Find a Professional

Fritz E. Berckmueller Partner

FRITZ is a partner in the Litigation Group and heads the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice.  He has extensive experience defending securities and shareholder litigation, SEC enforcement matters, and white collar criminal cases as well as conducting internal corporate investigations for boards and audit committees.

Fritz regularly defends corporate clients, as well as their officers and directors, in securities fraud class actions and shareholder derivative actions.  He has conducted numerous internal investigations for both publicly traded and privately held corporate clients and has assisted both individuals and corporate clients in responding to DOJ, SEC and other regulatory and criminal inquiries and investigations, regarding corporate ethics, FCPA violations, accounting practices BSA/AML examinations and other issues.  Fritz also has defended individuals against criminal actions in courts across the country over charges of securities fraud, copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets.  Fritz also assists clients in providing training and conducting due diligence in these areas.

Recent examples of Fritz’s work include the following:

Securities Class Actions and Shareholder Derivative Actions

> Represented accounting officer of publicly traded manufacturing company in shareholder derivative and class actions, all alleging securities fraud based on accounting issues; obtained complete dismissal of class and derivative claims.
> Represented officers and directors of publicly traded medical equipment manufacturer in related securities fraud class action, ERISA class action and shareholder derivative actions alleging fraud and breaches of fiduciary and other duties in regard to regulatory compliance programs.
> Represented national financial institution in class “strike suit” involving disclosure and fiduciary duty claims.

SEC Enforcement Actions

> Represented publicly traded company in oil and gas industry in FCPA investigation by SEC, resulting in close-out letter, with no further action, from SEC.
> Represented accounting officer of publicly traded manufacturing company in SEC enforcement action alleging securities fraud based on accounting issues.
> Represented officer of investment advisory firms in securities fraud class actions and related SEC investigation.

Internal Investigations and Regulatory Examinations

> Conducted internal investigation of revenue recognition and other accounting practices for privately held high-tech company.
> Represented national financial institution in responding to SEC subpoenas.
> Conducted internal investigation of corporate ethics for publicly traded company.
> Represented a national investment bank in investigation by a self-regulatory organization relating to compliance and conflict of interest issues.
> Conducted internal investigation of ethics and legal compliance issues for not-for-profit company.

Fritz also regularly represents businesses and business partners both in arbitration, and in state and federal courts, regarding commercial disputes such as breach of contract, fraud, breach of duty, tortious interference, misappropriation of trade secrets and civil conspiracy.

Fritz became a member of the Federal Bar Association in 2016, including the board of the Northern District of Ohio Chapter, and the American Bar Association, participating in both the Criminal Justice Section and on the White Collar Crime Committee.  He writes and speaks regularly on issues relating to shareholder derivative actions and internal investigations.  Active in the community, Fritz is a member of the boards of the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, the Friends of the Garden House and the Citizenship and Education Foundation of Edison Local Schools where he recently finished serving as an elected member of the Board of Education.  He also volunteers his time with the Boy Scouts of America.  Fritz was recently selected for Benchmark Litigation’s “Under 40 Hot List.”

Formerly at a firm in Chicago, Fritz joined Calfee in 2006.  He became a partner in 2010, and is a member of the firm’s Marketing Committee.