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- Represented the head of research for a Fortune 500 company in a significant federal investigation in the Southern District of Florida alleging certain improper practices nationwide. The allegations involved the repeated usage of certain pharmaceuticals designed to be utilized only once. This was a nationwide issue for the company.
- Litigated elder abuse lawsuits in numerous jurisdictions on behalf of a major national nursing home chain. These cases involved allegations of neglect and mistreatment of residents. These were cases with extremely high liability and oftentimes could result in nine-figure verdicts, and they often had overlays of fraud and abuse. The cases settled.
- Represented a high-level corporate employee of a major hospital chain in the Northern District of Alabama with allegations of obtaining bribes. The employee was charged with receiving bribes in return for locating a rehabilitation facility in the Middle East. The client received no jail time despite a potentially multi-year sentencing guidelines sentence.
- Represented a publicly traded health care company in bid disputes in Florida and Kentucky. The company at various times was either attempting to challenge a bid award to a competitor or uphold a bid award against a challenge by a competitor.
- Conducted an internal investigation and made a successful disclosure to the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the request of a health care client being acquired by a major multinational corporation. The internal investigation and disclosure was required as a condition precedent to the sale of the company. The disclosure was made, and the sale was consummated.
- Represented a class of migrant farm workers asserting claims for unpaid wages.
- Represented Army Special Forces combat veteran in efforts to terminate probation.
Fla. High Court Urged To Reinstate Atty Ousted By DeSantis
September 18, 2023 | In the news
42 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys, Including Six “Ones to Watch,” Recognized in 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
August 17, 2023 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized on the DC Courts’ 2022 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll
July 27, 2023 | Press release
Super Lawyers (Florida)
2023 | Press release
Chambers USA Again Places Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys and Practices at the Top of the Charts
June 01, 2023 | Press release
Florida Sheriff Settles Lawsuit for Unlawfully Profiling and Detaining Florida Resident Born Abroad
March 08, 2023 | Press release
38 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, Including Three “Lawyers of the Year”
August 18, 2022 | Press release
Chambers USA Expands Zuckerman Spaeder Rankings to Include 20 Attorneys Across Firm Offices
June 01, 2022 | Press release
False Claims and Qui Tam Trial Institute 2022 – Ethics Chat
American Bar Association
April 25, 2022 | Speaking Engagement
Zuckerman Spaeder Obtains Compassionate Release for Prisoner Receiving Inadequate Medical Care and at Risk of Severe COVID-19 Illness
March 22, 2022 | Press release
Civil Rights Groups and Zuckerman Spaeder File Lawsuit on Behalf of Floridian Unlawfully Profiled and Detained for Being Born Abroad
January 20, 2022 | In the news
36 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Two Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”; Three Associates Recognized as “Ones to Watch”
August 19, 2021 | Press release
False Claims Complaint Dismissed Against Zuckerman Spaeder Client University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
June 03, 2021 | Press release
Chambers USA Expands Zuckerman Spaeder Rankings to Include 18 Attorneys Across Firm Offices
May 20, 2021 | Press release
33 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”; Two Associates Recognized as “Ones to Watch”
August 20, 2020 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Secures Compassionate Release for Terminally-Ill Inmate Living in a COVID-19-Stricken Prison
May 04, 2020 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Secures Expedited Compassionate Release for Terminally-Ill Prisoner
April 24, 2020 | Press release
Chambers USA 2020 Recognizes 16 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys and 3 offices; Top-Ranked in DC for White-Collar Crime & Govt Investigations and Maryland for General Commercial Litigation
April 23, 2020 | Press release
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Illegally Denied Coverage to Patient with Severe Eating Disorder, According to New Zuckerman Spaeder Class Action Lawsuit
September 05, 2019 | Press release
33 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”
August 15, 2019 | Press release
11th Circ. Upholds NetJets Win In Muslim Pilot's Bias Suit
May 31, 2019 | In the news
Zuckerman Spaeder’s D.C. Office is Top-Ranked by Chambers for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations; 3 Offices and 16 Attorneys Included in 2019 Rankings
April 29, 2019 | Press release
Supreme Court Won't Tackle Circuit Split Over FCA Specifics
October 01, 2018 | In the news
31 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”
August 15, 2018 | Press release
Hospice Urges High Court To Avoid FCA Pleading Dispute
August 13, 2018 | In the news
The Legal 500 Recommends Seven Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys for its 2018 List
June 27, 2018 | Press release
Chambers USA Recognizes 13 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys in 2018 Rankings
May 10, 2018 | Press release
29 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Partner Mark Foster Named “Lawyer of the Year”
August 16, 2017 | Press release
Kickback Suit Against Fla. Anesthesiologists To Be Dropped
July 26, 2017 | In the news
Kickback Suit Against Fla. Anesthesiologists Dismissed
June 15, 2017 | In the news
Chambers USA Recognizes 13 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys
May 26, 2017 | Press release
Is a Liability Tidal-Wave Coming? Post Escobar Fraud and Abuse Standards of Proof
American Bar Association
March 10, 2017 | Speaking Engagement
Farewell to the Dean of the Bar
The Hillsborough County Bar Association
January - February 2017 | Publication
Migrant Farmworker Class Actions for Unpaid Wages
October 26, 2016 | Speaking Engagement
30 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named "Lawyers of the Year"
August 15, 2016 | Press release
Chambers USA Recognizes 13 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys in Six Categories
May 27, 2016 | Press release
32 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America and Three Partners Named "Lawyers of the Year"; Firm is Top-Listed Nationally for White Collar Criminal Defense
August 17, 2015 | Press release
Chambers USA Recognizes 15 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys; Firm is Nationally Ranked in Financial Services Category Two Years in a Row
June 09, 2015 | Press release
Whistleblower Defense Just Got Trickier
National Law Journal
March 09, 2015 | Publication
32 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2015 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America and Two Partners Named “Lawyers of the Year”; Firm Is Top-Listed Nationally for White Collar Criminal Defense
August 26, 2014 | Press release
Seventeen Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in Seven Categories by Chambers USA
June 05, 2014 | Press release
27 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2014 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®; Firm Is Top-Listed Nationally for White Collar Criminal Defense and Two Partners Named “Lawyers of the Year”
August 15, 2013 | Press release
False Claims Trial Institute
American Bar Association
June 5, 2013—June 7, 2013 | Speaking Engagement
Chambers USA Ranks 15 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys; Recognizes Firm for Five Practice Areas
May 29, 2013 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP and 25 of Its Attorneys Recognized by 2013 Edition of Benchmark Litigation
October 01, 2012 | Press release
2016 | Press release
AV® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
September 01, 2012 | Press release
26 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2013 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
August 23, 2012 | Press release
Obstruction of Justice: In the Eye of the Beholder
July 02, 2012 | Publication
Chambers USA Ranks Zuckerman Spaeder LLP the Top Washington, DC White Collar Firm for Third Straight Year
June 08, 2012 | Press release
21st Annual National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Federal Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the American Bar Association
May 23, 2012 | Speaking Engagement
Anatomy of a Health Care Fraud Investigation
Florida Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (FAPI)
May 19, 2012 | Speaking Engagement
Handling the Search and Retention of Counsel, the Search, and Investigating the Case
NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson Law
March 15-20, 2012 | Speaking Engagement
Preventing Fraud, Abuse and Waste in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
American Conference Institute
January 30, 2012 | Speaking Engagement
An Essay Concerning the Indictment of Lawyers for their Legal Advice
ABA White Collar Crime Handbook
January 18, 2012 | Publication
24 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Featured in Benchmark Litigation
November 16, 2011 | Press release
Fraud and Compliance Forum
American Health Lawyers Association
September 25, 2011 | Speaking Engagement
27 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2012 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
September 08, 2011 | Press release
Five Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Named “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend
July 01, 2011 | Press release
Chambers USA Ranks Zuckerman Spaeder LLP as Top White-Collar Crime Firm in Washington, DC
June 13, 2011 | Press release
Three Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Named Florida “Super Lawyers,” Another as a Florida “Rising Star”
June 08, 2011 | Press release
21 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Featured in Benchmark Litigation
November 03, 2010 | Press release
Internal Investigations: Traps for Corporate Counsel Interviewing Corporate Employees
American Health Lawyers Association
October 02, 2010 | Publication
AHLA/HCCA Fraud and Compliance Forum 2010
American Health Lawyers Association and Health Care Compliance Association
26-28 Sep 2010 | Speaking Engagement
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Partner Jack E. Fernandez Appointed to Florida Judicial Nomination Commission
August 26, 2010 | Press release
24 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2011 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
August 01, 2010 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Recognized in 2010 Edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
June 15, 2010 | Press release
Keep cool: Review Billing Procedures, Respond to Worker Concerns to Avoid Fraud Scrutiny
May 17, 2010 | Publication
Practical Issues in Collecting Evidence Abroad
Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense, Third Edition (Linda Friedman Ramirez ed.)
May 10, 2010 | Publication
Jack E. Fernandez and Marcos E. Hasbun Win False Claims Act Case for Solvay Pharmaceuticals
December 15, 2009 | Press release
Town Hall Meeting: Brady Practices in State and Federal Jurisdictions
American Bar Association
November 05, 2009 | Speaking Engagement
14 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Honored in Benchmark Litigation
October 08, 2009 | Press release
22 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2010 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
August 30, 2009 | Press release
The Impact of the Swine Flu on Health Care Lawyers and Their Clients
May 01, 2009 | Speaking Engagement
Jack E. Fernandez to Present Seminar on Legal Issues Related to Swine Flu
May 01, 2009 | Press release
International Association of Defense Counsel 2009 Midyear Meeting
International Association of Defense Counsel
February 18, 2009 | Speaking Engagement
OIG Reprises Anti-Kickback Law
January 30, 2009 | Publication
OIG's New Front on Fraud
December 17, 2008 | Publication
Twenty Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Partners Recognized in 2009 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
July 30, 2008 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Named Florida Super Lawyers
May 10, 2007 | Press release
ZS Attorneys Blair G. Brown, Eric R. Delinsky and Jack E. Fernandez to Speak on Panels at NACDL's Spring Meeting
April 25 - 28, 2007 | Press release
Representing Individual Officers and Directors
For the Defense
January 02, 2006 | Publication
The False Claims Act: What Every Employment Lawyer Must Know
Health Care Fraud (Andrews Litigation Reporter)
May 02, 2005 | Publication
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Tampa Office Expands
April 01, 2002 | Press release
Equitable Tolling of Title VII Time Limits in Actions Against the Government
Cornell Law Review
July 03, 1986 | Publication
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: White-Collar Crime, Government Investigations and Healthcare (Florida)
2023 Lawyer of the Year, Health Care Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America
2021 Lawyer of the Year, Health Care Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America
2019 Lawyer of the Year, Health Care Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America
2017 Lawyer of the Year, Health Care Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America
The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; Litigation - Health Care; Qui Tam Law
AV Judiciary and Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star (Florida)
Super Lawyers (Florida)
Legal 500 US, White-Collar Criminal Defense
2022 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, DC Courts