Maria Colsey Heard


Maria has represented clients being sued or investigated by state attorneys general (AGs), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), licensing boards, and other government entities for more than 25 years. She understands the procedural, substantive, and reputational complexities unique to government investigations, and helps her clients navigate the terrain and preserve their rights.

From addressing regulator interest arising from consumer complaints, to guiding a client through the unique pre-litigation investigations that AGs and the FTC can conduct (including negotiating the scope of government requests for business documents and interviews), to litigating on behalf of clients in administrative proceedings and state and federal courts, Maria seeks creative solutions to mitigate her clients’ risk and reach a favorable resolution. She also has crafted legislative and other public policy solutions to legal challenges.

She builds a close partnership with her clients, developing an understanding of the client’s business, challenges, and goals so that she can craft a tailored strategy. Her goal is to resolve government inquiries while allowing clients’ businesses to continue operating with as little interruption as possible.

Maria has extensive experience in counseling consumer-facing companies on consumer protection issues related to marketing, sales, service contracts, and regulatory compliance. A significant portion of her practice centers on issues relating to product or service marketing, customer service, labeling, and other consumer protection issues; hazardous waste, electronic waste, and other environmental issues; data privacy and breaches; business licensing and regulation; and unclaimed property. She represents clients across a wide variety of industry sectors, including pharmaceuticals, nutrition/dietary supplements, data management, consumer debt, consumer lending, telecommunications, hospitality, automotive, retail, grocery, security, and real estate. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, local businesses, charities, nonprofit organizations, and trade associations.

She has successfully negotiated a number of class action product liability settlements, most significantly representing a major health care corporation in the historic national silicone gel breast implant litigation in the United States and Canada. She also has developed the administrative framework for national settlement programs and defended class settlements against attacks on appeal and collaterally.

Maria supports the professional advancement of women at Cozen O'Connor by serving on the Executive Board of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and leading Women’s Initiative mentoring efforts.



Cozen O’Connor Launches New State Attorneys General Practice with Addition of Nationally Acclaimed State AG Practice

May 05, 2015

On the heels of its recent announcement of the addition of 60 lawyers in Chicago, Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce the addition of ten attorneys and government professionals and the formation of the firm’s State Attorneys General Practice.


State AG Pulse | Wrangling Acronyms: SAGs, ORC and AI

May 30, 2023

Lori Kalani, Siran Faulders and Maria Colsey Heard explore two new issues coming into sharp focus for state AGs on both sides of the aisle because of their significant impact on consumers: organized retail crime and artificial intelligence.

State AG Pulse | State AGs and Feds: The Dynamics of Influence & Collaboration

April 03, 2023

Even when state AGs are not specifically authorized in a particular area, they can still be highly influential on their federal counterparts when it comes to regulation, enforcement, rulemaking and interpretation of statutes. Our team digs into state/federal collaboration: the who, what, why and how.

State AG Pulse | Local Job, National Impact

June 13, 2022

In this week’s episode, Lori gets together with fellow State AG Group members Maria Colsey Heard and Ann-Marie Luciano to talk about the evolution of the DC Office of the Attorney General into a national powerhouse, Karl Racine’s legacy as its first elected AG, and this year’s contentious race.

State AGs Intensify Focus on Employee Rights in the Pandemic

February 16, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused state attorneys general to accelerate their workplace enforcement efforts and is reshaping the issues businesses must consider to avoid regulatory risk. Cozen O’Connor State AG Group partners Maria Colsey Heard and Ann-Marie Luciano explain what steps businesses should take to respond. Read the Bloomberg Law piece here or here.

November 13, 2018 Deadline Approaching for Comments on IRS Rules Relating to Reporting and Tax Deductions of State AG Settlements [The State AG Report Blog]

October 25, 2018

The process of ironing out settlements of state attorney general (“AG”) investigations and litigations is likely to get more complicated.  The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Act”), among the many other things it did, amended a key provision of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), 26 U.S.C. § 162, which...

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  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors, 1993
  • La Salle University, B.A., maxima cum laude, 1990
  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania