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Jeffrey L. Poston

Partner

jposton@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2775
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Jeff Poston is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he serves as a member of the Litigation Group and co-chair of the firm’s Chambers recognized Privacy & Cybersecurity Group. A seasoned trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience leading investigations and litigation for corporate clients, Jeff counsels and defends clients in complex data protection matters involving class-actions and regulatory enforcement actions, as well as commercial disputes.

Privacy and Cybersecurity

As co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Group, Jeff leads counseling, investigations, and litigation for clients navigating sensitive data breaches, hacks, and other cybersecurity events. He has represented Fortune 500 companies in some of the largest data breach cases brought under the federal Hi-Tech Act and various state privacy, data security and unfair competition laws, and he has negotiated favorable settlements with state regulators and attorneys general.

Jeff’s recent representative matters include representing Starwood Hotels in a class-action seeking millions in damages arising from an alleged system-wide cyberattack. When the plaintiff alleged a nationwide breach and brought claims under multiple California state laws, Jeff led the team that obtained dismissal with prejudice of the case. Jeff was also a part of a litigation team that obtained a dismissal of nine consolidated class actions in the Eastern District of California, alleging that a national health care company violated the California Medical Information Act (CMIA) by disclosing the data of more than one million members.

Jeff has successfully defended large health care companies in investigations brought by the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights alleging HIPAA violations.

Jeff regularly helps clients test their cybersecurity readiness and build plans to mitigate future attacks. He counsels clients on front-end compliance issues involving the state and federal privacy laws, including HIPAA, and helps clients prepare incident response plans to guide them through a cyber crisis. Jeff also defends and counsels clients in class actions asserting violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Commercial Litigation

A trial lawyer with more than 25 years of courtroom experience, Jeff has litigated and tried dozens of cases on behalf of corporate clients, especially in the health care and hospitality sectors, involving a wide variety of commercial disputes.

In the health care sector, Jeff recently represented a national managed care plan in a suit filed by a national hospital system alleging that the health plan had improperly recovered overpayments through offsets of subsequent payments in violation of the Medicare Advantage Act. Jeff obtained dismissal of the claims at the District Court on the grounds that the hospital system failed to exhaust its administrative remedies prior to the filing its federal action. He then successfully argued the appeal at the 11th Circuit, obtaining a unanimous decision affirming the District Court’s decision.

Jeff’s work for the hospitality industry includes a wide range of commercial disputes, ranging from management contracts to joint employment issues to ERISA class actions. In a recent case, Jeff represented a global hospitality company in an action reaching back decades and seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for the alleged violation of ERISA’s “top hat” plan laws. As the lead trial attorney, Jeff obtained summary judgment at the district court and successfully argued for affirmance at the Fourth Circuit, resulting in a unanimous decision in favor of Jeff’s client.

Jeff recently represented a global hospitality company in a class action alleging ERISA violations in the form of excessive fees charged to participants of the company’s 401(k) plan. Jeff successfully argued that the putative class should not be certified resulting in a voluntary dismissal of the claims with prejudice.

Jeff also recently represented a large global hospitality company against claims of tortious interference with contract stemming from a dispute over a management agreement governing a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon. Jeff obtained dismissal of the action in Maryland federal court on grounds that it was a collateral attack on a foreign arbitration award.

Jeff received his bachelor’s degree with magna cum laude honors from the University of Richmond and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from Georgetown University. He is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States District Court for the Western District of Colorado and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Representative Engagements

  • Lead defense counsel for a large global hospitality company in class action suit arising from cyber intrusion into multiple hotel servers potentially involving the data of millions of individuals. Obtained dismissal with prejudice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
  • Lead defense counsel for a large global hospitality company in suit alleging violations of ERISA’s “top hat plan” provisions and seeking $500 million in damages. After extensive discovery reaching back more than four decades, successfully argued summary judgment motion before the federal district court. Argued the appeal before the 4th Circuit and obtained affirmance of the dismissal. 
  • Lead defense counsel for global hospital company sued in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for tortious interference with contract arising from termination of hotel management agreement for hotel located in Beirut, Lebanon. Successfully argued that the Maryland action was collaterally estopped by a parallel arbitration in Paris, France. 
  • Successfully defended health care plan in investigation by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services alleging improper disclosure of PHI in violation of HIPAA. OCR closed the case and declined to issue any fine.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of fraud claims in New York State Court on behalf of large data center in action seeking millions in damages for alleged failure to develop platform for new mobile gaming application. 
  • Lead counsel in ERISA class action alleging that a Global Hospitality Company violated multiple provisions of ERISA in connection with the company’s 401(k) plan. Obtained dismissal of majority of claims at pleading stage and defeated class certification motion leading to voluntary dismissal with prejudice of remaining claims.
  • Jeff successfully obtained dismissal of a multi-million dollar claim against a national health care company involved in the Medicare Advantage Program. The U.S. federal court dismissed the action due to the plaintiffs’ failure to exhaust administration remedies under the Medicare Advantage Program. Jeff argued the appeal at the 11th Circuit, which affirmed the victory at the District Court.
  • Represented a hotel owner in an arbitration challenging the inclusion of “service changes” as part of Gross Operating Revenue.
  • Represented DuPont against monopolization counterclaims brought by Kolon Industries. On the eve of the trial, the Eastern District of Virginia granted summary judgment for DuPont and dismissed the claims with prejudice. This was the second major win in Crowell & Moring's work for DuPont stemming from trade secrets litigation against Kolon. The first was a jury award of $919.9 million for DuPont for theft of trade secrets related to Kevlar® business and technology used by DuPont and the class against the current owners finding that they could not be liable for the actions of the prior owners.
  • Represented the current owners of a power plant against claims by the EPA and a private class that they should be held liable for the conduct of the prior owners relating to the current emissions of the plant. This matter involved the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Program of the Clean Air Act. The Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania dismissed the claims of the EPA and the class against the current owners finding that they could not be liable for the actions of the prior owners.
  • Defended, as lead trial counsel, a national health care company against claims alleging over $17 million in damages stemming from the alleged systematic underpayments to non-contracted healthcare providers. At the conclusion of trial, the court granted the company's motion for judgment and rejected all of the plaintiffs' claims.
  • Represented the Enron Creditors Recovery Corporation in its litigation against two global financial institutions alleging that they aided and abetted Enron's demise through structured finance transactions that misled investors and the credit rating agencies. The resulting settlement, valued at nearly $6 billion, is reputed to be the largest bankruptcy settlement in U.S. history.
  • Successfully defended a Class 1 freight railroad in multiple actions arising from a collision with a commuter train in Massachusetts that injured hundreds of passengers. On the eve of the trial, the owner and operator of the commuter lines faced with potential spoliation sanctions settled the case on favorable terms to the client.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar award for a managed behavioral healthcare organization whose contract was improperly terminated by a national health plan.
  • Successfully sued the federal and state governments for violating their own respective regulations in awarding a joint federal-state highway contract.
  • Represented a consortium of health care companies and providers in enjoining the federal government from implementing an unauthorized Medicare "demonstration project."
  • Recently, he defended two large health plans in separate OCR investigations, both of which were closed without any fines being levied.

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
  • University of Richmond, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Colorado, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

View More

"Final CCPA Amendments Move to Governor’s Desk," Privacy Law Alert (September 20, 2019). Contacts: Jeffrey L. Poston, Kristin J. Madigan, CIPP/US, Paul M. Rosen, Lee Matheson, CIPP/US/E/A, CIPM, PCIP
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Ninth Circuit Rejects Facebook’s Article III Argument; Biometric Lawsuit Will Proceed," Privacy Law Alert (August 16, 2019). Contacts: Jeffrey L. Poston, Nathanial J. Wood, Laura Foggan, Brandon C. Ge
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Telemedicine from the Privacy Perspective," Telemedicine: Legal Issues Conference, NYC Bar, New York, NY (June 18, 2019). Panelist: Jeffrey L. Poston.
Speech/Presentation
"Investing in the Internet of Things – How to Turn Data into Value," ACG Intergrowth 2019, Orlando, FL (May 13, 2019). Panelist: Jeffrey L. Poston.
Speech/Presentation
"Investing In The Internet Of Things – How To Turn Data Into Value," ACG: Intergrowth 2019, Orlando, FL (May 8, 2019). Presenter: Jeffrey L. Poston.
Speech/Presentation
"Preparing for and Dealing with Cyber Security Breaches: Best Practices for Chief Litigation Counsel," Spring 2019 CLCA Meeting, Houston, TX (May 2, 2019). Presenter: Jeffrey L. Poston.
Speech/Presentation
"Lessons From The House Report On The Equifax Breach," Pratt's Privacy & Cybersecurity Law (April 2019). Authors: Jeffery L. Poston, Paul M. Rosen, and Lee Matheson.
Publication
“Data Privacy and Emerging Technologies Aimed at Enhancing the Passenger Experience,” IATA Legal Symposium 2019, Rome, Italy (March 7, 2019). Panelist: Jeffrey L. Poston.
Speech/Presentation
"Data Privacy and Emerging Technologies Aimed at Enhancing the Passenger Experience," IATA Legal Symposium 2019, Rome, Italy (March 7, 2019). Panelist: Jeffrey L. Poston.
Speech/Presentation
"California Considers Bill to Expand CCPA," Privacy Law Alert (March 1, 2019). Contacts: Paul M. Rosen, Jeffrey L. Poston, Kristin J. Madigan, CIPP/US, Lee Matheson, CIPP/US/E/A, CIPM, PCIP
Client Alert/Newsletter

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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