One of the assistant district attorneys who has worked on Bill Cosby’s criminal case is leaving the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office to join Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young.
Kristen Gibbons Feden is leaving the DA’s office Aug. 15, but will remain on the team prosecuting Cosby as a special prosecutor after joining Stradley Ronon as an associate.
Cosby is set to go to trial for the second time in November, after his first trial in June ended with a deadlocked jury and mistrial. He faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Feden, who joined the DA’s office in 2012, played a major role in the first trial alongside Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele and fellow assistant district attorney M. Stewart Ryan. Feden gave the prosecution’s opening statement and questioned Constand, their star witness.
Stradley Ronon chairman William Sasso said he first reached out to Feden after reading about her in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40″ list in 2016. After they met, he said, he encouraged her to consider his firm if she ever entered private practice.
“I came to the very quick realization that she was a winner,” Sasso said. “When she said Kevin Steele was her mentor, I knew she got first-rate training.”
Feden was part of the DA’s sex crimes unit until she was promoted to captain of the domestic violence unit in February. But at Stradley Ronon, her focus will be on civil litigation.
“We will miss her personally and professionally, but I am very pleased that Stradley Ronon has so graciously allowed Kristen to continue with the Commonwealth v. Cosby case and to see this prosecution through,” Steele said in a statement.
Staying on a criminal case as a special prosecutor after joining a private firm is not unheard of in Pennsylvania. Sasso said it has not happened in the past at his firm.
“I wouldn’t say it’s commonplace because circumstances like this don’t often arise,” said criminal defense attorney Joseph McGettigan, who served as a special prosecutor after leaving the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. “But when they do, it’s perfectly appropriate and understandable. In this instance it’s the wise thing to do.”
Another recent addition to Stradley Ronon’s white-collar practice was partner Michael J. Engle, who joined the firm in December. His practice includes government corruption probes and other white-collar investigations, attorney disciplinary proceedings, False Claims Act cases and criminal matters at the state and court level.