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 500 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
What’s Old is New Again—Insecure Remote Access
July 23, 2014
When a merchant is suspected of being the victim of an account data compromise event, they are often required by the card brands to hire a Payment Card Industry Forensic Investigator (PFI). The PFI provides a report on the investigation to...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Utilities, Oil and Gas Companies Feeling Drained by “Energetic Bear”
July 22, 2014
The following was authored by Mary Guzman, Senior Vice President, InfoSec Practice Leader with McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc. There is much going on in the cyber world related to energy and utility companies.  As has long been...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Industry Thought Leader Tanya Forsheit Joins BakerHostetler’s Nationally Renowned Privacy Team
July 21, 2014
InfoLawGroup Founding Partner and IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional is sixth major practice addition in 2014 LOS ANGELES, July 21, 2014—BakerHostetler is proud to announce that Partner Tanya Forsheit has joined the firm’s...
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Data Privacy Monitor
New York Attorney General Report Shows the Number of Data Breaches is on the Rise and Recommends Steps to Take for Protecting Against Them
July 18, 2014
On July 15, 2014, the New York Attorney General issued a report examining the growing number and costs of data breaches in the state of New York.  The report titled, “Information Exposed: Historical Examination of Data Security in New York...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Florida Gives Breach Notification Statute More Teeth
June 30, 2014
On June 20, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 (“FIPA”), which will repeal Florida’s current breach notification statute at Fla. Stat. § 817.5681 and replace it with a new statute at...
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