Hervé Gouraige is a Member of the Sills Cummis & Gross Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Gouraige practices in the areas of health care fraud litigation (False Claims Act cases), general commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, antitrust litigation and internal corporate investigations. He has represented corporate and individual clients in civil and criminal matters in federal and state courts throughout the country. Mr. Gouraige is known for using his skills, experience and legal knowledge to develop innovative approaches to solve client problems without having to go to trial.
Examples of Innovative Approaches Used in Solving Clients’ Problems
- In representing a world renowned entertainer in a civil dispute, Mr. Gouraige appreciated that his client’s principal challenges in the litigation were the opportunity costs of the time devoted to the case, possible business disruption and potential adverse publicity of going through the civil discovery process. As a result, Mr. Gouraige crafted a creative proposal, accepted by the federal Bankruptcy Court. The court granted dismissal of all claims against Mr. Gouraige’s client, saving his client tens of millions of dollars.
- In a major civil RICO case in the Southern District of New York, the protracted and costly discovery proceedings, coupled with the inability of the client to obtain a quick trial date of what was likely to be a trial of several months, led Mr. Gouraige to develop a new theory to assert a RICO counterclaim against a publicly held corporate plaintiff. The corporate plaintiff thereafter agreed to settle the case with Mr. Gouraige’s client on favorable terms.
- In representing a health care client in a nationwide government investigation, Mr. Gouraige, to avoid his client having to go through a protracted and costly audit, devised a litigation strategy to seek a court ruling on the merits before the government agency conducted the audit. In that case, the Court of Appeals issued a decision that, while permitting the government agency to conduct an investigation of Mr. Gouraige’s client, intimated that, on the merits, Mr. Gouraige’s client probably had the better of the statutory construction argument. The investigation was thereafter settled on favorable terms to Mr. Gouraige’s client.
- In criminal matters, realizing that even an acquittal never restores a client’s reputation or remedies the harm to personal and business interests, Mr. Gouraige meets with prosecutors early in an investigation to discuss the alleged violations in an effort to avoid the ordeal of post-indictment public proceedings. As a result, his clients have rarely been criminally charged. With more than 30 criminal and civil trials, jury and non-jury, Mr. Gouraige is an experienced trial lawyer whose courtroom skills have been highly praised. After obtaining an acquittal for his client in a case in Salem, VA, the trial judge praised Mr. Gouraige’s trial skills: “I might say to your counsel sitting next to you that I have been around a long time, some forty-six years at the bar, and I haven’t heard a finer argument than he made.”
Mr. Gouraige served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York under U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani (1984-91). He handled criminal cases involving business fraud, tax fraud, health care fraud and national security. In 1985, Mr. Gouraige was the first Assistant designated to handle health care fraud cases in the Southern District of New York. During his term as Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Gouraige was awarded the Superior Achievement Award by the Department of Health and Human Services for significant contribution in fighting fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance for his successful handling of a four-month bank fraud trial.
Mr. Gouraige is an active member of the bar and the community. On November 8, 2011, he was elected to a two-year term as president of the Harvard Law School Association of New Jersey. He is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society, and a Trustee Emeritus (and former President) of the Board of Trustees of the Newark School of the Arts. He is a former member of the New Jersey and New York Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committees. Mr. Gouraige has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Hudson County (New Jersey) and The Legal Aid Society in New York (2002 - 08). By appointment of the Mayor, Mr. Gouraige served on the Judicial Advisory Committee of New York City under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Mr. Gouraige has taught trial advocacy for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy at Hofstra University Law School, where he served as a Team Leader. He has also taught trial advocacy at Widener University School of Law and at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Mr. Gouraige lectures for the ABA, ALI-ABA and PLI on civil and criminal issues. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and he has written a number of articles for professional journals.