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January 2013

Maria Ellinikos, a litigator with Akin Gump's San Francisco office, focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation with an emphasis in the areas of insurance, false claims, and qui tam actions, intellectual property, and securities litigation. She represents public and private companies in qui tam actions, including cases alleging violations of the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act, and other complex litigation cases.

Ryan Hassanein, a partner in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster, co-chairs the firm's False Claims Act task force. His practice focuses on representing companies and individuals under investigation for potential violations of the False Claims Act, and defending clients in False Claims Act suits initiated by whistleblowers, the Department of Justice, and state attorneys general. He has substantial expertise in matters related to pharmaceutical price reporting and the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.

Robert J. Nelson, a partner in Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein's San Francisco office, served as lead trial counsel in a false claims case against the University of Phoenix that settled for $78.5 million, among the largest FCA settlements without government intervention. A 2008 and 2010 recipient of the California Lawyer magazine Attorney of the Year award, he is lead counsel in several FCA cases and chairs Lieff Cabraser's FCA practice group.

Steven J. Saltiel is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. He currently serves as a Deputy Chief in the Civil Division. Previously, he was a partner at Gordon & Gordon in New York. A graduate of Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, he focuses on affirmative civil enforcement. He is a member of a team that recently secured multi-million dollar settlements in health care and procurement fraud cases.

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