Photo of Richard E. ZuckermanPhoto of Richard E. Zuckerman

Richard E. Zuckerman

Leader, White Collar Crime and Investigations Practice Group


Southwestern Law School, J.D.
  • cum laude
University of Michigan, B.A.

Prior Employment

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, Detroit Organized Crime Strike Force, 1974-1977

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, 1995-2001

  • Vice Chairperson, 1999-2000
  • Chairperson, 2000-2001

State Bar of Michigan

  • Judicial Qualifications Committee, 2005-2010

Federal Bar Association, Detroit Chapter

  • Committee on Criminal Law, Co-Chair, 1984-1995
  • Board of Directors, 1984-1987

American Bar Association

  • Grand Jury Committee, 1980-1995

State Bar of California

State Bar of Nevada

News & Resources


Richard Zuckerman focuses his practice on federal and state white collar criminal defense. As a former attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, he has supervised complex, multi-agency investigations and prepared and tried criminal cases developed from those investigations. Richard has been listed in Chambers USA as one of Michigan’s leading lawyers in the Litigation/White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations field since 2005, among other honors. 

  • Represents public companies, their boards, audit committees, and executives in national and international civil and criminal antitrust matters, including such industries as computer software, wholesale dry cleaning supplies, mining, tobacco, air cargo, automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, bank credit cards, and air compressor manufacturing
  • Supervises Sarbanes-Oxley internal investigations as counsel to the board of directors or the audit committees of publicly traded companies in connection with SEC and Department of Justice parallel criminal investigations
  • Represents publicly traded companies in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations
  • Represents companies and individuals in civil and criminal tax audits and investigations
  • Served on the Merit Selection Panel for the Bankruptcy Judge Vacancy Pilot Program between the U.S. Courts’ Judicial Councils of the Sixth Circuit and the Eighth Circuit, which will appoint a bankruptcy judge in the Eighth Circuit bankruptcy court and lend the selected judge for service in the Eastern District of Michigan (2015)


Defense counsel
  • Represented Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in litigation designed to discover his sources behind a news article concerning federal prosecutorial misconduct, Convertino v. United States, In re: David Ashenfelter, Interested Party, Appellee, No. 14-1722, ___ F.3d ___, 2015 WL 4590343 (6th Cir. July 31, 2015)
  • Acted as Michigan counsel for a national tobacco products manufacturer in connection with the National Tobacco Settlement Agreement
  • Argued before the Michigan Supreme Court regarding the res judicata effect of the Settlement in connection with a Certified Question from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, In Re Certified Question, 465 Mich. 537 (2002)
  • Defended six class actions in federal and state courts involving the effect of tobacco consumption
  • Represented a publicly traded pharmaceutical provider under investigation by the Michigan Attorney General for over billing and related practices
  • Defended two publicly traded computer system manufacturers in matters involving the functionality of their products, including class action litigation
  • Represented a national toy train manufacturer in a breach of contract matter in the United States District Court in Chicago
  • Defended a publicly traded insurance company in securities fraud class action litigation alleging the failure to disclose potential corporate bribery, Zaluski v. United Am. Healthcare, 527 F.3d 564 (6th Cir. 2008)
  • Represented high-profile public figures in matters related to tax evasion investigations by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Defended a privately held telecommunications company in a criminal investigation alleging unfair billing practices
  • Represented individuals and companies in civil and criminal RICO proceedings, including jury trials and appeals
  • Represented a trust before the IRS over the deductibility of expenses incurred in connection with the ownership of the trusts’ rental income properties, which resulted in a precedent-setting U.S. Tax Court decision that allowed those deductions, notwithstanding the IRS’ historically successful disallowance of such deductions; this had significant collateral impact on the Affordable Care Act’s revenue raising 3.8 percent tax on trusts owning rental income properties, as the anticipated revenue from that tax was to be from gross income instead of net income, Frank Aragona Trust v. Comm’r, 142 T.C. 9 (2014)
Plaintiff counsel
  • Detroit Free Press v. City of Detroit, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty, et al. (FOIA litigation involving text messages)
  • Ford Motor Co. v. United States ($500 million claim for overpayment interest on corporate income tax), 768 F.3d 580 (6th Cir. 2014)
Trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1974-1977
  • Timmreck v. United States, 441 U.S. 780 (1979) (U.S. Supreme Court’s acceptance (9-0) of theory that limited a criminal defendant’s ability to set aside a conviction due to a technical violation of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, thereby overturning significant precedent to the contrary). See also Timmreck v. United States, 423 F.Supp. 537 (E.D. Mich. 1976)
  • United States v. Anthony J. Giacalone, 574 F.2d 328 (6th Cir. 1978) (Federal Income Tax Evasion)
  • United States v. Enright (Former Chief of Police, City of Ecorse, Michigan); first major case in the Eastern District of Michigan involving police protection of an illegal gambling business, also establishing the “Enright Rule” for co-conspirator admissions in the Sixth Circuit, United States v. Enright, 579 F.2d 980 (6th Cir. 1978)
  • Assisted in leading the investigation into the disappearance of James R. Hoffa 
  • Acted as lead attorney in the investigation into the hidden ownership and management of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, resulting in United States v. Goldfarb, and United States v. Robert Leonard (former Genesee County Prosecutor)
  • Michigan Bell Telephone v. United States, 565 F.2d 385 (6th Cir. 1977) (Action to compel phone company to assist in electronic surveillance. Congress amended Title III to conform to this decision)


Pro Bono

  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Certificate of Appreciation for Pro Bono Work, April 2003 and September 2010

News & Resources


Press Releases


Seminars & Events


  • Listed in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business since 2005
    • Recognized as a leader in the White-Collar Litigation field in Michigan; Chambers USA states: 
      • 2017 – "Richard Zuckerman is the leader of the firm's white-collar crime and investigations group, and is well known for his experience acting for tobacco, pharmaceutical, air cargo and software businesses. He also acts for individuals and companies on tax audit investigations."
      • 2016 – "[Richard] maintains an active white-collar crime practice, demonstrating extensive experience in the area following his tenure in the US Department of Justice's Organized Crime division. He represents individual and corporate clients on a range of criminal audits and government investigations."
      • 2015 – "[Richard] is a renowned white-collar specialist, who is described by one impressed source as being 'very cerebral in a positive way - he's a great thinker and a great strategist.'"
      • 2014 – “'Experienced and knowledgeable' Zuckerman practices white-collar criminal defense in both federal and state courts, paying particular attention to areas such as securities fraud, environmental crimes and criminal tax litigation.”
      • 2013 – "White-collar specialist Richard Zuckerman is experienced in the fields of tax fraud and securities fraud. He represents clients in a host of industry sectors before both state and federal courts."
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2001-2018
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Appellate Practice
      • Criminal Defense: White-Collar
      • Litigation - Securities
      • Litigation and Controversy - Tax
    • Detroit Litigation - Securities "Lawyer of the Year," 2016
    • Detroit Criminal Defense: White-Collar "Lawyer of the Year," 2015
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010-2018
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2017
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Criminal Defense Law: White Collar
    • Named as one of the:
      • Top 10 Leading Criminal Defense Lawyers
      • Top 100 Leading Lawyers
      • Top 100 Leading Business Lawyers
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2005-2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Academic Appointments

  • Cooley Law School, Associate Professor, Tax Fraud, 2010-2012
  • Michigan State University School of Law (formerly, Detroit College of Law), Adjunct Associate Professor, Tax Fraud, 1978-2005
  • Internal Revenue Service Course for Senior Special Agents, Instructor, Tax Fraud, 1979-1981