Lisa H. Schertler

Lisa H. Schertler
Of Counsel

(202) 628-4199

Harvard Law School
Stanford University

Bar Admissions:
District of Columbia

Lisa Hertzer Schertler is an experienced legal writer and appellate advocate. She joined Schertler & Onorato as Of Counsel in 2009 after serving approximately 13 years as a federal prosecutor specialized in appellate litigation. During her government tenure, Ms. Schertler argued three cases before the United States Supreme Court, one en banc case before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and dozens of cases in the District of Columbia federal and state appellate courts.  Since joining the firm, Ms. Schertler has successfully represented numerous clients in criminal and civil matters before federal and state courts of appeals.


Most recently, Ms. Schertler was principal author of the briefs filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of appellant Richard Paulus, M.D., a Kentucky cardiologist who had been convicted of healthcare fraud and false statements and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.  The Sixth Circuit reversed Dr. Paulus’s convictions based on a due process/Brady violation made unusual by the fact that the district court judge had prohibited the government from disclosing the exculpatory information in an ex parte hearing that raised separate, significant right-to-counsel issues under the Sixth Amendment.  See United States v. Paulus, 952 F.3d 717 (6th Cir. 2020).  Dr. Paulus was released from federal custody following the Sixth Circuit’s reversal.


Ms. Schertler also prevailed over the federal government in a significant appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit relating to the scope of the federal civil commitment scheme. See United States v. Joshua, 607 F.3d 379 (4th Cir. 2010). Ms. Schertler’s victory resulted in the immediate release of the firm’s client, a military prisoner who had been certified for civil commitment by the Attorney General. Ms. Schertler obtained another favorable result in the Fourth Circuit for a client who had been convicted of criminal trademark counterfeiting in the Eastern District of Virginia. See United States v. Cone, 714 F.3d 197 (4th Cir. 2013). The Fourth Circuit vacated several of our client’s convictions upon finding that the trial prosecutors had argued a theory of guilt that was not supported by the applicable criminal statute. Ms. Schertler also has secured federal sentencing remands for appellate clients of the firm in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. See United States v. Saani, 650 F.3d 761 (D.C. Cir. 2011); United States v. Akhigbe, 642 F.3d 1078 (D.C. Cir. 2011). On the civil side, Ms. Schertler successfully defended the jury’s verdict in a wrongful death action involving a state inmate who was killed while performing roadside job duties as part of his custody in the Maryland Division of Corrections. See Goss v. Estate of Jennings, 207 Md. App. 151 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2012).


At the federal and state trial court level, Ms. Schertler is active in the firm’s sentencing and motions practices.  As one recent example, Ms. Schertler prevailed on a motion to dismiss the Controlled Substances Act counts of a federal indictment in an online pharmacy prosecution pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  See United States v. Akinyoyenu, 199 F. Supp. 3d 106 (D.D.C. 2016).


Before joining Schertler & Onorato, Ms. Schertler served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice. In that capacity, she argued three criminal cases before the United States Supreme Court and briefed a variety of other matters in the Supreme Court. Ms. Schertler was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia for over a decade. She served as Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division, as a senior attorney in the Appellate Division, and as a trial prosecutor. Ms. Schertler has argued numerous cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (including one case heard by the court en banc), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. In 1997 and 1998, Ms. Schertler served as an Associate Counsel to the President. Earlier in her career, Ms. Schertler was an associate at the law firm of Covington & Burling.


Ms. Schertler earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Stanford University in 1988 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 1991. She has guest lectured on oral advocacy at the University of Virginia School of Law and has served as a distinguished speaker within the Bar on the topic of legal writing.

Back to Top