Regularly represent companies and employees in complex statewide grand jury investigations conducted by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Represented a national motor vehicle repair and maintenance service company in an investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General into allegations of violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTCPL), negotiating a settlement in the company’s favor and avoiding costly litigation.
Represented a corporate executive in the nursing home industry who was the subject of a Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury Presentment recommending charges of felony neglect of a care-dependent person, convincing the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General to file misdemeanor charges instead and accept a plea of nolo contendere in exchange for probation.
Successfully represented an international, online tobacco retailer during an investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office into alleged violations of the UTCPL, convincing the government to drop the investigation.
Represented a national medical data company as local Pennsylvania counsel during an investigation conducted by numerous state attorneys general into a data breach, assisting the company in meeting its requirements under the Pennsylvania Breach of Personal Information Notification Act.
Represented a corporation operating nursing homes throughout Pennsylvania in a Pennsylvania State Police investigation into a theft allegedly committed by a former employee.
Successfully represented an endocrinologist in proceedings before the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, convincing the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, to dismiss the complaint.
Successfully represented an employee of a property management company charged with theft by the Pennsylvania State Police, securing a complete dismissal of the charges after convincing the court that the employee was acting in the course of his employment and lacked criminal intent.
Successfully represented a large landscaping company during enforcement proceedings brought by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Pennsylvania State Police, convincing them to rescind an out-of-service order and restore operations to the company’s fleet of motor carriers.
Successfully represented a construction company fined by the FMCSA for a violation of federal motor carrier safety regulations detected during an onsite compliance review, convincing the government to reduce the fine in exchange for improvements to the company’s safety program.
Successfully represented a non-profit corporation accused of violating the conditions of an educational grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, convincing the government to restore funding.
Represented an electrical contractor during an investigation conducted by the City of Philadelphia Office of Inspector General into its use of a supplier designated as an disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE), successfully convincing the government settle with the company without the assessment of penalties.
Successfully represented a Pennsylvania executive agency as outside counsel during an investigation conducted by the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, which later declined to take enforcement action.
Successfully represented a Pennsylvania agency as outside counsel in an investigation conducted by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, convincing the District Attorney that the Department’s employees were not culpable.
Successfully represented a Magisterial District Judge in the Court of Judicial Discipline against disciplinary charges filed by the Judicial Conduct Board, convincing them – for only the second time in Pennsylvania history – to place the client into the Judicial Diversion Program for first-time judicial offenders.
Successfully represented a landlord during a criminal investigation conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Attorney’s Office into an alleged violation of lead paint regulations, convincing the government that prosecution was not warranted.
Represented a tobacco shop in an enforcement action brought by the Pennsylvania Department of Health alleging violations of the Clean Indoor Air Act, convincing the Department to postpone suspension of the company’s privilege to permit indoor smoking pending the outcome of its renewal application.
Served as co-counsel with an environmental law firm in the representation of a pipeline company during an investigation by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), advising the client on how to avoid criminal liability.
Represented a national, privately-held energy exploration company required to produce documents as part of an investigation of a state employee conducted by the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission.
Participated in the successful representation of a Fortune 10 energy company during a civil investigation of energy industry practices conducted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Bureau of Consumer Protection and Antitrust Section.
Successfully represented a general contractor investigated by the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Inspector General over the handling of asbestos in the construction of a school, convincing the government that the company did not engage in wrongdoing and should not be identified in its public report.
As government counsel, represented the attorney general in an argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a seminal criminal environmental appeal, successfully securing reversal of an adverse decision of the Commonwealth Court and seventeen years of unfavorable precedent governing the constitutional obligation to preserve evidence.
Successfully represented a casino operator in an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Attorney’s Office, convincing the government that the client was innocent of any criminal wrongdoing.
Successfully represented a career gambler accused of cheating at a casino licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, persuading the Board to reduce the amount of time the client was required to spend on the statewide casino exclusion list.
Successfully represented a lobbyist during a high profile criminal investigation conducted by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office, resulting in a grand jury report that protected the lobbyist’s identity as a witness.
Government Law and Regulatory Affairs
Successfully represented a major health insurance company in a bid protest and lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services challenging the rejection of the company’s Medicaid proposal, successfully convincing the Department to rescind the award and reissue the solicitation.
Successfully represented a medical marijuana dispensary in an appeal with the Pennsylvania Department of Health over the denial of its application for a grower/processor permit, resulting in the creation of one of the few vertically-integrated medical marijuana companies permitted to operate in Pennsylvania.
Successfully represented a manufacturer of commercial cleaning products in a bid protest against the Pennsylvania Department of General Services challenging rejection of the company’s proposal, convincing the Department to rescind the award and reissue the solicitation.
Successfully represented a freight shipping and trucking company in its International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax appeal, convincing the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to settle for less than half of the amount of tax originally assessed.
Successfully represented the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) as amicus curiae in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on an issue of first impression involving the duty of health care owed to injured student-athletes on intercollegiate sports teams.
Successfully represented a residential services provider for teenage girls whose license had been downgraded to provisional status, convincing the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to restore its license to regular status.
Defended an information technology staffing company working as a subcontractor to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation accused of breach of contract, successfully convincing the court to deny a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have severely affected the company’s business.
Drafted legislation for a statewide housing association regarding the use of assistance animals and service animals in rental housing, which was subsequently enacted into law.
Defended a highway construction company against a complaint of racial discrimination lodged by a former employee, convincing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to dismiss the complaint as meritless.
Advised the general counsel of a national laboratory regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection with regard to the parameters of the Pennsylvania Public Official and Employee Ethics Act.
Represented an established petroleum industry trade organization in a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board, which was resolved by new legislation resulting in the rescission of new proposed regulations that would have drastically increased the costs of conventional oil and natural gas well development.
Drafted proposed legislation for a large, publicly-traded natural gas company to modernize and streamline the environmental permitting process in Pennsylvania.
Revised an internal policy for a large, regional oil and natural gas producer regarding its workplace hazard identification and incident reporting procedures required under federal regulations promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Drafted formal comments to the EPA on behalf of a petroleum industry trade organization regarding final effluent limitations guidelines and standards for oil and natural gas extraction point sources.
Drafted formal comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on behalf of a petroleum industry trade organization regarding changes to DEP’s advisory committee guidelines and policies for the development and review of its regulations.
Advised a large energy trade association on the requirements of the Pennsylvania Public Official and Employee Ethics Act enforced by the State Ethics Commission.
Advised three mid-sized energy trade associations in the formation of a joint non-profit corporation to address issues related to the proper disposal of wastewater produced during conventional oil and natural gas production operations.
Supervise an investigative team that regularly conducts Title IX investigations for public and private colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and Maryland into allegations of sexual misconduct by students and faculty, employing a unique model that utilizes former prosecutors and police officers.
Conducted an internal investigation for an international consumer packaged goods company into hiring, promotional, and disciplinary practices in order to determine whether it was discriminating against employees on the basis of age and/or race. The investigation included a statistical analysis and verbal presentation to senior management
Conducted an internal investigation for a public university in New Jersey into allegations of favoritism in the bidding of construction contracts, resulting in a confidential written report.
Conducted a large, multistate internal investigation for a company under investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office and three state attorneys general into allegations of improper billing.
Conducted an internal investigation for an international company into allegations of misuse of company vehicles.
Conducted an internal investigation for a large electrical contractor into the alleged use of racial slurs by one of its employees.
Chris uses his twenty years of government experience and insider knowledge to help corporations and their executives solve difficult problems with federal and state government agencies and avoid damage to their hard-earned, public reputations.
State and Federal Investigations and Litigation
Formerly Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG) and Executive Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), Chris’ government experience gives him an advantage when dealing with federal and state government agencies, and often translates into quiet success for his corporate and executive clientele. He regularly represents companies facing statewide grand jury inquires and/or consumer protection investigations into suspected violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Consumer Protection Law and advises clients in investigations conducted by:
Pennsylvania Attorney General
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Inspector General
Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs
Departments of Health and Human Services
Judicial Conduct Board
District Attorney’s offices throughout the state
At the federal level, Chris works individually, and in partnership with former federal prosecutors in the White Collar Defense Group to represent clients during investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and other federal agencies.
Prior to joining Cohen Seglias, Chris served as Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, where he was in charge of the Statewide Investigating Grand Jury. He also served as Executive Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), supervising all OGC attorneys assigned to the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Corrections, Board of Probation and Parole, and other criminal justice agencies in the executive branch. Chris worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Berks County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant Counsel at the Pennsylvania State Police, and Assistant Counsel at the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General. His work as a white-collar investigator and prosecutor earned him numerous awards during his long public career, including the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence, the General Counsel’s Certificate of Excellence, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Special Achievement Award.
Litigation and Investigations
In addition to his defense practice, Chris conducts internal investigations for Fortune 500 companies and other businesses into allegations of waste, fraud, and misconduct. He also supervises and conducts Title IX and student conduct investigations for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and other colleges and universities, and is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.
If negotiations fail, and litigation becomes necessary, Chris fights tirelessly to protect the liberty, assets, and reputation of his clients. A gifted courtroom advocate, Chris has tried over 50 jury trials to verdict and represented clients in over 100 hearings before arbitrators, hearing officers, and administrative law judges. Chris represents clients in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, and Courts of Common Pleas. His representation includes other types of government litigation such as bid protests, occupational licensure, and professional discipline.
Chris’ clients include prominent corporations, executives, and smaller companies and their employees in industries including:
Consumer products and services
Oil and natural gas production
Chris is a thought leader in the field of government investigations and litigation in Pennsylvania and has published articles in national and state publications on the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, grand jury investigations, corporate criminal liability, whistleblower cases, environmental crimes, unfair trade practices, Title IX compliance, procurement, and regulatory challenges. He has also been quoted by prominent media outlets, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Legal Intelligencer, WITF, and Law360. Chris serves in several leadership roles within the firm as a member of the firm’s executive committee, Chair of the Government Law & Regulatory Affairs Group, and Chair of the Consumer Protection & Regulatory Defense group.