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Pretrial Practice 2021

Speaker(s): Carolina A. Fornos, David A. Crichlow, David G. Keyko, David Randall J. Riskin, George G. Gordon, Hon. Barbara Moses, Hon. Henry B. Pitman (Ret.), Hon. Holly B. Fitzsimmons, Hon. Michael A. Hammer, Hon. Robert W. Lehrburger, Hon. Steven M. Gold (ret.), Jacqueline P. Rubin, Jennifer A. Paradise, John M. Toriello, Jonathan J. Ross, Kelly Strange Crawford, Lauren E. Aguiar, Lucy P. Allen, Mark E. Segall, Marla Alhadeff, Nancy Axilrod Denton, Robert S. Fischler, Steven R. Schindler
Recorded on: Apr. 15, 2021
PLI Program #: 306019

I joined Susman Godfrey in 1994, becoming a partner in 1998. Along with my colleagues at the firm, I specialize in winning trials: both the preparation involved in positioning a case for trial, and the ability to convince the fact finder, be it jury, judge, or arbitration panel, of the merit of my client's case. I am equally adept at representing plaintiffs and defendants, and believe that an active practice for both plaintiffs and defendants makes me a more effective lawyer then one who concentrates solely on the plaintiff's or defendant's side.

In today's world of complex business litigation, clients have become risk- adverse, and more cases settle after extensive pre-trial maneuvers then used to. Why then the need for business litigation trial lawyers? There are two reasons. First, significant, beyond client expectation settlements only happen when the attorney handling the case prepares the case for trial, regardless of any settlement expectations. Only when the case is managed to be tried from the first day forward will these settlements happen. I believe in answering the following question in the first weeks of any engagement: what do I need to prove to obtain the verdict my client desires? How the case is managed from that point on flows from that question. I do not waste time trying to "win" discovery disputes. The only "win" that interests me is having the fact finder find for my client.

My experience is as varied as one would expect from an attorney who focuses on litigating cases, and refuses to specialize in anything but trial advocacy.

Below is a representative sampling of cases I am currently involved in, as well as past results (weighted to the recent past).


The Hotchkiss School (1983)

Georgetown University (B.A. in History & Government, magna cum laude, 1987)

Yale Law School (J.D., 1992)

Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk to The Honorable Lynn N. Hughes, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 1992-94

Honors and Distinctions

  • Morris Historical Medal for Best Senior Thesis in History, Georgetown
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Georgetown
  • Senior Editor, Yale Law Journal (1991-92)
  • Managing Editor and Student Writing Editor, Yale Journal of International Law (1990-91)
  • Named "Texas Rising Star" (2005) in Texas Monthly magazine.

Professional Memberships and Associations

  • State Bar of New York (admitted 1993)
  • State Bar of Texas (1994)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1995)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (1999)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2002)
  • United States Supreme Court (2003)
  • Eastern District of Texas (2006)
  • Northern District of Texas (2003)
  • Southern District of Texas (1995)
  • Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas (2004)
  • Northern District of Georgia (2004)
  • Eastern District of New York (2007)
  • Southern District of New York (2007)
  • American Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association

David Riskin is an experienced commercial litigator who manages complex matters in state and federal courts. He focuses on defending professional liability and conflict-of-interests claims against law firms and litigating trade-secret and copyright claims. David engages all aspects of a matter by developing case themes, building expert strategies, preparing and defending key witnesses, and designing early-stage litigation strategies resulting in pre-trial dismissals and favorable settlements. Although all cases vary and none are predictive, among his representations, David has:

·      Successfully defeated a half-a-billion-dollar mortgage-backed-securities claim through a novel statute-of-limitations argument.

·      Successfully argued the appeal of a trial verdict and summary-judgment decision before the Delaware Supreme Court en banc in a commercial dispute involving contract and trade-secret claims in excess of $400 million. David also served as trial counsel for the defense in the case, in which the jury returned a defense verdict on the contract claims after summary judgment on the trade-secret claims.

·      Defended Am Law 100 law firm in a malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty action alleging a conflict of interests.

·      Defended Am Law 100 law firm against a motion to disqualify and in a separate suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty arising from a representation adverse to one of the firm’s former clients.

·      Defended Am Law 100 law firm in a malpractice dispute arising from a missed foreign filing deadline.

David’s broader commercial litigation experience has spanned a variety of industries, including financial services and securities, commercial real estate, medical devices, aerospace, healthcare, and technology. And he has represented individuals in civil, criminal, and governmental proceedings, both domestically and abroad. 

David is from Morristown, New Jersey. He received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Williams College in international relations, and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. David served as a law clerk to the Honorable John D. Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Honorable Laurence H. Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Barbara Moses was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York on December 23, 2015.

Judge Moses graduated from Dartmouth College in 1978, magna cum laude, and from Harvard Law School in 1982, cum laude. Between college and law school she worked as a radio reporter in New England. After receiving her law degree, Judge Moses clerked for Chief Judge Vincent L. McKusick of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. She then joined the San Francisco office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she became a litigation partner in 1990. In 1992, Judge Moses moved to Orrick’s New York office, and in 2002 she joined the New York firm now known as Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Anello, where she continued to practice in the field of securities and business litigation.

From 2009 through 2011, in addition to her private practice, Judge Moses taught a full-year, first-year course in Lawyering at NYU Law School. From 2011 through 2015 she directed the Constitutional and Civil Rights Litigation Clinic at Seton Hall Law School, where she also taught Professional Responsibility.

Judge Moses has been a director of the New York County Lawyers’ Association since 2007. From 2013 to 2014 she served as NYCLA’s 59th President, and from 2004 to 2006 she chaired the NYCLA Federal Courts Committee, which honored her with the David Y. Hinshaw Award in 2015. Judge Moses is also a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the American Law Institute.

Carolina A. Fornos, a Pillsbury Litigation partner and former federal prosecutor, is an experienced trial and appellate attorney whose practice areas include commercial litigation, civil and criminal enforcement matters, and cross-border internal investigations and compliance, including AML and FCPA compliance.

Carolina has extensive experience in all phases of federal investigations and litigation. As a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions, she spent almost nine years handling a wide range of matters ranging from False Claims Act cases and health care fraud to bribery, bank fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering violations. As a member of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Carolina investigated money laundering crimes and potential violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

Professional Highlights

  • Served in the Office of the White House Counsel from November 2010 to April 2011, vetting candidates for presidential appointments.
  • Frequent contributor to a variety of publications on topics involving white collar defense, AML and regulatory enforcement issues.
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. in Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense (2017).

Honors & Awards

  • Profiled as a key member of Pillsbury's Latin Lawyer 250-ranked practice in the region.


  • New York


  • Spanish

David Keyko is a partner in the law firm's Litigation practice and is located in the New York office. His practice has focused on major, complex litigation, often involving multiple parties. He has handled cases involving allegations of securities or other types of fraud, antitrust violations, ethics issues and trusts and estates issues across the country, often involving insurance coverage issues. He has conducted internal investigations and represented clients responding to government probes. He has also served as an expert witness in connection with legal malpractice litigation. Among the prominent cases Mr. Keyko has handled was the representation of a defendant in a $1.4 billion antitrust lawsuit.

Mr. Keyko was named the "New York City Best Lawyers Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year" for 2012, 2017 and 2019. He has lectured and written widely on securities, antitrust, legal ethics and general litigation topics, and chairs PLI's programs on federal pretrial practice and ethics for corporate lawyers. He is a former columnist for the New York Law Journal and has written several dozen articles on litigation and ethics issues for such publications as the National Law Journal.

Mr. Keyko has undertaken a variety of pro bono projects, including representing for over 20 years a death row inmate in Alabama asserting that the inmate is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, serving as Chair of the Board of Mobilization for Justice Legal Services, Inc., and serving two terms as a member of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Department. He was Chairman of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He chaired the ad hoc committee of the Association that commented on proposed SEC regulations under Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. He is currently a trustee of the Association and is the chair of the ABA Legal Referral and Information Service Committee.

Mr. Keyko is a member of Pillsbury's Sarbanes-Oxley Committee, Opinions Committee and Professional Responsibility Committee. He is an adjunct professor at the Fordham University School of Law where he teaches legal ethics.

Jennifer Paradise is General Counsel of White & Case LLP. As such, she advises the Firm's lawyers on issues relating to professional responsibility, manages the Firm’s Compliance and New Business Teams, and is a member of the Firm's Global Risk Management Committee.

Prior to joining White & Case, Ms. Paradise practiced in the litigation department at another leading firm where she litigated matters on behalf of financial service and communications industry clients.

Ms. Paradise is a former member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and of the Committee on Professional Responsibility of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She frequently lectures on issues pertaining to professional responsibility and teaches Ethics and Professionalism at Fordham Law School.

Ms. Paradise is a graduate of Columbia Law School where she was an Editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Stone and Kent Scholar. Ms. Paradise clerked for the Honorable Nina Gershon, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York from 2002-2003.

John M. Toriello is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Holland & Knight's New York City office and co-chairs the firm's Insurance Industry Team. Mr. Toriello has extensive experience in jury and nonjury trials, appeals to both federal and state appellate courts and international arbitrations of contract disputes. He represents clients in a wide range of insurance disputes, including prosecution of fiduciary duty claims, fraud claims, coverage claims and broker/intermediary errors-and- omissions claims. He acts in marine, aviation, CGL, satellite, environmental, reinsurance, business interruption and other litigations and arbitrations.

Mr. Toriello has led the representation of aircraft lessors, equipment lessors and other aviation clients in international repossession, bankruptcy, purchase, sale, redelivery and general contract disputes related to, among other things, nonpayment, aircraft and equipment condition, compliance with (FAR)s, escalation clauses and valuation.

Mr. Toriello has led the representation of financial institutions and obligors in connection with the enforcement of loan and other obligations, the pursuit of fraud and fraudulent conveyance claims, the defense of lender-liability claims, judgment enforcement and insurance-coverage disputes. In his general practice, he represents clients on contract and product liability matters involving heavy industrial equipment, manufacturing plants, aircraft, vessels and satellites, as well as counsels sellers and manufacturers of sporting equipment, appliances and food products. Mr. Toriello has also directed judgment-enforcement litigations and been appointed an arbitrator in ICC and private arbitrations. A substantial amount of his practice relates to international transactions.

In addition, Mr. Toriello has delivered papers at meetings for various professional organizations on topics including Asbestos Litigation, Piercing the Corporate Veil, Environmental Risks Faced by Lenders Under United States Law and Resolution of International Insurance Disputes. He has written several articles for the New York Law Journal and Reactions.

While in law school, he served as articles editor for the St. John's Law Review.

Lucy P. Allen is Managing Director at NERA Economic Consulting.  At NERA, Ms. Allen directs projects in securities, finance, and the economics of product liability. She has performed valuations of privately-held companies, subsidiaries, and thinly-traded securities, and has assessed liability, materiality, and damages in over 100 securities litigation cases. She has analyzed issues related to subprime lending, ERISA claims, and alleged market manipulation and insider trading including complex financial instruments such as credit derivatives. In the area of tort economics, she has estimated the number and value of claims likely to arise from allegedly defective or harmful products, including asbestos, medical products, and building materials.
Ms. Allen’s recent experience includes expert testimony in the healthcare, banking, information technologies, consumer products, telecommunications, and oil and gas industries.

Ms. Allen has a long history of testifying in high profile cases, including testifying as Halliburton’s expert for the securities class action that went to the Supreme Court twice. She has testified at trials in Federal District Court, Bankruptcy Court, before the American Arbitration Association and the Judicial Arbitration Mediation Service, and in depositions. In the area of finance and securities, she has testified on issues including:

  • Market efficiency, class conflicts, and other issues regarding class certification
  • Loss causation, materiality, and damages
  • Settlement values in securities class action suits
  • Valuation

Before joining NERA, Ms. Allen was a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers for both President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton, providing economic analysis on regulation and health care policy issues. Prior to that, she worked as a management consultant for five years, where she formulated marketing, organization, and overall business strategies for clients in a broad range of industries.

Ms. Allen earned an A.B. degree from Stanford University, an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance and accounting from Yale University and M.A. and M.Phil. degrees in Economics also from Yale University.

Mark E. Segall, Esq. is nationally recognized as one of the leading experts on the evaluation of litigation risk, settlement strategy and mediation of cases involving financial services and complex commercial disputes. Mr. Segall has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of complex disputes since joining JAMS in 2010. Mr. Segall’s experience ranges broadly in case type. He has vast experience in many areas of law including: employment, securities, financial markets, insurance, real estate and intellectual property. Mr. Segall’s expertise in these areas derives from his two decades of extensive experience managing litigation and handling difficult, high profile financial services matters domestically and worldwide for JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) and its predecessor firms as well as his experience in private practice and at JAMS. Mr. Segall served as JPMC’s Head of Litigation, Senior Vice President, and Associate General Counsel from 2003 until 2010. Litigation matters ran the full gamut from the most high profile securities and antitrust cases to consumer class actions, employment matters, and international litigation and arbitration. He has been an active speaker at industry and litigation conferences and a participant in court-appointed focus groups. 

Mr. Segall is particularly adept at resolving employment disputes involving senior executives. Disputes involve claims of wrongful discharge, claims of discrimination based on race, sex and age, alleged violations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, claims involving compensation in the form of incentive bonuses, deferred compensation, stock options and restricted stock, other forms of long-term incentive plans, claims involving company-sponsored private equity investments, claims involving the right to benefits and alleged violations of ERISA, and claims involving the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Mr. Segall is a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School.  Mr. Segall is on the Board of MFJ Legal Services and has served as Board Chair.  He also served on the Board of Trustees of Westchester Reform Temple.  Mr. Segall is also a past recipient of MFJ’s Matthew G. Leonard Award for Pro Bono Achievement.   While at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Mr. Segall also held the company’s board seat on the Institute for Legal Reform in Washington. 

Michael A. Hammer was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey on August 12, 2011.  Before becoming a Magistrate Judge, Judge Hammer was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey for thirteen years.  From May 2006 to August 2011, Judge Hammer served as Chief of the National Security Unit.  In that position, Judge Hammer supervised and prosecuted a variety of counter-terrorism and counter-espionage investigations, including serving as co-trial counsel in a three-month trial against five men who were convicted of conspiracy to murder government personnel.  Judge Hammer also served as a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, supervising a wide variety of white-collar and other criminal prosecutions. From 2002 until 2006, Judge Hammer served in the Special Prosecutions Division, handling public corruption investigations and trials.  From 1996 to 1998, Judge Hammer was an associate at McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney (now McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter) in Morristown, New Jersey, and worked on a variety of commercial litigation matters.  Judge Hammer also clerked for former District Judge Garrett E. Brown and then-Magistrate Judge Stanley R. Chesler.  Judge Hammer graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Seton Hall Law Review, and the University of Michigan.

Robert S. Fischler is a senior counsel in the New York office of Ropes & Gray LLP, where he served for many years as head of the firm-wide litigation department. Bob has extensive experience in all phases of complex commercial litigation and has represented numerous clients in the financial, private equity, retail, and real estate sectors, among others. Bob is a long-time member of the PLI faculty and of the board of directors of Mobilization for Justice.

A partner in the Litigation Department at Paul, Weiss, Jacqui Rubin handles a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters, including antitrust litigations and antitrust and securities class actions, regulatory and internal investigations, bankruptcy litigation and other complex business disputes.

Jacqui has substantial experience in antitrust law. She has represented clients in regulatory investigations arising out of major transactions, multi-defendant direct and indirect purchaser antitrust class actions, and other significant disputes between competitors. Her most recent clients for antitrust matters include Time Warner Cable, Becton Dickinson and Giorgio Foods.

Jacqui also specializes in bankruptcy litigation, having represented bondholder and creditor committees and debtors in numerous chapter 11 cases and contested restructuring transactions. Her recent clients in the bankruptcy and insolvency context include public and private companies in the financial services, metals and mining and oil and gas industries.

Jacqui has experience in other types of complex commercial litigation, including securities, contract disputes and malpractice actions. In addition to her practice in federal and state courts across the country, she has handled domestic and international arbitrations, and internal and regulatory investigations.

Jacqui is very active in the community and in pro bono work. Recently, she handled several cases and appeals on behalf of unaccompanied children seeking to secure lawful permanent residence in the United States. Jacqui is also a member of the Board of Directors of Mobilization for Justice, which offers free legal help to low-income New Yorkers.

Jacqui co-chairs Paul, Weiss’s Professional Responsibility Committee. She was recently recognized by Law360 as one of four “Rising Stars” nationally in the health industry for her work on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies. She is also recognized by The Legal 500 US as a leading lawyer in the antitrust area.

David A. Crichlow is engaged in all aspects of trial and appellate practice before federal and state courts as well as administrative agencies and arbitration tribunals.With a focus on complex commercial disputes, Mr. Crichlow has extensive experience in contract, commercial fraud, securities, banking, government contracts and class action litigation, as well as internal corporate investigations.

Representative Matters

  • Representation of the equity committee in the Solutia bankruptcy in its $2 billion lawsuit against Solutia's former parent, asserting that Solutia’s former parent undercapitalized Solutia at its spin-off, fraudulently transferred certain liabilities to Solutia and misrepresented the scope of Solutia's future environmental liabilities in public documents related to the spin-off.
  • Defense of one of the country’s largest automobile finance companies in a class action suit alleging violations of New York’s Motor Vehicle Retail Leasing Act.
  • Defense of a Cayman Island hedge fund against a $324 million preference action brought by the creditors’ committee in the Refco bankruptcy.
  • Representation of one of the country’s largest oil companies in several adversary proceedings brought against the Enron Corporation, or its affiliates, in the Enron bankruptcy, with respect to disputes arising from a pipeline joint venture between the company’s affiliates and Enron’s affiliates.
  • Representation of one of the United States’ largest pension funds in its multimillion-dollar suit against a large commercial real estate developer and several construction contractors for the alleged defective design and construction of a New Jersey commercial retail shopping mall purchased by the pension fund.
  • Class action defense of European financial institutions and Japanese industrial companies in litigation arising out of the atrocities of World War II, including the representation of a Japanese industrial company in a class action filed by American prisoners of war for atrocities allegedly suffered during World War II.
  • Defense of a French commercial bank, a European central bank and a German insurance company in separate class actions alleging the misappropriation of certain assets by the respective financial institutions during, and subsequent to, World War II.
  • Completion of an extensive internal corporate investigation of the allegedly corrupt practices of management of a multinational pharmaceutical company at the behest of an independent committee of the board of directors.
  • Representation of a large domestic public utility company in its petition before the US Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari to review a lower court’s decision on the constitutionality of a FERC ruling.

George G. Gordon, former Co-Chair of Dechert’s antitrust/competition and life sciences practice groups, focuses his practice on antitrust litigation, counseling and government investigations. He is also a member of the commercial litigation groups. Mr. Gordon’s experience includes substantial antitrust class action litigation and general antitrust litigation including a number of significant antitrust actions involving claims of monopolization, unlawful price discrimination, unlawful group boycotts, predatory pricing, and monopoly leveraging. He has also successfully represented clients in a number of non-public investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.

Holly B. Fitzsimmons was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for Connecticut in June 1993, and reappointed in 2001 and 2009.  She has been on recall since her retirement in April 2015, assisting the District of New Jersey and the Western District of New York in addition to Connecticut. As a recall judge, she conducts mediations, manages complex litigation and handles trials and dispositive motions on consent of the parties.

In addition to her judicial duties, she served as editor of the newsletter of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association and participated on the Magistrate Judge Advisory Committee at the AO.  She is also in her eighth year as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure.

Judge Fitzsimmons was an assistant U.S. Attorney in Connecticut from 1978 until her appointment to the bench, serving as the first Connecticut chief for New England OCDETF, supervisor of the Bridgeport office, chief of special litigation (financial crimes, international money laundering & political corruption cases) and senior litigation counsel.

She was an associate at Robinson Robinson & Cole in Hartford before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a founding member of the Hartford Association of Women Attorneys. Judge Fitzsimmons is a graduate of Smith College, magna cum laude, and of the University of Virginia Law School, where she and her partner won the Lile Moot Court competition in 1976, and from which she received a Master of Arts degree in legal history along with her law degree. Before attending law school, she was a newspaper reporter.

Hon. Henry Pitman (retired) served as a magistrate judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1996 until his retirement in September 2019 and served as chief magistrate judge from 2008 to 2010. During his tenure, Judge Pitman handled thousands of cases for pretrial proceedings, settlement and trial. The cases he handled include multidistrict antitrust litigations, securities fraud actions, countless COGSA cases, class actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act involving the misclassification of employees, garden-variety wage and hour disputes, all manner of commercial disputes, construction disputes, employment discrimination cases, ADA and ERISA disputes, trademark and copyright disputes and wrongful death and personal injury cases. Along with the late Hon. Harold Baer, Judge Pitman co-presided over the first two sessions of the Southern District's Re-Entry Court, a program intended to facilitate and assist the re-entry of former offenders into society.

Before his appointment as a magistrate judge, Judge Pitman was in private practice for a total of 12 years and served as an assistant United States attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York for five years. As an assistant United States attorney, he tried 14 cases to verdict and argued six appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He also served for more than two years in the securities fraud unit. While in private practice, he handled a variety of civil matters, including trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement, patent infringement (biotechnology and other technologies), securities fraud, commodities fraud and breach of contract matters. Prior to his appointment as a magistrate judge and while in private practice, Judge Pitman also served on the Southern District's panel of volunteer mediators.

Judge Pitman received his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Fordham University and his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Fordham University School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and the National Moot Court Team.  After law school, Judge Pitman clerked for the late Hon. Lloyd F. MacMahon in the Southern District of New York.

Judge Pitman currently serves as a mediator, arbitrator, special master, referee and neutral evaluator with the New York Office of JAMS.

Judge Lehrburger was appointed to the Southern District bench on October 30, 2017.  Prior to becoming a federal judge, he practiced for 27 years at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where he was a partner since 1998. 

While at his firm, Judge Lehrburger handled complex litigation and tried cases in both federal and state courts, across many fields of law, including intellectual property, unfair competition, false advertising, contract, antitrust, torts, and mortgage-backed securities.  

He also fulfilled several management roles at Patterson Belknap, including as Chair of the Hiring Committee and a member of the Diversity, Professional Responsibility, and Management Committees. 

During his tenure as a lawyer, Judge Lehrburger performed a variety of pro bono legal service and is a past recipient of the MFY Legal Services Partner in Justice Award. 

In his early years at Patterson Belknap, Judge Lehrburger served as a mediator in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court, an arbitrator with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, and a special assistant corporation counsel trying cases for the New York City law department.  

Judge Lehrburger graduated from Brown University as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and New York University School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Kelly Strange Crawford is Co-Chair of Riker Danzig and the head of the Firm’s Products Liability and Mass Tort Practice Group.  She concentrates her practice in complex litigation involving mass torts, products liability defense, and complex commercial matters, including state and federal class actions, multi-district litigation and state court coordinated proceedings.  Her clients include large and small pharmaceutical and industrial companies, as well as individuals.  Ms. Crawford has extensive experience representing clients that manufacture and market pharmaceutical products and medical devices, as well as nutraceutical products, and has served as defense liaison counsel and trial counsel, including in New Jersey’s Multi-County Litigation court system.   She also defends clients in litigation involving claims of workplace and environmental exposures to substances such as vinyl chloride monomer, benzene, and asbestos and asbestos-containing products, including litigation involving premise owners and claims involving novel liability theories.  Ms. Crawford has served as trial counsel and she and her team handle all facets of case development, motion practice, trial preparation, and as well as trial.  She and her team frequently work with global and national counsel to accomplish client goals through disciplined execution of defined roles and a relentless commitment to long-term partnerships.  Ms. Crawford also has experience with small business disputes, dissenting shareholder valuation litigation, environmental cost recovery actions, non-product liability personal injury cases (both for plaintiffs and defendants) including motor vehicle accidents.

In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Crawford has handled pro bono matters ranging from municipal court representation in New Jersey to representation of a death row client in post-conviction relief proceedings in Alabama.  She has served as head of the Firm’s pro bono committee and assists associates handling pro bono litigation matters.  Ms. Crawford is a Trustee for the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey.  She has served a ten-year term as a Member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Model Civil Jury Charges.  Among other associations, she is a member of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute Legal Advisory Board, the Trial Attorneys of America, Litigation Counsel of America and the International Association of Defense Counsel.  Ms. Crawford is a speaker on panels relating to mass tort and products liability litigation.

In 2018, Ms. Crawford was honored by the Executive Women of New Jersey at its “Salute to the Policy Makers” gala.  The annual awards event honors women who have made significant contributions in the private or public sectors in New Jersey.  Also in 2018, she was named one of New Jersey’s “Power 100” by NJBIZ.  The annual list identifies the key people impacting business in New Jersey in a positive way.  Ms. Crawford was named 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation in the Newark region by Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of U.S. lawyers.  This honor is given annually to a single Product Liability Law attorney in each region.  Best Lawyers has also listed Ms. Crawford in the field of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions and Product Liability Litigation since 2013.  Since 2017, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business Client’s Guides, has recognized Ms. Crawford in the Products Liability Litigation field.  In the Guide, clients call her “very knowledgeable,” and she is praised for her “strong trial capabilities, pointing to her longstanding courtroom experience.” She was selected by the New Jersey Law Journal as a “Diverse Attorney of the Year” in 2015. 


Practice area

  • Litigation
  • Products Liability,  Toxic Tort and Mass Tort
  • Appellate Law Strategies


  • Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation
  • Products Liability and Workplace/Environmental Exposure Personal Injury Litigation
  • Mass-Tort/Multi-County Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation


  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Courts, Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit


  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1993
    Duke University, A.B., 1989

Lauren E. Aguiar is a Partner in the Complex Litigation and Trials group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she represents clients in federal and state court business litigation. Her diverse practice focuses on complex, high-profile cases and trials involving a wide range of  commercial  matters  including  breach  of  contract, M&A, fraud, fiduciary, employment, trust & estate, copyright, false advertising, trade secret, and class action litigation. Ms. Aguiar is the Chairperson of the Skadden Foundation, which runs the Skadden Fellowship Program. She serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. She also is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Covenant House International, a shelter in the U.S. and Central America for homeless and trafficked youth. She serves on the advisory board of the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School. Ms. Aguiar received her B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Connecticut College, and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was the Managing Editor of the Annual Survey of American Law. She is recognized as a stand-out in her field, including as a leading lawyer in general commercial litigation by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Best Lawyers (2018- 2020); Latin America Corporate Counsel Association (as a leading practitioner); Super Lawyers (Top 50 Women Lawyers in NY Metro 2019-2020); and Crain's Notable Women in Law (2021). She is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America (a peer selected group). She speaks and writes frequently on issues related to civil litigation and trial practice, including at the Practicing Law Institute, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York City Bar.

Steven M. Gold serves as an arbitrator, mediator, and Special Master at JAMS.  From 1993 until 2021, he served as a United States Magistrate in the Eastern District of New York, and as that Court’s Chief Magistrate Judge from 2007-2016.  Prior to his appointment, Judge Gold served, in reverse chronological order, as General Counsel to the New York City Department of Investigation, as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as an associate attorney with the law firm of Orans Elsen & Lupert, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Herbert F. Murray, United States District Judge for the District of Maryland.  Judge Gold also served as an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School from 1996 until 2018, and as the Eastern District co-chair of the Joint Committee on Local Rules for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York from 1999 until 2020.  Judge Gold received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1977 and his J.D. from the Yale Law School in 1980.

Steven R. Schindler is one of the founding partners of Schindler Cohen & Hochman LLP. Twenty-one years after it was founded, SCH continues to earn its reputation as one of the City’s outstanding litigation and art law boutiques.  As a senior member of the firm’s litigation practice, Steve represents a broad range of clients in state and federal courts and arbitrations throughout the nation, and works closely with foreign law firms in complex transnational litigation.  A passionate advocate of civil and human rights, Steve sits on the Board of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and is on the New York Committee of Human Rights Watch.  Steve also heads SCH’s Art Law Group.  This practice area, which has grown steadily over the past decade, combines SCH’s formidable litigation expertise with a deep knowledge of the art market and its specific legal issues.  Steve regularly advises art galleries, other art related businesses, collectors, artists, and not-for-profit corporation in the art space on transactional matters, such as the sale and acquisition of art and their relationships with dealers, banks and auction houses, and has litigated cases involving the authenticity, title, provenance and appraisals of art. 

Steve is on the faculty of NYU’s Steinhardt School where he teaches art law.  He is co-president of the board of Artists Space, an organization dedicated to the support of emerging artists.  Steve often speaks on legal and industry sponsored panels relating to current topics in art law, and is the author of articles on art law including, The “Red Flags” Standard: Rationalizing ACA Galleries, Inc. v. Kinney, International Foundation for Art Research Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2016; Buyer Beware: Is There A Duty To Authenticate Art?, International Foundation For Art Research Journal, Vol. 15 Nos. 3 & 4, 2014; Role of Judges in Authenticating Art in United States and Europe, New York Law Journal, Sept. 15, 2014; and, Questioning ‘Cariou’ Rationale On Transformative Fair Use, New York Law Journal, Nov. 19, 2014.  Steve currently is the Chair of the Art Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the co-host of The Art Law Podcast.

Until her retirement in 2018, Nancy was General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Tapestry, Inc. (formerly Coach, Inc.), the parent company of fashion and retail brands Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.  Tapestry, Inc. is a Fortune 500 global company with annual sales in excess of $4 billion and approximately 20,000 employees worldwide. Nancy was responsible for effectuating the $2.4 billion acquisition of Kate Spade & Company, the largest acquisition in the company’s 75+ year history. Having overseen a legal team that included numerous direct reports throughout Asia, Nancy is well versed in the specific challenges facing American companies manufacturing and conducting business internationally.  As General Counsel, Nancy also provided guidance and counsel to the company’s Board of Directors and the Audit Committee.  During her tenure at Tapestry, Nancy successfully turned the company’s Law Department into a profit center.  This was accomplished through the successful prosecution of over 700 federal civil lawsuits filed under the Lanham Act, to protect the Company’s intellectual property. 

Prior to her 8 years at Tapestry, Nancy was Assistant General Counsel at Icahn Associates Corp. and Icahn Enterprises, LP.  As a direct report to activist investor Carl C. Icahn, Nancy was responsible for all litigation at companies owned, controlled or associated with Mr. Icahn. Her time with Mr. Icahn gave Nancy unique insight into the strategy of activist investors and hostile takeover bids.  While at Icahn Nancy had numerous successes including obtaining $90 million in a Delaware shareholder appraisal action, and an extremely favorable settlement in defense of a $1 billion patent infringement lawsuit.

Previously, Nancy was General Counsel of the Sands Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey (an Icahn affiliated company).  Prior to her in-house positions, Nancy was a partner in a New Jersey law firm, where she concentrated in commercial litigation and casino regulatory matters. 

Nancy graduated from Stockton University, and earned her J.D. at Rutgers Law School.  She is admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Currently Nancy consults on litigation strategy throughout the United States.  Additionally, she lectures on legal issues, as well as career development topics. She also serves on the board of Jazz at Lincoln Center.