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Fundamentals of Taking and Defending Depositions 2016


Speaker(s): Allen W. Burton, Barbara J. Hart, Charles Michael, Daniel Anziska, David A. Piedra, David G. Keyko, Denise L. Plunkett, Francis J. Menton, Jr. , James S. Goddard, Mark W. Lerner, Neil S. Kornfeld, Partha P. Chattoraj, Patricia G. Corley, Randi W. Singer, William H. Taft V
Recorded on: Apr. 13, 2016
PLI Program #: 149653

Allen Burton is a Partner in O’Melveny’s New York office, focusing on complex commercial litigation, including financial services litigation, securities litigation, insurance and reinsurance disputes, regulatory investigations, and mass tort defense.  Allen has achieved successful results at all stages of litigation and arbitration for clients that span a range of industries and operate in the financial services, insurance, aviation, and healthcare sectors.

Recent examples of successes include obtaining dismissals with prejudice of several complaints alleging fraud and breach of contract claims against major financial institutions and winning an international arbitration as lead trial counsel for an insurer.

Allen also serves as the firmwide Hiring Partner, responsible for recruiting efforts across O’Melveny’s fifteen offices. From 2011- 2014, Allen was recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star, New York Metro Edition.

Education

Fordham Law School, J.D., 2001, Associate Editor, Fordham Law Review

Georgetown University,  B.A., 1996, American Studies


Barbara J. Hart is President and CEO of Lowey Dannenberg, P.C., a fifty attorney firm specializing in complex securities and antitrust litigation. Ms. Hart, as Lead Counsel, recently won reversal before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for the NYC Public Pension Funds in litigation for shareholders of Community Health Systems Inc. Ms. Hart has been Lead Counsel in four of the top 100 largest securities class action settlements in history. She is a member of Thirty Percent Coalition working with institutional investors representing over $3.5 trillion in assets under management to see corporate boards become more diverse.

Noteworthy Cases & Achievements:
Ms. Hart recovered $219 million for upstate New York trade unions who had lost their pensions in the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Judge McMahon praised the “unprecedented global settlement” and recognized that Ms. Hart “carried the laboring oar.” Judge McMahon continued: “Your clients – all of them – have been well served . . . rarely has there been a more transparent settlement negotiation. It could serve as a prototype.”  Ms. Hart serves on the Steering Committee of the In re Packaged Seafood Antitrust Litigation prosecuting allegations of price fixing against the world’s largest tuna producers. In 2015, Ms. Hart, represented a doctor-whistleblower alleging false Medicaid billing and recovered a partial settlement of $22.4 million, the largest single New York Medicaid fraud recovery to date. In 2014, Ms. Hart tried a limited partnership dispute and after multiple days of testimony and oral argument won a multi-million dollar award.

Ms. Hart was Lead Counsel in the In re Juniper Networks Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.) involving allegations of massive options backdating and gained a $169,000,000 settlement that the Hon. James Ware called an “excellent result.” The recovery was the third largest of any of the dozens of litigations involving options backdating. Ms. Hart served as lead counsel representing the Office of the Treasurer of the State of Connecticut in the In re Waste Management Securities Litigation, which settled for $457 million; then the third-largest securities class action settlement. Ms. Hart served as co-lead counsel in the In re Air Cargo Antitrust Litigation (E.D.N.Y) one of the largest collusion cases in history involving most of the world’s major airlines. Ms. Hart was co-lead counsel in the In re El Paso Corporation Securities Litigation, garnering a $285 million settlement. A few of her notable antitrust settlements include: In re Stock Exchange Options Trading Antitrust Litigation ($47 million settlement); In re Brand Name Drug Litigation ($65 million settlement); In re Augmentin Antitrust Litigation ($29 million settlement); In re Paxil Antitrust Litigation ($65 million settlement); In re Sodium Erythorbate and Maltol Antitrust Litigation ($18.45 million settlement); In re Synthroid Marketing and Antitrust Litigation ($87.4 million settlement); and In re Warfarin Sodium Antitrust Litigation ($44.5 million settlement). On behalf of her clients Ms. Hart pushed for reform to both New York’s Martin and Donnelly Acts. Ultimately, her efforts led to an amendment making New York an “Illinois Brick” repealer state, granting standing to injured New Yorkers. This precipitated similar amendments in other states. Ms. Hart co-edited the New York Antitrust and Consumer Protection Law handbook. Ms. Hart has successfully represented institutional investor clients as amici curiae on various matters, including on New York’s Martin Act.

Education:

  • B.A. Vanderbilt University (1982)
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  • M.A. University of North Carolina (1987)
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  • J.D. Fordham University School of Law (1992) Fordham Law Review 1989-1990; Dean’s List

 

Bar/Court Admissions:
Ms. Hart is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, and is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Circuits; and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.


Charles Michael has successfully handled a wide range of commercial litigation matters.  He has obtained favorable settlements or dismissals on behalf of clients accused of securities fraud, intellectual property infringement, antitrust violations, wrongful termination and breach of contract.  He has also successfully represented clients bringing claims for breach of fiduciary duty, trademark infringement, breach of contract, and professional malpractice.

Mr. Michael was recently part of the trial team that obtained a complete victory after a bench trial of a $120 million suit relating to a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) transaction.  He also secured a preliminary injunction preserving a medical practice’s contractual option to buy the company supplying the practice’s non-medical support staff, and won an appellate decision reversing the trial court and dismissing a $200 million fraud and alter ego suit against a private equity firm.

Mr. Michael is also experienced in regulatory and criminal investigations.  He has represented clients under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). 

He is the founder and editor of the SDNY Blog which covers civil litigation and trial practice in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Additionally, Mr. Michael has recently given several presentations to in-house counsel at private equity firms and others about limiting the risk of being held responsible in court for portfolio company liabilities, and preserving the attorney-client privilege among corporate affiliates.

Representative Matters

  • Defeated a Japanese billionaire’s federal court petition to force a US-based global investment bank to produce, for purposes of a Japanese litigation, extensive discovery from the bank’s Japanese broker-dealer
  • Successful dismissal of multimillion-dollar breach of contract and fraud suit brought by real estate developer against project owner
  • Granted summary judgment for a home furnishings company accused of failing to pay over $20 million in alleged liabilities under an acquisition agreement
  • Defended software firm in dispute relating to $150 million acquisition of another software firm
  • Defended dietary supplement maker in multimillion-dollar lawsuit arising from the failed launch of a pre-workout beverage
  • Secured a preliminary injunction in a case involving theft of trade secrets
  • Successfully defended several asset purchasers in successor liability lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions
  • Granted summary judgment that largely disposed of case seeking $15 million in damages for alleged breaches of an oil rig lease and related contracts
  • Defended investment banking executive in multiple investigations relating to auction-rate securities market collapse
  • Successfully defeated, before trial court an on appeal, a motion to preliminarily enjoin a consumer products manufacturer from selling its largest brand
  • Defended private equity firm in $55 million wrongful termination lawsuit brought by its former president
  • Defended the former owners of the “Tinkerbell” trademark in a fraud and breach of contract action brought by a former licensee
  • Obtained summary dismissal of a securities fraud case against a publicly-traded technology firm
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction against a company improperly using a client’s trademarks
  • Represented a consumer products manufacturer in an lawsuit accusing two of the company’s former executives accounting fraud
  • Represented a public company in multibillion-dollar class action accounting fraud case
  • Successfully defended publicly-traded investment bank accused of understating options compensation in proxy statement
  • Represented bank in DOJ investigation of money transfers to sanctioned countries and entities

Noteworthy

  • New York Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2013-2016

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

  • SDNY Blog
  • A Middle-Ground Approach To 'Piggybacking'
    June 2, 2015, Law360
  • Judge Rakoff Allows FIRREA Claims Where Bank’s Misconduct ‘Affects’ Itself
    August 23, 2013, The CLS Blue Sky Blog


Dan Anziska focuses his practice on antitrust and related regulatory issues.

Over the past 15 years, he has participated in a wide range of antitrust lawsuits, on both the plaintiff and defense side, in the construction, modeling, sports, publishing, energy, battery, security and healthcare fields.

His practice also focuses on counseling parties on antitrust and related issues with respect to mergers and acquisitions, including assessing potential competitive impacts of transactions, drafting relevant deal provisions, and managing the substantive antitrust approval process with government agencies. To that end, Dan has also assisted the firm’s China-based clients on competition and national security (CFIUS) issues, including coordination with MOFCOM.

He also routinely counsels clients on distribution, licensing and trade association issues.

Dan has developed a reputation for counseling clients in a practical manner on strategic issues, with an emphasis on employing analytics.

Dan is on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Antitrust Section and routinely speaks on panels addressing competition issues.

Recent Representative Matters

Antitrust Litigation

  • Counsel to Bauer Publishing, one of five publishers sued by magazine wholesaler Anderson News in 2009 for allegedly perpetrating a boycott to drive it out of business. After extensive discovery, Bauer successfully moved for summary judgment on the basis that Anderson could not support an inference of collusion. The 50-page SDNY court opinion dismissed the case which sought $371 million in damages.
  • Representing a commercial bank in asserting a monopolization claim against a large Patent Assertion Entity for its acquisition of, and enforcement activities with respect to, a patent portfolio.
  • Represented the IBEW NY chapter in a boycott case brought by contractors with laborers affiliated with members of a rival union. After extensive discovery, the SDNY court granted summary judgment finding that the proof did not support an inference of collusion. The Second Circuit affirmed the decision.
  • Counsel for the manufacturer of battery separators in connection with a monopolization claim asserted against another battery separator manufacturer for a number of anticompetitive practices in the Western District of North Carolina. The matter was resolved.
  • Represented public utility in an antitrust action brought by the California Attorney General alleging a conspiracy to overcharge California citizens for energy. The case was dismissed on a Rule 12 motion.
  • Representing utilities / shippers in connection with the rail freight surcharge MDL Action pending in the District of Columbia.
  • Represented speedway association in connection with an antitrust lawsuit filed by the owner of a speedway against it and NASCAR. The matter was resolved.
  • Represented modeling company in putative antitrust class action filed in the SDNY.
  • Represented college conference on antitrust issues in connection with the former BCBS college football Bowl system.
  • Represented clients on confidential criminal antitrust investigations and successfully convinced the U.S. Justice Department to avoid pursuing criminal charges.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • In 2015, represented a California-based semiconductor company on antitrust and CFIUS issues in connection with a proposed acquisition of another semiconductor company.
  • Counseled and coordinated foreign antitrust analyses for a Georgia broadband-equipment manufacturer on a $2.5 billion corporate acquisition that successfully cleared full HSR review by the U.S. Justice Department within 90 days.
  • Counseled data company in acquisition that successfully cleared full HSR review by the DOJ following issuance of second request.
  • Represents China-based clients on a broad range of strategic and regulatory issues in connection with US-facing activities.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator for NYSBA Antitrust Section Panel – “Pharma To Table: What’s Hot?”
  • Panelist for NYSBA Antitrust Section Panel -- “Feeling Blue: Antitrust Challenges to Health Insurers in the post-Affordable Care Act World.”
  • Moderator for NYSBA Antitrust Section Panel – “What Hath Leegin Wrought? Has State Enforcement Served or Stymied the Public Interest?”

Professional and Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Antitrust Section
  • New York State Bar Association, Antitrust Section Executive Committee Member
  • Faculty Lecturer with the Practicing Law Institute (PLI)

Rankings and Recognition 

  • Selected as New York “Rising Star” in Antitrust Litigation by New York Super Lawyer Magazine-Metro Edition (2013-2015).

Professional Experience 

  • Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2005-present (partner since 2008)


David A. Piedra is a Partner in the Business Litigation Department of Morrison Cohen LLP, and also serves as the Firm’s General Counsel. He handles all phases of complex litigation, from pleading through trial and appeals.  David has a broad-based litigation practice, with a focus on real estate, insurance, and partnership matters. David regularly advises clients in connection with the defense or prosecution of contract claims, lease disputes, valuation disputes, dissolutions of partnerships or corporations, business tort claims, and other commercial disputes. David is frequently called upon to represent high net-worth individuals in professional and personal disputes, including partnership, contract, employment, compensation, securities, and royalty disputes.  David also serves as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s roster of neutrals.


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 the chair of the Association's Legal Referral Service Committee and is a member 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.


James S. Goddard is a Director and Associate General Counsel with Citi f/k/a Citigroup in New York, NY, and has been a senior litigation attorney with Citi’s predecessors-in-interest, beginning with Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1991.  Mr. Goddard’s practice focuses on banking, securities, commercial and residential realty, intellectual property, technology, abandoned property and general commercial transactions.  His litigation experience includes jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, as well as arbitrations in several forums.

Prior to joining Shearson Lehman Brothers, Mr. Goddard was a litigation associate with Davis Polk & Wardwell, Edwards & Angell and Coudert Brothers.  Mr. Goddard served as Law Clerk to the Honorable William H. Timbers, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Mark W. Lerner is a trial lawyer with specialization in disputes arising out of employment relationships, competition between firms and thefts of intellectual property, white collar criminal litigation, civil fraud and criminal activity in the workplace. Mr. Lerner regularly appears before the state and federal courts of New York and Connecticut, as well as before FINRA, and has argued appeals before the Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals. He has also appeared in the state and federal courts of numerous other states including Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Mr. Lerner has been with the firm since 1999, and partner since 2001. From 1992 to 1999, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, Criminal Division, where he focused on money laundering, fraud and complex narcotics prosecutions. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's office, Mr. Lerner served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser in the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Lerner graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the Stanford Law Review.

Notable Representations

Civil matters:

  • Led defense trial team in Arena v. Agip USA, a gender and disability discrimination case tried before a jury in the Southern District of New York.
  • Led defense trial team on behalf of one of world’s 25 largest financial institutions in an age discrimination and retaliation case tried before a jury in the Southern District of New York.
  • Defended class actions brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging hostile work environment in publicized cases against a national television broadcaster and against Tavern on the Green Restaurant.
  • Defended numerous high-profile clients, including two major apparel designers and a principal New York newspaper, in matters involving allegations of employment discrimination.
  • Defended German investment bank in BMTS v. Viscardi, A.G., a lawsuit alleging fraud in connection with sale of biotechnology firm.
  • Represented numerous major entities, including Citigroup, CIBC Oppenheimer, TD Waterhouse, Société Générale and Time, Inc., in matters involving the hiring or departures of employees alleged to be violating non-competition or confidentiality covenants.
  • Advised or defended individuals or groups as large as 30 employees moving business units between firms against allegations of breach of non-competition, confidentiality, or other common law restrictions.

Criminal or investigative matters:

  • Representation of a newspaper in a U.S. Justice Department and Grand Jury investigation into circulation reporting, resulting in no charges or finding of wrongdoing.
  • Defense of an indicted real estate brokerage owner for bank fraud. As the trial in the Southern District of New York began, Mr. Lerner’s challenges of the government’s practices and evidence led to the withdrawal of the prosecution. Now-U.S. Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch stated at the time of dismissal in March 2009: “I think I would be remiss not to compliment Mr. Lerner. I don’t think this would have come about without the best intentions and efforts of the government had it not been for his extremely effective investigation of the facts here. . .. [I]t is the sort of rare case where the defense investigation appears to have been more thorough . . . than the government’s. . . . [F]rom where I sit [Mr. Lerner’s client] owes a debt of gratitude to a lawyer who did an extremely capable job in unearthing some issues that I think might not have surfaced without another lawyer or been as effectively exploited.”
  • Representation of the head of the 200-trader mortgage backed securities trading desk at CSFB accused by FINRA of mismarking trading books.
  • Representation of several major New York City school bus contractors in investigations by the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office for the making of corrupt payments to city officials and union officials. No prosecutions of Mr. Lerner’s clients have resulted.
  • Defense of sensational criminal charges against New York restaurateur, resulting in the dropping of charges by the Manhattan D.A.’s Office after Mr. Lerner investigated and presented the lack of credibility of the accuser.
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Lerner was lead trial counsel for the government in over a dozen criminal trials, including U.S. v. Blarek, an innovative prosecution which was the subject of a CBS “60 Minutes” television segment.


Neil S. Kornfeld is a founding partner of Furman Kornfeld & Brennan LLP. Neil’s practice focuses on the defense and counseling of physicians, podiatrists, dentists, hospitals, and nursing homes. Neil   has tried over 100 cases to verdict in courts throughout New York State. He has successfully  defended cases involving medical malpractice, general liability claims including premises liability, and construction accidents. Neil has also represented attorneys and other professionals in professional malpractice claims.

Neil has lectured at medical and insurance conferences and at many metropolitan hospitals on issues relating to medical malpractice and risk management. He has conducted mock trials and spoken on topics ranging from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy to expert testimony. Since 1998, he has been a faculty member at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and teaches a class on issues related to malpractice.

Neil began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County from 1988-1993. He was a partner at a large New York based law firm prior to founding FKB. Neil was named by New York Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the top attorneys in medical malpractice defense in the New York Metro area.

Education

Boston University School of Law, J.D. – 1988
Northwestern University, B.S. – 1985


Partha Chattoraj has broad experience counseling and litigating on behalf of business clients.  A seasoned litigator, Mr. Chattoraj has litigated and tried intellectual property and general commercial cases, appeals, arbitrations, and mediations, including copyright, trademark, trade secret, non-competition, and debt and equity fraud and contract matters.  As a trial lawyer and as appellate counsel, he has represented some of the largest companies in the world in federal and state courts and arbitrations around the country.

After graduating from Harvard College and earning a master’s degree in literature from Yale University, Mr. Chattoraj graduated from the Yale Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal and Executive Editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities.  Mr. Chattoraj began his legal career by clerking for the Honorable Jon O. Newman, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  After his clerkship, Mr. Chattoraj was associated with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.  Mr. Chattoraj was of counsel in the New York offices of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP before joining Allegaert Berger & Vogel, LLP, a litigation boutique firm focusing on securities, commercial, and intellectual property disputes, as a partner.

Mr. Chattoraj is a member of the Federal Bar Council Second Circuit Courts Committee and the New York City Bar Association’s Federal Courts Committee and Council on Judicial Administration. He has been a Continuing Legal Education panelist on depositions, trial practice, and legal ethics for the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Practising Law Institute, and in-house legal departments.


Randi Singer is a litigation partner in Weil's New York office, a member of the Firm's Intellectual Property & Media practice and Co-Head of its Cybersecurity, Data Privacy & Information Management group. She focuses primarily on copyright, Lanham Act false advertising and trademark litigation, as well as privacy and cybersecurity, in addition to complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy proceedings.

Ms. Singer has been repeatedly recognized as a leading intellectual property and media & entertainment lawyer by legal industry publications, including The Legal 500 US, Chambers USA, World Trademark Review, Benchmark Litigation, Expert Guides, Managing IP Magazine's IP Stars, Super Lawyers, and Law360. She has successfully represented and counseled clients on a wide variety of copyright and trademark matters encompassing classic ownership and fair use issues for comic books, academic works, music and photographs. A recognized expert on secondary liability infringement issues, major internet platform clients regularly call on Ms. Singer for help navigating an array of unprecedented concerns and solving a wide variety of disputes. Her advertising, trademark, and state unfair trade practices cases have spanned a broad spectrum of consumer products and services, from over-the-counter drugs, razors, toothpaste, paint, food and cosmetics, to financial services, cell phone cases, luxury goods and consumer electronics.

Ms. Singer has earned the Certified Information Privacy Professional (ClPP/US) and Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) credentials and regularly advises clients in connection with privacy, cybersecurity, and social media issues in a wide variety of matters, including more than one hundred transactions ranging from high-profile deals such as Facebook's acquisition of Whatsapp, Inc. to large public company mergers and small talent acquisitions. In 2015, The National Law Journal recognized Ms. Singer as one of its inaugural "Trailblazers" nationwide for her cutting-edge work in the cybersecurity and data privacy area.

In addition to her active practice, Ms. Singer has taught a course on Trademarks and Unfair Competition Law as an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law and is a popular speaker whose speaking engagements include panels and discussions concerning copyright, advertising, and other intellectual property issues for organizations such as the International Trademark Association  (INTA), the Copyright Society, the National Advertising  Division, the Practising Law Institute, the American Conference  Institute, and the New York State Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property. Other professional affiliations include the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the New York State Bar Association, the Private Advertising Litigation subcommittee of the ABA, and she has served on the Trademarks and Consumer Affairs Committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Ms. Singer is a member of the global steering committee for Women@Weil, Weil's women's affinity group, the winner of Weil's first-ever mentoring award, and an inductee into the YWCA's Academy of Women Leaders. In addition to  her work as the General Counsel for the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, her pro bono work includes litigation successes for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and Sanctuary for Families, trademark and IP counseling for organizations such as The Joyful Heart Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as well as extensive legal support and counseling concerning ambush marketing for NYC2012, New York City's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Ms. Singer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. After receiving her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Ms. Singer clerked for the Honorable Richard Owen, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


William H. Taft V, based in the firm’s New York office, is a partner in the Litigation Department. His practice focuses on commercial and corporate governance litigation and international arbitration. Mr. Taft frequently advises clients in disputes arising from joint venture and partnership agreements, including matters involving commercial real estate and infrastructure development project companies, and has experience handling a broad range of contract disputes. He is admitted to practice before the New York State Courts, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits.

Mr. Taft joined the firm in 2005. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. Taft clerked for the Hon. Samuel A. Alito, Jr. when Justice Alito served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Mr. Taft received a J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2004, and a B.A. in History from Yale University in 2000.

Prior to joining Debevoise, Mr. Taft worked at the RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C. He is a co-author of “Avoiding And Defeating Securities Fraud Actions Against Clinical-Stage Biopharmaceutical Companies,” Bloomberg BNA Life Sciences Law & Industry Report (July, 2015) and co-author of the study “Conventional Coercion Across the Spectrum of Operations,” RAND Corporation, 2003.

Mr. Taft was admitted to the New York Bar in 2005. He is a member of the American Society of International Law, the New York City Bar Association and has served on the International Disputes Committee of the New York City Bar Association (2010 - 2013). He currently serves on the Corporation Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, the Program Committee of the Federal Bar Council and the board of The Fund For Modern Courts.


Denise L. Plunkett is a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Antitrust and Consumer Financial Services Litigation practice groups.  She is Co-Managing Partner of Ballard’s New York office, Co-Leader of the firm’s Payment Systems industry group and a Co-Chair of Ballard Women. 

Ms. Plunkett has over 25 years of high stakes litigation experience.  She currently focuses her practice on antitrust and business litigation in the payment card, financial services, and pharmaceutical industries.  She has successfully defended an impressive array of claims, ranging from alleged violations of antitrust laws and consumer protection statutes to business torts and common law claims.  She also represents corporate clients as plaintiffs in significant loss recovery matters.  Her experience includes jury trials and appeals, and she has litigated in state and federal courts across the country. 


Francis J. Menton, Jr. retired from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP on December 31, 2015 after a career of more than 40 years, 31 as partner.  At Willkie Farr, he practiced in the area of commercial litigation and conducted more than 30 trials in state and federal courts around the country.  He served for many years as co-head of the Business Litigation group, and also for fifteen years as Chair of the Conflicts & Ethics Committee.  Currently he has a solo practice specializing in commercial litigation and issues of conflicts and legal ethics.


Patricia G. Corley is the Deputy Director of Litigation, Enforcement, and Investigations for Societe Generale in the Americas.  She oversees a wide variety of litigation and arbitration matters, involving both U.S. and foreign affiliates of the bank.  She also handles regulatory investigations conducted by U.S. authorities and self-regulatory organizations and advises the bank’s various businesses regarding potential litigation and regulatory risk.

Immediately prior to joining Societe Generale, Ms. Corley was a trial counsel in the enforcement division of NYSE Regulation. In that role, she investigated and prosecuted violations of federal securities laws and regulations and exchange rules involving trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  Ms. Corley previously practiced litigation with two large firms in New York and was a law clerk to the Hon. Eugene E. Siler, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.