Profile

Devin is the Chair of the Privacy & Data Security group of McNees. He began working on cybersecurity issues in 2005, when he represented banks to recover credit card replacement costs from national retailers who failed to safeguard such information; his clients prevailed in some of the first successful data breach lawsuits in U.S federal courts.

Today, Devin counsels clients on policies and procedures to limit the risk of data exposure events, including developing of data security policies, privacy disclosures, breach response plans, and associated training programs. He regularly advises clients on compliance with federal, state, and international privacy laws, including the EU GDPR. He also helps businesses respond to data breaches, including in rectifying and reporting those events, and in limiting their potential liability for such events.

Devin has earned the Certified Information Privacy Professional designation (CIPP/US) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, which accredits lawyers and other professionals with knowledge of privacy best practices, information technology issues, and relevant U.S. and international laws.

When he is not working on data security matters, Devin’s practice otherwise is focused on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on defending class action lawsuits. He has defended clients from class action claims in areas including civil rights, consumer protection law, and employment practices. He also litigates all manner of other commercial cases on behalf of organizations and individuals.

He maintains an extensive practice in constitutional law, representing municipalities and other government entities, legislators, and media companies with regard to civil rights, First Amendment, and other state and federal constitutional claims.

Since 2010, Devin has been recognized annually as a Pennsylvania “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters rating service, based on peer recognition and professional achievement.  No more than 2.5% of attorneys practicing in the Commonwealth are selected as Rising Stars.

Devin has long been a supporter of free speech causes, and served for six years as the President of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.  He remains a member of the board of that organization.  Before joining McNees, he worked in Washington, D.C. for a First Amendment advocacy organization and for a public interest law firm.

Active in the community, Devin has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dauphin County Bar Association, and presently serves as Chair of the organization’s Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts program and Vice-Chair of its Equal Professional Opportunity Committee.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Bridges Society of the United Way of the Capital Region.  Devin resides in the Midtown neighborhood of Harrisburg.

Devin is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Ninth Circuits and in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania.

EXPERIENCE/REPRESENTATIVE CASES

Some of Mr. Chwastyk’s notable reported cases include:

  • Data Security: Represented financial institutions in one of the largest data breach events in history and obtained one of the first appellate court decisions recognizing the right to recover damages resulting from a credit card data security breach.  Pa. State Employees Credit Union v. BJ’s Wholesale Club, 533 F.3d 162 (3d Cir. 2008).
  • Municipal Litigation: Opposed the City of Harrisburg’s Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy filing on behalf of its largest municipal creditor; obtained dismissal of the City’s bankruptcy petition and summary disposition of the City’s appeal to the Third Circuit.  In re City of Harrisburg, 462 B.R. 510, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 4920, 2011 WL 6180034 (Bankr. M.D. Pa. 2011).
  • Constitutional Litigation: Filed briefs on behalf of county, as amicus curiae, in successful opposition to constitutional challenges to Pennsylvania’s Financially Distressed Municipalities Act (“Act 47”), which imposed state receivership on the City of Harrisburg.  Williams v. Corbett, 916 F.Supp.2d 593 (M.D.Pa. 2013); Harris v. Corbett, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61354 (M.D.Pa. 2012).
  • Constitutional Litigation: Represented Pennsylvania’s legislative leadership, as amicus curiae, in defense of challenges to the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 legislation regarding Marcellus Shale development.  Robinson Twp. v. Commonwealth of Pa., 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013).
  • Constitutional Litigation: On behalf of the Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore, secured dismissal of constitutional challenges to legislation authorizing taking of property for municipal purposes.  Pilchesky v. Rendell, et al., 2011 WL 10844349 (Pa. Commw. 2011).
  • Public Interest Litigation: Obtained appellate ruling recognizing rights of a domestic partner to jointly-held property of his decedent partner over objections of the decedent’s family, as administrators of the estate.  In re: Estate of DeVoe, 74 A.3d 264 (Pa. Super. 2013).
  • Class Actions: Represented a county prison in the defense of a class action filed on behalf of pretrial detainees alleging the prison’s strip search practices violated the Fourth Amendment.  Reynolds, et al. v. County of Dauphin, 2007 WL 4772731 (M.D. Pa. 2007).
  • Civil Rights Litigation: Successfully defended Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company in trial court and on appeal from First Amendment and other civil rights claims by protesters alleging a conspiracy by the company and a municipality to suppress protests in the municipality.  Cvetko v. Derry Township Police Dep’t, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70576 (M.D. Pa. 2009).
  • Civil Rights Litigation: Successfully defended civil rights claims brought by a subcontractor against contractor and university regarding bidding and practices on facility construction project.  Gross v. Harrisburg University, et al., 487 Fed. Appx. 711 (3d Cir. 2012).
  • Intellectual Property Litigation: Represented the licensor of patents for dental products in obtaining arbitration of claims by the licensee for unpaid royalties.  D.W. Industries v. Dentsply Int’l, 171 Fed. Appx. 92 (9th Cir. 2006).
  • Contract Disputes: Represented a major electronics manufacturer in multi-million dollar breach of contract action regarding purchases of components.  Tyco Elecs. Corp. v. Milwaukee Elec. Tool Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50816 (M.D.Pa. 2012).
  • Intellectual Property Litigation: Represented a regional entertainment company in a preliminary injunction action to enforce its trademark to the term “Harvest” for use in restaurants and food services.  Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company v. David Magrogan Group, LLC, 2014 WL 4720437 (M.D.Pa. 2014).
  • Contract Disputes: Successfully represented a university in district court and on appeal in defense of breach of contract claims brought by a student expelled from a graduate program.  Kimberg v. University of Scranton, 411 Fed. Appx. 473 (3d Cir. 2010).
  • Intellectual Property Litigation: Represented a pharmaceutical company in the defense of trademark claims.  Ameritox, Ltd. v. Medytox Labs, LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86729 (M.D.Pa. 2013).
  • Contract Disputes: Obtained summary judgment and appellate decision in favor of an insurance company against claims by agents for commission payments.  Ryncavage v. Am. Family Life Ins. Co., 293 Fed. Appx. 122 (3d Cir. 2008).
  • Defamation Litigation: Defended doctors and hospital employees in a defamation action brought by the hospital’s former CEO.
  • Collections Litigation: Secured appellate affirmation of judgment for an equipment manufacturer entitled to insurance proceeds on its collateral in the bankruptcy proceedings of the borrower.  Selective Way Ins. Co. v. John Deere Const. & Forestry Co., 2009 WL 3400983 (M.D.Pa. 2009).
  • Contract Disputes: Obtained appellate decision affirming dismissal of civil conspiracy claims against an insurance company arising out of the denial of worker’s compensation claims.  Waters v. Comp Services, Inc., 898 A.2d 697 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2006).
  • Civil Rights Litigation: Successfully defended national automobile lender in defense of Truth-In-Lending Act claims by borrower.  Kuenzi v. Capitol One Auto Finance, 2009 WL 1872599 (E.D.Pa. 2009).

EDUCATION

The Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1999

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2003, cum laude, Georgetown Journal of International Law

Certified Information Privacy Professional, CIPP/US, 2016

HONORS/AWARDS

Pennsylvania Rising Stars®, 2010-present

MEMBERSHIPS

Dauphin County Bar Association, Board of Directors

Dauphin County Bar Association, Equal Professional Opportunity Committee, Vice Chair

Dauphin County Bar Association, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Chair

United Way of the Capital Region, Bridges Society – Board member, 2008-present.

American Civil Liberties Union, Central Pennsylvania Chapter – President, 2006-2013; Board member, 2004-present.

William W. Lipsitt American Inn of Court, Dauphin County, Pa., Barristoer

Wilkinson-Campbell Inn of Court, Centre County, Pa.

COURT ADMISSIONS

PA Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court – Middle District of Pennsylvania

 

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

PUBLICATIONS

October 27, 2017 - What’s Worse Than Getting Phished? Getting Whaled: Five ways company execs can avoid the harpoon
Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

August 16, 2017 - DOE Imposes Data Security Requirements on Colleges and Universities
McNees Privacy & Data Security Alert

July 11, 2017 - McNees Advocate Alert
McNees Advocate Alert Newsletter

May 19, 2017 - Avoiding Consumer Class Actions after Spokeo

March 15, 2017 - Three Lessons All Companies Can Learn from the Data Breaches that Cost Yahoo $350 Million
McNees Privacy & Data Security Alert

March 8, 2017 - Cybersecurity Threats Facing the Trucking Industry, Penntrux
PA Motor Truck Association

February 2, 2017 - Data Privacy Day brings reminder that businesses should require encryption on laptops and mobile devices

January 31, 2017 - Post-'Spokeo' Standing for Consumer Class Actions a Struggle
The Legal Intelligencer

December 13, 2016 - What to Know About Cyber Crime and Pennsylvania Law
Central Penn Business Journal

October 28, 2016 - October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

October 20, 2016 - Vehicle Dealerships Must Take Steps To Avoid Data Breaches
Pennsylvania Automotive Association

October 5, 2016 - New York’s Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations Impose New Compliance Requirements on Financial Institutions and Insurance Companies

September 1, 2016 - Dropbox.com: Change Passwords Immediately
McNees Privacy & Data Security Alert

August 1, 2016 - If Your Company Receives EU Citizens’ Personal Data, Privacy Shield Self-Certification Is Now Open – And the Clock is Ticking on Compliance Grace Period

July 11, 2016 - Reasonable Accommodation in Cyberspace
Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

June 30, 2016 - A Wealth of Information: Data Security and Local Governments
Municipal Lawyer: The Journal of Local Government Law

April 12, 2016 - Cybersecurity Threats Pose Big Risks for Local Governments
The Legal Intellegencer

April 1, 2016 - Law firms among businesses testing the cybersecurity waters
Central Penn Business Journal

March 23, 2016 - Using app to secretly record conversation a violation of wiretapping law, state SC rules
PennRecord

February 9, 2016 - Courts Send Mixed Messages on Standing for Plaintiffs in Data Breach Litigation
Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

December 19, 2015 - McNees Insights - Estate Planning
In this issue: Year End Tax Planning l Safeguard Your Finances From Online Threats

September 19, 2015 - All Businesses Have to Protect Against Data Breaches
Times Leader

September 10, 2015 - Ashley Madison Breach Another Warning To Companies

August 27, 2015 - 3rd Circuit Says: FTC Can Take Action Against Companies That Suffer Data Security Breaches

June 4, 2015 - Even Small Businesses Need To Pay Attention To Data Security

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

October 14, 2017 - IMLA 82nd Annual Conference

September 15, 2017 - Complying with HIPAA Privacy Rules and HITECH Security Audits

August 9, 2017 - Navigating the Interrelationship Between Employment Law and Data Security

July 12, 2017 - Cyber Security: Protecting Yourself and Client Transcript Files

May 12, 2017 - PennAg Cybersecurity Symposium

April 26, 2017 - York Business Breakfast

April 25, 2017 - Cyber Wargames

May 4, 2017 - The Interrelationship Between Data Security and HR Policies

January 13, 2017 - McNees Attorneys to present a Cyberattack Simulation at the Cyber Security for Small and Mid-Size Businesses Seminar

October 27, 2016 - Cyber Security Symposium

December 13, 2016 - Cybersecurity for Lawyers and Law Firms

November 22, 2016 - Data Security for Small Businesses

October 25, 2016 - A Strategic Approach to Safeguarding Your Company’s Data

October 25, 2016 - Cybersecurity for Townships

October 20, 2016 - A Strategic Approach to Safeguarding Your Company’s Data

October 19, 2016 - Central Pennsylvania Business Leaders Summit

October 17, 2016 - Cybersecurity: Legal Risks and Solutions for County Governments

July 19, 2016 - 20Cyber Security in the Healthcare Sector

April 16, 2016 - Cybersecurity Issues for Municipal Governments

March 30, 2016 - Safe Harbor, Privacy Shield, and the Future of European Data Privacy Laws

May 7, 2015 - 2015 Annual Information Technology Security Conference: Knowing Your Adversary and Defeating the Threat

March 8, 2015 - McNees Attorney Devin Chwastyk presented "The Legal Landscape for IT: E-Discovery, Data Security, and Privacy Issues" at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry IT Security Conference

May 7, 2015 - E-Discovery: Best Practices and Breaking Trends

January 25, 2012 - E-Discovery: Best Practices and Breaking Trends