Thomas Farrell, Esquire

Adjunct Faculty


Mr. Farrell's practice focuses on criminal defense, ranging from pre-indictment investigations and negotiations and the representation of witnesses and victims, to trials, appeals and post-conviction petitions; from white collar matters such as health care fraud, tax evasion, complex securities frauds, and environmental crimes, to capital murder. In addition, he has extensive experience in civil rights litigation, commercial fraud litigation, corporate compliance and internal investigations and the prosecution of qui tam or whistleblower claims in connection with government contracts. His cases have included such high profile matters as the representation of professional athletes before Congress; the largest Clean Water Act recovery from a citizen's suit in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the only False Claims Act whistleblower suit in the for-profit education sector to merit intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice; defense of the largest fraud case ever prosecuted in the Western District of Pennsylvania; and defense of the Penn State perjury case.

Mr. Farrell has a long and varied career as a private and government lawyer, including as an AUSA in Pittsburgh, where he prosecuted financial crimes and public corruption. For his work on such cases, he was awarded the Director's Award from the Executive Offices of United States Attorneys. Before his term as an AUSA, Mr. Farrell was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Eastern District of New York. He started his career as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Diamond of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Farrell frequently lectures and writes on criminal practice, civil liberties, and evidence. He is the author of the practical two-volume treatise Criminal Defense Tools and Techniques, (James Publishing 2008-2014); "Practice Points: Requesting and Using Investigative Assistance," The Champion (December 2010); and "An Overview of How Grand Juries Operate," The Champion (July 2007). He has lectured for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on Corporate Internal Investigations, E-Discovery in Criminal Cases, and Grand Jury Practice; for the Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference on Federal Grand Jury Practice; and for the Federal Public Defender's Annual Training Program for CJA Panel Attorneys on "Federal Practice: Grand Jury Practice, Daubert for Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Ethics" (2003).

Mr. Farrell also is active in community affairs and in efforts to improve the legal system. He teaches White Collar Crime as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He was a co-author of the ACLU's report on the Allegheny County Office of Public Defender, "A Job Left Undone" (October 2011). He sits as a hearing officer for the Pennsylvania Attorneys Disciplinary Board and has presided over a Coroner's inquest in Westmoreland County involving allegations against a public official. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and both the National and Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

He received a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1986, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. Mr. Farrell received his B.A., cum laude, in Philosophy from Yale University in 1983.