Gus P. Coldebella is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office. He specializes in complex civil litigation, securities and corporate governance litigation, governmental and internal investigations, and congressional oversight. He also provides advice on the national security laws and policies of the United States, federal law enforcement, regulatory enforcement and compliance, and crisis management.
Mr. Coldebella represents clients in class actions alleging violations of the securities laws and breaches of fiduciary duties, agency investigations and enforcement actions, arbitrations, partnership and post-closing disputes, and other complex litigation. Mr. Coldebella conducts internal investigations and counsels companies and their boards of directors on fiduciary duties, compliance, disclosure and crisis management. He assists companies and individuals in managing congressional oversight and other governmental investigations.
Mr. Coldebella also provides advice on national security-related issues, including cyber security and privacy, intelligence, critical infrastructure protection, liability protection, and foreign trade regulation. He defends agency enforcement actions and advises clients on how homeland security laws and regulations affect day-to-day business operations, how to comply with them, and how to, where applicable, use agency rules to limit exposure or gain efficiencies.
Mr. Coldebella is a senior fellow at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) and serves on its Counterterrorism Intelligence Task Force. Mr. Coldebella is a member of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), the Federalist Society and the American Bar Association.
Mr. Coldebella co-wrote “Securities Litigation” in the ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation 2005. He co-authored “Foundational Questions Regarding the Federal Role in Cyber Security” for the Journal of National Security Law and Policy. Recent presentations include “Cybersecurity Issues: Developments in the Federal Government and Data Protection Challenges within the Private Sector” at the ABA Homeland Security Law Institute (March 2011), “Pushing Out the Border: International Legal Issues in Homeland Security” for the Berger International Lecture Series at Cornell Law School (October 2008); and “DHS: Accomplishments, Challenges and Opportunities” at the ABA Homeland Security Law Institute (February 2009). Mr. Coldebella has made other presentations to the ABA, the University of Virginia National Security Law program, the U.S. Naval War College, NORAD/NORTHCOM and others.
In October 2005, Mr. Coldebella, then a partner in Goodwin Procter’s Boston office, was appointed to be deputy general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He was nominated to be DHS’s general counsel by President George W. Bush in July 2008 and served as its acting general counsel from February 2007 to January 2009. As the department’s top lawyer for nearly two years, Mr. Coldebella oversaw DHS’s responses to all major congressional oversight, spearheaded the development of regulations, managed the department’s varied litigation portfolio and supervised the over 1,700 lawyers at DHS and its components.
In 1997, Mr. Coldebella served as a prosecutor in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts District Attorney’s office, where he conducted numerous jury trials.
- J.D., 1994
Cornell University Law School
(magna cum laude, Order of the Coif)
- B.A., 1991
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
May 29, 2013