Seth A. Rosenthal is a trial attorney who represents businesses and individuals in criminal cases, investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, agency inspectors general, and state attorneys general, and complex civil litigation involving the False Claims Act, antitrust, commercial disputes, and civil and constitutional rights.
Seth also conducts internal investigations for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions. He manages Venable’s pro bono program, chairs the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, and maintains an active pro bono practice.
With his diverse background as a federal prosecutor and in civil rights enforcement and death penalty defense, Seth is a seasoned first-chair trial lawyer, a vigorous advocate, and a versatile problem-solver.
His criminal and government investigations practice includes confronting allegations of fraud, false statements, and other misconduct against government contractors and grantees, other types of companies, and public servants in grand jury investigations, civil enforcement investigations and audits, trials, sentencings, appeals, and post-conviction proceedings.
In internal investigations on behalf of corporations, nonprofits, and schools, Seth probes similar allegations of misconduct, as well as the suspected failure of internal compliance systems.
Based on his experience prosecuting police misconduct in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Seth’s investigations work includes evaluating the conduct of law enforcement agencies and their employees. Seth is currently the court-appointed deputy monitor of the Baltimore Police Department in its consent decree with the Department of Justice.
The civil matters Seth handles encompass defense of False Claims Act cases; challenges to administrative agency actions; litigation of contract, partnership, and business tort disputes; and prosecution and defense of antitrust actions under the Sherman Act and civil rights actions and investigations under federal and state anti-discrimination statutes.
With his background in civil rights enforcement, Seth also advises companies, including mortgage lenders, housing providers, and web-based advertising platforms, on compliance with the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Seth’s pro bono practice focuses on matters involving civil rights and criminal justice. In recent years, he has won the release of three different District of Columbia men imprisoned for murders they did not commit.
- Won a motion to dismiss and now represents on appeal a chemical manufacturer sued under the “reverse” False Claims Act for its alleged failure to report the purported dangers of certain products to the Environmental Protection Agency
- Represented a nonprofit organization investigated by the District of Columbia Office on Aging for allegedly obtaining reimbursements for expenses before incurring them
- Won a motion to dismiss on behalf of a mortgage lender sued for violating the False Claims Act by endorsing certain mortgage loans for Federal Housing Administration insurance
- Represents a services contractor investigated for violating the False Claims Act by allegedly utilizing workers whose qualifications did not satisfy contract requirements
- Defended state False Claims Act litigation and prosecuted a related federal action involving allegations that an IT systems provider delivered inadequate solutions for operation of a state-run healthcare exchange
- Avoided False Claims Act action by the government against a construction contractor wrongfully alleged to have underpaid employees in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act
- Represented a food service provider in a state False Claims Act investigation by the District of Columbia attorney general
- Cleared a political appointee investigated by an agency inspector general for purportedly violating conflict-of-interest laws
- Led an investigation of company employees who, as former government officials, were alleged by the agency inspector general to have violated conflict-of-interest laws
- Serves as court-appointed deputy monitor of the Baltimore Police Department under its consent decree with the Department of Justice
- Negotiated a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice on behalf of a community bank accused of lending discrimination
- Avoided federal charges for the founder of a payment processing company suspected of illegally processing online gaming payments
- Represents a putative medical marijuana dispensary operator in challenging the process the District of Columbia Department of Health uses for awarding dispensary licenses
- Won dismissal with prejudice of a nuisance lawsuit against a solid waste processing facility in the District of Columbia and helped secure a comprehensive settlement agreement that allowed the facility to remain in operation
- J.D. cum laude Harvard Law School 1993
- A.B. summa cum laude Dartmouth College 1989
Bar Admissions : District of Columbia
Court Admissions :
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
Professional Memberships :
- Member, Advisory Council, Tzedek DC
- Member, Advisory Committee, DC Bar Foundation
- Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy
- Member, American Bar Association, Criminal Justice and Individual Rights and Responsibilities Sections
- Member, Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court
- Mentor, Everybody Wins DC
- Member, Board of Directors, Anne Frank House
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