Agatha M. Cole


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Consistently recognized by SuperLawyers for excellence in appellate practice
  • Appointed by President of the New York City Bar Association to serve on the Professional Discipline and Ethics Committee
  • Cited favorably by U.S. Supreme Court opinion in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, 143 S.Ct. 1142, 1162 at n.3 (2023) (J. Gorsuch) (referring to amicus submission for economic research organizations and scholars)
  • Recognized thought-leader and speaker on topics related to whistleblower representations and federal appellate litigation.
  • Ones to Watch: Administrative/Regulatory Law (2024)

CLERKSHIPS & GOVERNMENT SERVICE

  • Law clerk to the Honorable Bernice B. Donald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Current member of the federal Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel
  • Howard M. Squadron Fellow, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Federal Criminal Litigation Field Clinic Intern at U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York

BIO

Agatha M. Cole has been working to advance the public interest through private enforcement and litigation for nearly a decade, as a plaintiffs’ side trial attorney and appellate lawyer with particular expertise in matters involving corporate malfeasance, fraud, corruption and regulatory abuses.

Her experience and accomplishments include working with individual whistleblowers and government stakeholders to uncover corporate wrongdoing, crafting successful impact litigation strategies with progressive non-profit advocacy groups, serving as lead counsel to Democratic members of Congress in amicus briefings before the U.S. Supreme Court—and countless other engagements that have solidified her reputation as a skilled advocate for aggrieved individuals and the public-at-large in high-stakes litigation throughout the United States.

Ms. Cole presently serves as Of Counsel to Scott+Scott and is also principal at Beverly PLLC. Her work at Scott+Scott focuses on matters involving fiduciary abuses and/or financial frauds—including qui tam representations under the federal False Claims Act and its various state analogues (where the misuse of tax dollars or government funding is involved).

In addition, Ms. Cole is frequently sought out to advise potential whistleblowers on reporting suspected violations of federal law to government officials at the SEC, CFTC, IRS, FinCen, and other regulatory enforcement agencies that rely on confidential tips from corporate insiders. Although good samaritans frequently submit information about corporate misconduct to the government voluntarily and without a lawyer, Ms. Cole brings highly specialized expertise to these matters based on prior experience working with whistleblowers and government stakeholders to ensure that such individuals receive the consideration, confidentiality and legal protections they deserve—while also preserving their right to share in the recovery or imposition of fines where appropriate, as compensation for providing assistance to the government’s enforcement efforts.

She also maintains an active pro bono practice that has included serving as a supervising attorney to law students in the appellate practice clinic at Cardozo Law School, representing non-profit organizations in precedent-setting litigation and appeals throughout the country, advocating for asylum seekers in proceedings before U.S. Immigration Courts and U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals, and volunteering with the TimesUp Legal Defense Fund, among other things.

She is a graduate of New York University (NYU) and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. During law school, Ms. Cole was a Samuel H. and Rachel Golding Distinguished Scholar and worked as a First Amendment research and litigation assistant to Professor Marci Hamilton, served as Executive Editor of The Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, and was recognized with the Cardozo Public Service and Achievement Award for her exemplary leadership in student-led organizations and service initiatives.

Ms. Cole clerked for the Honorable Bernice B. Donald after graduating from law school and subsequently held positions at several prominent litigation boutiques before launching her own practice in collaboration with Scott+Scott.

She speaks fluent French and is a member of the French American Bar Association. She is also a member of the American Constitution Society and previously served on its board of directors, is currently active in the Federal Bar Council’s Inn of Court, and was recently appointed to serve on the Professional Discipline Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Serving as lead trial counsel for the State of New Mexico in multi-state arbitration arising from dispute over $37 million in settlement proceeds from historic litigation against large tobacco industry conglomerates.

Representing U.S. Senators and Democratic lawmakers before the U.S. Supreme Court  in congressional amicus brief supporting the EPA’s statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, 142 S.Ct. 2587 (2022).

Litigation against large financial institutions on behalf of aggrieved institutional and individual investors, savings and loan institutions and/or community banks in SIPA liquidation / clawback proceedings, residential mortgage backed security (RMBS) litigation, ERISA class actions alleging fiduciary misconduct, and various other disputes such as lender liability action against commercial bank for anti-money laundering and fraud violations that facilitated business identity theft and fraud, hedge fund dispute over the terms of credit agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), etc.

Recovering millions of taxpayer dollars and public funding for government entities through successful representation and advocacy on behalf of whistleblower clients in federal and state qui tam actions.

Defeating jurisdictional challenge and various motions for injunctive relief for clients in cross-border trust and estate dispute involving parallel proceedings in France.

Devising and implementing successful impact litigation strategy that prompted Congressional investigation into alleged constitutional due process violations arising from conflicts-of-interest in proceedings before USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Obtaining favorable Fourth Amendment suppression ruling on wiretap evidence derived from continuous and unauthorized surveillance operation in federal criminal conspiracy investigation.

Serving as class action counsel to civil immigrant detainees who were forced to work without compensation at the McHenry County Detention Center in Woodstock, Illinois.

Representing the International Municipal Lawyers’ Association and various public health advocacy groups like the Public Health Law Center and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in multi-jurisdictional litigation and appeals arising from tobacco industry challenges to federal, state, and local regulations.

Submitting pro bono amicus brief for the National Disability Rights Network and the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, supporting OSHA’s vaccine mandate in U.S. Supreme Court case of National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Dept. of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 142 S.Ct. 661 (2022) — and contributing to the briefing on issues of significant national importance in numerous other high-profile cases such as Gonzales, et al. v. Google (hate speech / gun violence), Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (reproductive rights), National Pork Producers Council v. Ross (interstate commerce), R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Robert Bonta (public health), John Doe AP v. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis (liability of religious institutions for negligent supervision in child sexual abuse cases), and In re Du Pont C-8 Personal Injury Litigation (collateral estoppel in mass tort MDLs arising from exposure to environmental contaminants and carcinogens caused by commercial pollution of public waterways).

Securing asylum (refugee status) for sexual abuse and rape survivor through successful challenge to adverse credibility determination of immigration judge on gender-related persecution claims before the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals.

Counseling sexual assault survivor in #MeToo defamation defense matter that was resolved in clients’ favor at the pre-litigation stage.

Representing college student in constitutional challenge to overbroad state terrorism statute on appeal before the New Jersey Appellate Division.

MEDIA MENTIONS, SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS and PUBLICATIONS

Press Release: Former U.S. House of Rep. Gabby Giffords’ Anti-Gun Violence Organization Calls on Supreme Court to Recognize Online Hate Speech and Violence,
Giffords Law Center (Feb. 21, 2023)

News Coverage: Evan Osnos, The Getty Family’s Trust Issues, The New Yorker  (Jan. 23, 2023)

Speaker: “False Claims Act 101” at the Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Annual Conference (Oct. 26, 2022)

News Coverage: Supreme Court Takes On the Nation’s Bedrock Environmental Laws, The Washington Post (Jan. 25, 2022)

News Coverage: Congressional Democrats file brief backing EPA in U.S. Supreme Court climate case, Reuters (Jan. 25, 2022)

Interview: Mandatory Employment Arbitration—Yes or No?, Society for Human Resource Manamgement (SHRM) (Dec. 3, 2021)

Speaker: Female Representation in Federal Courts, Cardozo Women’s Law Initiative (Nov. 12, 2021)

Speaker: “How to Identify and Integrate Whistleblower Claims,” National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) (Nov. 3, 2021)

News Coverage: Patent Office Ex-Chief, Judges Face Suit Over ‘Rigged’ IP System, Bloomberg Law (Aug. 9, 2021)

News Coverage: Ex-USPTO Director, PTAB Accused Of ‘Underhanded Tactics’Law360 (Aug. 9, 2021)

News Coverage: Government Appeals Judge’s Suppression of Wiretap, GPS Data, New York Law Journal (Dec. 30, 2016)

Author: ICE Domain Name Seizures Threaten Due Process and First Amendment Rights, ACLU Blog (Jun. 20, 2012)

Author: Internet Advertising After Sorrell v. IMS Health: A Discussion on Privacy and the First Amendment30 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 283 (2012)

Author: Politics, Privacy, and Child Pornography: The Battle Over Data Retention and H.R. 1981Arts & Ent. L.J. Blog (Mar. 4, 2012)

Contributor: Exploring the Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use at Home, US Dep’t of Commerce, Nat’l Telecomm. & Info. Admin., (Nov. 9, 2011)

Education

  • New York University (NYU), B.A. (2008), cum laude in philosophy and economics
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D. (2013)