Skip to main content

Trial by Jury 2019

Speaker(s): David R. Marriott, Deirdre Von Dornum, Douglas A. Cawley, Evan R. Chesler, Gregory A. Markel, Hon. Edgardo Ramos, Hon. Gregory H. Woods, Hon. Jeffrey K. Oing, Hon. John Gleeson, Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Hon. Lorna G. Schofield, Hon. Manuel J. Mendez, Hon. Richard J. Sullivan, Hon. Richard M. Berman, John S. Siffert, Joseph J. Mueller, Lawrence J. Zweifach, Lucille A. Fontana, Michele A. Roberts, Morgan Chu, Paul C. Saunders, Roberto Finzi
Recorded on: Nov. 1, 2019
PLI Program #: 250321


Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Fordham University College of Business Administration (C.B.A.), now Gabelli School of Business, 1983.  Juris Doctor from Universidad Central del Este (U.C.E.) Dominican Republic, 1987.  Fordham University Law School, Foreign Law Graduate Program, 1989.  Admitted to the practice of law in the Dominican Republic, State of New York, United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of Puerto Rico.

Legal experience:

  • Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Division, Prison Legal Assistance Program (paralegal) 1988-1990.  Assisted inmates at Rikers Island, and other City of New York County jails, represented by the Legal Aid Society.
  • Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Division Bronx County (staff Attorney) 1990-1993. Practiced Criminal defense.
  • Kwasnik & Mendez, Esq., 1993-1999.  Practiced State and Federal Criminal defense, Personal Injury litigation, Commercial Real Estate litigation, Workers Compensation defense.
  • Law Offices of Manuel J. Mendez, P.C. 1999-2003.  Practiced State and Federal Criminal defense, Commercial Real Estate litigation, Workers Compensation defense.

Judicial experience:

  • Elected to the Civil Court City of New York, New York County, 2003.  Presided over a Criminal non-jury trial and Civil jury and non-jury trials involving cases in the areas of Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Commercial Real Estate, No-Fault Insurance law and Consumer Debt.
  • Appointed Acting Justice Supreme Court State of New York January 2010.  Assigned a docket of New York City Housing Authority matters and presided over jury trials involving cases in the areas of Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice.
  • Elected to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, 2012. Currently designated Coordinating Judge of the New York City Asbestos Litigation (N.Y.C.A.L.), preside over all toxic torts and products liability asbestos related cases filed in the City of New York, presided over jury trials involving asbestos cases, Personal Injury, and Medical Malpractice.

Deirdre von Dornum is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Federal Defenders for the Eastern District of New York. Deirdre holds a B.A. in Classics from U.C.L.A., a M.A. in Classics from Princeton University, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she served as an editor of the Columbia Law Review and was awarded a medal for excellence in Trial Practice. She clerked for the Honorable Anita B. Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders in 2002, Ms. von Dornum was an associate at the law firm WilmerHale and engaged in pro bono death penalty litigation with the Capital Defenders of New York. Deirdre has taught the Federal Defender Clinic and a seminar on Government and Ethics at N.Y.U. School of Law, and also served N.Y.U. for two years as the Assistant Dean for Public Service. 

John Gleeson was a federal judge for 22 years before joining Debevoise & Plimpton in 2016 as a litigation partner in the White Collar & Regulatory Defense and Commercial Litigation Groups. While a judge, he authored more than 1,500 published opinions (including 14 opinions for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, sitting by designation) and presided over more than 200 civil and criminal jury trials.

Before his appointment to the bench in 1994, Mr. Gleeson was a federal prosecutor in the same courthouse for 10 years. He served as Chief of Appeals, Chief of Special Prosecutions, Chief of Organized Crime, and Chief of the Criminal Division. Mr. Gleeson received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his role as lead prosecutor in United States v. John Gotti.

Mr. Gleeson has taught law for 29 years. Over the past 23 years, he has taught courses in Complex Federal Investigations and Sentencing at New York University School of Law. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a trustee of the Vera Institute of Justice, a member of the Board of Directors of the NYU Institute of Judicial Administration and a member of the Advisory Board of the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at NYU School of Law.

Mr. Gleeson’s awards include the following: The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law, University of Virginia (2016); Honorary Doctor of Laws, Northern Kentucky University (2016); The Distinguished Jurist in Residence, Cornell Law School (2016); The Distinguished Jurist Award, Defense Association of New York (2016); The Judicial Recognition Award, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2015); The Hon. William Brennan Award for Outstanding Jurist, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2014); The Green Bag Exemplary Writing Award, for United States v. Dossie (2013); The Green Bag Exemplary Writing Award, for United States v. Ovid (2011); Special Recognition Award, New York Criminal Bar Association (2009); and The Hon. Edward Weinfeld Award, New York County Lawyers’ Association (2008)

Mr. Gleeson’s publications include Federal Criminal Practice: A Second Circuit Handbook (18th Edition) (2018) and numerous articles. 

Mr. Gleeson earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and went to college at Georgetown University.

Judge Berman has been a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York since November 1998, taking senior status in 2011.  He received a B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1964, a J.D. degree in 1967 from N.Y.U. School of Law, and a M.S.W. in May of 1996 from the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. He received a Diploma of Comparative Law in 1968 and a Diploma of International Law in 1970 from the University of Stockholm Faculty of Law.

Judge Berman was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell from 1970 to 1974, and served as Executive Assistant to United States Senator Jacob K. Javits from 1974 to 1978. In 1978, he became General Counsel to Warner Cable Corporation (and to MTV Networks Inc. in 1984). In 1986, he became a member of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae and served as managing partner of LeBoeuf Lamb’s Los Angeles office from 1989 to 1991. From May 1995 until his appointment as a Federal District Judge, he served as a New York State Family Court Judge for Queens County. 

Judge Berman received the National Association of Social Workers (NYC) Emerald leadership award for 20 years of leadership as a licensed social worker and judge on March 28, 2019.

Judge Berman has lectured on the "Rule of Law" in Istanbul, Turkey (2014) and Tirana, Albania (2013). He organized and moderated a panel discussion entitled “Arbitration in 2017: Where is it Headed” at the Southern District Ceremonial Courtroom on March 7, 2017. He is the author of "Special Immigrant Juvenile Status"; "A Team Model to Identify Child Abuse"; "Seven Steps to Protect Children"; and "Community Service for Juvenile Offenders" published in the New York Law Journal.

Judge Berman is a member (and past Chairman) of the New York State-Federal Council and the New York County Lawyers Association Justice Center Advisory Board. He is Chairman of the Southern District’s Senior Judges Committee. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at New York Law School, as a member of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, and as a member of the New York City Mayor's Child Welfare Action Group.

Judge Preska was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on August 12, 1992 and entered duty on September 18, 1992.  She served as Chief Judge of that Court from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2016.  Judge Preska received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978. 

Following graduation from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and an associate and, beginning in January 1983, a partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason until her induction as a United States District Judge in September 1992.  Judge Preska was nominated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2008.  She received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Public Service Alumni Award from Fordham University School of Law in 1992 and served several terms as a Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Fordham Law Alumni Association.  The Fordham Law Alumni Association awarded her its Medal of Achievement in 1998.  She received a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from the College of St. Rose, Albany, New York, in 1998, the Edward J. Weinfeld Award from the New York County Lawyers Association Federal Courts Committee for Excellence in the Administration of Justice in 2001, the Charles Carroll Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild in 2004, the Stanley H. Fuld Award for outstanding contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New York State from the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association in 2009, the President’s Special Award from the New York Women’s Bar Association in 2011, the Barbara Jordan Outstanding Public Service Award from Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International in 2012, the Women in Business Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, the Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal from the New York County Lawyers Association in 2014, the James Madison Award from the New York City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society in 2014, and the Honorable John E. Sprizzo Award for commitment to the Rule of Law from St. John’s Law School in 2015.  She has lectured at Securities Industry Association Legal & Compliance Division, the International Bar Association, and numerous other venues, and was a contributing author to Federal Civil Practice published by the New York State Bar Association in 1989.

Judge Preska is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Federal Bar Council, the New York County Lawyers Association, and the New York State Bar Association.  She has served as a member of the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, as chair of the Benchbook Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center, and currently serves on the New York Federal-State Judicial Council.  Judge Preska has also served on the Advisory Board of the New York Chapter of the Federalist Society and, from 2001-2009, on the New York Regional Panel for the Selection of White House Fellows.  Judge Preska has also served as a Trustee of Fordham University. 

Lawrence J. Zweifach is a litigation partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s New York office. Mr. Zweifach is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and he has been acclaimed as one of the country’s best litigators in Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America.  Mr. Zweifach has served as trial counsel in a wide variety of cases, including securities, antitrust, accounting, auditing, RICO, mail and wire fraud, tax and bankruptcy, as well as contract, corporate control and partnership disputes.  His experience includes numerous high-profile criminal cases that he tried during his nine years as a federal prosecutor at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he was Chief of the Criminal Division.  He has represented a broad spectrum of clients, including public and private corporations, public accounting firms, investment banks, boards of directors, special committees, audit committees, corporate officers and directors, investment advisors, hedge funds, mutual funds and broker-dealers.

Chambers USA:  America’s Leading Lawyers for Business ranked Mr. Zweifach among the top Securities Enforcement lawyers in the country, among the leading Securities Litigators in New York, and among the leading White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyers in New York. He also has been recognized as a National and Local “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation. In addition, Mr. Zweifach has been recognized in Benchmark Litigation’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, The Legal 500, The International Who’s Who of Business Crime Defense Lawyers, The International Who’s Who of Investigations Lawyers & Forensic Experts, and the White Collar Crime Lawyers Expert Guide.   He is also a recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for his pro bono defense of capital cases.

Richard J. Sullivan was sworn in as a United States Circuit Court Judge for the Second Circuit in October 2018.  Before that, Judge Sullivan served for eleven years as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  Prior to becoming a judge, he was General Counsel and Managing Director of Marsh Inc., the world's leading risk management and insurance brokerage firm.  From 1994 to 2005, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he was Chief of the International Narcotics Trafficking Unit and Director of the New York/New Jersey Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.  In 2003, he was awarded the Henry L. Stimson Medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  In 1998, he was named the Federal Law Enforcement Association=s Prosecutor of the Year.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney=s Office, he was a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York and a law clerk to the Honorable David M. Ebel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.  He is a graduate of Yale Law School, the College of William & Mary, and Chaminade High School on Long Island.  From 1986 to 1987, he served as a New York City Urban Fellow under New York City Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward.  Judge Sullivan is on the executive board of the New York American Inn of Court and the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s University School of Law.  He is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, where he teaches courses on sentencing and jurisprudence, and he previously served as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, where he taught courses on white collar crime and trial advocacy and was named Adjunct Professor of the Year. 

David R. Marriott is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department.  His practice focuses on litigation and alternative dispute resolution, generally concerning business disputes and matters in the areas of intellectual property, securities, antitrust and product liability.

Mr. Marriott has tried, argued and litigated cases in both state and federal courts, and has been involved with numerous forms of alternative dispute resolution.  He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Mr. Marriott is an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law and a Lecturer in Law at Columbia University School of Law.  He teaches antitrust, intellectual property and trial practice.

Mr. Marriott is the editor of New York Business Litigation (NYLJ 2013-2018) and a contributing author and editor of Winning at Trial (ALM 2014).

Mr. Marriott has been recognized as a leading litigator for his trial and other work by publications such as Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500 US, The Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon, IAM Patent, Leaders League and Super Lawyers.

Douglas A. Cawley is a Principal in the Dallas office of McKool Smith. For more than forty years, he has been engaged in the trial of complex cases and has handled major intellectual property matters throughout the United States and across the globe. He has served as lead counsel in six patent infringement trials that have earned "Top 100 Verdict" rankings by The National Law Journal and VerdictSearch in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Mr. Cawley is ranked as a leading intellectual property lawyer by Chambers USA and is included in the Lawdragon 500 listing of "Leading Lawyers in America." In September 2015, he was profiled in Law360’s “Trial Aces” special feature, which recognized the Top 50 trial lawyers in the United States. In describing Douglas’s effectiveness as a trial lawyer, Law360 noted that his “list of victories is replete with multimillion-dollar verdicts won against some of the deepest pockets in the corporate world,” and that “you can chalk [his] more than $1 billion in patent victories up to his way of wooing juries.” The article also discusses how Douglas' “honesty in the courtroom has earned him a positive reputation with judges.”.  Douglas was named the Dallas "Patent Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers and "Outstanding IP Litigator - Texas" by Managing IP. He also received the "Litigator of the Year (South)" award from Benchmark Litigation and the Texas Lawyer 2017 Professional Excellence Award for "Distinguished Leadership." Most recently, he was recognized as a 2018 "Plaintiff Trailblazer" by The National Law Journal. The feature honors the top 25 leading lawyers in the nation who have achieved "remarkable success" for plaintiffs.

Mr. Cawley is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law. He is a frequent speaker on patent litigation at seminars throughout the country.


Evan R. Chesler is Chairman of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and one of the most highly regarded trial attorneys in the nation.  He joined Cravath in 1976 and became partner in 1982.  Mr. Chesler became head of the Litigation Department in 1996.  He was elected Deputy Presiding Partner in November 2005, Presiding Partner in January 2007 and Chairman in January 2013, the first person to be given that title in the Firm’s history.

Mr. Chesler has broad experience in both trial and appellate courts, and has tried numerous cases in federal and state courts all over the country.  He handles a wide variety of litigation, including securities, shareholder derivative, intellectual property, general commercial, environmental, ERISA, contractual disputes and antitrust.  His practice also includes the representation of clients in government and internal investigations.  Mr. Chesler has represented companies and their management in virtually every industry, including technology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and financial services. 

Mr. Chesler is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation.  He is also the President of the Institute of Judicial Administration.  Mr. Chesler is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Library and Chairman of the Lawyers for the Library Committee.  He is also a member of the Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation, a member of the Council of The American Law Institute, a Trustee of the Federal Bar Council and a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society.  Mr. Chesler is an adjunct professor of law at New York University School of Law, where he teaches an Advanced Trial Practice Seminar, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of NYU and NYU School of Law.  He is also the Chairman of NYU’s Board of Overseers of the Faculty of Arts and Science and Founder and Chairman of LAMP (the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program), which provides mentoring and curriculum enrichment programs to prelaw students. 

Mr. Chesler has been recognized as a leading litigator in several practice areas by numerous professional publications, including Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Best Lawyers in America, The American Lawyer, Benchmark Litigation, IAM Patent, The Legal 500 United States, Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.  In 2018, Mr. Chesler was honored with New York Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  He was named to The Legal 500 Hall of Fame in the Leading Trial Lawyers category in 2017. He became the first recipient of Benchmark Litigation’s Hall of Fame Award in 2016 and was named by the publication as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.”  He was also named a nationwide “Legend” by Lawdragon.

Mr. Chesler is a recipient of a number of awards, including the Judge Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee (2014); a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlantic Legal Foundation (2014); the Judge Joseph M. Proskauer Award from the UJA-Federation of New York (2013); and the Judge Simon H. Rifkind Award from the Jewish Theological Seminary (2012). 

Mr. Chesler received an A.B. degree, with highest honors in History, from New York University, an M.A. in Russian Area Studies at Hunter College and a J.D. cum laude from NYU School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, was Topics Editor of the Law Review, served as a junior fellow at the Center for International Studies, twice received the John Norton Pomeroy Prize for academic excellence and was awarded the Benjamin Butler Prize.  Following graduation, Mr. Chesler clerked for Hon. Inzer B. Wyatt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appointed Justice Jeffrey K. Oing to the Appellate Division, First Department of the New York State Supreme Court on June 12, 2017.  Prior to his appointment, Justice Oing served as a Judge in Civil and Supreme Court for fourteen years.  Justice Oing began his judicial career when he was elected to the New York County Civil Court on November 4, 2003.  On June 18, 2009, he was appointed Supervising Judge of the New York County Civil Court and was designated an Acting Supreme Court Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.  As Supervising Judge, Justice Oing was responsible for the day-to-day Civil Court operations at 111 Centre Street.  In addition to his supervisory duties, he presided over jury and nonjury trials, and conferenced and mediated cases.  On November 2, 2010, Justice Oing was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of New York.  In Supreme Court, Justice Oing was assigned to the Commercial Division where he presided over complex business and financial disputes, such as a contentious dispute involving three retail giants – Macy’s, Martha Stewart and J.C. Penney, and a nonjury trial involving a century old Greco-American educational alliance concerning Athens College, a pre-eminent, leading educational institution situated in Greece.

Justice Oing has over twenty-five years of legal and administrative experience, the majority of which has been in public service.  In 2002-2003, Justice Oing served as Deputy General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, The Council of the City of New York, overseeing litigation and legal matters involving the City Council.  During that year, Speaker Gifford Miller appointed him Deputy Director for the New York City Districting Commission, where he was responsible for assisting the Commission in redistricting the City’s fifty-one City Council districts, and for obtaining from the United States Department of Justice preclearance under the Voting Rights Act for these council districts.

Between 1993 and 2002, Justice Oing held various positions in the NYS Supreme Court.  From 1993 to 1995, Justice Oing served as Court Attorney in the NYS Supreme Court (New York County).  He also served as Law Secretary to Justice Marylin G. Diamond (1995-1998) and to Justice Walter B. Tolub (2000-2002).  Between 1998 and 2000, Justice Oing was a Principal Appellate Court Attorney in the Appellate Division, First Department.  In those positions, he had the opportunity to assist in authoring major decisions ranging from contract law to constitutional law.

Before joining the NYS Supreme Court, Justice Oing spent several years in private practice concentrating on commercial litigation.  In the midst of private practice, he served a brief stint as Assistant Counsel to New Jersey Governor Jim Florio.  Prior to entering private practice, Justice Oing began his legal career as judicial law clerk to Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.  During his clerkship, he worked on Abbott v. Burke, a major education funding case in which the Court held that New Jersey’s education funding formula was unconstitutional because it denied poorer urban school districts a “thorough and efficient” education as mandated by the state’s constitution.

Justice Oing received his B.A. in English from Columbia College (1986), and his J.D. from New York University School of Law (1989).  At NYU, he was a staff editor for the Journal of International Law and Politics.  Justice Oing serves on the board of directors of The Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc., a not-for-profit social services, educational and planning organization serving the City’s Asian communities.  Other memberships include: New York City Bar; New York State Bar Association; New York County Lawyers’ Association; Asian American Bar Association of New York; The Jewish Lawyers Guild; and New York Women’s Bar Association.

Greg Markel is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, is chairman of the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s New York office, is Co-Chair of the national Securities Litigation Practice, and is a member of the National Litigation Leadership Team. Mr. Markel has extensive experience in securities litigation, corporate governance litigation, corporate investigations, mergers and acquisition litigation, directors and officers defense, and antitrust litigation particularly in large, complex cases. He has also been an expert witness on the securities laws of the United States in foreign litigation.

He is a recognized leader in the profession. He has for years been ranked by Chambers for Securities Litigation. He was named by Best Lawyers as M&A Litigation, Lawyer of the Year, for 2018. LawDragon magazine inducted Mr. Markel into its Hall of Fame and recognized Mr. Markel as a “legend” and one of only 50 lawyers and judges in the legal profession in the United States who was named to the Law Dragon 500 for 10 consecutive years. Benchmark named him as a National Litigation Star. He is also a Legal 500 Leading Commercial Litigator, He has also been recognized by many other publications including Super Lawyers which rated him as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in New York, he is currently recognized for outstanding performance by Best Lawyer’s in America in commercial litigation, securities litigation, merger litigation and antitrust litigation, “Best in Class” in the legal profession by, The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators and many others. He has won a lifetime achievement award from Who’s Who in America

Mr. Markel is a graduate of Yale Law School, the University of Michigan with an MBA with distinction and Columbia University.

He is a member of the Business Law, Litigation and Antitrust sections of the American Bar Association; the Federal Bar Council; the City Bar Committee on Securities Litigation; the Securities Industry Association – Compliance & Legal Division, and the New York State Bar Association – Commercial Litigation Section. He is the recipient of the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing in 2007, 2016 and 2018. He is the Chair for the Center for Corporate Governance of the New York County Lawyers Association. Greg has been co-chair of the New York City Bar’s annual Securities Litigation Institute for a number of years and frequently speaks on panels and writes on a range of topics, such as director’s and officer’s liability, securities litigation, commercial litigation, accountants’ defense, law firm management and Internet litigation.

Hon. Lorna G. Schofield was confirmed by a unanimous U.S. Senate vote as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on December 13, 2012. 

Previously, Judge Schofield was a litigation partner at the international law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP from 1991 to 2011.  Judge Schofield’s practice focused on litigation in complex commercial matters, including the defense of companies and individuals in regulatory and white collar criminal investigations.  She also conducted internal and independent investigations on behalf of companies, their Boards of Directors and Audit Committees.  On the civil side, she represented clients in private disputes, including class actions, corporate bankruptcies, business fraud, professional liability and commercial disputes.  Judge Schofield is an experienced trial attorney, building on the trial experience she gained as a federal prosecutor.  Her trials include the successful defense of celebrity Rosie O’Donnell at trial in a $100 million lawsuit brought by the former publishers of Rosie magazine and a class action jury trial for one of the Big Four accounting firms in which the jury returned a favorable verdict after only thirty minutes. 

Judge Schofield began her career as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.  She then served as an Assistant US Attorney in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  

She is a former chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, an organization in which she held many leadership positions over twenty years.  Judge Schofield has written and spoken frequently about trial tactics and women in the legal profession.

John S. Siffert is a partner at Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP, where he practices civil commercial litigation and white-collar criminal & government regulatory defense.  He is an Adjunct Professor at NYU School of Law and co-author of Sand Modern Federal Jury Instructions (Civil and Criminal). He is a Fellow and past Regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 

Chief Justice Roberts appointed Mr. Siffert to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules for two successive terms, from 2012-2018.  He sits on a variety of not-for-profit boards, bar associations and committees of the Second Circuit.

Mr. Siffert is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has an active ADR practice. He is the court-appointed Special Master and Mediator in Gulino v. Board of Education and is tasked with recommending damages for 4500 NYC school teachers who failed a discriminatory licensing test.

He has received numerous awards, including the 2020 Law & Society Award from the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the 2018 George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award from the American Friends of the Hebrew University, and the 2009 Second Circuit American Inns of Court Professionalism Award.  

He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the SDNY and served as law clerk to Hon. Murray I. Gurfein.  He was graduated from Columbia Law School and Amherst College.

Lucille A. Fontana is a partner in the firm of FONTANA GIANNINI LLP. Her practice focuses on representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice and general tort litigation matters.

Ms. Fontana graduated first in her class from Pace Law School in 1981 and has practiced in the field of tort litigation since then.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers; a Member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Practice, New York State Office of Court Administration; a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and New York State Bar Foundation; and a volunteer mediator, Federal Court Southern District.

Ms. Fontana was a recipient of the New York Bar Association Attorney Professionalism Award in recognition of her zealous advocacy, integrity and civility. She has lectured frequently on topics of litigation practice.

Morgan Chu is a partner of Irell & Manella LLP. Chambers has described Mr. Chu as “beyond doubt the most gifted trial lawyer in the USA,” who “delivers staggering results for clients.”

Mr. Chu was Co-Managing Partner of the firm for two terms from 1997 to 2003 and is presently Chair of the Litigation Group.

Mr. Chu’s education includes University of California, Los Angeles B.A. 1971, M.A. 1972, Ph.D. 1973; Yale University M.S.L. 1974; and Harvard Law School J.D. 1976, magna cum laude.

After law school, Mr. Chu clerked for the Honorable Charles M. Merrill of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, joined Irell & Manella as an associate in 1977, and became a partner in 1982.

Mr. Chu was lead trial counsel in some of the world’s largest—and in some cases precedent-setting—verdicts, judgments and settlements, resulting in actual payments totaling over $9 billion, including:

Recent wins in the last year:


  • Sloan Kettering Institute and Juno v. Kite Pharma (2020) – $1.2 billion judgment on jury verdict for “first living drug.”
  • Peter v. NantKwest (December 2019) – 9-0 Supreme Court decision successfully contesting the U.S. government position that “all expenses” includes attorneys’ fees in patent section 145 actions to overturn Patent Office decisions.

Other notable cases include:

  • City of Hope v. Genentech – The jury verdict was the largest damage award ever affirmed on appeal by California courts. More than $565 million was paid by the defendant.
  • TiVo v. EchoStar, et al. – $1.7 billion in judgments and settlements including over $600 million paid by EchoStar after the jury verdict and post-trial proceedings; TiVo v. Motorola and TiVo v. Cisco – $490 million; TiVo v. AT&T – $215 million; TiVo v. Verizon – $250 million, plus future royalties.
  • Stac Electronics v. Microsoft – Landmark computer software decision that included $120 million jury verdict.
  • Texas Instruments v. Samsung – Settlement over $1 billion from ITC and district court actions (co-lead counsel).

Professional awards include:

  • One of 40 selected as "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" for 2000-2009 by National Law Journal, 2010
  • “Top Ten Trial Lawyers” in the nation by National Law Journal (describing Mr. Chu as a “giant killer”)
  • “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by National Law Journal (1994-present; describing Mr. Chu as “an innovator, with a penchant for reversing trends,” along with “extensive pro bono work”)
  • Named “Number One Super Lawyer in Southern California,” receiving highest vote total in the first poll of 65,000 lawyers, by Los Angeles Magazine (2004; describing Mr. Chu as relishing the thrill of “the quixotic challenge of an impossible case”)
  • “Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California” by Daily Journal (1993-present; describing Mr. Chu as “brilliant, innovative, indefatigable, and unflappable. The kind of guy you can imagine performing his own appendectomy.”)
  • The Outstanding Intellectual Property Lawyer in the United States in the first Chambers Award for Excellence, 2006
  • "IP MVP" by Law360, 2012; one of 10 "Most Admired Attorneys" by IP Law360, 2010
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers




Notably, Michele Roberts is the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America. In her role as Executive Director, Ms. Roberts serves as the primary advocate for all players, ensuring the protection of the organization and its membership, including serving as the lead negotiator in all collective bargaining activities. Prior to this selection, Ms. Roberts was a renowned trial lawyer and member of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s Litigation Group.

Ms. Roberts is a frequent lecturer and presenter to both the bench and bar on a variety of topics related to litigation and trial practice.

Paul C. Saunders is a retired litigation partner from the firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. He graduated from Fordham College in 1963 and from Georgetown University Law Center in 1966. He also holds a Certificate from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and a MS in Global Affairs from New York University.

From 1967 to 1971, he served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he tried general courts-martial and argued courts-martial appeals.  He joined the Cravath firm in 1971.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Chair of the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law and is a Member of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York’s Courts.

He has been a Distinguished Visitor from Practice at the Georgetown University Law Center since 2004. He is an Emeritus Member of Georgetown’s Board of Visitors and is also a member of the Board of Visitors of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

Roberto Finzi is a partner in the Litigation Department, co-chair of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group and a former federal prosecutor. His practice focuses on white collar matters, including grand jury and regulatory investigations, enforcement proceedings and internal investigations. Since his return from government service in 2006, he has represented individuals and organizations a variety of law enforcement initiatives, including prosecutions and investigations involving insider trading, accounting fraud, criminal anti-trust, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and health care fraud. His practice also includes providing counsel to clients on all areas of criminal and regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. He regularly represents indigent defendants in pro bono criminal matters.

Between February of 1999 and his return to Paul, Weiss in January of 2006, Roberto was an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In his seven years as a federal prosecutor, Roberto handled a wide variety of criminal investigations and prosecutions, conducting numerous jury trials in the district court and briefing and arguing numerous appeals before the Second Circuit. In 2003, Roberto became a member of the Southern District’s Securities & Commodities Frauds Task Force. In that role, he investigated and tried a variety of cases involving, among other things, accounting fraud, investment advisor fraud and market manipulation. Roberto has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.

Roberto served as an articles editor for the Cornell Law Review and as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph L. Tauro, United States District Judge in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Honorable Gregory H. Woods was nominated to the Southern District bench on May 9, 2013 and was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 9, 2013. He graduated magna cum laude from Williams College in 1991 and graduated from Yale Law School in 1995.

From 1995 until 1998, Judge Woods was a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, DC. Judge Woods joined Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City in 1998 and became an equity partner of the firm in 2004. Judge Woods left Debevoise in 2009, when he was appointed to serve as Deputy General Counsel of the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. Judge Woods was nominated to serve as General Counsel of the United States Department of Energy in August 2011 and was unanimously confirmed to serve in that position by the United States Senate in April 2012.

Edgardo Ramos was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on December 6, 2011 and entered on duty on December 15, 2011. Judge Ramos graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School. From 1987 to 1992, Judge Ramos was an associate with the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. In 1992, he joined the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York where he prosecuted a wide array of federal crimes including white collar frauds and public corruption. He received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1999. Judge Ramos joined the law firm that would ultimately become Day Pitney LLP in June 2002 as a partner in the white collar defense group. In 2003, he was appointed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve on the Commission to Combat Police Corruption. Judge Ramos has served on the governing boards of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association and the Puerto Rican Bar Association of New York City. He has also served on the Criminal Law and Municipal Affairs Committees of the New York City Bar Association. In 2008, Judge Ramos was elected as a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation.

Joseph (Joe) Mueller is a partner in the firm’s Litigation/Controversy Department. He is a highly skilled trial and appellate advocate, specializing in complex IP cases that involve other substantive disciplines (e.g., antitrust), involve both courts and agencies, and cross international borders. He has first-chaired high-stakes trials and argued important appeals for leading technology companies. Indeed, his experience at the center of game-changing IP litigation and his trial prowess have led some of the world’s largest technology companies, such as Intel Corporation, to rely on him for aid in the most sensitive and highest impact IP matters. Mr. Mueller has been recognized by a wide range of industry publications, including being named an “IP Star” in the 2014- 2019 editions of Managing IP and an “Intellectual Property Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal in 2019.