Cedarbaum, Jonathan G.

Jonathan G. Cedarbaum

Jonathan Cedarbaum leads the firm's False Claims Act Group and is a member of its Cybersecurity, Privacy and Communications Group, in which he counsels clients on regulatory and policy issues and frequently oversees cyber incident response efforts. Mr. Cedarbaum also litigates Administrative Procedure Act, constitutional and international cases and represents clients before administrative agencies and congressional committees.

Mr. Cedarbaum rejoined the firm in 2011 after spending two years in the leadership of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, where he ultimately served as Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office, which provides authoritative legal advice to the White House, the Attorney General, and all executive branch departments and agencies. 


During his time at OLC, Mr. Cedarbaum handled the cybersecurity and surveillance docket and was deeply involved in the development and early implementation of the Dodd-Frank and Affordable Care Acts. As a member of the Justice Department's senior leadership and as a legal counselor to senior officials across the government, he was also involved in numerous other statutory and regulatory initiatives, including in the areas of cybersecurity and data privacy, economic sanctions, procurement reform and energy development.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Cedarbaum did two additional stints at the Justice Department: two-and-a-half years as an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel (1999-2002) and a year as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General (1997-1998). Mr. Cedarbaum has also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2002-2003) and as a legislative assistant for a Member of Congress (1985-1986).

Professional Activities

Independent Agencies

  • Administrative Conference of the United States, Public Member, 2017-present

District of Columbia Bar Association

  • Administrative Law Section: Co-Chair, 2011-2012; Steering Committee Member, 2007-2012
  • Litigation Section: Steering Committee Member, 2010-2011
  • International Law Section: Chair, 2007-2008; Steering Committee Member, 2005-2011
  • Board on Professional Responsibility: Alternate Hearing Committee Member, 2007-present

American Bar Association

  • Administrative Law Section 
  • International Law Section


  • Litigation

    • Securing dismissal of a series of False Claims Act cases against a major financial institution in federal and state courts
    • Arguing and winning an appeal in the Third Circuit concerning the constitutionality of Delaware's campaign finance disclosure law
    • Filing two amicus briefs in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum et al., the Supreme Court case concerning applicability of the Alien Tort Statute to corporations and to conduct outside the United States, on behalf of the National Foreign Trade Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, and a dozen other major US and European business associations
    • Playing a leading role in a False Claims Act case concerning bid-rigging on USAID construction contracts, which involved a seven-week jury trial that resulted in a complete victory for the firm's client
    • Briefing and arguing an appeal in the Federal Circuit raising the question whether Congress can constitutionally strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over pending takings claims
    • Defending Philips Electronics, the Dutch technology company, in a series of patent and antitrust challenges to the pool licensing of patents for basic CD, DVD and MP3 technologies in the International Trade Commission, the District Courts, and the Courts of Appeals
    • Filing an amicus brief for the International Franchise Association in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. et al. (D. Ariz.), the leading case testing the FTC's authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act to regulate data-security practices
  • Data Security/Privacy Regulatory Counseling, Investigations and Administrative Proceedings

    • Representing a major software company in a Federal Trade Commission investigation
    • Counseling a major financial institution on legal issues raised by monitoring network traffic and taking countermeasures to cyber attacks
    • Advising a major high-tech company on application of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act to data centers abroad
    • Counseling major cloud computing companies on government contracting issues, including FedRAMP and FISMA
    • Assisting financial, industrial, and high-tech companies in responding to congressional inquiries about data security practices
    • Advising major high-tech companies on the development of federal cybersecurity legislation and the recent critical infrastructure cybersecurity executive order
    • Assisting a university-business consortium in identifying and applying for federal funding for cybersecurity R&D
  • Healthcare Regulatory Counseling, Investigations and Administrative Proceedings

    • Advising a university medical center about its EMTALA obligations
    • Analyzing for a major pharmaceutical company the likely effect of federal budget sequestration on Medicare reimbursement policies
    • Filing a comment with CMS on behalf of a major medical center opposing an application for a waiver from the rules governing allocation of organs for transplants
    • Advising a major pharmaceutical company about a possible constitutional challenge to retrospective application of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act
    • Counseling a hospital system on the prospects for and likely effects of Medicaid expansion in its state
  • Financial Services Regulatory Counseling, Investigations and Administrative Proceedings

    • Advising a financial trade association about a possible legal challenge to a Dodd-Frank rulemaking
    • Assessing a possible preemption challenge to a state law regulating mortgage servicing for a major national bank
    • Advising a variety of financial clients on the limits of the CFPB's authorities and the constitutional challenges to the CFPB Director's appointment
    • Advising a group of hedge funds concerning the restructuring of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac


  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of appellate law
  • Named to the 2016–2018 Washington DC Super Lawyers list for his civil litigation practice
  • Elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2015
  • Selected as one of Lawdragon Magazine's "500 Leading Lawyers in America" in 2012–2018

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Yale Law School, 1996

      Editor in Chief, Yale Law Journal
    • MPhil, Yale University, 1990

    • AB, Harvard University, 1983

      magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • Maryland

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. David S. Tatel, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1996 - 1997

    • The Hon. David H. Souter, US Supreme Court, 1998 - 1999