Caroline Schmidt Burton Partner

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Caroline is an experienced litigator in McGuireWoods’ nationally-recognized Government Investigations and White Collar Group. She represents corporate and individual clients in a wide-variety of high-stakes situations, including government and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement actions, and litigation in state and federal courts.

Caroline has extensive experience leading internal and government-facing investigations for corporate clients, including taking witness interviews and managing large-scale document collections and reviews. She has presented investigation findings to senior corporate leadership and federal regulators. Caroline also has significant courtroom experience, and has argued motions in federal and state court, taken and defended depositions, and served as an integral member of trial teams in high-profile civil lawsuits.

A former law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the Honorable Kent A. Jordan) and for the District of Maryland (the Honorable J. Frederick Motz), Caroline is a member of the Firm’s Appeals and Issues Team and maintains an active appellate practice. She has written briefs submitted to multiple Courts of Appeals and led the effort for total client victories before the Third, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits.

Caroline serves clients across a broad spectrum of industries and services, including large banks and financial services firms, health care companies, telecommunications providers, and major players in the oil and gas industry. She has also represented law firms, municipal corporations, and executives.

She was recently selected as “One to Watch” for Commercial (2021, 2022) and Appellate Litigation (2022) by Best Lawyers.

Caroline is committed to pro bono service. Since joining the firm, she has represented indigent clients in complex trial and appellate litigation involving the First Amendment, habeas corpus, and international child custody.


  • Led investigations for major financial institution, both for internal compliance and in response to regulatory inquiries from the Federal Reserve and the OCC.
  • Defended two health care companies in criminal investigations by the Department of Justice involving allegations of fraud, including responding to multiple grand jury subpoenas.
  • Represented broker-dealer in internal and regulatory (SEC, FINRA) investigation focused on know-your-customer regulations.
  • Represented a Fortune 50 telecommunications company in a complex commercial dispute involving over a billion dollars in months before scheduled jury trial California state court. The case settled shortly before trial.
  • Obtained victories for financial institutions in Ninth and Third Circuits in appeals of putative class action claims concerning credit card and lending practices.
  • Defended and successfully resolved multi-year, federal court litigation against financial institution related to allegations of “redlining.”
  • Represented telecommunications company in response to grand jury subpoena.
  • Represented law firm client in internal investigation and response to grand jury subpoena.
  • Defended law firm client in civil litigation related to prior representation .
  • Represented individual in inquiry from Congressional Oversight Committee.
  • Advocated for entertainment company before the Department of Justice concerning interpretation of statutory and regulatory provisions.
  • Represented major East Coast city in “pattern and practice” investigation brought by Department of Justice.