Chase A. Scolnick


Chase A. Scolnick



University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 2003

Mock Trial Competition Winner, Honors Moot Court Finalist

Central Michigan University, B.A., cum laude, Spanish, 2000

Founder of Mesa Espanola Spanish Language Organization

University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1999-2000, Coursework in International Human Rights

Practice Areas


Commercial Litigation


Insurance Recovery/Bad Faith

White Collar Criminal Defense

Legal Malpractice


State Bar of California

State Bar of New York

District of Columbia Bar (inactive)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; United States District Courts for the Southern and Central Districts of California; and Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

“Chase is an exceptional strategist, communicator and trial lawyer. He is an aggressive, tough-as-nails litigator and advocate.”

– Mark Towfiq, President & CEO, TFT Holdings


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.  Since 2020, Chase was listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for White Collar Criminal Defense and in 2021 for Qui Tam Law.  He was selected by Super Lawyers® as a Top-Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in 2020 and 2021.   

Chase made a seamless transition to civil litigation, where his superb trial skills have benefited clients on all types of cases. Chase has secured more than $100 million for his plaintiff clients.  He has also successfully defended corporations and individuals against serious allegations in high-stakes cases.  Chase has represented Fortune 500 companies, ultra-high net worth individuals, and well-known public figures. Chase represented Broadcom co-founder Henry Nicholas against the IRS on a case in which the government disallowed a $300 million tax loss.  After aggressively litigating, on the eve of trial, the government agreed to one of the most generous settlements ever secured against the IRS for a distressed asset investment.  Chase’s success was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the top Plaintiff Settlements in 2019.  Recently, he represented CashCall against AmLaw 100 law firm Katten Muchin in a legal malpractice case with damages of over $950 million.  After losing key motions, on the eve of trial, Katten capitulated and entered into a very favorable settlement.  Had the case proceeded to trial, it would have been the largest legal malpractice case in United States history to have been tried.  Chase currently represents Microsoft in twelve patent cases in the Central District of California.

Chase has successfully handled high-publicity matters.  He represented famed entertainment executive Michael Ovitz in the case brought against him by LA Times reporter Anita Bush.  This lawsuit was one of the most intensely covered cases by the media.  The litigation had been pending for over ten years before Chase joined the team.  After taking a series of devastating depositions, the opposition agreed to a favorable settlement.  Recently, Chase beat the “Bond King” Bill Gross in a monthlong trial where a restraining order was issued against the billionaire.   Chase then prosecuted Mr. Gross in a separate trial where the judge found Mr. Gross guilty of contempt.  Chase currently represents actor Kevin Spacey Fowler against false allegations of misconduct in the Southern District of New York.

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 is also active in the legal community.  He has served on the Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association, Orange County since 2018 and was elected Secretary of that organization in 2021.  He is a lawyer representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Chase speaks conversational Spanish.

Honors & Awards

  • Associate Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (by invitation only, limited to top ½ of 1 percent of lawyers nationally)
  • The Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2022)
  • California Lawyer Magazine CLAY Award (California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year), Municipal Law (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” (2020-2022)
  • 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)

Professional Activities

  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Lawyer Representative (2018-2022)
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Board of Directors, Orange County Chapter (2018-2022)
  • Federal Bar Association, Secretary, Orange County Chapter (2021-2022)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers

Representative Matters

  • Co-lead counsel on jury trial resulting in defense verdict for the City of Costa Mesa in a legal challenge brought by a network of sober living homes.  Awarded Clay Award (California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year).
  • Represented telecom company Ericsson in FRAND dispute with smartphone maker TCL.
  • Won two court trials against billionaire bond king Bill Gross, securing a restraining order in the first trial for harassing his neighbor by blasting loops of the theme song from Gilligan’s Island, and later convicting Mr. Gross of contempt for defying court orders.  Mr. Gross was sentenced to jail after the conviction.
  • Successfully represented CashCall Inc. in legal malpractice lawsuit brought against Katten Muchin. Damages exceeded $850 million.  A confidential settlement was reached on eve of trial.
  • Successfully represented tech billionaire Henry Nicholas (Broadcom co-founder) in tax case against the United States, which had disallowed his deductions for distressed Chinese debt.  Eve of trial settlement allowed an approximately $40 million deduction.  This was the first time such a deduction has been permitted by the Government.
  • Successfully represented Tony, Emmy and two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey on civil litigation in the Central District of California.
  • Currently representing Mr. Spacey in the Southern District of New York on civil litigation.
  • Represented I-Hsin Chen, a shipping container warehouse magnate, who was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal.
  • Defending Microsoft Corporation in twelve patent cases.
  • Secured jury acquittal for client charged with committing financial fraud against the federal government.
  • Representing school district in federal grand jury investigation.
  • 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.
  • 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 against allegations of fraud and embezzlement.
  • 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 a 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.

Speaking Engagements

  • 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)



  • Spanish