Calli Jo Padilla

Vice Chair, Women’s Initiative

Recent Publication:

Whistleblower Watch Summer 2023

A quarterly update on FCA Enforcement and Qui Tam Litigation

As a member in the firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations practice group, Calli delivers exceptional representation to corporate and individual clients in criminal matters and regulatory and enforcement actions.  Her practice includes advising clients in matters arising under the False Claims Act (FCA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), health care fraud, financial services fraud, securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, antitrust violations, and pandemic-related fraud.  She is the co-author of the firm’s Whistleblower Watch, a quarterly publication presenting notable FCA enforcement actions, settlements, and legal trends.     

Calli also devotes a significant portion of her practice to conducting internal investigations.  She has led investigations pertaining to allegations of workplace harassment and hostile work conditions and allegations of harassment and assault in athletic programs and academic institutions.  To that end, Calli frequently advises clients regarding implementation of remedial measures, recommendations, and corporate governance and compliance programs.

Calli also maintains a robust civil practice, representing corporations and individuals in complex commercial and business litigation matters.  She has represented clients in both state and federal courts in a variety of disputes, including breach of contract, common law fraud, antitrust, casualty defense, and catastrophic tort matters, among others. Calli guides her clients through all stages of complex litigation – initial pleadings through discovery, motion practice, mediation, trial, and even appeals. She has tried several cases to verdict or judgment and has secured numerous dismissals, judgments, and favorable settlements for her clients.

Calli also has significant experience advising NCAA coaches and student-athletes on NCAA matters pertaining to eligibility, recruiting, and amateurism. As a former student athlete herself, she has successfully counseled several clients through NCAA enforcement proceedings.

Calli is also a committed firm leader.  She is currently the vice chair of the Women’s Initiative, dedicated to the development and enhancement of professional and personal relationships among female attorneys and clients. She has served as the firm’s hiring partner and, prior to that, chaired the firm’s Associate Committee. Calli remains actively involved in summer associate and lateral recruiting, as well as in the mentoring of junior attorneys. As someone who is committed to serving her community, Calli regularly represents clients on a pro bono basis. She serves on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s Attorney Panel for Pro Se Prisoner Civil Rights Cases and does work with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the Support Center for Child Advocates.

Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor as an associate, Calli participated in the firm’s Summer Associate Program. Calli received her law degree, cum laude, from the Villanova University School of Law, where she was a managing editor of the Villanova Law Review and the president of the Women’s Law Caucus.  Calli received a degree in politics from Princeton University, where she served as the captain of the women’s varsity softball team


Criminal Defense

  • Represented an individual under criminal investigation by the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office for participation in a fraud conspiracy. Our advocacy convinced the U.S. Attorney to decline to prosecute our client entirely.
  • Represented horse trainer in criminal prosecution in the Southern District of New York for administering performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Represented a family identified in the Varsity Blues College Admission Scandal.
  • Represented a college basketball coach in the NCAA Pay-For-Play Basketball Scandal.
  • Represented a skilled nursing facility facing allegations of health care fraud, and convinced the U.S. Department of Justice to terminate its False Claims Act (FCA) investigation into the matter. 
  • Represented an international supplier of automotive parts in connection with a federal antitrust investigation. We convinced the U.S. Department of Justice to drop the investigation without any charges filed against the client.
  • Represented various individuals in state court criminal proceedings.

Internal Investigations

  • Conducted an investigation for a private equity fund into allegations of embezzlement by a former executive.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a university regarding allegations of harassment in its athletics department.
  • Conducted an investigation for a technology company into allegations of sexual harassment and financial reporting violations.
  • Conducted an investigation for an insurance company in liquidation pertaining to allegations of potential fraud and other malfeasance.
  • Assisted with an audit of a prominent university’s interactions with minors and assisted with the preparation of recommendations of new, multi-disciplinary policies and procedures to govern those interactions to minimize risk of abuse.
  • Assisted with an internal investigation for The Wine Advocate, a pre-eminent publisher of wine ratings and criticism, into allegations of impropriety by former associates.

Civil Litigation

  • Secured a victory, following a two-week FINRA arbitration hearing, for a boutique investment bank that works with companies raising funding by issuing “private placement” securities investments. A group of high net-worth investors sued the bank after investing in a Colorado start-up company that constructed and leased large-scale greenhouses to cannabis growers which ultimately filed for bankruptcy. A three-member arbitration panel denied the investors’ claims that the bank mislead them by failing to disclose disciplinary action by the NASD and state securities regulators against the company's CEO 25 years previously.
  • Prevailed after a several day evidentiary hearing on claims for contempt and enforcement for violation of a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of our client’s trademarks.
  • Secured a judgment of more than $1.1 million, after a five-day bench trial, on behalf of a client in the business of operating music venues and producing, staging, and hosting concerts. The client sought a refund of payments it made to operate a large amphitheater in Maryland after the defendant failed to reconstruct the venue’s dressing rooms and other backstage facilities. In securing this victory, we overcame the defendant's argument that the client's recovery interfered in the renovations and was precluded by a limitation of damages provision.
  • Prevailed after a 10-day bench trial for a subcontractor pursuing claims against a general contractor and a State Department of Transportation related to claims for breach of contract. 
  • Represented a corporate executive in a civil lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act regarding a health-care services company’s alleged billing practices and violations of Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Laws.
  • Represented an insurance commissioner regarding an insurance company in rehabilitation and liquidation and related litigation.
  • Obtained summary judgment from a state trial court for our client defending against negligence claims arising out of a construction accident. 
  • Obtained dismissal of claims of copyright infringement and related state law claims asserted against client arising out of various licensed software programs. 
  • Represented dozens of individual homeowners in claims against home builders for negligent construction and consumer fraud for improper construction of new homes. 

Gaming And Sports

  • Provided advice and counsel to an NCAA student-athlete regarding the student-athlete's eligibility for NCAA competition.
  • Advised NCAA coaches on eligibility issues, including representation in enforcement proceedings. 


42 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

May 24, 2023

Super Lawyers has selected 42 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2023 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

49 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 01, 2022

Super Lawyers has selected 49 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Cozen O’Connor Secures FINRA Arbitration Win for Investment Bank

March 30, 2022

Cozen O’Connor securities litigators Joe Dever, Calli Padilla, and Harper Seldin recently obtained a complete defense victory in a $2.4 million FINRA securities arbitration.

47 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 28, 2021

Super Lawyers has selected 47 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Cozen O'Connor Brings On New E-Discovery Chair For Philly Office

February 18, 2021

Joseph Tate, Calli Padilla, and Maureen Holland are featured in a Law360 article highlighting recent leadership changes and the firm's summer associate program.

Cozen O’Connor Announces Changes to Firm Management

February 16, 2021

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce the following changes in firm leadership positions for the 2021 year.

Helene Jaron and Calli Padilla chosen as Philadelphia Business Journal 2020 Women of Distinction Honorees

October 19, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Helene Jaron, co-chair of the firm’s Private Client Services Group, was chosen as a Philadelphia Business Journal 2020 Women of Distinction honoree and Calli Padilla, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, was named a Philadelphia Business Journal 2020 Women of Distinction Rising Star honoree.

Fifty-Eight Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 05, 2020

Super Lawyers has selected 58 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

64 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 21, 2019

Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Fifty-four Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 12, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.


Whistleblower Watch Summer 2023

August 07, 2023

A quarterly update on FCA Enforcement and Qui Tam Litigation

Big Data, Big Recovery: The Emergence of Data Analytics in Health Care FCA Enforcement [Alert]

August 04, 2023

Data analytics has notably amplified the investigation of health care claims, but these new approaches have raised concerns within the legal system.

Supreme Court Confirms: Subjective Beliefs of Falsity are Fair Game in FCA Lawsuits [Alert]

August 04, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court held in two consolidated landmark cases that a defendant’s subjective beliefs must be considered in determining whether they knowingly violated the False Claims Act. The ruling will have far-reaching and immediate ramifications in FCA litigation.

Supreme Court Appears Unlikely to Adopt “Objectively Reasonable” Test for False Claims Act Liability [Alert]

April 20, 2023

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in two consolidated, landmark False Claims Act cases, and oral argument suggests how the Court will rule.

Whistleblower Watch Winter 2023

March 01, 2023

A quarterly update on FCA Enforcement and Qui Tam Litigation

The FCA as a Sword to Combat Pandemic-Related Fraud: No End in Sight [Alert]

February 28, 2023

In 2022, federal prosecutors used the False Claims Act to recover nearly $7 million from fraud related to pandemic-relief. We expect that to increase in 2023.

Landmark Supreme Court Case Could Reshape the FCA Scienter Requirement [Alert]

January 23, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon clarify the knowledge requirement for False Claims Act (FCA) cases, agreeing to hear two such cases.

Supreme Court Ruling Fosters New Era of NCAA Amateurism

June 28, 2021

The Supreme Court's June 21, 2021, decision in NCAA v. Alston ended the NCAA’s efforts to stall reform of its amateurism model, say Stephen Miller and Calli Padilla in Bloomberg Law Insights.

PPP Fraud Is Ripe for Enforcement in 2021. Can Self-Disclosure & Cooperation Create a Path to Leniency? [Alert]

February 17, 2021

Rachel Collins-Clarke and Calli Padilla discuss the government's government enforcement of abuse of the CARES Act, PPP, or Economic Aid Act.

Robust Compliance Efforts Earn Princeton Leniency for Violation of Export Administration Regulations

February 09, 2021

Calli Padilla discusses Princeton University's administrative settlement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, to resolve allegations of violations of the Export Administration Regulations.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Key Legal Issues Keeping In-House Counsel Up at Night

September 27, 2023 - Washington, D.C.

ABA White Collar Crime 2023

March 01, 2023 - Miami, FL


  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2011
  • Princeton University, B.A., 2007

Awards & Honors

Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (Rising Star - Business Litigation) 2018-2023
*This award is conferred by Super Lawyers. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Philadelphia Business Journal 2020 Women of Distinction Rising Star

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey

Member, Women’s White Collar Defense Association, Philadelphia Chapter

Member, Executive Committee of the Federal Criminal Law Committee, Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter

Member, Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers