Leader of the firm’s Government Compliance & Investigations group, Chris Sabis recognizes that merely “responding” to governmental inquiries, enforcement actions, and litigation is often insufficient to protect his clients’ interests. Rather, he understands that efficient resolutions and positive outcomes in such matters are products of thoughtful and proactive approaches and the ability to take the initiative in addressing the concerns and issues that draw regulatory scrutiny. Chris leverages his advocacy skills, substantive knowledge of the law, and understanding of each client’s operations and practices to develop strategies that minimize cost, disruption, and exposure.
Chris concentrates his practice in Government Investigations, Litigation, White Collar Litigation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Much of his work involves fraud and abuse matters, with particularly extensive experience defending and mediating False Claims Act (FCA) cases involving allegations of healthcare and procurement fraud. He defends a wide range of clients in white-collar fraud investigations, commercial litigation, and government investigations.
Having served nearly a decade as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, Chris brings government-side insights and perspectives to his work that facilitate his understanding of investigators’ and regulators’ priorities and objectives. Combined with the productive working relationships he has cultivated and the credibility he has earned with government attorneys, this experience helps him find solutions that resolve immediate compliance concerns and minimize future ones.
Chris is on the American Arbitration Association (AAA)’s Roster of Arbitrators’ Commercial and Healthcare Arbitration Panels. He is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator by the Tennessee Supreme Court and a listed mediator and arbitrator with the American Health Law Association’s Dispute Resolution Service. He also has served as a Rule 53 federal court-appointed special master empowered to oversee and resolve discovery disputes in complex commercial litigation. Prior to his tenure as an AUSA, Chris represented clients in complex commercial litigation matters at a large firm in Washington, D.C.
Active in many professional organizations, Chris serves as a Hearing Examiner for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility and chairs the Program Committee of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, where he has served as chair and vice chair of the Federal Practice Section, and the Nashville Bar Association, where he is a former chair and secretary of its Historical Committee and a Nashville Bar Fellow. Chris is also a member of the American Health Law Association (where he serves on the Dispute Resolution Services Council), the Academy of Court-Appointed Neutrals, the Federal Bar Association, the Health Care Compliance Association, and the American Bar Association.
Chris is also committed to serving his community, donating his time and talents to several charitable and philanthropic endeavors in the Nashville area. He was named to the Tennessee Justice Center’s Pro Bono Hall of Fame for his work fighting cuts in Tennessee Medicaid (TennCare) benefits for a ten-year-old child with severe epilepsy. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Autism Tennessee and as a past chair on the Honorary Board of Stars Nashville, a non-profit that provides prevention, intervention, treatment, and training programs addressing bullying, substance abuse, violence, and social and emotional barriers to success in Tennessee schools. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Nashville and has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Belmont University. When not serving his clients or the community, he enjoys hockey, theater, and spending time with his wife and two young boys.
- Key part of defense team that negotiated a favorable False Claims Act settlement and administrative resolution for a cardiologist accused of medically unnecessary stenting procedures and other billing issues.
- Successful reconsideration request of Medicare privileges revocation that saved client over $500,000 in lost claims.
- Currently representing criminal defendant in large-scale federal white collar case containing allegations of illegal opioid distribution and kickbacks
- Part of team that obtained a temporary injunction restoring a candidate to a primary ballot due to alleged violations of the Tennessee Open Meetings Act (the injunction was vacated on emergency appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court)
- Secured favorable settlement and release terms for mental health provider in Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act investigation
- Co-counsel in successful petition to reinstate prior level of TennCare benefits for 10-year-old girl with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and numerous additional co-morbidities
- Secured CMS rescission of revocation of Medicare enrollment and billing privileges for veteran emergency physician
- United States v. Chambers, et al., No. 18-cr-00355 (M.D. Tenn.) (former credit union teller and co-conspirator sentenced to prison for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft) (during his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney)
- United States ex rel. Dorsa et al. v. Miraca Life Sciences, Inc., No. 13-cv-1025 (M.D. Tenn.) (pathology laboratory paid $63.5 million for allegedly providing illegal EHR system kickbacks to referring physicians in one of the ten largest FCA settlements of 2019) (during his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney)
- United States ex rel. Newman v. OPKO Health, Inc., 3:13-cv-0700 (M.D. Tenn.) (former CEO and laboratory paid $9.35 million to settle FCA allegations involving illegal EHR system kickbacks to referring physicians in first-of-its-kind settlement) (during his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney)
- United States v. Woody Medlock, Sr., et al., No. 10-cr-0004 (M.D. Tenn.) (member of trial team that obtained convictions of former owners of Murfreesboro Ambulance Service) (healthcare fraud convictions affirmed by 792 F.3d 700 (6th Cir. 2015)) (during his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney)
- United States ex rel. Meadows v. Mountain States Contractors, LLC, No. 3:12-cv-0523 (M.D. Tenn.) (construction company paid $2.25 million dollar to settle allegations of fraud involving a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)) (during his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney)
- United States ex rel. Gonzales v. J.W. Carell Enterprises et al., No. 12-cv-0389 (M.D. Tenn.) (home health company paid $25 million to settle FCA allegations) (during his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney)
- Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2003
- University of Rochester, B.A., 2000
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Third, Fourth, Sixth, and District of Columbia Circuits
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court of Massachusetts
Recognition, Speaking Engagements & Publications
- AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Top 10 Issues in Health Law 2023: Fraud & Abuse Issues to Watch, AHLA Health Law Connections Magazine, January 2023
- Speaker, “Government Enforcement Trends in Health Information Technology,” TBA Health Law Forum, October 2022
- Speaker, “False Claims Act Allegations & Resolutions Based on Statistical Sampling and Extrapolation,” AHLA Fraud & Compliance Forum, September 2022
- Named to Tennessee Justice Center Pro Bono Hall of Fame, June 2022
- Speaker on Fraud, Becker Private Equity & Business Podcast, May 2022
- Speaker, Fraud and Abuse: Recent Developments Related to Electronic Health Records, AHLA’s Speaking of Health Law Podcast, April 2022
- Published in Law360, What FCA Bar Can Learn from District Court Hospice Ruling, April 2022
- Co-Author, Compliance Today Magazine, Co-management agreement pitfalls and best practices: a case study, copyright 2022 Compliance Today Magazine, a publication of the Health Care Compliance Association, March 2022
- Speaker, “Government Enforcement Trends in Healthcare and Procurement Fraud,” Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – Middle District of Tennessee, March 2022
- Panelist, “Switchbacks at the DOJ: the Sessions, Brand, and Garland Memos,” The Federalist Society, March 2022
- Published in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Could everything be a kickback?, December 2021
- Panelist, “False Claims Act Today – Middle Tennessee,” Federal Bar Association, November 2021
- Woodward/White: The Best Lawyers in America 2022-Present (Health Care Law; Litigation-Health Care)
- Named to Attorneys for Justice Pro Bono Honor Role by Tennessee Supreme Court, 2021-present
- Nashville Bar Foundation’s Class of 2021 Fellows Program
- Published in the 2021 Edition of Health Law Watch, chapter co-author, Fraud Enforcement in the Digital Arena— Electronic Health Records
- Published in the August 2021 Edition of The Health Lawyer & ABA eSource, DOJ’s Agency Guidance Dance: A Tempest in a Teapot for Healthcare Fraud Cases?
- AAA Roster of Arbitrators’ Commercial and Healthcare Arbitration Panels, June 2023-present
- Member, Academy of Court-Appointed Neutrals, April 2023-present
- Hearing Examiner, Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, District V, May 2018-present
- Member, AHLA Dispute Resolution Services Council, June 2022-present
- Master of the Bench, Harry Phillips American Inn of Court, August 2016-present
- Certificate of Completion: Rule 31 Civil Mediation Training, Lipscomb University, August 2016
- Member, Tennessee Bar Association, December 2015-present
- Past Vice Chair & Chair, TBA Federal Practice Section
- Member, Nashville Bar Association, November 2015-present
- Past Secretary & Current Chair, NBA Historical Committee
- Adjunct Professor of Law, Belmont University College of Law, Pretrial Litigation, Fall 2013
- Member, Health Care Compliance Association, February 2020-present
- Member, American Health Law Association, May 2012-present
- Member, American Bar Association, Appx. 2003-present
- Volunteer Assistant Coach, Montgomery Bell Academy Men’s JV Hockey, 2022-2023
- Board Chair & former Secretary, Autism Tennessee, 2019-present
- Honorary Board Member, former Secretary, Board Chair & Co-Chair of the Board, Stars Nashville, 2013-present
- Member & Founder and Past Chair of Environmental Sustainability Committee, Rotary Club of Nashville, June 2016-present
- Member, Economic Club of Nashville, May 2016-present