Nicholas M. Gess serves clients by providing strategic advice which bridges the gap between law and policy, state and federal government investigative, enforcement, and regulatory actions and their impact on business. He advises clients on how to achieve results with governmental agencies and how to manage the risks of government action, particularly in the multistate, multi-agency and fraught-with-parallel proceedings environment where state enforcement authorities conduct parallel investigations with federal authorities such as the CFPB, DOJ, and the FTC.
Prior to joining the firm, Nick served as a member of Attorney General Janet Reno’s senior staff and as an Associate Deputy Attorney General (ADAG) at the US Department of Justice. As an ADAG, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Counsel, Nick was a senior adviser to Reno and then Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., and he was the Department of Justice official responsible for building and maintaining the administration’s relationships with state and local elected officials, and law enforcement, particularly the state attorneys general. He served as the Justice Department’s primary liaison with the White House Domestic Policy Council, and he has also worked extensively on significant legislative and appropriations matters.
From 1987 to 1994, Nick served as an Assistant US Attorney in Portland, Maine, where he supervised many significant and complicated criminal investigations and tried many complex cases in federal court. During his time at the Department of Justice, Nick served as an instructor for the department’s Office of Legal Education and spoke widely on criminal justice topics, including significant on-the-record media experience with national, elite, and local media.
Nick was the first Maine prosecutor appointed to head a joint federal-state-local task. From 1983 to 1986, Nick was an Assistant Attorney General in the Maine Office of the Attorney General where he was responsible for complex criminal cases involving homicide, fraud, and other criminal matters and served as general counsel of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. From 1981 to 1983, Nick served as an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County (Portland), Maine, where he tried criminal cases and handled matters on appeal.
Nick is a member of the Core Group of the Columbia Law School State Attorney General program.