Areas of Practice
  • American University Washington College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, Publications Editor, Journal of Gender, Social Policy & Law, 2010
  • Towson University, B.S., 2003
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Ronald B. Rubin, Maryland Circuit Court for Montgomery County, 2010-2011
Bar & Court Admissions
  • California
  • District of Columbia

Carina C. Federico

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 8180
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Carina Federico, a civil litigator and tax attorney, focuses her practice on tax controversy and tax litigation matters.  Her litigation experience has included serving as first chair at trial, taking and defending depositions, briefing a wide range of tax issues, and negotiating settlements.

Prior to joining Steptoe, Ms. Federico served as deputy associate counsel for the White House where she was the tax counsel on the vetting team for presidential nominations and appointments.  Before that, Ms. Federico was a trial attorney at the US Department of Justice, Tax Division, where she represented the IRS as lead counsel in civil actions, contested matters, and adversary proceedings before the US District and Bankruptcy Courts as well as in bankruptcy appeals before US District Courts.  Significant matters she worked on while at DOJ included the following:

  • Served as co-counsel on a $600M federal excise tax case involving fractional and whole aircraft management companies
  • Successfully obtained, as lead trial counsel, a judgment in favor of the United States that a new company was the alter ego of a former company, which permitted the IRS to pursue collection of the former company’s liabilities from the new company
  • Served as lead counsel in several Chapter 7, 11, and 13 lien stripping cases under the Bankruptcy Code, which resulted in favorable rulings finding that a debtor could not avoid the IRS’s lien on under-secured property
  • Served as co-counsel in a summons enforcement case against a Fortune 500 company, which led to a favorable negotiated settlement

Ms. Federico also served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Ronald B. Rubin, Maryland Circuit Court for Montgomery County.  She also served as a judicial intern for the Hon. Marian Blank Horn, US Court of Federal Claims, and the Hon. James P. Salmon, Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Prior to practicing law, she worked at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where she drafted regulations from proposed rulemaking stage through final publication.  


  • Outstanding Attorney Award, US Department of Justice, Tax Division, 2014
  • Special Commendation Award, US Department of Justice, Tax Division, 2013

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Selected Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • FBA Section of Taxation