The University of Arizona

James C. Rehnquist

James C. Rehnquist, a partner in Goodwin Procter's Litigation Department, is a former federal prosecutor who specializes in white collar criminal defense, including the representation of clients in SEC and other governmental and regulatory investigations. Mr. Rehnquist also handles complex civil litigation.


Mr. Rehnquist has recently represented corporations and individuals in securities fraud, health care fraud, public corruption, and money laundering prosecutions and investigations. In a federal criminal trial in the District of Massachusetts in the fall of 2006, Mr. Rehnquist secured a judgment of acquittal after a five-week trial for a construction executive charged with bribery and racketeering. Other representations in the last year include:

  • the CFO of a publicly traded company in a securities fraud prosecution in the District of New Hampshire based on allegedly improper revenue recognition.
  • a pharmaceutical company sales executive in a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York based on alleged off-label marketing and anti-kickback law violations.
  • the CEO of a mutual fund company in an SEC enforcement action in the Southern District of New York based on alleged "market timing" in the company's funds.
  • a senior executive of a publicly traded life sciences company in connection with the Los Angeles Regional Office of the SEC's investigation of allegedly improper revenue recognition.
  • board members of a physicians' organization in connection with a health care fraud investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
Mr. Rehnquist has also represented various businesses - including a biotech company, a real estate developer, a computer manufacturer, a brokerage house, a motorcycle dealer, and an investment advisor - in a wide variety of civil cases, including patent, antitrust, trade secrets, fraud, corporate governance and contracts matters. He also has a substantial criminal and civil appellate practice, in both state and federal courts.


Mr. Rehnquist was Editor-in-Chief of the Boston University Law Review at Boston University School of Law. His law review publications include "Taking Comity Seriously: How to Neutralize the Abstention Doctrine," 46 Stan. L. Rev. 1049 (1994), and "The Power that Shall be Vested in a Precedent: Stare Decisis, the Constitution and the Supreme Court," 66 B.U.L. Rev. 345 (1986).

Mr. Rehnquist has served as an adjunct professor at Boston University School of Law, where he designed and taught a full-credit seminar titled Federal Criminal Justice.


Mr. Rehnquist has been at Goodwin Procter since 1988, excluding four years (1994-1998) when he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. During his years as a federal prosecutor, working in both the Economic Crimes Unit and Organized Crime Strike Force Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, Mr. Rehnquist investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of complex business crimes, including fraud, tax, public corruption, trademark and racketeering cases. He had numerous jury trials and argued numerous appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Following law school, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Levin H. Campbell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.


Mr. Rehnquist is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, and before the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First and Federal Circuits.


J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1987
B.A., Amherst College, 1977

James C. Rehnquist