Hon. J. Dickson Phillips, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit


Cornell University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1989

United States Naval Academy, B.S., 1978


  • Spanish
Photo of Jack E. Fernandez

Jack E. Fernandez


Beginning with his days at the U.S. Naval Academy, then as a Navy fighter pilot aboard the USS Independence, Jack E. Fernandez learned and internalized the core values of loyalty, discipline, hard work, creativity, and teamwork. He brings these qualities to bear on behalf of clients in their most challenging cases—for individuals facing the prospect of criminal indictment and corporations in bet-the-company litigation.

Jack believes the best advocacy begins 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.

He prosecuted the first criminal anti-kickback case in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida following the formation of the district’s Health Care Fraud Task Force in 1996.

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.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Fernandez served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, where he investigated, tried, and argued appeals in numerous complex federal cases. He was also one of the founding members of the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Task Force for the Middle District of Florida.

  • Currently defending an executive and former general counsel of a major public health care insurance company in connection with federal health care fraud charges. The indictment involves 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) alleges fraud, false filings, and related violations of the Securities Act.
  • Recently 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 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.




Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

  • 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

Community Involvement

  • 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