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Elizabeth K. Ainslie

T 215-751-2359
    Named one of "America's Top 50 Women Litigators" by The National Law Journal, Elizabeth Ainslie has tried more than 75 cases to verdict and conducted innumerable evidentiary hearings, sentencings, oral arguments and arbitrations.

    From 1979 to 1984, Ms. Ainslie was a federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, serving as the chief of the Fraud Section during 1983 to 1984. After leaving the U.S. Attorney's office, Ms. Ainslie worked for 15 years at a law firm she founded. She co-chairs Schnader's Government Investigations, Corporate Compliance and Criminal Defense Group.


    Federal Criminal Defense

    Ms. Ainslie's representative federal criminal defense matters include:

    • Defense of the former President of Penn State University in connection with felony charges arising out of alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse.
    • Representation of the chief of the Philadelphia municipal services union in a major racketeering and mail fraud trial.
    • Representation of a businessman accused of conspiracy to evade a South African arms embargo.
    • Representation of the lead defendant in a federal prosecution of corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department (39th District).
    • Representation of the lead defendant in an alleged computer hacking ring.
    • Defense at trial in 2006 of a businessman accused of bribing a Philadelphia city councilman.
    • Representation at trial in 2010 and on appeal of chemical engineer accused of evading the Iran embargo.

    Health Care Law Experience

    Ms. Ainslie's representative heath care matters are as follows:

    • Representation of physicians and a chiropractor in successful efforts to avoid prosecution and civil penalties over billing practices.
    • Representation of durable medical equipment supplier at trial of complex Medicare fraud charges.
    • Medical malpractice trials, both plaintiffs and defendants.
    • Representation of a major health insurance carrier in a civil RICO action against a pharmaceutical company.
    • Representation of physician at trial on insurance fraud charges (acquitted).
    • Qui Tam (whistle-blower) lawsuits involving allegations of Medicare fraud, one of which generated the largest health care whistle-blower settlement in U.S. history.
    • Prosecution on behalf of a physician of wrongful use of civil process claim based on the defendant attorney's frivolous medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician.
    • Defense of a major HMO against federal civil RICO charges.


    Civil RICO and Other Significant Litigation

    Ms. Ainslie's significant representative civil litigation matters are as follows:

    • Successful defense of The New York Times in a 2004 defamation trial.
    • Successful defense of a major national bank in a 2004 lender liability trial.
    • International arbitration in Dublin, Ireland, involving a biotechnology distribution agreement between an American company and a major Italian corporation.
    • International arbitration in London in 2009 involving a commercial dispute between a Nigerian company and an American corporation.
    • Representation of a major utility company against the trucking company that systematically stole oil from the utility, in a lawsuit that secured a treble-damage verdict in excess of $6 million.
    • Representation of that utility in successful litigation against Lloyd's of London arising out of that same incident.
    • Defense of major law firm in civil RICO action claiming $500 million in damages before trebling in 2007. 
    • Successful prosecution of a wrongful use of civil process action on behalf of an investment banker against a major law firm that had recklessly accused the banker of securities fraud and racketeering.
    • Representation of various insurance companies in civil RICO actions against individuals who had engaged in systematic insurance fraud.
    • Successful prosecution of a federal securities class action arising out of a bank merger.
    • Representation of an investor, in a civil RICO action against a U.S. government-owned business arising out of sale of Costa Rican timberland.
    • Successful defense at trials of legal malpractice and wrongful use of civil process claims.
    • Prosecution of civil fraud claims at trial in 2011 involving theft of corporate opportunities, resulting in the client's achieving more than requested in the complaint.  


    Other Defense Matters

    Additional federal criminal defense matters that Ms. Ainslie has handled are as follows:

    • A defense contractor accused of defrauding the government.
    • A prison security officer accused of violating the civil rights of inmates.
    • Contractors accused of violating federal environmental laws with criminal penalties.
    • Federal officials accused of accepting bribes.
    • Individuals accused of criminal tax violations.
    • Individuals accused of antitrust violations and price-fixing.
    • Businessmen accused of bank fraud.
    • Individuals accused of criminal copyright violations.
    • Numerous other matters.


    • Harvard Law School, LL.B.
    • Smith College, B.A., magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Pennsylvania
    • Massachusetts

    Professional Affiliations

    Ms. Ainslie has taught in trial practice courses at Cornell Law School, Harvard Law School, the Attorney General's Advocacy Institute, the Academy for Advocacy and Temple University's James E. Beasley School of Law.

    Other Distinctions

    • Ms. Ainslie has been included in The Best Lawyers in America for bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, and legal malpractice law - defendants, 2006-2015.
    • Ms. Ainslie is a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer," one of the top lawyers (male and female) in the state, 2004-2014, and has been recognized as one of the "Top 50" Female Attorneys in Pennsylvania for 2013. 
    • Ms. Ainslie is listed in Chambers USA as among the top practitioners in general commercial litigation in Pennsylvania, 2009-2014.
    • Ms. Ainslie is a member of The American Law Institute (ALI).
    • Ms. Ainslie is a former member of the Lawyers Advisory Committee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
    • Ms. Ainslie is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and served as chair of its Federal Criminal Rules Committee. 
    • Ms. Ainslie was named Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Cornell Law School, 2009.
    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®