Skip to main content

Current Developments in Federal Civil Practice 2019

Speaker(s): Hon. Cheryl L. Pollak, Hon. George B. Daniels, Hon. James L. Cott, Hon. Vincent L. Briccetti, Jacob Hollinger, Jerome G. Snider, Jonathan L. Frank, Lauren E. Aguiar, R Jason Straight, Stephen Cha-Kim, Zoe Salzman
Recorded on: Feb. 8, 2019
PLI Program #: 249737

Hon. George B. Daniels was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 24, 2000.  With the support of both New York Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Charles E. Schumer, Judge Daniels was nominated by President Clinton for the Federal bench on August 6, 1999.

Judge Daniels is a 1971 graduate of Suffield Academy.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Yale University in 1975.  He obtained law degree in 1978 from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. He has been admitted to practice law as a member of the New York, California, New Jersey, and District of Columbia Bars.

Judge Daniels began his legal career in 1978 as a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society of  New York.  In 1980, he clerked for Chief Justice Rose E. Bird, of the California Supreme Court.  From 1981 - 1983, he was a litigation associate with the New York Law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.  He served as a federal prosecutor with the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York from 1983 - 1989.

In 1989, Judge Daniels was appointed a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York by Mayor Edward I. Koch.  In 1990, Judge Daniels stepped down from the bench to serve as Counsel to the Mayor of the City of New York David N. Dinkins.  In 1993, Judge Daniels was re-appointed a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York by Mayor David N. Dinkins.  In 1995, Judge Daniels was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Judge Daniels is an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School.  He has also served as a trial advocacy instructor at the United States Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, Hofstra Law School, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania, for lawyers and magistrates in Liberia, and has taught intellectual property to Judges from the South African region in Namibia.  He was a co- author of Greenberg, Marcus, et al., New York Criminal Law [West Publishing Co.,1996]

Judge Daniels currently serves as a committee member of the Cyrus Vance Center for International Justice Initiatives of the New York City Bar Association.  He is also a member of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission on Minorities of the New York State Unified Court System, and a member of the Suffield Academy Board of Trustees. He is a former Vice President of the New York City Bar Association and served on the Board of Directors of the New York City Bar Fund.

Hon. James L. Cott became a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York in March, 2010.  Immediately prior to his appointment to the bench, Magistrate Judge Cott served as the Chief of the Civil Division in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York from 2003 to 2010.  A graduate of Harvard College and Northeastern University School of Law, Judge Cott has also served as a law clerk to the late Vincent L. Broderick, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and for 13 years was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, serving as Chief of the Office's Civil Rights Unit from 1991 to 1996 and as a Deputy Chief of the Civil Division from 1996 to 2000.  From 2001 to 2003, Judge Cott was the Associate Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.  Judge Cott has taught at New York University School of Law and at Fordham Law School, and participates annually in the Practising Law Institute's course on Current Developments in Federal Civil Practice.  He has also co-taught a master class on constitutional law at the Academy for Teachers, and participates annually in the Second Circuit’s Teachers Summer Institute on Civic Education.

Hon. Vincent L. Briccetti was appointed a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York by President Barack Obama in 2011.

Judge Briccetti graduated from Columbia College in 1976 and Fordham Law School in 1980.  At Fordham, he was Articles Editor of the Law Review.  Thereafter, he served as a law clerk to Judge John M. Cannella of the Southern District of New York.

Judge Briccetti served for five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District, during which he tried a wide variety of criminal cases, received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys, and served as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney.

In 1992, Judge Briccetti founded his own law firm in White Plains, the focus of which was criminal defense.  He has lectured at numerous professional conferences on various subjects, including criminal law and procedure, ethics, the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the representation of controversial clients, and the “art” of cross-examination.

In 2011, Judge Briccetti received the David S. Michaels Award for Courageous Efforts in Promoting Integrity of the Criminal Justice System, from the New York State Bar Association.  He is also a recipient of the Governor Malcolm Wilson Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Fordham Law Alumni Association, Westchester-Putnam Chapter.

Jerome G. Snider joined Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in 1977 after graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and clerking for Chief Judge David N. Edelstein in the Southern District of New York.  At Davis Polk, Jerry was a litigation partner from 1983 to 2006 in the firm’s New York and District of Columbia offices, and Litigation Department Practice Group Co-Coordinator from 2000 to 2005. 

In 2006, Jerry became Davis Polk’s first General Counsel, serving in that role until 2013, when he became the firm’s Professional Responsibility Counsel.  He is a member of the bars of New York, the District of Columbia, and various federal trial and appellate courts.

Jerry is co-author of Corporate Privileges and Confidential Information (Law Journal Press), and is also co-author of “Professional Liability” in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (West Group and ABA).  He is a member of the NY State Bar Association Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (“COSAC”), and the New York City Bar Association Professional Ethics Committee.  He previously served on the New York City Bar Association Professional Responsibility Committee and Professional Discipline Committee.

Since 2013, Jerry has taught Professional Responsibility as Adjunct Professor of Law or Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, Fordham University School of Law, and New York University School of Law.

Stephen Cha-Kim has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York since 2015. He represents the federal government and its agencies before the U.S. District, Bankruptcy, and Circuit Courts in a range of affirmative and defensive civil litigation, including financial fraud, healthcare fraud, civil rights, environmental, tax, regulatory, tort, national security, and international law matters. He began his legal career as a Skadden Fellow at Make the Road New York, a community-based organization, providing direct legal services to Spanish-speaking immigrant workers. He subsequently clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott of the S.D.N.Y. and U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang of the Northern District of Illinois.

Stephen also serves as an Adjunct Professor at NYU School of Law, where he co-teaches a clinical seminar on government civil litigation, and at Fordham University School of Law, where he teaches legal writing and research. Stephen is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School.   

Zoe Salzman is an experienced trial attorney.  She has tried commercial and civil rights cases before juries in both federal and state courts.  She has also argued appeals in both the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the First Department Appellate Division.

Ms. Salzman’s diverse practice at the firm includes representing people, companies, and not-for-profit organizations in challenges in many fields, including employment discrimination; sexual harassment; police and prison abuse; tort and contract disputes; partnership disputes; housing discrimination; constitutional litigation; developmental disability discrimination; and school bullying.

She also represents executives and employees in negotiating severance and separation agreements.

Prior to joining the firm in 2010, Ms. Salzman clerked for the Hon. Sterling Johnson, Jr. in the Eastern District of New York and worked with the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU School of Law.  Ms. Salzman graduated magna cum laude from NYU School of Law in 2007.


  • Filed a groundbreaking class action lawsuit challenging the Tampon Tax in New York State, which prompted the legislature to vote to eliminate the tax. The suit also seeks refunds for millions of women forced to pay the illegal sales tax. Seibert, et al. v. N.Y. State Dep’t of Taxation and Finance, et al., Index No. 181500/2016 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty.).  
  •  Obtained a $6 million settlement for the family and estate of Tamir Rice in a civil lawsuit against the City of Cleveland for the shooting death of Tamir Rice, a 12 year-old boy, who was killed by police in Cleveland while playing alone in the park. Winston, et al. v. City of Cleveland, et al.,No. 14 Civ. 02670 (N.D. Ohio).
  • Examined and cross-examined witnesses on behalf of a bank and real estate development company in a four-week trial involving a commercial lease dispute in federal court against Home Depot.  Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. v. G&S Investors/Willow Park L.P. et al., No. 98 Civ. 6719 & 00 Civ. 0676 (E.D.N.Y.).
  • Secured a favorable settlement on behalf of the Committee to Save Cooper Union in a case challenging the decision to charge tuition at The Cooper Union as incompatible with the intentions of Peter Cooper and the trust he established to fund the school. The settlement, negotiated with the school and the Attorney General, established a free education committee on the board of trustees, among other requirements. The Committee to Save Cooper Union, Inc., et al. v. Board of Trustees of the Cooper Union, et al., Index No. 155185/2014 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty.).
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement in a case challenging a discriminatory “age targeted” housing project in Westchester County on behalf of Westchester Residential Opportunities. As a result of the settlement, the town eliminated the provision for age-targeted development in its Village Code. Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. v. Village of Bronxville, et al., 15 Civ. 00280 (S.D.N.Y.).
  • Obtained a $3.5 million settlement for the twelve named plaintiffs in Nunez v. New York. This class action suit was brought by ECBA together with the Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project on behalf of inmates at Rikers Island who were severely injured by correctional officers and to make systemic changes to halt the excessive violence plaguing the jail there. Nunez, et al. v. New York , et al., No. 11 Civ. 5845 (S.D.N.Y.). 
  • Secured a $4.48 million settlement on behalf of five Jewish children who were the victims of repeated anti-Semitic bullying in the Pine Bush School District. In addition to the monetary damages, the sweeping settlement requires significant reform to policies, training and the tracking of anti-Semitic incidents, all under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Education. T.E., et al. v. Pine Bush Central School District, et al., No. 12 Civ. 2303 (S.D.N.Y.).



Report, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Rights Within Reach: Securing Human Rights and Equality in Nepal’s New Constitution (New York: NYU School of Law, 2010)

Armed Groups in Peace Processes: Who Gets a Seat at the Negotiating Table?, IILJ Emerging Scholars Paper 10 (2008)

“The Tangled Web”: The Right of Self-Defense against Non-State Actors in the Armed Activities Case, 40 N.Y.U. J. INT’L L. & POL. 53 (2008)

Note, Private Military Contractors and the Taint of a Mercenary Reputation, 40 N.Y.U. J. INT’L L. & POL. 853 (2008)


Jason is Senior Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer at UnitedLex.  In this role, Jason manages the company’s internal privacy program and leads the UnitedLex Cyber Risk Solutions practice.  Jason has managed dozens of cyber security investigations and data breach events for clients in a wide variety of industries and settings.  As a recognized expert in his field, Jason is a frequent speaker and author on topics relating to cyber security, privacy, data risk management and data breach response. Before joining UnitedLex, Jason was a managing director in Kroll, Inc.’s Cyber Investigations Practice where he advised clients in a wide variety of areas including data breach response, data privacy, computer forensics and data risk management.  Prior to that, Jason held numerous positions at Kroll Ontrack, Inc. and was a member of the company’s executive team where he led and managed the development of the company’s incident response and cyber investigations practice.  Jason began his legal career as an associate in the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP.

Jason is admitted to practice law in New York State and is a member of the American Bar Association’s Science & Technology Law Section, the New York City Bar Association’s Information Technology Law Committee, and the Task Force on National Security and the Law. He is also an active member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).

Jonathan L. Frank joined Skadden in 1999 after years as an executive assistant district attorney, special prosecutor and homicide prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y. As a prosecutor, Mr. Frank successfully tried numerous high-profile murder cases and was nationally recognized for his work.

Mr. Frank, likewise, has been nationally recognized for his commercial litigation work at Skadden, being listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers For Business where he is described as “wicked smart.” He also is named as a Leading Lawyer in the Legal 500 U.S. His practice at Skadden is focused on a variety of complex commercial disputes, including real estate, bankruptcy and securities litigations, as well as related white collar criminal matters, emphasizing the creation and execution of litigation strategies and tactics; trial, international and U.S. arbitral proceedings; the assessment of claims; and settlement negotiations. He has acted as counsel in numerous high-profile business litigations and arbitrations.

Among other matters, Mr. Frank co-led the bankruptcy trial team that successfully secured a complete victory on behalf of NextEra Energy, Inc. against the Adelphia Recovery Trust in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court against fraudulent transfer action, and then secured an affirmance, based on a de novo review, in the Southern District Court of New York. Employing a novel argument that combined analysis of two traditionally independent concepts — solvency and access to capital — the team convinced both courts that the plaintiff failed to carry its burden of establishing that Adelphia was insolvent or would have been unable to raise adequate financing to continue its operations at the time of the alleged fraudulent transfer, notwithstanding the undisputed facts that Adelphia (i) had committed $400 million of financial fraud; (ii) exceeded the permissible leverage ratios in its loan documents; and (iii) had no unencumbered assets.

Mr. Frank was a lead member of the trial team that won a defendant’s verdict on all claims in favor of DaimlerChrysler AG against Tracinda Corporation, owned by Kirk Kerkorian. The trial in the U.S. District Court of Delaware involved securities fraud claims of more than $1 billion, making it the largest securities case ever tried in federal court. The National Law Journal awarded the team the “2005 Top Defense Win of the Year.”

Lauren E. Aguiar is a litigation Partner 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 false advertising, copyright, trade secret, breach of contract, fraud and fiduciary duty litigation, joint venture and partnership disputes, and shareholder class actions.  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 is a member of the Board of Directors of Covenant House International, a shelter in the U.S. and Central America for homeless and trafficked youth.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of 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 was selected for inclusion in Chambers USA 2015 - 2018, and was shortlisted by Chambers for its Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award in 2016.  She also is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America (an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society) and was named a Rising Star in the 2016 - 2018 editions of Benchmark Litigation.  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.

Jacob Hollinger practices environmental and energy law at McDermott Will & Emery LLP in New York.  He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and New York University School of Law and a former Motions Law Clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Jacob began his legal career as a commercial litigator at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.  He then spent nearly ten years as a government environmental enforcement attorney, first with the New York State Attorney General’s Office and then with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Jacob joined McDermott from the U.S. EPA in August 2013.

Jacob’s practice at McDermott focuses on environmental and energy-related investigations, enforcement actions, litigation and compliance.  He is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York.

Judge Pollak entered duty as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York on November 1, 1995. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1975 and received her J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1978, where she was Articles and Book Review Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. Following graduation from law school, Judge Pollak served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Timbers on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Thereafter, from 1979 to 1986, she was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.

In August 1986, Judge Pollak became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she served as Chief of the Narcotics/OCDETF Unit from 1991 to 1994, and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division from 1994 to 1995. She also served as International Affairs and National Security Coordinator for the United States Attorney's Office. She remained at the United States Attorney's Office until her appointment as a Magistrate Judge in November 1995.

Judge Pollak is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where she has served as a member of the Federal Courts Committee, the Committee on Women in the Legal Profession, and the Criminal Law Committee. She is Chair of the Eastern District CJA Panel Committee and has also served as a member of the Eastern District Advisory Committee on Civil Practice and Rules. Judge Pollak has also served as a Master in the Inns of Court for the Federal Bar Council. She has also participated in Moot Court, mock trial and trial advocacy programs at Columbia, NYU, Cardozo, St. John’s, Brooklyn and New York Law Schools. She also supervises the Eastern District’s SOS Program involving youthful offenders.