Chase A. Scolnick

  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Trials

Chase Scolnick specializes in complex civil and criminal litigation. Having tried as lead counsel approximately fifty federal jury trials, Chase is among the most seasoned young trial attorneys in the United States.  He has also been one of the most successful.  In separate years, Chase led three of the nation’s largest federal districts in both defense trials and wins.  In 2017, Chase was the only defense attorney in the United States to receive the Federal Bar Association’s “Federal Younger Lawyer Award”—a prestigious national honor reserved for rising courtroom stars.  Chase was honored with a “2019 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year [CLAY]” award for his role as co-lead counsel in Yellowstone Women’s First Sep House, Inc., et al. v. City of Costa Mesa.  In 2020, Chase was listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for White Collar Criminal Defense.  He was selected by Super Lawyers® as a Top-Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in 2020.   

Chase made a seamless transition to civil litigation, where his superb cross-examination skills have benefited clients on all types of cases. Chase represented famed entertainment executive Michael Ovitz in highly contentious litigation that had dragged on for ten years before Chase joined the team.  After a series of devastating depositions, the case settled on favorable terms.  Chase also represented Broadcom co-founder Henry Nicholas against the IRS on a case in which the IRS disallowed a $300 million tax loss.  On the eve of trial, Chase structured one of the most generous settlements ever secured against the IRS for a distressed asset investment, and was featured in the Daily Journal’s top Plaintiff Settlements in March 2019.  Chase currently represents Microsoft in twelve patent cases in the Central District of California.

Before joining Keller/Anderle, Chase served for fourteen years as a Deputy Federal Defender in the Southern and Central Districts of California, and in the Eastern District of New York.  Chase has handled some of the nation’s most serious and complex cases, including insider trading and financial market manipulation, international terrorism, and organized crime.  Chase fights tirelessly for all of his clients, and has consistently secured amazing results.  He has won many difficult jury trials.  In other cases, Chase’s aggressive pretrial litigation made trial unnecessary.  He has won twelve motions to suppress evidence, and convinced prosecutors and judges to dismiss over thirty serious felony cases.  Chase has also won multiple appeals and writs before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In addition to being a highly regarded trial attorney, Chase is also a sought-after legal contributor.  He edited the latest edition of Defending a Federal Criminal Case.  He regularly trains attorneys on all aspects of trial skills at local and national seminars throughout the United States and frequently advises other attorneys as they prepare for trial.

Chase speaks conversational Spanish.

  • Associate Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (by invitation only, limited to top ½ of 1 percent of lawyers nationally)
  • California Lawyer Magazine CLAY Award (California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year), Litigation (2019)
  • The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, “Top Defense Verdicts” (2018)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, S. Naifeh & G. Smith, White Collar Criminal Defense (2020-2022), qui tam law and white collar criminal defense
  • Los Angeles Magazine, “Southern California Super Lawyers, Civil Litigation-Defense” (2020-2021)
  • The Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Top Plaintiff Settlements” (2019)
  • Selected by Super Lawyers®, Top-Rated Civil Litigation Attorney (2020)
  • Federal Bar Association, Younger Federal Lawyer Award (2017)
  • Secured complete defense verdict for the City of Costa Mesa in a legal challenge brought by a network of sober living homes.  For this verdict, Chase won a Clay Award (California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year).
  • Structured one of the most generous settlements ever secured against the IRS and Department of Justice for the owner of a $300 million distressed asset investment.
  • Secured jury acquittal for client charged with committing financial fraud against the federal government.
  • Defending Microsoft Corporation in twelve patent cases.
  • Secured jury acquittal for client accused of criminal counterfeit and importation offenses.
  • Defended hedge fund manager during FINRA, SEC, and federal criminal investigations alleging insider trading and financial market manipulation.
  • Obtained one of the nation’s only dismissals of terrorism-related charges in high-publicity federal prosecution.
  • Won suppression of evidence and dismissal of federal criminal computer-related charges.
  • Secured jury acquittal in federal firearms trial.
  • Obtained noncustodial disposition for former partner of large international law firm in federal tax fraud prosecution.
  • Defended professor from prominent university in fraud prosecution.
  • Obtained dismissal of all charges in a federal fraud prosecution.
  • Managed comprehensive international investigation, and conducted proceedings in foreign court, in federal fraud prosecution.
  • Defended owner of healthcare company against allegations of fraud.
  • Obtained jury acquittal for federal official charged with criminal misconduct.
  • Defended Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Marines in federal fraud prosecution.
  • Obtained jury acquittal in federal drug prosecution in which client faced a potential life sentence.
  • Defended international entrepreneur against tax fraud allegations.
  • Represented business owner accused of violating federal currency regulations.
  • Obtained acquittal for client charged with theft from financial institution.
  • Obtained acquittal for client charged with large-scale narcotics offenses.
  • Federal Bar Association, Orange County, Los Angeles and Inland Empire Chapters, “Federal Criminal Practice in the Covid-19 Era: A Discussion Regarding the Pandemic’s Impact on Criminal Procedure in the Central District of California,” panel moderator (2020)
  • Riverside County Bar Association – Civil Litigation Section, “Making Complex Litigation Simple for Trial” (2020)
  • 27th Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing,  “Sentencing Strategies Under the Amended Guidelines” (2018)
  • Federal Criminal Justice Act Seminar, Federal District of Indiana, “Strategically using the Federal Rules of Evidence to Admit Exculpatory Evidence” (2017)
  • National Senior Federal Defender Conference, “Using Federal Rule of Evidence 803(3) as the Cornerstone of Your Trial Practice” (2017)
  • Federal Defenders of San Diego, “Practical Tips for Closing Arguments in Jury Trials,” presented to new attorneys (2016)
  • Southern District of California, “Effective Evidentiary Hearing Litigation Strategies” (2016)
  • National Senior Federal Defender Seminar, “Sentencing Strategies in Synthetic Drug Cases” (2015)
  • Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, “Defending Non-citizen Clients Charged in Federal Court” (2012)
  • Central District of California, “Advanced Techniques in Cross-Examination” (2010)
  • Loyola Law School, guest lecturer for advanced trial advocacy class (2008-2010)
  • Southern District of California, “Effective Voir Dire in Criminal Cases,” (2006)
  • Southern District of California, “Defending Federal Border Crime Charges,” (2005)