Byron J. McLain



Byron McLain gets answers to clients’ questions.

Byron is a Los Angeles-based litigator and white-collar criminal defense partner at Foley & Lardner LLP.  He is a member of the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice and works closely with the Health Care, Cannabis, and Sports & Entertainment Industry Teams.

Byron investigates, litigates and tries complex criminal and civil cases, including those involving government investigations. He also conducts corporate internal investigations and seeks to persuade the government not to pursue investigations of clients. As a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, Byron has leveraged his extensive knowledge and broad network of relationships to achieve the best results for his clients in a very discrete manner. He is strongly adept at articulating complex issues in layman’s terms across industries and at humanizing corporate clients so they are relatable as witnesses. 

Byron previously served as deputy chief of the General Crimes Section in the U.S. Attorney’s office (USAO) for the Central District of California, where he co-supervised a training section of more than 50 assistant U.S. attorneys. He also served as a prosecutor in the Major Frauds Section of the Criminal Division, where he investigated and prosecuted white-collar crime. As a fraud lawyer at the USAO Los Angeles location, he has tried eight criminal cases to jury verdict and argued two cases before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. His areas of experience include health care fraud, securities law violations, false claims, kickbacks, wire and mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, tax conspiracy fraud, movie investment fraud, obstruction of justice, marijuana/cannabis distribution, and illegal immigration. 

Byron has a specialized knowledge of the health care claims and reimbursement industry. He served as the USAO’s health care fraud coordinator, where he evaluated health care-related False Claim Act (FCA) civil claims and determined whether criminal investigations should be initiated.  And he coordinated with other assistant U.S. attorneys and investigative agencies to identify the USAO’s top priority cases in home health care, hospice, prescription drugs, and skilled nursing facility care.  He also worked with the U.S. Department of Justice’s local Medicare Fraud Strike Force and assisted with the coordination and organization of its annual national sweep of health care criminal cases, focusing on health care professionals and companies.


  • 2020 Los Angeles Business Journal – Top Minority Attorney in Los Angeles
  • 2020 Century City Bar Association – White Collar Lawyer of the Year Award (forthcoming)
  • 2016 John M. Langston Bar Association – President’s Award


  • Author, “Top 10 tips for preparing and presenting your opening statement at trial,” Daily Journal (Feb. 2020)


  • Harvard Law School (J.D., 2007) 
  • Harvard University (A.B., cum laude, 2000)
    • Recipient, Harvard College Academic Achievement Scholarship
    • Recipient, Roger Annenberg Academic Achievement Scholarship


  • 2019 President and Lifetime Member, John M. Langston Bar Association ( Los Angeles-based African-American bar organization)
  • Board Director, Harvard Law School Association Black Alumni Network
  • Board Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association Judicial Appointments Committee
  • Board Member, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
  • Lifetime Member, Harvard Club of Southern California
  • Lifetime Member, Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Associations (BESLA)
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, National Bar Association
  • Member, American Inns of Court
  • Member, Jack and Jill, Inc. – Father’s Auxiliary Group


  • California
  • Southern District of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals