Alex Haas is counsel in the Business Litigation Group and the Data, Privacy & Security Practice in King & Spalding’s Washington, D.C., office. His practice focuses on complex civil litigation and government or regulatory investigations. He also provides advice on a range of data security issues including on data access and surveillance, privacy, cybersecurity, and national security-related issues under federal and state law as well as guidance on DOJ cybersecurity investigation and prosecution procedures. Mr. Haas has significant courtroom experience and has personally argued over 20 dispositive motions, such as motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, in federal and state courts across the United States.
Mr. Haas joined King & Spalding in 2011 after spending eight years at the U.S. Department of Justice and has worked on privacy and data security issues for more than a decade in-and-out of government. In the few years he has been at King & Spalding, he has led the continued growth of the Data, Privacy & Security Practice, managing matters that are on the highest level of importance for the clients and engaging in sustained and significant thought leadership. Representative examples of his practice include:
- Mr. Haas is in the process of leading a Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act filing for a cybersecurity company attempting to obtain a regulatory certification/designation from DHS.
- Mr. Haas recently led an internal privacy investigation at a medical device company related to the scope and permissibility of telephone call recordings.
- In connection with General Electric’s 2014 acquisition of Wurldtech Inc., which provides cybersecurity certification and products, Mr. Haas provided legal guidance on a range of legal and policy issues in connection with the acquisition.
- Mr. Haas was lead counsel for the Government in three landmark privacy class actions brought against various airline companies. Those airlines were sued under myriad federal and state laws for their alleged provision of data and information to the Government. Mr. Haas, on behalf of the United States, filed briefs supporting the airlines and arguing that the alleged provision of such information to the government was wholly consistent with the applicable federal laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
- Mr. Haas is currently second chair of a False Claims Act case against telecommunications company brought by a relator raising multibillion dollar liability.
- After the national security leaks of Edward Snowden, Mr. Haas provided legal guidance concerning the national security and privacy implications of the leaks to the General Counsel of an Internet Service Provider.
- Mr. Haas was second chair, and lead day-to-day lawyer, in a series of cases the United States brought against State Public Utilities Commissions seeking to block the states’ investigations, started by the states on privacy grounds, into the United States’ alleged intelligence activities with telecommunications carriers.
- Mr. Haas was also member of a small four-person team of government lawyers defending against a historic set of over 40 privacy class actions against the telecommunications carriers for their alleged involvement in various NSA intelligence collection activities as well as cases brought directly against the United States. Mr. Haas assisted in drafting various briefs including the invocation of the military and state secrets privilege by the Government and Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) filing. He also worked closely on proposed revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
- Mr. Haas has also defended professional services firms in civil litigation, securities class actions, and government investigations.
Prior to joining the firm in 2011, Mr. Haas spent eight years at the U.S. Department of Justice. Most recently, Mr. Haas served as Counsel for National Security Law and Policy in the National Security Division’s Office of Law and Policy. There, he provided advice and drafted guidance to senior leaders in the Department, Division, and within the Intelligence Community on legal questions concerning the most sensitive national security, privacy, telecommunications, law enforcement, and intelligence issues facing the Federal Government. He developed particular expertise regarding the scope of U.S. legal authorities under, inter alia, the ECPA, FISA,, USA PATRIOT Act, and Wiretap Act as well as the Department of Justice’s related legal responsibilities. Mr. Haas was selected to be a founding member of the National Security Division’s Appellate Section.
Before joining the National Security Division, Mr. Haas developed substantial experience as a civil litigator in the Civil Division, first as a Trial Attorney in the Federal Programs Branch, and later as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. In those positions, Mr. Haas served as the government’s lead or co-counsel in a number of complex, landmark suits defending against constitutional challenges to federal statutes, suits to overturn government policies and programs, challenges to the legality of the decisions or actions of federal officials, and attempts to obtain government information including in qui tam actions brought against defense contractors. Mr. Haas also acquired considerable experience in affirmative litigation challenging state laws and state regulatory actions on federal preemption grounds. He received four Special Commendation Awards for his work from the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.
Before joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Haas was a law clerk for the Honorable Andrew J. Kleinfeld on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Fairbanks, Alaska. He also served as a summer intern for the Honorable Charles A. Legge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Mr. Haas graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law and obtained a Law & Technology Certification from the UC Berkeley Center for Law & Technology.
Articles, Client Alerts and Presentations
- SEC Releases Results of Financial Industry Examination Sweep Regarding Cybersecurity, Client Alert, (February 6, 2015)
- New Sheriff in Town: FCC Expands Its Reach to Data Security, Article, Bloomberg BNA, (December 8, 2014)
- The FCC Moves To Expand Its Data Security Regulatory Reach, Client Alert, (November 3, 2014)
- Medical Devices and Cybersecurity Risks DHS investigates at-risk devices, Client Alert,(October 27, 2014)
- Cybersecurity Summit, Moderator, (October 1, 2014)
- Business Lit Ledger Fall 2014, Unmanned Aircraft Fly Into the Future of Privacy Law, Business Litigation Newsletter, (September 22, 2014)
- Promoting the False Claims Act By Dismissing Meritless Qui Tam Actions, Business Litigation Newsletter (September 22, 2014)
- New Rule Forces Contractors to Report Cybersecurity Incidents, Article, National Defense Magazine, (March 2014)
- Unmanned Aircraft Fly Into the Future of Privacy Law, Article, Corporate Counsel, (March 20, 2014)
- Five Things Every In-House Counsel Should Understand About The NIST Cybersecurity Framework, Client Alert, (February 25, 2014)
- NIST Finalizes Cybersecurity Framework For Critical Infrastructure—Implementation Next On The Agenda, Client Alert, (February 18, 2014)
- Unmanned Aircraft and Privacy Law: A Technological Leap Into A Legal Gap, Client Alert, (February 4, 2014)
- Target and Neiman Marcus Face Government Probes and Litigation as a Result of Holiday-season Cyberattacks, Client Alert, (February 3, 2014)
- S.B. 46 Broadens California’s Current Data Breach Notification Requirements, Article, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, (January 31, 2014)
- Defense Department Issues Final Rule Requiring Safeguards For Unclassified Technical Information And Cyber Incident Reporting, Client Alert, (December 3, 2013)
- NIST Publishes Draft Cybersecurity Framework For Critical Infrastructure Industries, Client Alert, (December 2, 2013)
- California Expands Its Privacy Laws Regarding Data Breach Notice, Client Alert, (November 2013)
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework, E-learn/Webinar (November 7, 2013)
- Post-DOD Interim Rule, Expect More Enforcement, Article, Law 360, (October 16, 2013)
- DOD Updates Contractor Whistleblower Regulations— Increased Enforcement and Litigation on the Horizon, Client Alert, (October 1, 2013)
- Washington Insight on Cybersecurity, Moderator, (May 21, 2013)
- New Focus by US and EU on Cybersecurity Frameworks - Is Your Company At Risk?, E-learn/Webinar, (April 19, 2013)
- NIST Seeks Private Sector Information on Cybersecurity Framework Outlined in President’s Executive Order and Notices First Public Meeting, Client Alert, (March 15, 2013)
- Cybersecurity Efforts to Secure Critical Infrastructure including the Energy Section Advance in the United States and European Union, Energy Newsletter, (March 1, 2013)
- European Commission Publishes Cybersecurity Strategy and a Proposed Directive on Network and Information Security that Would Impose Significant Regulation of Industry, Client Alert, (February 22, 2013)
- President Obama Issues Executive Order on Cybersecurity, Client Alert, (February 15, 2013)
- D.C. Circuit’s Invalidation of President Obama’s Recess Appointments Raises Questions Concerning Actions Taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Board’s Director, Client Alert, (February 7, 2013)
- Cybersecurity Provisions Enacted under 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Client Alert, (January 7, 2013)
- Commerce Seeks Comments on Effects of Foreign Policy-Based Export Controls, Client Alert, (September 19, 2011)
- Chipping Away at State Tort Remedies Through Pre-emption Jurisprudence: Geier v. American Honda Motor Company, 89 Calif. L. Rev. 1927 (2001)
- The Wellcome Trust’s Disclosures of Gene Sequence Data into the Public Domain & the Potential for Proprietary Rights in the Human Genome, 16 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 145 (2001)