Why practice just one area of law when you could practice two, using them simultaneously to your advantage? That’s how Howard Bruce Klein, Philadelphia’s 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” in Qui Tam Law, decided to pursue that discipline in addition to his initial specialty, Criminal Defense: White Collar.
“In order to competently represent my clients, it became necessary to develop expertise not only in white-collar criminal defense but also in the defense of Qui Tam/False Claims Act civil litigation,” Klein says. “These cases typically proceed along parallel tracks, and what most engages and challenges me is strategizing the criminal case and the qui tam/False Claims Act case simultaneously. Everything you do as a lawyer on one side of the case affects the parallel case.”
Klein’s passion for the law comes from trying the cases in court, he says, from his earliest days as a federal prosecutor to the work he does today in criminal defense at his firm, the Law Offices of Howard Bruce Klein, P.C. Two particularly notable ones, he recalls, were an acquittal he secured for a Philadelphia lawyer after a six-month federal racketeering jury trial and the dismissal of all counts against the CEO of a manufacturing company in the wake of a federal jury trial on bank-fraud charges.
“Strategizing a global defense, always with a readiness to go to trial, has allowed me to achieve results for a number of pharmaceutical executives, including several CEOs,” Klein says, “where all criminal charges were dropped and a qui tam/False Claims Act case was resolved by the corporate employer without the individual executive having to pay any damages.”
Most of the cases Klein works on involve business executives and other high-level professionals such as doctors and lawyers. What he finds most gratifying about handling their cases, he notes, is getting a result that enables them to resume their regular lives. “A successful resolution relieves an enormous burden on them—that of a criminal investigation and/or a qui tam/False Claims Act case, which they may have been carrying around for years,” he says. “It is those cases—when they are once again free from a government investigation—which makes the high stress in this area of practice seem worthwhile, and when you feel proud to be a lawyer.”