Zahra S. Karinshak

Top rated White Collar Crimes attorney in Atlanta, Georgia

Krevolin & Horst, LLC
Zahra S. Karinshak
Krevolin & Horst, LLC

Practice Areas: White Collar Crimes, Civil Litigation; view more

Education: Emory University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2024

Krevolin & Horst, LLC

One Atlantic Center, Suite 3250
1201 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309 Visit website


Zahra S. Karinshak is a partner at Krevolin & Horst, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Representing clients throughout the country, she focuses her practice on whistleblower cases (False Claims Act/qui tam), white collar criminal defense, civil rights, employment, and complex civil litigation (representing both plaintiffs and defendants).  For 8 years, Zahra served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. As a military veteran and former state Senator, she has extensive experience dealing with the government for the benefit of her clients.

Zahra earned her Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989. Upon graduation, she served as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force. Zahra subsequently attended Emory University School of Law, where she was awarded her Juris Doctor with distinction in 1997. Upon graduation, Zahra served as a law clerk on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for the Honorable J.L. Edmondson. Before joining Krevolin & Horst in 2011, Zahra spent eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (prosecutor) in the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia. She also served as Deputy Counsel for the Governor of Georgia and as a litigator at Sutherland (now Eversheds Sutherland). Admitted to practice in Georgia, Zahra is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

As a result of her zealous advocacy on behalf of her clients and her high ethical standards, Zahra has received recognition from her fellow professionals, including an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell and a "Superb" peer-review rating through Avvo. Dedicated to her profession and community, Zahra is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and numerous charitable organizations. She is a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2014, Leadership Georgia Class of 2003, and serves on the Board of Governors for the Georgia State Bar. 

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Criminal Defense: White Collar, Civil Litigation: Plaintiff, Civil Litigation: Defense, Business Litigation, Civil Rights, Legislative & Governmental Affairs

Focus areas

Discrimination, Race Discrimination

  • 30% Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • 20% Civil Litigation: Plaintiff
  • 20% Civil Litigation: Defense
  • 10% Business Litigation
  • 10% Civil Rights
  • 10% Legislative & Governmental Affairs

Professional Webpage:

Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Successful resolution of ethics investigation and challenges to fitness to hold office for a City Councilman. 
  • Successful resolution of employment issues and severance package for the Chief Operating Officer of one of the largest labor and employment firms in the world. 
  • Resolved qui tam case alleging Stark law violations on behalf of family-owned business and its officers which resulted in minimal civil fines and no criminal charges
  • Successful representation of plaintiff in workplace racial discrimination case against a Fortune 500 multinational company
  • Resolved civil rights case for client imprisoned for 29 years, 15 years in solitary confinement
  • Secured judgment in favor of chiropractic practice and chiropractor in contract dispute, resulting in defendant being ordered to pay principal, penalties, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, litigation expenses, and attorneys' fees 
  • Represented Relator in a False Claims Act suit for Medicare and Medicaid fraud against a hospital system, confidential settlement
  • Negotiated immunity and no federal charges for client in alleged insider trading case
  • Negotiated immunity and no charges for client in a 49-count federal indictment, including various charges of fraud, against a large non-profit organization
  • Represented billing officer involved in multi-million dollar healthcare fraud scheme, resulting in client serving probation and minimal home confinement instead of federal prison term
  • Co-counsel in the largest non-intervened Medicare fraud settlement in False Claims Act history
  • Represented Mayor in dispute over use of executive powers; Prevailed on appeal to Georgia Supreme Court, with 7-0 decision, when all lower courts had ruled against client
  • Resolution of dispute between partners in grocery business to include sale of business to interested buyer
  • Represented President of company charged by Federal Trade Commission and the New York and Florida Attorneys General with allegedly deceiving consumers about services to help home-based businesses succeed, resulting in minimal civil fine for client
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Legal expert and commentator on 11-Alive and other news sources regarding for the partial release of the grand jury proceedings in the Trump investigation in Georgia.  Commentary and background input continues as needed. 
  • Supported Operation Desert Storm (noncombat role) and served on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) Task Force for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO)
  • United States Department of Justice, “DaVita to Pay $450 Million to Resolve Allegations that it Sought Reimbursement for unnecessary Drug Waste”
  • Counsel for Whistleblower Vince Cefalu, Free Republic,, “ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu Fired,” October 10, 2012
  • Legal Expert, WXIA-11 Alive News Atlanta, “How Will Beverly Hall's Death Affect the APS Trial?,” March 3, 2015
  • Quoted in “Contractor pleads guilty in scheme to win Atlanta contracts” in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on January 25, 2017
  • Legal Expert, WXIA - 11 Alive News Atlanta, “Day 3 in Ellis Trial Deliberations: Still No Verdict,”October 8, 2014
  • Counsel for Mayor Kelly Kautz, Gwinnett Daily Post, “Former Mayors Testify in Snellville Mayor vs. Council Trial,” June 10, 2014
  • Legal Expert, WXIA - 11 Alive News Atlanta, “Andrea Sneiderman Verdict,”August 20, 2013
  • Legal Expert, CBS-46 News Atlanta, “FBI: Law Enforcement Officer ‘Leaked’ Sensitive Information,” October 4, 2012
  • Deputy Executive Counsel to the Honorable Roy E. Barnes
  • Quoted in “Atlanta axes top purchasing officer, feds seize items from his office,” Atlanta Journal Constitution, February 21, 2017.
  • Legal Expert, Fox 5 News Atlanta, “Ellis Jury Deliberations Continue,”October 8, 2014
  • Counsel for Mayor Kelly Kautz, Gwinnett Daily Post, “Mayor Kelly Kautz Accuses Council of Acting Illegally in Court Testimony,” June 11, 2014
  • Counsel for Mayor Kelly Kautz, WGCL-TV CBS-46 News Atlanta, “Snellville Mayor Sues Own City Council,” January 24, 2014
  • Legal Expert, Fox 5 News Atlanta, “FBI Says Law Enforcement Tipped Off Club Under Investigation,” October 3, 2012
  • Recognized as the Air Force Intelligence Command, Pacific, Company Grade Officer of the Year
  • Quoted in “Helicopter Company Hopes to Shoot Down Ethics Nondisclosure Case,” Bloomberg Law, Federal Contracts Report, February 21, 2017
  • Legal Expert, WXIA - 11Alive News, “Why Brunswick? A look at the Ross Harris venue change,” June 16, 2016
  • Legal Expert, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Ex-Dekalb Commissioner Boyer Could Do Less Than Two Years,” September 4, 2014
  • Legal Expert, WGCL-TV CBS-46 News Atlanta, “APS Cheating Investigation,” May 6, 2014
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Helped secure passage for Afghanistan interpreters and their families to the United States before the fall of the country into the control of the Taliban.  
  • Member of Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Northern District of Georgia representing indigent clients
  • Member of Bipartisan Senate Task Force studying Systemic Inequality in Georgia laws
  • VETLANTA Summit Panel Speaker, Community Impact Panel, event to support military veterans
  • Member of U.S. Military Academies Selection Committee for the Honorable Carolyn Bourdeaux, U.S. Congresswoman
  • Member of the transition team for the newly-elected Gwinnett County District Attorney 
  • Panelist, AAPI Women Running for Political Office in Georgia, sponsored by the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA)
  • Member of the Parent Leadership Council for the Washington University in St. Louis, located in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Atlanta Bar Association's SLIP intern program mentor.  This summer internship program supports high schoolers from diverse backgrounds who aspire to attend law school by exposing them to the practice of law. 
  • Participant in Legal Food Frenzy campaign in support of the Atlanta Community Food Bank; firm won first place for the category of medium-sized firms. 
  • Worked to secure changes in Georgia law to assist in appropriate legal treatment of survivors of human trafficking.   
Representative Clients:
  • Member of firm's election team who successfully protected early voting rights for Georgia voters in the U.S. Senate runoff election
  • Appointed to defend client charged in nationwide tax fraud scheme and secured favorable result.  United States v. Jefferson
  • Represented plaintiff in workplace racial discrimination case against Fortune 500 multinational company. Gray v. Manpower Group US, Inc. 
  • Co-counsel in whistleblower case in largest non-intervened Medicare fraud settlement in False Claims Act history. U.S. Ex Rel et al. v. DaVita, Inc., et al. 
  • Represented former prisoner in civil rights case to redress 29 years' wrongful imprisonment and 15 years' solitary confinement.  Johnson v. Houston County, et al. 
  • Currently serving as lead counsel for numerous qui tam/False Claims Act cases filed under seal across the country
  • Represent several corporations and individuals in their interactions with the Government, to include responding to subpoenas, tax issues, and the like
  • Represent elected officials, to include Mayors and City Council members concerning public duties and powers
  • Negotiate severance packages for high-level employees and executives
  • Represent federal agents and employees involved in litigation against the U.S. Government in claims of discrimination, retaliation, and like claims (nationwide practice)
  • Represent scientists in civil action over theft of trade secrets, alleged non-compete provisions, and the like
  • Represented witness in the Morris Hardwick Schneider federal investigation, a large-scale fraud case involving a law firm 
  • Reviewed of policies and procedures of a worldwide charitable organization to enhance protections for children
  • Local counsel for plaintiff in intellectual property litigation against SunTrust Bank and others 
  • Represented nationwide footwear chain in contract dispute
  • Hearing Officer for Georgia municipalities 
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Relics of the Past --To Whom Do They Belong?  The Effect of an Archaeological Excavation on Property Rights, Emory Law Journal, 46 Emory L.J. 867
  • Presentation , Devising an Internal Investigation That Will Satisfy Everyone from the Business Unit to the Jury, Primerus Business Law Institute Symposium
  • Presentation , How I Became a Litigator, The Panoply of Law
  • Presentation , Whistleblowers - Who Are They and Why Do You Care?, Georgia Association Of Manufactures
  • Saint Patrick's Day CLE:  Spotlight on Prosecutor Ethics Presentation, Kissing the Blarney Stone
  • Presentation , What to Do When the Government Knocks at Your Door
Educational Background:
  • Emory University School of Law, J.D.; Honors: Sidney Parks Scholar; Order of the Coif; Editor-in-Chief, Emory Law Journal; Student Bar Association, Secretary; Georgia Association of Women Lawyers Merit Scholarship, 1997
  • United States Air Force Academy, Bachelor of Science, Minor: Arabic; Honors: Top Graduate in Law; Distinguished Graduate in Political Science; Superintendent's List; Soaring Instructor Pilot; Wing and Group Command Staffs; Intercollegiate Cross Country Team, 1989
  • Named a Best Lawyer in America for Labor and Employment, multiple years, Best Lawyers in America for Labor and Employment, Best Lawyers, 2020
  • 2019 Emerging Leader Legislator, Legislative Recognition, National Award
  • Top graduate from intelligence school, with the highest academic average in the course's history
  • Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and numerous other awards, U.S. Air Force
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Georgia General Assembly, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Legislative Caucus, Emeritus Member, 2022
  • Chair, General Practice & Trial Institute, Jekyll Island, Georgia, 2023
  • State Bar of Georgia, Board of Governors
  • State Bar of Georgia, General Practice and Trial Section, Board Member & Former Chair
  • Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Leadership Gwinnett, Class of 2014
  • Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Policy Committee member
  • Northern District of Georgia
  • Middle District of Georgia
  • Southern District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, Programs Committee, Speaker at GAWLEdu education series, former Historian and Board Member, former Judicial Selection Committee Member   
  • Gwinnett County Bar Association
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Leadership Georgia, Class of 2003
  • Former Georgia State Senator and Chair of Gwinnett County Senate Delegation; Member of the following committees: Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Natural Resources and the Environment, Special Judiciary, and Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security.  Worked to pass numerous laws for the benefit of the people of Georgia. 
Industry Groups:
  • Whistleblower/Qui Tam/False Claims Act Cases

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

“Zahra is another attorney who I've known since our days at Emory. She is probably both the nicest and the smartest person I've ever met, and an absolutely brilliant attorney. I hope I never need her services as a litigator, especially in the white collar defense area, but if I ever do I hope I'll be able to hire her.”

“Excellent abilities and great way with clients.”

“Zahra is a fantastic attorney who works hard to get great results for her clients.”

“Zahra is a well known civil litigator and criminal defense lawyer with an outstanding reputation for professionalism and competence. She is a former federal prosecutor and legal counsel to the Governor of the State of Georgia, and she has been in private practice for the last several years.”

“Zahra is certainly worthy of recognition with Super Lawyers. I have known her for over 20 years.”

“Zahra is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and tremendously diligent in everything she does.”

“Other Practice areas: civil litigation. Great, hard-working lawyer who serves her clients and our community well.”

“Zahra Karinshak is an attorney to whom I would refer personal family members, friends, and my own clients should they have a need for her services as an exceptional Criminal Defense - White Collar Crime attorney. Zahra should in fact be nominated as a Super Lawyer in multiple practice areas. I consider her to be a truly exceptional attorney in skill and dedication and at the top of all attorneys practicing in Georgia, regardless of practice area.”

“White collar and qui tam litigation are Zahra's specialties. An effective advocate with strong client relation skills.”

“Excellent reputation in the legal community, and really sharp. She received a well-deserved spread in last year's Super Lawyers Magazine.”

Office location for Zahra S. Karinshak

One Atlantic Center, Suite 3250
1201 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: 404-888-0922

Articles about Zahra S. Karinshak by Super Lawyers

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