Theodore J. Kobus III

Partner

New York
T 212.271.1504  |  F 212.589.4201

"The 'excellent' Theodore Kobus is widely regarded as 'an expert and a leader in the field' [of privacy and data security]."

— Chambers USA 2013

Ted Kobus focuses his practice in the area of privacy, data security, and intellectual property. He advises clients, trade groups, and organizations regarding data security and privacy risks, including compliance, developing breach response strategies, defense of regulatory actions, and defense of class action litigation. Ted counsels clients involved in breaches implicating domestic and international laws, as well as other regulations and requirements. Having led more than 600 data breach responses, Ted has respected relationships with regulators involved in privacy concerns as well as deep experience to help clients confront privacy issues during the compliance risk management stages. He is invested in his client relationships and approaches engagements practically and thoughtfully.

Ted is national co-leader of the firm's Privacy and Data Protection team. He is ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and was one of only three attorneys named an MVP by Law360 for Privacy & Consumer Protection in 2013. Ted is a regular contributor to BakerHostetler's Data Privacy Monitor blog and regularly speaks at major industry events regarding data breach response, risk management, and litigation issues affecting privacy, including being the only private attorney to speak at the National Association of Attorneys General on data security issues.

Select Experience

  • Leading breach response, regulatory defense, and class action defense of massive credit card breach on behalf of large, privately held retailer. Guided client through initial investigation of criminal attack on payment processing network, including engagement of forensic team and collaboration with governmental entities to pursue attackers. Led the defense against six putative class actions, a single plaintiff lawsuit, and inquiries from state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, convincing regulator not only to close investigation against client, but to establish client as victim in the breach. Developed strategic plan to defend against lawsuits and actions filed in six different state and federal jurisdictions and negotiated settlement with putative plaintiffs. Continues to defend client against demands by issuing banks alleging losses related to fraudulent charges and card reissuance costs and provides guidance to client regarding obligations held to payment processor under specific regulations.
  • Leads engagement with health system, providing advice on breach analysis, notification obligations, crisis management, investigation of incident, and regulatory compliance following theft of computers containing information of approximately four million patients. Coordinates breach investigation, including forensic team, and leads breach response, crisis management, and notification of all patients and physicians affected. Leads post-breach response as well, involving resolution of patient complaints and regulatory investigations. Assisting and advising client in responses to investigations initiated by governmental agencies. Ted has led the response to nearly half of the 12 largest HIPAA breaches announced to date.
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Experience

  • Leading breach response, regulatory defense, and class action defense of massive credit card breach on behalf of large, privately held retailer. Guided client through initial investigation of criminal attack on payment processing network, including engagement of forensic team and collaboration with governmental entities to pursue attackers. Led the defense against six putative class actions, a single plaintiff lawsuit, and inquiries from state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, convincing regulator not only to close investigation against client, but to establish client as victim in the breach. Developed strategic plan to defend against lawsuits and actions filed in six different state and federal jurisdictions and negotiated settlement with putative plaintiffs. Continues to defend client against demands by issuing banks alleging losses related to fraudulent charges and card reissuance costs and provides guidance to client regarding obligations held to payment processor under specific regulations.
  • Leads engagement with health system, providing advice on breach analysis, notification obligations, crisis management, investigation of incident, and regulatory compliance following theft of computers containing information of approximately four million patients. Coordinates breach investigation, including forensic team, and leads breach response, crisis management, and notification of all patients and physicians affected. Leads post-breach response as well, involving resolution of patient complaints and regulatory investigations. Assisting and advising client in responses to investigations initiated by governmental agencies. Ted has led the response to nearly half of the 12 largest HIPAA breaches announced to date.
  • Develops incident response plans and privacy policies, provides proactive incident response training, and counsels on privacy and security issues globally.
  • Has defended more than 50 investigations brought by all Regional Offices the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
  • Defending several Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) brought by state Attorneys General regarding his client's data security practices and compliance with federal and state laws.
  • Defending clients in statutory damage claims brought regarding the collection, use and sharing of customer information.
  • Representing financial institution following discovery of malicious software on employee workstation computer possibly capturing confidential customer information. Coordinates breach investigation, response strategy, and post-breach response, including resolution of customer complaints and defense of investigation by banking regulators.
  • Leading defense of putative class action seeking damage for technology client's use of cookies on its website. Filed Notice of Removal and motion to transfer venue in state court to preserve client rights if case is ultimately remanded.

Recognitions

  • Kobus III, Theodore JChambers Global: Privacy & Data Protection (USA) (2014)
  • Chambers USA: Nationwide Privacy and Data Security (2013, 2014)
  • Law360: MVP in Privacy & Consumer Protection (2013)

News

Press Releases

Services

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1995
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1995
  • Pennsylvania, 1994

Education

  • J.D., Widener University School of Law, 1994, cum laude
  • B.S., Purdue University, 1987

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Privacy Monitor
#Ubergate Makes Plain That Privacy Cannot Be a Passing Thought for Start-Ups
November 26, 2014
The long-brewing behind-the-scenes tensions of privacy, big data, and mobile finally came to a head last week in the public relations disaster known as #Ubergate. Uber’s meteoric rise to the pinnacle of the rideshare start-up economy has...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Indecent Exposure: FTC Obtains Injunctions Against Debt Brokers for Improperly Published Consumer Information
By William W. Hellmuth
November 25, 2014
On November 12, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission announced that the District Court for the District of Columbia had entered preliminary injunctions against two debt sellers which, together, had improperly posted personal information of...
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Data Privacy Monitor
‘Going Postal’ Over Data Breach Response: Union Files Failure-to-Bargain Charge With NLRB Against USPS
November 24, 2014
As recent high-profile cyberattacks have demonstrated, employers have a duty to protect their employees’ electronically stored personal information from being accessed by hackers, and to promptly remedy any breach in security concerning...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Pharmacists and Health Professionals Beware: Indiana Court of Appeals Upholds $1.44 Million Jury Verdict Resulting From HIPAA Violation
November 19, 2014
As previously reported, an Indiana jury awarded $1.44 million to a Walgreens customer based on allegations that the customer’s pharmacist accessed, reviewed and shared the customer’s prescription history with others who then used the...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Cross-Border Data Transfers: Cutting Through the Complexity
November 14, 2014
Editor’s Note: We recently launched a graphic illustrating our Cyber Risk Mitigation Services. This week, our attorneys will be writing about specific examples of those services. With the rise of the global economy and the reach of the...
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