Ethan Posner

Ethan M. Posner

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5317



  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1989
    • magna cum laude 
    • Michigan Law Review, Note Editor
  • Wesleyan University, 1984

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Harrison L. Winter, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1989-1990

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Ethan Posner, named by the American Lawyer as a "Rising Litigation Star," is co-chair of Covington's White Collar Defense and Investigations and Pharmaceutical Litigation & Investigations practice groups.  He represents numerous major pharmaceutical companies and health care organizations in federal and state criminal and civil government investigations, False Claims Act cases, and related private class actions.  Mr. Posner also has handled several recent major congressional investigations and hearings on behalf of pharmaceutical and health care clients before House and Senate Committees.

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel to a major diversified healthcare company in congressional hearings and other government investigations into OTC product recalls.  Currently also represent company in related consumer class actions.
  • Lead counsel to Gilead Sciences Inc. in its successful defense of a Justice Department investigation concerning the marketing and promotion of several prescription drugs, resulting in declinations by the Justice Department and the dismissal of several related False Claims Act cases.
  • Lead counsel for several major pharmaceutical companies in False Claims Act cases, including United States ex rel. Duxbury v. Ortho Biotech Products, L.P., 579 F.3d 13 (1st Cir. 2009); United States ex rel. Rost v. Pfizer, Inc., 736 F.Supp.2d 367 (D. Mass. 2010).
  • Lead counsel for major pharmaceutical company in the successful resolution of an investigation into the promotion of two prescription drugs by the Securities & Exchange Commission and multiple state Attorneys General.
  • Lead counsel to major pharmaceutical companies in 2007 settlements and deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice.
  • Lead counsel to InterMune, Inc. in its civil settlement and deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice and HHS OIG relating to the promotion of Actimmune.  This matter was profiled in The American Lawyer (Jan. 2008) identifying Covington & Burling as a Litigation Department of the Year.  Currently represent Company in related consumer class actions.

Previous Experience

  • Mr. Posner served as Deputy Associate Attorney General, Department of Justice.  In that position, he advised the Attorney General on antitrust and civil litigation issues; he had oversight responsibility for certain major litigation matters handled by the Antitrust and Civil Divisions; he chaired Justice Department policy and enforcement groups; and he testified several times before House and Senate committees.

Honors and Rankings

  • The American Lawyer's "Fab Fifty" in the 2007 article "Litigation's Rising Stars."
  • The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers (2012)
  • PLC Life Sciences, Which Lawyer? (2009-2012) named Mr. Posner one of the two leading lawyers in the nation for pharmaceutical government investigations and litigation and called him "undisputably one of the leaders in his field."
  • Euromoney, Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - "State Star," DC (2013-2014)
  • Legal 500: US Recommended Lawyers (white collar criminal defense)
  • Best Lawyers In America, commercial litigation and health care law (2006-2016); bet-the-company litigation (2010-2016); criminal defense: white-collar (2011-2016)
  • LMG Life Sciences, “Life Science Star” (2012-2013)
  • The Washingtonian, one of the "Best Lawyers in Washington" for representing companies in whistleblower/False Claims Act cases.
  • Who's Who Legal, Business Crime Defence (2012)
  • Who's Who in America (2011); Who's Who in American Law (2011)
  • Named one of Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers in 2007-2015.

Publications and Speeches

  • Mr. Posner is a frequent speaker at health care and pharmaceutical conferences.  In addition, he has been quoted on pharmaceutical government investigations and False Claims Act cases in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and USA Today.
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