Kierstan Carlson helps corporate and individual clients navigate a wide range of white collar enforcement actions and complex civil litigation matters.
A significant portion of Kierstan’s practice is focused on the shipping industry. She defends clients in maritime criminal cases involving MARPOL, the Clean Water Act, the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, and the Seaman’s Manslaughter Act.
Kierstan also advises clients in criminal and civil enforcement actions involving the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, customs fraud, and other regulatory violations, as well as in civil fraud litigation in federal and state courts in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
An important aspect of Kierstan’s practice is working with businesses to implement and audit compliance programs in order to rebound from and improve in the wake of criminal prosecutions and civil penalty actions. Where applicable, she works closely with the firm’s Government Contracts practice to manage potential suspension and debarment issues.
Kierstan is passionate about providing pro bono representation within her community. She regularly represents clients in asylum matters pending before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and federal immigration courts. Several of Kierstan’s clients have been granted asylum and are on their way to becoming permanent U.S. residents. And, in 2018, she received a “Pro Bono Star Award” from Human Rights First for her work on behalf of refugees from Central America.
Kierstan has represented pro bono clients in a variety of other matters, including a federal criminal case, and child custody and landlord-tenant matters. She also has advocated on behalf of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Kierstan earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University and graduated cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law. During law school, she served as an articles editor for the American University International Law Review, a student attorney in the Criminal Justice Clinic, and a Meyers Distinguished Teaching Fellow for the Legal Rhetoric Program. She also worked as a law clerk at the United States Attorney’s Office in Camden, New Jersey. Prior to law school, Kierstan worked as a paralegal and international trade policy analyst.
Outside the Firm
A long-retired D1 lacrosse player, Kierstan now keeps active through spinning, yoga, hiking, and skiing.