John Grugan
John Grugan

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, regularly defending clients during investigations conducted by, and in litigations brought by, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, self-regulatory organizations, and state securities regulators. Mr. Grugan has substantial experience directing internal investigations on behalf of companies, their boards of directors, or committees of those boards on matters ranging from highly publicized claims of misconduct to sensitive, confidential cases that never become public. Mr. Grugan also regularly represents clients in False Claims Act litigation.

Mr. Grugan is the co-leader of Ballard Spahr’s Municipal Securities Regulation and Enforcement Group, and routinely advises clients on municipal securities compliance and responding to enforcement and regulatory initiatives. 

In connection with his government enforcement defense practice, Mr. Grugan also maintains an active complex litigation practice, frequently representing public companies and their officers and directors in the defense of securities class actions, and in litigation relating to government procurement. In addition, he regularly advises clients concerning D&O insurance coverage and has litigated dozens of insurance bad faith claims, both on behalf of insurers and insureds.

Mr. Grugan 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 Mr. Grugan a "Lawyer on the Fast Track." He is active with several Philadelphia-area civic and charitable organizations.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Mr. Grugan 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. 

Recent Representative Matters

CFPB Enforcement

  • Represents lenders and student loan servicers in multi-agency investigations relating to student loan servicing practices.
  • Represents lenders, collection industry clients, law firms, and credit reporting servicers in investigations relating to UDAAP, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Represented a law firm in a CFPB investigation relating to litigation practices. The CFPB terminated the investigation.

SEC Enforcement

  • Represents individuals and companies in SEC investigations and enforcement actions in cases where insider trading or participation in Ponzi schemes is alleged. 
  • Represents companies in SEC investigations relating to inadequate disclosures, alleged accounting fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and compliance with the EB-5 Visa Program.
  • Represented 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.
  • Represented 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.
  • Represented the audit committee of a publicly traded real estate investment trust in an internal investigation relating to "tone at the top," which was alleged to have created a corporate environment in which management required inappropriately aggressive accounting.
  • Represented the audit committee of a publicly traded weight-loss and nutrition company in an internal investigation relating to the timing and propriety of a number of stock option grants.

False Claims Act Litigation

  • Represented 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.
  • Represented 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.

Securities Litigation

  • Represented a publicly held insurance company in shareholder derivative litigation relating to a merger. The court dismissed the complaint.
  • Represented 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. 
  • Represented 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.
  • Represented a publicly held insurance company in shareholder derivative litigation that related to a merger. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims. 
  • Represented a publicly held company in shareholder derivative litigation that related to a subsidiary’s merger. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims.

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

Ballard Spahr's Diversity and Inclusion Council

Recognition & Accomplishments

Listed in Benchmark Litigation as a "future star" in litigation, 2009-2016

Named a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics and Philadelphia magazines, 2010-2016

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Leadership Honoree, 2005

LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, member, class of 2009

FBI Citizen's Academy participant, 2010 

Publications

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

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

Co-author, "SEC Approves Final Rules for Whistleblower Program," Ballard Spahr publication, May 25, 2011

In addition to his articles for industry and trade publications, Mr. Grugan frequently authors Ballard Spahr Securities alerts and White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations alerts. His most recent alerts follow.

Co-author, "SEC Announces Second Wave of MCDC Enforcement Actions," October 2, 2015

Co-author, "SEC Charges City Mayor as a Control Person in Allen Park, Michigan, Enforcement Action," November 7, 2014

Co-author, "MCDC Issuer Deadline is December 1. Are You Prepared?" October 13, 2014

Co-author, "New York Grand Jury Indicts 12 Online Payday Lenders and 3 Individuals," August 15, 2014

Co-author, "Industry Concerns Prompt SEC To Modify MCDC Initiative," August 1, 2014

Co-author, "SEC Issues First MCDC Cease and Desist Order," July 9, 2014

Co-author, "SEC Announces First Investment Adviser ‘Pay-to-Play’ Enforcement Action," June 24, 2014

Co-author, "SEC Charges Charter School Operator with Disclosure Violations, Suggests It May Charge Individuals," June 4, 2014

Co-author, "SEC Assesses Its First Financial Penalty against a Municipal Securities Issuer," November 6, 2013

Co-author, "The SEC's Renewed Focus on Financial Reporting and Accounting Fraud," October 28, 2013

Co-author, "EB-5 Program Faces Heightened Enforcement Scrutiny," October 11, 2013

Co-author, "SEC Announces Policy Shift on ‘Neither Admit Nor Deny’ Settlements," June 20, 2013

Co-author, "SEC Issues Guidance on Use of Social Media To Disseminate Material Information," April 4, 2013

Co-author, "Underwriters of Municipal Securities Subject to New Fair Dealing Liability under Federal Securities Laws," August 2, 2012

Speaking Engagements

"Hot Topics in Student Loan Servicing and Debt Collection," SLSA Private Student Loan Committee, April 2016 

"Borrower Defense to Repayment," SLSA Private Student Loan Committee, April 2016

"Recent Developments in CFPB Enforcement," NCHER Knowledge Symposium, National Council for Higher Education Resources, November 2015

"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

"Working with the General Counsel's Office," Practising Law Institute: Pocket MBA Fall 2012, October 12, 2012

Board Memberships

Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd, Board Officer and Past Board President










Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D. 1998, cum laude)
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