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Ethics for Commercial Litigators 2012

Speaker(s): C. Evan Stewart, David S. Versfelt, S. Jeanine Conley, Susan J. Kohlmann
Recorded on: Jun. 28, 2012
PLI Program #: 34976

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)

Jeanine Conley, the Hiring Partner for summer and fall recruitment in BakerHostetler's New York office, focuses her practice on employment and complex commercial litigation. She has tried a number of employment and commercial disputes in both federal and state court successfully. She also has spent numerous years representing companies and their officers, directors and employees in white collar matters and corporate investigations, including, whistleblower, insider trading and anti-kickback matters. Ms. Conley counsels clients primarily in the health, media and entertainment, hospitality and financial services industries on a range of employment, compliance and regulatory issues. She has represented clients before several government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights, United States Department of Justice, United States Attorneys' Offices and New York State Attorney General's Office. She advises companies on a variety of employment matters, including age, gender, race and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, and wage and hour claims and assists them with corporate policy matters and internal trainings and investigations.

Since 2009, Ms. Conley has been a member of the BakerHostetler team that serves as Counsel to the SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, working on the global investigation of the Ponzi scheme-the largest financial fraud in history-and related litigations seeking recoveries for the Customer Fund.

Before joining BakerHostetler, Ms. Conley clerked for the Honorable William G. Bassler in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and worked at Arnold & Porter. Throughout her career, Ms. Conley has maintained an active pro bono practice and is very active within her community.  Ms. Conley is on the board of various nonprofit organizations, including the New York Urban League and Early Stages. She is chair of the New York City Bar's Committee on Minorities in the Profession and past chair of the Advisory Board of the Urban Assembly School of Criminal Justice. Ms. Conley also is past president of the Association of Black Women Attorneys, a former delegate to the New York State Bar House of Delegates and a former fellow of the Council of Urban Professionals fellowship program. She is a member of the National Bar Association and the American Bar Association and recently was named to the Power 100 List by On Being a Black Lawyer ("OBABL") as one of the Top Ten to Watch and as one of the Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers under 40 by the National Bar Association and Impact and as the Network Journal's 40 under Forty. Ms. Conley also received the Diversity Champion Award from the New York City Bar in 2011.   

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 2020, was named one of only nine “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 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.”

In 2019, New York Law Journal recognized Ms. Kohlmann as a “Distinguished Leader.”

A member of Jenner & Block’s Policy Committee, Ms. Kohlmann serves as chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and on the New York office's Pro Bono Committee. She is also chair of Legal Services NYC.

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.