Government Enforcement Compliance and White Collar Litigation

Pietragallo Expands Litigation Practice with New Hires

2021/04/12

In a significant expansion of the firm’s litigation practice, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of four new associates to the firm’s Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Offices.

“This is an exciting time for our firm as we continue to expand our litigation team and attract top talent in the legal market,” said Pietragallo Chairman William Pietragallo, II. “We are fully committed to providing our clients with the best possible talent and we are delighted to welcome this young and talented group of associates.”

The group of four new associates includes:

Stephen Raiola joins our Commercial Litigation team in our Pittsburgh office. Stephen brings our clients mid-level expertise in litigation and investigations, including product liability and mass tort, class actions, and commercial litigation. Before making the decision to return to Pittsburgh, Stephen spent five years with a leading international law firm in Washington D.C. Prior to Stephen’s move to D.C., he was an associate at an international law firm in New York City and clerked for Judge D. Michael Fisher on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.

Daniel P. Wotherspoon joins our Government Enforcement, Compliance, and White Collar litigation team in our Philadelphia office. Daniel brings our clients mid-level experience in white collar criminal defense and government investigations related to securities and False Claims Act matters. He joins us from a nationally based law firm and clerked for Judge Jane Richards Roth on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Daniel graduated cum laude from Villanova University School of Law.

Christin M. Roberts joins our Government Enforcement, Compliance, and White Collar litigation team in our Pittsburgh office. Christin completed an internship in the Legal Department and Compliance Department at a leading global pharmaceuticals company where she concentrated her research on the False Claims Act and Whistleblower laws. Read More

From our COVID-19 Response Team: Pennsylvania Business Guidance For Probable or Confirmed Case of COVID-19

2020/08/05

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and throughout Pennsylvania, most employers will be faced with the question of how to respond when an employee tests positive, or has exposure to the coronavirus, and will need to determine when those employees can safely return to work.  In part, it depends on whether the employee has simply tested positive, or if the employee tests positive and has symptoms.

Where an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, but has no symptoms, the employee can return to work 10 days after the first positive test.

Where an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and has symptoms, the employee may safely return to work at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms, at least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and all other symptoms have improved.  All three criteria must be met before the employee can safely return to work.   

For employees with severe illness, 20 days of isolation after symptom onset may be warranted.

Once a company has ensured that an employee with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case will not be reporting to the business’ physical worksite, Pennsylvania employers must take the following steps:

I. Secure and Decontaminate Affected Areas

  • Close off areas visited by the person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Wait at least 24 hours, or as long as practical, before cleaning and disinfecting the affected area. If more than seven days have passed since affected person visited the business or facility, enhanced cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
  • Open outside doors and windows and use ventilation fans to increase air circulation.
  • Clean and disinfect all shared areas such as offices, bathrooms, break rooms, shared electronic equipment (printers, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls) used by the affected person.
Read More

Partner Marc S. Raspanti to present at HCCA’s 6th Annual Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Conference

2020/11/18

Partner Marc S. Raspanti will be speaking at the Health Care Compliance Association’s virtual 2020 Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Conference on Wednesday, November 18.

During the three-day conference, attendees will hear first‑hand from government officials about regulatory changes, expectations, and key priorities in the Healthcare Enforcement sector. Attendees can further gain the knowledge and skills needed to properly address potential violations and improve their organization’s compliance program. During the program, Mr. Raspanti’s segment is titled, “Negotiating and Mediating False Claims Act Cases.”

For more information about the program, including to register, please visit the HCCA program website.

For more information about Marc S. Raspanti or the firm’s nationally-recognized False Claims Act practice, we invite you to visit our False Claims Act Resource Center. Read More

Nineteen Pietragallo Attorneys Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® 2021

August 20, 2020

Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP, a business and litigation law firm with five offices across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, is proud to announce that nineteen of our distinguished attorneys have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 edition.

“The legacy of our law firm is the depth of our courtroom talent,” noted Managing Partner, William Pietragallo, II. He continued, “I could not be more proud.”

Recognition by Best Lawyers® is based entirely on peer review within the legal industry. The Best Lawyers® methodology is designed to capture the consensus opinion of industry-leading lawyers regarding the professional capabilities of their colleagues. Best Lawyers® distinction is demonstrative of the respect that recognized lawyers have earned amongst their peers.

The following individuals of The Pietragallo Law Firm have been recognized for their work in the following industries:

 

Gaetan J. Alfano (2012)

Commercial Litigation

Employment Law – Individuals

Employment Law – Management

Litigation – Labor and Employment

Pamela Coyle Brecht (2021)

Qui Tam Law

Marc S. Raspanti (2006)

Health Care Law 

Doug Rosenblum (2021)

Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Phillip R. Earnest (2021)

Construction Law

Insurance Law 

Mark Gordon (2011)

Litigation – Insurance

Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers 

James W. Kraus (2021)

Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Litigation – Health Care

Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants 

James F. Marrion (2021)

Product Liability Litigation – Defendants 

Shelly Pagac (2021)

Employment Law – Individuals

Litigation – Labor and Employment 

William Pietragallo II (2005)

Bet-the-Company Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions

Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants 

Francis E. Pipak, Jr. (2011)

Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers 

Eric G. Soller (2021)

Commercial Litigation

Litigation – Intellectual Property 

Peter St. Tienne Wolff (2021)

Litigation – Trusts and Estates 

Clem C. Trischler, Jr. (2011)

Commercial Litigation

Product Liability Litigation – Defendants 

Paul Kenneth Vey (2011)

Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants

Sharon, PA 

Richard Parks (2021)

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

 

“Ones to Watch”

 

Leslie A. Read More

Partner Michael A. Morse to present at HCCA’s 6th Annual Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Conference

2020/11/15

Partner Michael A. Morse will be speaking at the Health Care Compliance Association‘s 6th Annual Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Conference in November.

During the four day conference, attendees will hear first‑hand from government officials about regulatory changes, expectations, and key priorities in the Healthcare Enforcement sector. Attendees can further gain the knowledge and skills needed to properly address potential violations and improve their organization’s compliance program. During the program, Mr. Morse will speak on a panel, “Anatomy of a False Claims Act Case.”

For more information about the program, including to register, please visit the HCCA program website.

For more information about Michael A. Morse or the firm’s nationally-recognized False Claims Act practice, we invite you to visit our False Claims Act Resource Center. Read More

Pamela Coyle Brecht Appointed as a Hearing Committee Member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

2020/08/06

Partner Pamela Coyle Brecht of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP has been appointed as a Hearing Committee Member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania effective July 1, 2020. This appointment is a three-year term.

Ms. Brecht also serves as Chair of the firm’s national Qui Tam/False Claims Act (FCA) Practice Group. She is experienced in white-collar criminal litigation, internal investigations, and complex health care litigation. Some of Ms. Brecht’s largest FCA cases have included alleged fraud by a large multi-state Medicaid managed care contractor and FCA violations by three of the largest hospital corporations in the country.

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is dedicated to protecting the public, maintaining the integrity of the legal profession, and safeguarding the reputation of the courts. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania established the Disciplinary Board in 1972. In regard to the appointment, Ms. Brecht commented, “I’m honored and proud to accept this appointment. I will do my very best to assist our system of discipline.” Read More

Partner Pamela Coyle Brecht to present at HCCA’s 6th Annual Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Conference

2020/11/16

The practice group leader of the firm’s False Claims Act practice group, Pamela Coyle Brecht, will be presenting at the Health Care Compliance Association‘s 6th Annual Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Conference on Monday, November 16.

During the three-day conference, attendees will hear first‑hand from government officials about regulatory changes, expectations, and key priorities in the Healthcare Enforcement sector. Attendees can further gain the knowledge and skills needed to properly address potential violations and improve their organization’s compliance program. During the program, Ms. Brecht will be discussing, “Managed Care Enforcement and Compliance.”

For more information about the program, including to register, please visit the HCCA program website.

For more information about Pamela Coyle Brecht or the firm’s nationally-recognized False Claims Act practice, we invite you to visit our False Claims Act Resource Center. Read More

Are You FCPA Compliant?

July 13, 2020

In today’s international marketplace, it is critical to keep in mind the reach of American federal statutes which have significant impact on foreign jurisdictions. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), enacted in 1977, contains two key provisions: (1) a prohibition on bribery of foreign officials, and (2) accounting and reporting provisions for companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1-3. The Department of Justice has increasingly made headlines using this powerful law. In 2014 alone, the United States prosecuted seven corporate FCPA enforcement actions. In just those seven cases, the Department of Justice collected $1.25 billion in criminal fines – an all-time record.

The anti-bribery provision of the FCPA criminalizes the “offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of any money, or offer, gift, promise to give, or authorization of the giving of anything of value” to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Id. at § 78dd-1(a). There is an exception for payments or gifts made “to expedite or secure the performance of a routine governmental action.” Id. at §78dd-1(b). The statute also provides two interesting affirmative defenses. Defendants may be excused from liability if (1) the payment was legal under the written laws of the recipient’s country; or (2) the payment was a “reasonable and bona fide expenditure” toward specific, enumerated ends. Id. at § 78dd-1(c).

A Helpful Checklist

If your company operates overseas, it is time and money well spent to review the following aspects of your business:

(1) Identify the nature of your business and all sectors in which you operate;
(2) Identify all nations in which you operate and/or engage in commerce;
(3) Research the Corruptions Perception Index published by Transparency International (a global coalition with the mission to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society) for each nation in which you operate and/or engage in commerce (available at www.transparency.org); Read More

New on the White Collar Blog: Is Disgorgement Still Permissible in an SEC Federal Court Action After LIU v SEC?

2020/07/09

The Supreme Court said yes but with limits.  Disgorgement is permissible but only if it complies with the traditional definition of equitable relief and not penalty.  In an 8-1 vote, the United States Supreme Court held that disgorgement is permitted under 15 U.S.C. §78u(d)(5) if the amount awarded does not exceed an individual wrongdoer’s net profits;  is awarded to the victims; and is imposed on an individual and not based on joint and several liability, unless it falls under the exception.

The Lius, a husband and wife team, solicited $27 million of investments from foreign nationals to build a cancer treatment center.  Under the U.S. immigration laws, foreigners who invest over $1 million (in 2019 it was increased to $1.8 million) in an approved commercial enterprise are eligible to receive permanent residency in the United States. The SEC alleged that the Lius, in their solicitations, misrepresented that the bulk of the investment would be applied towards the construction of the center.  Instead, the majority of the funds were used for salaries, marketing materials and were diverted to personal accounts.  Only a fraction of the amount collected was used towards construction.  The SEC brought a civil action for injunctive relief in federal court. The trial court granted the injunction barring the Lius from participating in the immigration investor’s program and ordering them to pay disgorgement for the full amount collected and held them jointly-and severally liable.

The Lius claimed that the “disgorgement”, as awarded by the District Court, was effectively a penalty not permissible under the statute in a federal court action. The Lius argued that only equitable relief is authorized by Congress under the statute.  The Court analyzed whether the order of disgorgement can be viewed as a traditional relief under equity. The Lius argued that their disgorgement order was unlawful because it contradicted the traditional practice in equity in three ways: by ordering disgorgement of the total profits and not deducting legitimate expenses, imposing joint-and-several disgorgement liability, and ordering the profits be deposited in Treasury funds instead of disbursing the entire amount to victims. Read More

Virtual Event: How Not to Transform Your Employees into Whistleblowers – Even the Thinnest of Pancakes Has Two Sides

2020/07/14

On Tuesday, July 14th, Pietragallo Partner Pamela Coyle Brecht will host a panel presentation to all members of the Qui Tam section of the Federal Bar Association (FBA). The panel will include compliance counsel, defense counsel, and relator’s counsel who will discuss several areas related to the False Claims Act under the program title, “How Not to Transform Your Employees into Whistleblowers – Even the Thinnest of Pancakes Has Two Sides.”

Topics of discussion include how to collect and respond to compliance concerns within your organization and how the pandemic, including the new remote work force, affect the potential for an increase in compliance concerns.

This virtual event is open to all members of the FBA who are also Qui Tam section members and clients of The Pietragallo Law Firm.

For more information about joining the FBA, please visit their website.

For more more information about our Firm’s global Qui Tam practice, please visit our False Claims Act Resource Center.

If you are not yet a client of our Firm but would like to attend this program, please contact a member of our Marketing Department. Read More

News & Events

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Pietragallo Expands Litigation Practice with New Hires
April 12, 2021
In a significant expansion of the firm’s litigation practice, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of four new associates to the firm’s Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Offices. Read More
From our COVID-19 Response Team: Pennsylvania Business Guidance For Probable or Confirmed Case of COVID-19
August 26, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and throughout Pennsylvania, most employers will be faced with the question of how to respond when an employee tests positive, or has exposure to the coronavirus, and will need to determine when those employees can safely return to work.  Read More
View More News & Events