Caitlin M. Poe

White Collar Defense and Investigations Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
919.277.9191 Fax 919.277.9177
Post Office Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009

Caitlin Poe is a litigation and regulatory compliance attorney who represents criminal and civil clients, with a particular focus on representing professional clients adverse to the federal government.  Her substantive areas of experience include criminal and civil cases involving securities regulation, intellectual property, environmental compliance, health care fraud, and financial fraud.  Caitlin also represents business entities and individuals in connection with government and internal investigations.  Caitlin is also skilled in managing complex civil litigation matters in federal court.

A skilled criminal attorney can work with entities and individuals who are not subject to government scrutiny—and help make sure they stay that way. Caitlin works with businesses to conduct internal investigations of potential violations of policy or law, and to identify appropriate remedial actions to protect the business’s interests.  Caitlin also assists individuals and entities in responding to subpoenas from government agencies or grand juries, identifying and producing documents, preparing for interviews or testimony, and working with clients to identify and address any issues or potential exposure through this process.

Caitlin also represents clients who are the subject of an investigation by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Office of Inspector General of other federal agencies.  Early intervention from counsel facilitates negotiations with prosecutors and investigators to help turn potential criminal prosecutions into civil actions and potential civil actions into administrative resolutions.  Caitlin has experience working with government attorneys to terminate investigations or to negotiate favorable civil settlements and criminal pleas.  Caitlin’s diverse background in the criminal, civil, and administrative arenas allow her to provide clients with a full spectrum of advice about strategic avenues and potential outcomes of the investigation.

Prior to entering private practice, Caitlin clerked for the Honorable James C. Dever III, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2012. Order of the Coif; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Law and Politics, 2011-2012
  • B.A., summa cum laude and with highest honors, University of Georgia, 2009. Foundation Fellowship, Phi Beta Kappa

Representative Experience

Federal Criminal Prosecutions

  • Represented multiple individuals charged with criminal violations of the Economic Espionage Act, resulting in below-Guidelines sentences for each
  • Represented a client charged with government contracting fraud, who received a below-Guidelines sentence
  • Prepared clients for interviews and grand jury testimony in an investigation of a public company for alleged environmental violations, resulting in no charges against our clients
  • Advised an individual charged with immigration fraud
  • Represented health care providers in connection with a national Medicare-Medicaid fraud enforcement effort

Federal Civil Enforcement and Forfeiture

  • Represented an individual in response to an SEC subpoena for documents and testimony, resulting in a letter declining to pursue an enforcement action
  • Responded to a Drug Enforcement Agency administrative forfeiture, resulting in full return of assets whose seizure was challenged
  • Represented a health care company facing False Claims Act claims, resulting in a civil settlement below the government’s initial demand

Investigations and Responses

  • Counseled a professional accused of a violation of the Controlled Substances Act, resulting in an administrative settlement
  • Prepared a client for an investigatory interview in a public corruption investigation, resulting in no charges against the client
  • Conducted an internal investigation regarding a potential securities violation, updated the company's compliance policies, and trained the board of a public company on compliance matters
  • Assisted a client in responding to a grand jury subpoena in a campaign finance investigation
  • Conducted an internal investigation into potential financial crimes in a nonprofit organization
  • Prepared a risk analysis for company with an overseas manufacturing facility and developed a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance policy program for the company
  • Assisted clients with responses to SEC subpoenas

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2018-2019
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Criminal, 2019
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Young Guns, 2017-2018
  • 40 and Under Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2018

Legal Elite

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association (Executive Committee, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2017)
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Women’s White Collar Defense Association

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2012 
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions:;; and

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.