Brian E. Bowcut is Of Counsel at Cohen Milstein, and a member of the firm’s Public Client Practice Group. Mr. Bowcut represents state Attorneys General and other public-sector clients as outside counsel in investigations and lawsuits involving fraudulent and deceptive trade practices. Mr. Bowcut, who joined the firm in 2015, brings with him deep experience representing the federal government in complex litigation and in enforcement investigations. In his role as a senior lawyer in the Public Client group, he brings this experience to bear in false claims and consumer fraud enforcement at the state and local levels.
Mr. Bowcut formerly was a Trial Attorney and Senior Trial Counsel in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for nine years. Most recently, as a member of the Fraud Section, he investigated and litigated fraud across an array of government programs, from Medicare fraud by nursing facilities, hospices and medical device makers to schemes involving federal mortgage, foreign aid, and TARP funds. Before that, as a member of the Environmental Torts Section, he defended the United States as lead counsel in large-scale toxic tort litigation. Prior to joining DOJ, Mr. Bowcut was at a preeminent national law firm, where he specialized in pharmaceutical product liability and commercial litigation.
Currently, Mr. Bowcut is representing public clients in the following high-profile matters:
- Opioid painkillers: Represents the City of Chicago and other clients in litigation and investigations concerning deceptive marketing of highly addictive prescription opioids. Overprescribing of these drugs for chronic pain has fueled a dramatic rise in addiction, overdose, and death in communities across the nation. Mr. Bowcut led the successful effort to repel drugmakers’ legal challenges to Chicago’s suit and now plays a key role shepherding the case to trial. Across the opioids matters he has been instrumental in formulating strategy, developing legal theories, and building the cases’ factual underpinnings
- Nursing homes: Represents the New Mexico Attorney General in Medicaid and consumer fraud litigation over inadequate staffing and deficient care at a chain of nursing homes. In 2016, Mr. Bowcut briefed and successfully argued the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case, which is ongoing.
- Energy drinks: Represents the Hawai‘i Office of Consumer Protection in litigation against Living Essentials, Inc., the creator of 5-hour Energy, for misrepresenting the benefits of its so-called “liquid energy shot.”
While at DOJ, Mr. Bowcut successfully handled various matters, including:
- Investigating reckless origination of FHA mortgage loans by multiple large lenders, and obtaining $200 million settlement from U.S. Bank.
- Investigating fraudulent diversion of TARP funds by Arkansas bank official and negotiating settlement with his estate.
- Investigating and settling claims involving a fraudulent scheme to secure Medicare payments for motorized wheelchairs.
- Serving as lead counsel for the federal government in long-running herbicide drift litigation by more than 100 farms in southern Idaho. Following a four-month trial, he and his team secured dismissal of all claims against the government on appeal.
- Representing the interests of the EPA and other United States agencies in consolidated litigation over thousands of first responders’ toxic exposures at the World Trade Center disaster site.
Mr. Bowcut attended Utah State University, graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science. He earned his J.D. from Duke Law School, graduating cum laude and Order of the Coif, and also earned an M.A. in Public Policy from Duke. During law school, Mr. Bowcut was an Articles Editor for the Duke Law Journal. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Stanley S. Brotman of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.