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Ethics for Commercial Litigators 2011

Speaker(s): C. Evan Stewart, David S. Versfelt, Hon. William F. Kuntz, II, Susan J. Kohlmann
Recorded on: Jun. 30, 2011
PLI Program #: 29401

David S. Versfelt


Mr. Versfelt has more than 30 years' experience representing clients in a variety of complex matters in state and federal courts and in private arbitration proceedings. He has handled claims brought under the securities laws; class action defenses; numerous commercial contract disputes; insurance coverage matters; claims of business torts and breach of fiduciary duty; unfair competition matters; trade secret disputes; broker-dealer arbitrations; and investigations by the SEC and the FTC. He has argued appeals before numerous federal appellate courts, and handled dealer distribution matters on an ongoing basis. He represents several trade associations with memberships in the advertising/marketing and manufacturing industries.


  • Joined K&L Gates in 1998
  • Associate, 1977-1984, and Partner, 1984-1998, with a New York law firm
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Leonard P. Moore, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1976-1977

  • New York State Courts
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, D.C. and Federal Circuits
  • U.S. Districts Courts  for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York

New York

J.D., Columbia University, 1976 (Editor, Columbia Law Review)
A.B., Princeton University, 1973 (Phi Beta Kappa)

Susan J. Kohlmann is an experienced litigator in our Content, Media & Entertainment Practice, chair of the Trademark, Advertising and Unfair Competition Practice and managing partner of the firm's New York Office. Clients seek her counsel on a wide variety of complex matters, including copyright, trademark and trade secret disputes. She has also represented companies in various class action and other complex commercial matters. In addition to her extensive experience in jury and bench trials and arbitration proceedings, Ms. Kohlmann has extensive experience briefing and arguing appeals in the New York appellate courts and several federal circuit courts.

Ms. Kohlmann is consistently recognized by Legal 500 for her leadership in copyright law, and in 2018, was named one of only eight “Leading Lawyers” in the nationwide category.  She has also been recognized by Legal 500 for appellate and Supreme Court litigation as well as media and entertainment law. Chambers USA has consistently recognized Ms. Kohlmann in its Intellectual Property: Trade Mark & Copyright (New York) practice area. She was named American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” in September 2017 for leading a Jenner & Block team to a $13.15 million verdict for the Estate of Elaine Steinbeck, the late third wife of author John Steinbeck, in a trial over the rights to the writer’s works. She was also named a 2018 National Law Journal “Intellectual Property Trailblazer” for the victory. The trial win also earned the firm a spot as a “Legal Lion” on Law360’s weekly “Legal Lions and Lambs” report. Managing Intellectual Property consistently names her an “IP Star” and has named her among the “Top 250 Women in IP.” A member of Jenner & Block’s Policy Committee, Ms. Kohlmann also serves as chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and on the New York office's Pro Bono Committee.


C. Evan Stewart's practice focuses principally on the financial services industry, where he handles litigation matters for domestic and international clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, in arbitration forums, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the U.S. Supreme Court. He advises clients on a range of complex commercial matters, including antitrust, bankruptcy, class action defense, ethics, intellectual property, internal investigations, securities litigation, and tax controversies.

Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the "Top Trials of 2005" for his successful representation of Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for "late trading" mutual funds. More recently, Mr. Stewart successfully represented Gary Prince against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May of 2013, after a three week bench trial in federal court, the judge dismissed all six charges of securities fraud against Mr. Prince.

Mr. Stewart previously served twelve years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The Nikko Securities Co. International Inc., and as a director of Nikko Financial Services Inc. Additionally, Mr. Stewart served as First Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Head of Litigation at E.F. Hutton & Company Inc.  Since 2003, Mr. Stewart has been tasked by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to, among other things, oversee and litigate all of the disputes arising out of the company's Private Wealth Management Division.

Recognized as a Super Lawyer for Securities Litigation since 2009, Mr. Stewart has also been hailed as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation since 2010. In 2016, Mr. Stewart received the Sanford D. Levy Award from the New York State Bar Association's Ethics Committee for having "significantly contributed to an understanding of professional ethics by the publication of an article, commentary or a series of articles or commentaries on the subject." In 2008, he received the Modaq Content Award for writing the most popular article in the United States. Since 1980, Mr. Stewart has been AV(R) Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Stewart is a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct law professor at Fordham Law School. He has been a regularly contributing columnist for the New York Law Journal since 1990, the New York Business Journal since 2006, and has published approximately 300 articles on diverse legal subjects.  He is also frequently featured in the national media and regularly speaks across the country on securities professional responsibility and complex litigation issues.

William Francis Kuntz, II (born 1950) is a United States District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The United States Senate unanimously confirmed him on October 3, 2011. He received his judicial commission on October 4, 2011.

Early Life and Education

Born in New York, New York, Judge Kuntz earned an A.B. in 1972 from Harvard College. He then earned an A.M. in 1974 and a Ph.D. in 1979 from Harvard University and a law degree in 1977 from Harvard Law School.

Professional Career

From 1978 until 1986, Judge Kuntz was an associate in the New York law firm Shearman & Sterling. From 1986 until 1994, Judge Kuntz was a partner in the New York law firm Milgrim Thomajan Jacobs & Lee, and from 1994 until 2001, Judge Kuntz was a partner in the New York law firm Seward & Kissel. From 2001 until 2004, he was a partner in the New York office of the Canadian law firm Torys LLP, and from 2004 until 2005, he was counsel at the New York law firm Constantine & Cannon. From 2005 until becoming a federal judge, Judge Kuntz was a partner in the New York office of the law firm Baker Hostetler. His specialty is commercial and labor litigation. He was elected to the Practising Law Institute Board of Trustees in 1996, becoming Chair of the Executive committee in 2006. He has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He was the longest standing member of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Nomination to Federal District Court

On March 9, 2011, President Obama nominated Judge Kuntz to fill a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which became vacant when Judge Nina Gershon took senior status in 2008. Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York Assumed office October 4, 2011 Appointed by Barack Obama Preceded by Nina Gershon Born 1950, New York City, New York, U.S. Alma mater Harvard University The United States Senate confirmed Judge Kuntz by unanimous consent on October 3, 2011. He received his judicial commission the following day.