Chuck Stevens is a partner in the San Francisco office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Co-Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group. Mr. Stevens’ practice focuses on the representation of corporate clients in government investigations, internal investigations, and enforcement actions regarding business crimes and civil frauds, including healthcare, government contract, and corporate fraud.
Mr. Stevens has extensive experience in all aspects of the False Claims Act (FCA) including internal investigations of whistleblower complaints, compliance advice and programs, presentations to the government to avoid intervention, litigation and mediations. He represents companies and executives in federal and state FCA matters alleging various false or fraudulent claims to government agencies, including unnecessary surgical procedures, upcoding of Medicare claims, false compliance certifications on defense contracts, overcharging of fees for the management of state retirement funds, qui tam actions, product substitution, and excessive overhead charges.
Mr. Stevens is regularly called upon to defend clients in high-stakes civil actions alleging unlawful business practices, fraud and unfair competition. He often manages complex parallel proceedings involving criminal, civil and regulatory matters in multiple jurisdictions.
Mr. Stevens is consistently recognized by state and national legal publications for his work on high-stakes investigations and litigation matters. The Daily Journal recently named Mr. Stevens a 2020 Top White Collar Lawyer in California, and The Best Lawyers in America recognized him as its San Francisco Lawyer of the Year for Bet-the-Company Litigation and ranked him in the Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White Collar practice areas. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers consistently ranks Mr. Stevens Band 1 in California Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigation and recently described him as a “household name,” in white collar defense who is ‘particularly skilled in successfully representing clients in healthcare enforcement matters…and government contract fraud.” He is also recognized by Global Investigation Review (GIR) Who’s Who Legal for Investigations and Business Crime Defense.
Mr. Stevens previously served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California. Appointed by President Clinton, he oversaw the district’s two offices and 150 employees, implemented several initiatives involving the False Claims Act, healthcare fraud and political corruption, and served as the supervising United States Attorney in Sacramento for the Unabomber prosecution. During his tenure, he was appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, an executive committee of United States Attorneys that advised the Attorney General on national law enforcement policy.
Mr. Stevens also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California. As a member of the Public Corruption and Government Contract Fraud Unit, he conducted grand jury investigations and tried federal criminal cases involving government contract fraud, bribery of federal employees, insurance fraud, tax fraud and bank fraud. Mr. Stevens also argued numerous cases to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He received special commendations from the Department of the Interior OIG and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for successful prosecutions.
Prior to his government service, Mr. Stevens was an associate and then partner in Gibson Dunn where he handled government investigations and complex civil matters. He also has served as a mediator on matters involving the False Claims Act and other government claims. He has taught classes at U.C. Davis Law School in government investigations, criminal procedure, and legal ethics.
Mr. Stevens has been actively involved in the professional community, serving on many boards and committees, including as a member of the Judicial Selection Committee of Senator Diane Feinstein; as Vice President of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys; The Board of Directors of Legal Aid at Work; as an adjunct professor at U.C. Davis School of Law; and as secretary and counsel for Something Special, Inc., a nonprofit devoted to supporting children in foster care.
Mr. Stevens is a 1982 graduate of the U.C. Berkeley School of Law, where he served as Senior Note and Comment Editor of the California Law Review. He received his B.A. in English from Colgate University in 1979.
Representative Government and Internal Investigations
- Defending software support provider in federal criminal copyright infringement investigation.
- Defending insurer of healthcare coverage in False Claims Act investigation regarding allegations of fraudulent claims submissions.
- Defending national retailer in False Claims Act investigation regarding allegations that opioids were dispensed improperly.
- Defending leading e-cigarette company in federal criminal investigation regarding sales and marketing practices.
- Defending health plan in qui tam False Claims Act case alleging misuse of Affordable Care Act funds.
- Defended technology company in qui tam False Claims Act litigation regarding allegations of non-compliance with FDA product safety regulations in performance of government contracts.
- Conducted internal investigation for healthcare billing company of whistleblower’s allegations of falsification of certifications of compliance with patient coverage notification requirements.
- Conducted internal investigation for international technology company regarding whistleblower allegations of financial improprieties by corporate officers.
- Represented national health care provider in False Claims Act investigation regarding allegations of unnecessary surgical procedures.
- Conducted internal investigation for special committee of board of directors regarding shareholder allegations of mismanagement of health and safety programs.
- Defended national retailer in qui tam False Claims Act litigation regarding prescription billing practices.
- Represented major financial institution in federal criminal investigation alleging fraud in the sale of mortgage-backed securities.
- Represented nutritional supplement company in District Attorney Task Force investigation alleging false advertising claims.
- Represented major financial institution in state False Claims Act case alleging fraudulent claims based on charges for foreign exchange transactions in the management of pension funds.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a major construction company regarding allegations of antitrust violations in bidding for government contracts.
- Defended national title insurance company in potential section 17200 action by the California Attorney General alleging unlawful business practices involving charges for escrow and title insurance services.
- Conducted an internal investigation for telecommunications company regarding allegations of company misrepresentations to the PUC regarding its sales practices.
- Defended national financial company in an investigation by Attorney General of New York regarding allegations of kickbacks in real estate industry.
- Conducted internal investigation for an international pharmaceutical company regarding allegations of theft of a competitor’s trade secrets.
- Defended major health care provider in a federal criminal investigation and False Claims Act case regarding allegations of unnecessary surgical procedures.
- Defended an international law firm in an obstruction of justice investigation regarding allegations of suppressing evidence on behalf of a client in a federal grand jury investigation.
- Defended a manufacturer of jet engine parts in the DOJ investigation of allegations of procurement fraud and violations of the FCPA.
- Defended a national energy company in a federal criminal investigation of allegations of unlawful lobbying activities in Sacramento.
- Represented a national food distributor in a federal criminal antitrust investigation of allegations of bribes and kickbacks in the food distribution business.
- Conducted internal investigation of potential FCPA violations by a high technology company with a network of international sales agents and designed a compliance program.
- Defended winery in federal criminal investigation alleging labeling violations.
- Conducted internal investigation for major accounting firm regarding alleged money laundering by client’s foreign subsidiary and implemented a compliance program.
Representative Civil Litigation Matters
- Defended national media company in federal civil action alleging constitutional torts based on television broadcast of plaintiffs’ involvement in narcotics case, which settled during trial for pretrial offer.
- Defended major telecommunications company in unfair business practices action regarding certain cellular billing practices.
- Defended publisher of financial magazine in libel action by a stockbroker for defamation in an article regarding improper business practices by stockbrokers.
- Defended newspaper publisher in libel action by college basketball player based on article about point shaving in college games, which plaintiff dismissed before trial for waiver of costs.
- Represented a private education company in action challenging regulations adopted by state regulatory agency and prevailed on motion for summary judgment.
- Defended software consulting firm in case alleging unfair competition and theft of trade secrets.
- Defended major insurance company in commercial insurance bad faith and fraud case that was tried to jury, which resulted in a defense verdict.