Zaldwaynaka (Z) Scott is Co-Chair of Kaye Scholer’s Chicago White Collar Litigation and Internal Investigations Practice. Z is a seasoned trial lawyer, having taken more than 40 mostly jury trials to verdict in federal court. She concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation, corporate internal investigations (including matters related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), counseling on corporate compliance matters and white collar criminal defense. Her federal civil and criminal litigation experience includes accounting and commercial fraud, public corruption, civil tax appeals and criminal tax prosecutions, money-laundering and investment, and financial institution fraud. She has also led and represented companies in complex and extensive government regulatory and criminal grand jury investigations. Z has experience in appellate practice and has briefed and argued cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Z served as Executive Inspector General for the Office of the Governor of Illinois (2003–2005), where she established and managed an internal compliance and investigative agency for the Illinois Government and Illinois public universities. Her experience included participation in and oversight of over 200 internal investigations of state vendors and state employees, as well as counseling members of the Governor’s cabinet and state senior managers, including agency directors on issues related to personnel policies, internal controls, ethics and systemic personnel problems. Z also worked closely with the state’s internal auditor and the Illinois Auditor General in matters related to the integrity of state government functions.
Prior to her work in the Illinois Government, Z served as a federal criminal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office (1987–2003), where she held various management positions, including Chief of the General Crimes Section. As Chief, she was responsible for the supervision of Section Deputies and Line Assistant US Attorneys, and she reviewed and approved hundreds of federal prosecutions and participated in strategy sessions related to federal indictments and federal criminal trials. Before joining the US Attorney’s Office, she served in the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago (1983–1987).
Z served as an adjunct instructor in trial advocacy for 13 years at Northwestern University School of Law (1993–2005), where she led a team of five adjunct professors and was awarded the recognition of Outstanding Adjunct Professor in Trial Advocacy in 1999. She also taught trial advocacy at The John Marshall School of Law (2002–2004), and co-taught classes at the University of Chicago Law School on criminal sentencing and federal criminal law (2001 and 2003)
Z has been highly praised in numerous publications for her anticorruption litigation expertise, and was most recently ranked by Chambers USA 2014 and shortlisted inChambers' 2014 Women in Law Awards for Gender Diversity: Private Practice Lawyer of the Year. In 2012, Chambers USA quoted a client as saying, “‘Z is the lawyer we would call in our most significant internal investigations.’”
According to Legal 500 US, Z has an “impeccable reputation among clients,” and was named to Expert Guides - White Collar Crime Lawyers (2012–2014) and The Best Lawyers in America (2009–2014). She is a frequent lecturer on issues related to federal criminal law, anti-corruption, ethics and compliance policies and trial advocacy.
US Supreme Court, 2009
Federal Court of Claims, 2009
Federal Trial Bar, 1986
Northern District of Illinois, 1983