Paul W. Connell

Member

Chicago

(312) 382-3179

(312) 382-8910

Paul draws on his multifaceted experience as a former deputy state attorney general (AG), trial lawyer, and strategic adviser to defend clients in high-stakes, multi-state investigations and regulatory enforcement matters brought by state AGs, the U.S. Department of Justice, and other federal regulators.

Paul helps clients resolve complex regulatory issues across a wide range of industries — with particular emphasis on pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, health care, manufacturing and technology. He is adept at assisting businesses that operate in economic “difficult terrain” and live under consistent governmental regulatory scrutiny. His goal is to identify and mitigate enforcement risk, thereby preempting enforcement action, preferably before government regulators even contemplate it. Should an investigation or litigation ensue, Paul helps clients develop comprehensive solutions to resolve the issues from both a state and federal perspective, while protecting his clients’ reputational interests.

He frequently defends matters arising under both federal and state False Claims Act statutes and advises retail and compounding pharmacies, telehealth providers, and medical patient lead generators on issues arising under Medicaid regulations, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the Stark Law. In concert with his practice handling complex civil investigations related to health care, Paul handles related white collar criminal investigations. He also has extensive experience  in cases involving environmental protection regulations, unfair and deceptive trade practices, false advertising, privacy and data protection regulations, antitrust, price-gouging, and energy market price-fixing.

Paul was recognized in the Chambers And Partners 2021 USA Guide for his wide-ranging regulatory enforcement and litigation experience and particular strength in state attorneys general investigations. Clients interviewed as part of Chambers’ extensive research and analysis process commented: "Paul Connell has very good knowledge of the internal workings of the attorney general's office." "His work is of a high level and he has great understanding. From his experience as Deputy Attorney General, he has knowledge of a wide range of areas of law."

From 2015 to 2019, Paul served as deputy attorney general and senior counsel to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad D. Schimel. In that position, he directed legal strategy in all of the state’s significant multi-state consumer protection cases and also advised state agencies and the Office of Governor. This experience gives Paul a deep understanding of the state AG landscape, which he employs in his current practice to engage effectively with state AG offices, educate regulators on clients’ business models and issues, and seek pathways toward resolutions that permit clients to advance their business goals while satisfying regulators’ concerns.

Prior to joining the Wisconsin AG’s office, Paul was a federal prosecutor for 12 years in the Western District of Wisconsin. He is among a small handful of lawyers in the United States who have served as both a federal prosecutor and as a state deputy AG and thus offers clients a stem-to-stern defense when it comes to their most pressing legal issues. He has tried cases to verdict involving bank fraud, money laundering, ERISA, firearms, and drug trafficking, and has personally argued more than 25 cases on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Paul also serves as one of six appointed members of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, which administers the state’s ethics code for public officials as well as the laws related to campaign finance.

Paul began his career as law clerk for Chief United States District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

 

News

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Cozen O'Connor Adds Wis. AG Alum in Chicago Office

January 20, 2021

Expecting an influx of activity by state attorneys general in litigation and pandemic-related regulations, Cozen O’Connor LLP added its first Chicago-based attorney to its state AGs practice.

Cozen O’Connor Expands State Attorneys General Practice with Addition of Former Wisconsin Deputy Attorney General Paul W. Connell

January 11, 2021

Connell served as deputy attorney general and senior counsel to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad D. Schimel from 2015 to 2019.

Cozen O'Connor beefs up state AG practice with Wisconsin statehouse, Reed Smith alum

January 11, 2021

Former Wisconsin deputy attorney general Paul Connell has joined Cozen O’Connor in Chicago, calling the firm’s state attorneys general practice the “market leader in the space.”

Publications

Paul Connell Featured in the Aquinas Report

June 07, 2021

Paul Connell was featured in the Aquinas Report - a bi-annual magazine published by the Aquinas Catholic Schools in LaCrosse, Wisconsin (Paul is an alum).

Education

  • Marquette University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1998
  • University of Wisconsin, B.A., cum laude, 1994

Awards & Honors

Chambers & Partners USA 2021; Band 2 in Government Relations: State Attorneys General

  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of Wisconsin

Chief U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.