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Jason Criss
Jason P. Criss
Of Counsel
New York +1 212 841 1076 jcriss@cov.com Download V-card

For fifteen years, Jason Criss has guided clients through sensitive and complex government inquiries and internal investigations. He also advises media companies, journalists, and clients in a broad range of industries in First Amendment and other media law matters.

Mr. Criss has represented corporations and individuals in investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, SEC, and other regulators. He has conducted investigations into potential violations of a broad range of laws and regulations, including the FCPA, insider trading statutes, and export control laws.

White Collar Defense & Investigations

  • Represented a senior executive of an energy company in the successful defense of a criminal prosecution by the Government of Ecuador and in related United States discovery proceedings. Law360 highlighted this representation when it named Covington's white collar practice "White Collar Group of the Year." The American Lawyer also recognized this matter as "Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Fraud Litigation."
  • Successfully resolved a long-running DOJ/SEC investigation into alleged FCPA violations at a leading multinational company's former Indian joint venture.
  • Co-led investigation for a large multinational company into exports potentially in violation of the China Military Rule. After the company voluntarily disclosed the results of the investigation, the Commerce Department closed the matter without imposing any monetary sanction or referring the matter for a criminal investigation.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in a drug safety and labeling investigation. DOJ declined criminal prosecution of the company and declined to intervene in the relator’s False Claims Act suit.
  • Conducted an internal investigation into a military contractor's potential violations of the Internal Traffic in Arms Regulations. Following a voluntary disclosure, the State Department closed out the matter without any follow-up investigation or sanction against the company.
  • Represented UnitedHealth Group Incorporated in federal criminal, SEC, and Congressional committee investigations into stock options backdating. Developed UnitedHealth’s Plan of Remediation, which was praised by the SEC when it decided not to charge UnitedHealth with fraud or to seek a financial penalty from the company.
  • Represented Adelphia Communications Corporation in its defense of the federal criminal investigation, SEC enforcement action, and threatened forfeiture actions arising out of wrongdoing by members of the Rigas family. As a result of Covington’s efforts, DOJ agreed not to prosecute Adelphia, the SEC agreed to a settlement with an injunction and no monetary penalty, and the company obtained the forfeiture and return of $1 billion in assets.
  • Represented Société Générale in federal criminal and SEC investigations into alleged insider trading in the PIPEs market and an SEC investigation into the alleged compromise of research analyst independence.
  • Conducted audit committee investigation into a medical device company’s possible violations of the FCPA and Trading with the Enemy Act.

Media Law

  • Leads team performing daily pre-broadcast review of news reports, editorials, and promotions for a group of 36 television stations. Regularly advises the stations’ reporters regarding newsgathering, defamation, and intellectual property matters.
  • Media counsel to The Marshall Project, a not-for-profit, non-partisan news organization dedicated to covering the United States criminal justice system.
  • Represented a local broadcaster and its investigative reporter in a defamation case dismissed before discovery.
  • Represented a local broadcaster in its successful First Amendment challenge to a mayor’s ban on city employees communicating with the station.

Pro Bono

  • Coordinated Covington’s representation of 25 families of uniformed rescuers killed at the World Trade Center, including the preparation of applications to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund resulting in the payment of $16.2 million in compensation, administration of victims’ estates, and the resolution of disputes with victims’ creditors.
  • Represented the named beneficiary of an award from the Austrian General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism in a federal interpleader action and the successful defense of the interpleader judgment in a Second Circuit appeal brought by competing claimants.
  • Represented victim of terrorist attack in successful defense of defamation suit brought by her ex-husband.
  • Advised a broad range of not-for-profit organizations on defamation, copyright, and other media law issues.
  • Represented media companies and press freedom organizations as amici in First Amendment appeals.
  • Represented a not-for-profit organization in grand jury investigation related to thefts from the organization by the organization’s former office manager.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • New York City Bar Media and Communications Law Committee, Member
  • Hunter College High School Alumnae/i Association, Past President
  • American Lawyer Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Fraud Litigation (2014)
  • Legal 500 US, Litigation - White Collar Criminal Defense (2012)
  • Charles F.C. Ruff Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (2004)