Daniel Petalas Partner
Dan has practiced law for nearly twenty years in a diverse range of government and private sector positions, having served as a federal corruption prosecutor, a commercial litigator, and as the acting general counsel and head of the nationwide enforcement program of the Federal Election Commission. Dan has tried criminal cases to verdict and engaged in appellate proceedings in multiple federal and state venues. Dan’s practice focuses on white collar and government and internal investigations, commercial litigation, and political law.
In the white collar area, Dan counsels companies, their officers and directors, and other individuals and witnesses in responding to inquiries and investigations brought by federal and state law enforcement and regulatory agencies, such as the Department of Justice, Offices of Inspector General, the SEC, and other federal and state enforcement bodies. Dan conducts internal investigations and advises corporate clients in the United States and abroad on compliance, ethics, and corporate governance. Dan has represented individuals and companies in matters arising under the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and in connection with federal grand jury and congressional investigations, including the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election. Dan also has significant experience navigating parallel investigations involving multiple agencies.
In addition, a substantial part of Dan’s practice focuses on the representation of businesses and individuals in commercial litigation at all stages—from investigation and pre-trial discovery through trial and appeal when necessary.
In his political law practice, Dan guides companies, trade associations, candidates, and other groups on both sides of the political aisle through the complex regulation of federal and state campaign finance activities, lobbying and pay-to-play disclosures and restrictions, government ethics, congressional inquiries, and related election and political issues.
Given his depth of experience in government investigations and political law, Dan often has been asked to provide analysis and insight into legal developments and other current events by many leading press and broadcast news sources, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, USA Today, Toronto Star, Boston Globe, Politico, and Times.com, among others.
Practice AreasCivil Appeals Class Action Complex Litigation Gaming Securities Litigation Technology Law Political Law White Collar & Government Investigations
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, U.S. Court of Appeals—Fifth Circuit (1998-1999)
- Managing Editor, Texas Law Review (1997-1998)
- Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals
- University of Texas School of Law, May 1998 (JD with Honors)
- Texas A&M University, College Station, May 1995 (MA English)
- California State University, Fullerton, August 1998 (BA English)
- State Bar of Texas (May 1999)
- District of Columbia Bar (Feb. 2001)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2000
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2000
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 2002
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 2007
- U.S. District Court, District of Puerto Rico, 2011
- U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska, 2016