John C. Grugan

Partner

gruganj@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8226
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

John C. Grugan concentrates his practice on government enforcement defense. He has spent nearly 20 years representing corporations, board committees, and directors and corporate executives in complex civil and criminal enforcement and litigation matters brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and state attorneys general. In addition, John has substantial experience directing corporate internal investigations on matters ranging from highly publicized claims of misconduct to sensitive, confidential cases that never become public.

John is listed annually in Benchmark Litigation as a "future star" in litigation and a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics and Philadelphia magazines. In 2007, The Legal Intelligencer named John a "Lawyer on the Fast Track." He is active with several Philadelphia-area civic and charitable organizations.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, John was a law clerk to the Honorable James McGirr Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He also served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Honor Program, Civil Division.

His notable recent representations include:

  • Representation of a national student loan servicer in litigations pending in federal and state courts relating to, among other issues, whether state attorneys general and licensing agencies are prohibited through federal preemption from pursuing enforcement and other regulatory actions
  • Representation of a different national student loan servicer in litigation and multiple federal and state enforcement actions relating to loan servicing
  • Representation of a public company in an internal investigation, shareholder litigation, and government enforcement inquiries concerning revenue recognition
  • Representation of a public company board of directors in an investigation concerning whether the company's disclosures in connection with its initial public offering, as well as subsequent disclosures, were made fraudulently
  • Representation of a public company and its board of directors in an internal investigation and federal grand jury investigation concerning the company's political participation
  • Representation of a law firm in a CFPB investigation relating to litigation practices. The CFPB terminated the investigation.
  • Representation of a health system in an SEC investigation relating to the sufficiency of disclosures to bond holders. After receiving the health system's response to the SEC's Wells Notice, the SEC terminated the investigation.
  • Representation of the audit committee of a publicly traded industrial pollution control and air-purification company in an SEC investigation relating to revenue recognition manipulation and misappropriation. The SEC did not take any action against the company.
  • Representation of an international ship builder with operations in Philadelphia in a lawsuit brought under the federal False Claims Act. After extensive discovery, the plaintiff/relator agreed to voluntarily dismiss her False Claims Act claims.
  • Representation of an Ivy League medical school in a False Claims Act litigation relating to National Institutes of Health grants. After obtaining partial summary judgment, the relator dismissed his remaining claim.
  • Representation of a publicly held insurance company in shareholder derivative litigation relating to a merger. The court dismissed the complaint.
  • Representation of a publicly traded insurance company and its board of directors in a derivative action arising out of a proposed merger. The shareholder's suit was dismissed. 
  • Representation of a publicly traded insurance company and its board of directors in a derivative action arising out of a proposed merger. After discovery, the shareholder voluntarily dismissed the suit.

Judicial Clerkship

Hon. James McGirr Kelly, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Philadelphia Bar Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named by Benchmark Litigations as a "future star" in litigation, 2009-2018

Named a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics and Philadelphia magazines, 2010-2018

LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, member, class of 2009

FBI Citizen's Academy participant, 2010

Publications

John is the co-editor of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Civil Practice Manual. Also:

Co-author, "Auditors in Internal Investigations," Business Law Today, American Bar Association, February 2017

Co-author, "2015 Year in Review: SEC Municipal Market Enforcement," Ballard Spahr publication, March 7, 2016

Co-author, "Department of Education Creates Student Aid Enforcement Unit," Ballard Spahr publication, February 16, 2016

Co-author, "University Faces Action for Alleged Deceptive Advertising of Graduates' Employment, Earning Prospects," Ballard Spahr publication, January 28, 2016

Co-author, "U.S. Department of Education Fines College for Job Placement Rate Disclosure Violations," Ballard Spahr publication, April 20, 2015

Co-author, "Washington State AG Sues Student Loan Debt Adjustment Firm," April 14, 2015

Co-author, "2014 Year in Review: SEC Municipal Market Enforcement," Ballard Spahr publication, February 2, 2015

Co-author, "2014 to Date: SEC Enforcement Round-Up," Ballard Spahr publication, September 24, 2014

Co-author, "Commentary: SEC Uses Muscle To Push New Secondary Market Disclosure," The Bond Buyer, January 28, 2014

Co-author, "2013 Review: SEC Municipal Market Enforcement Actions," Ballard Spahr publication, January 27, 2014

"Legal Notes: The SEC's Enforcement Focus on Municipal Securities," Municipal Reporter, January 2014

Co-author, "Lesson of Not Conceding Materiality in Insider Trading Cases," The Legal Intelligencer, December 31, 2013

Co-author, "Commentary: SEC Enforcement Shifts Focus to Muni Issuers in 2013," The Bond Buyer, August 16, 2013

Co-author, "2013 Mid-Year Review: Key SEC Municipal Market Enforcement Actions," Ballard Spahr publication, July 31, 2013

Co-author, "Commentary: SEC Muni Enforcement Shows No Sign of Slowing," The Bond Buyer, March 14, 2013

Co-author, "2012 Year in Review: Key SEC Municipal Market Enforcement Actions," Ballard Spahr publication, February 12, 2013

Speaking Engagements

John is a frequent panelist at meetings of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance and National Council for Higher Education Resources, and regularly presents on government enforcement and corporate governance topics for his clients. In addition, he has presented on the following topics:

Panelist, "Addressing Fraud in a Changing Nonprofit Landscape," Grant Thornton's National Not-for-Profit Quarterly Seminar, October 10, 2018; October 20, 2017 

"What Did We Learn from the SEC's Latest Municipal Market Enforcement Actions?," Ballard Spahr webinar, October 8, 2015

"You Received a NORA Notice or PARR Letter from the CFPB–Now What?," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 29, 2015

"Recent Developments in Student Loan Servicing," Ballard Spahr webinar, August 11, 2015

"Everything You Want To Know About CFPB Enforcement but Have Been Afraid To Ask," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 19, 2015

"The MCDC Initiative: What To Do When the SEC Calls," Ballard Spahr webinar, November 17, 2014

"MCDC Self-Reporting: Proving Materiality under Federal Securities Law," Ballard Spahr webinar, August 7, 2014

Panelist, "To Report or Not – The SEC's New MCDC Initiative," Education Finance Council, July 2014

"To Report or Not – The SEC's New MCDC Initiative," Ballard Spahr webinar, May 21, 2014

Panelist, "SEC Enforcement Update," 17th Annual Federal Securities Law Forum, April 2014

"Will the SEC Target You Next? What To Expect in Municipal Enforcement in 2014," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 12, 2014

"SEC Enforcement: When Corporate Officers Get Caught in the Crosshairs," DELVACCA, Corporate and Securities CLE Institute, King of Prussia, Pa., October 3, 2013

"The SEC's Enforcement Focus on Local Governments and Individuals," The Pennsylvania Municipal League, September 30, 2013

"SEC Enforcement on Local Governments," The Utah League of Cities and Towns, September 13, 2013

Board Memberships

Good360

Franklin Institute Executive Corporate Board

Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd, Past Board President

Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1998)
Editor-in-Chief, Temple Law Review

University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1992)

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court