Nicholas A. Klinefeldt



Nick Klinefeldt helps clients navigate government investigations, conduct internal investigations, defend complex criminal litigation and develop compliance programs. Formerly the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Nick has been on both sides of high-stakes white collar criminal matters. This background gives him the ability to assess exposure, manage crises and media precipitated by investigations, and defend against matters with the government.

Government and Internal Investigations

As U.S. Attorney, Nick ran grand jury investigations and prosecuted white collar criminal cases. He oversaw the criminal docket for the U.S. Attorney's Office and managed relationships with law enforcement agencies as the district's chief federal law enforcement officer. Nick uses his government and private practice background to assist clients in responding to grand jury and other government investigations, conducting thorough internal investigations to evaluate risk and exposure, and defending themselves against the government.

Health Care Fraud & False Claims Act

Nick has particular experience handling health care fraud and False Claims Act matters. He has represented health care companies and professionals during criminal and civil investigations. As U.S. Attorney, Nick oversaw health care fraud investigations and False Claims Act matters and prosecuted cases — including at trial.


Nick develops effective compliance programs that prevent the problems typically revealed by government investigations. He has also served as a court-appointed compliance monitor in a matter brought by the Iowa Attorney General's Office under the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act.


Nick vigorously defends clients in criminal trials. Both as U.S. attorney and in private practice, he has handled matters in court, including several trials and appellate cases. He has handled criminal cases involving financial fraud, insurance fraud, health care fraud, tax fraud, immigration fraud, extortion and money laundering, as well as drugs and violent crime. He has also represented clients in civil litigation involving commercial disputes, employment matters and torts.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa


Massachusetts Court of Appeals, Hon. Christopher J. Armstrong, 2002-2003
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Hon. Robert W. Pratt, 2000-2002


University of Iowa College of Law
J.D. with distinction, Journal of Gender, Race & Justice (note and comment editor) (2000)

University of Iowa
B.A. in Political Science, with honors (1995)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • U.S. Investment, M&A, Litigation, Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets
    Panelist, Zhejiang Lawyers Association, Shanghai, July 2018
  • Anatomy of a Government Investigation
    Iowa State Bar Association, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, November 3, 2017
  • Responding to White Collar Investigations
    Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Des Moines, November 2, 2017
  • Internal Corporate Investigations
    Iowa State Bar Association, Des Moines, September 22, 2017
  • Current Issues in Federal Criminal Law
    Panelist, Iowa State Bar Association Federal Practice Seminar, Des Moines, December 16, 2016
  • Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel (Crisis Management)
    Iowa State Bar Association Corporate Counsel Institute, Des Moines, November 17, 2016
  • Lessons Learned as U.S. Attorney
    Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Seminar, Des Moines, November 4, 2016
  • Federal Sentencing
    Iowa State Bar Association Bridge the Gap Seminar, West Des Moines, September 9, 2016
  • In-House Legal Ethics Panel
    Moderator, FaegreBD M&A Conference, August 4, 2016
  • DOJ’s New Enforcement Landscape from the Perspective of a Former U.S. Attorney
    Fourth Annual ACC/Drake University Corporate Counsel Forum, Des Moines, June 3, 2016
  • From Peanuts to Prison: Criminal Liability for Food Contamination
    Co-moderator, 2016 Food & Agriculture National Conference, Faegre Baker Daniels, Indianapolis, May 24, 2016
  • Six Months Later: What Does the DOJ's Yates Memo Mean to You?
    Panelist, Faegre Baker Daniels, Minneapolis, March 23, 2016
  • Differences Between State and Federal Criminal Law
    Co-Presenter, Polk County Bar Association Seminar, Des Moines, November 21, 2014
  • The Federal Criminal System: From Arraignment to Trial
    Co-Presenter, Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Seminar, Des Moines, February 21, 2013


Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — White Collar Crime Subcommittee
  • Iowa State Bar Association — Federal Practice Committee
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Iowa Legal Aid Foundation Board
  • Department of Justice — Attorney General Advisory Subcommittee on White Collar Crime, 2009-15; Attorney General Advisory Subcommittee on Criminal Practice, 2009-15 (Co-Chair)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa — Criminal Justice Act panel, 2006-09


  • Best Lawyers—Criminal Defense - White Collar, 2020 
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation — Distinguished Service Award
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2016
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