A veteran of high-profile trials and investigations, attorney Richard Westling represents executives and businesses in government enforcement matters and other complex litigation. Clients value his ability to enter a crisis and restore calm while mapping out a strategy to help them find closure and get back to business.

His greatest successes—convincing the government not to pursue a case—are often unheralded, but where litigation cannot be avoided, clients benefit from his courtroom experience trying more than 25 federal cases to verdict before juries throughout the United States and arguing more than a dozen federal appeals.

For more than 30 years, Rich has honed his advocacy skills in settings from the boardroom to the courtroom—as a corporate general counsel, a white collar defense attorney, and a federal prosecutor. Earlier in his career, Rich spent more than eight years with the U.S. Department of Justice, including service as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney and an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Health Care Fraud Coordinator; Asset Forfeiture Chief) in the New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also served the Justice Department in Washington, DC, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division and as a Trial Attorney in the Tax Division’s Criminal Section.

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Rich has deep experience in health care fraud matters defending clients in criminal health care fraud cases and in False Claims Act matters (including qui tam litigation) based on allegations of Stark/Anti-Kickback violations, billing and coding irregularities, and/or lack of medical necessity. He also has experience handling a wide variety of white collar cases including tax violations, environmental crimes, bank fraud, public corruption, money laundering, and asset forfeiture. 

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Focus Areas


Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. Significant Litigation

  • Defended a highly regarded interventional cardiologist in a two-week health care fraud trial relating to the medical necessity of coronary artery stent procedures.
  • Defended a pain management clinic in a month-long criminal trial alleging violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Defended a corporate executive in a three-week criminal fraud trial involving charges of government contract fraud and taking kickbacks, and in related False Claims Act litigation.
  • Defended a business owner in an eight-week criminal tax evasion trial involving allegations of unreported income, improper treatment of employees as independent contractors, and the illegal use of off-shore bank accounts.

Health Care

  • Represented various health care businesses in civil enforcement litigation under the False Claims Act.
  • Represented physicians facing administrative investigations and threatened exclusion by the Office of Inspector General, relating to alleged Anti-Kickback Statute violations.
  • Conducted internal investigations and made voluntary disclosures for several hospitals in connection with improper physician arrangements and/or improper billing.
  • Represented a managed care organization in criminal and civil investigations into alleged denials of care.
  • Provided counsel to a nursing home operator in the first-ever criminal prosecution involving allegations of inadequate quality of care.
  • Defended a multistate nursing home chain in parallel criminal and civil investigations into alleged quality of care issues.
  • Represented several hospital systems in connection with a nationwide investigation involving the propriety of inpatient admissions.
  • Represented a physician practice group in criminal and civil investigations into alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Advised health care providers in connection with HIPAA data breach issues and related notification and reporting obligations.

Tax Controversy

  • Represented an attorney in a criminal tax investigation relating to the POINT (Personally Optimized Investment Transaction) off-shore tax shelter.
  • Counseled individuals on issues relating to undisclosed foreign financial accounts, and assisted in making voluntary disclosures to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and achieving Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) compliance.
  • Represented numerous individuals in criminal tax matters being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, various U.S. Attorney's Offices, and the DOJ’s Tax Division; such representation included pre-indictment advocacy before the attorneys in the Criminal Section of the Tax Division.

Environmental Crimes

  • Defended a chief engineer in an investigation and prosecution brought in connection with an alleged bypass of a vessel’s oily water separator.
  • Defended employees of a large oil company in an investigation into natural gas flaring on a deep water production platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Defended the plant manager of a petroleum refinery in a Clean Air Act investigation involving benzene emissions.
  • Represented the president of an environmental testing corporation in a criminal investigation of alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.

Government and Congressional Investigations

  • Represented a witness in the investigation and trial of a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives involving bribery and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Served as lead counsel to a U.S. district judge in impeachment proceedings before the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Served as counsel to a health care company in connection with an investigation by the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Represented an equities trader in an investigation by the SEC into allegations of improper timing of mutual fund trades.

Asset Forfeiture

  • Represented the former governor of Louisiana in civil forfeiture proceedings following the seizure of approximately $400,000 in cash from a safe deposit box.
  • Represented the former president of a managed care company in post-conviction forfeiture proceedings.
  • Handled the forfeiture proceedings arising from criminal prosecutions relating to health care fraud, public corruption, money laundering, and other white collar offenses.


Listed in:

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2019 to 2024), and “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: White Collar—Nashville (2022). This award is conferred by Best Lawyers. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, “Leaders in Their Field” for Healthcare: Government Investigations & Fraud in Tennessee (2013, 2020 to 2023). This award is conferred by Chambers and Partners. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
  • The Legal 500 United States, recommended in Healthcare: Advice to Service Providers (2018, 2020, 2022 to 2023) and Healthcare: Advice to Health Insurers (2018, 2020). This award is conferred by The Legal 500. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Health Care, and Business Litigation (2013, 2018 to 2023). This award is conferred by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
  • Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence, in “Corporates” and “Individuals” categories (2018 to 2022). This award is conferred by Who's Who Legal. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.



  • Tulane University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1988)
    • Board of Editors, Tulane Law Review
    • Notes and Comments Editor, Tulane Journal of Maritime Law
  • Sewanee: The University of the South (B.A., 1985)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Litigation, Health Law and Criminal Justice Sections
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Qui Tam Section
  • Health Care Compliance Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers





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