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Ethics for Commercial Litigators 2019


Speaker(s): C. Evan Stewart, Helen V. Cantwell, Michael J. Dell, Susan J. Kohlmann
Recorded on: Feb. 21, 2019
PLI Program #: 252393

Helen V. Cantwell is a litigation partner with extensive trial experience. Her practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement actions and internal investigations for a wide variety of corporations and financial institutions. In addition to advising clients on their responses to state and federal investigations, she also advises these clients on their compliance obligations.

Ms. Cantwell also has deep experience in conducting sensitive investigations involving allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment, dating back to her service as a prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s Sex Crimes Unit.

Chambers USA (2018) recognizes Ms. Cantwell as a leading practitioner in white collar criminal defense and investigations matters. She is described as “incredibly bright and sharp” by fellow practitioners, who praise her ability to “get up to speed lightning fast.” Clients note that Ms. Cantwell is a “very confident advocate” and commend her “standout judgment and attention to detail.”

While much of Ms. Cantwell’s work is not public, some of her representative white collar and regulatory matters include:

  • Toyota Motor Corporation in connection with various state and federal investigations;
  • A leading fintech company in multiple matters, including the successful resolution of an anti-money laundering investigation by the DOJ;
  • A top national bank in an investigation by the DOJ, the District Attorney for New York County, and various banking regulators into allegations of money laundering;
  • A top national bank in an investigation by the DOJ into mortgage-related matters;
  • An individual in connection with an insider trading investigation;
  • A global insurer in inquiries conducted by the NY Department of Financial Services and NY Attorney General relating to alleged unlicensed sales of life insurance in New York;
  • A leading consulting firm in allegations investigated by the DOJ, which resulted in the exoneration of the firm;
  • Various bank executives in investigations related to LIBOR and other potential securities fraud by the SEC, CFTC and DOJ;
  • The Chief Risk Officer of a hedge fund in civil litigation and investigations relating to the Bernard L. Madoff matter;
  • Private equity clients in governmental investigations and litigations relating to fallout from the financial crisis and the collapse of MF Global;
  • Ongoing compliance advice to clients regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, various banking regulators, and anti-money laundering;
  • Current and former corporate executives in DOJ, SEC and CFTC investigations involving allegations of securities fraud, theft of trade secrets and other matters;

    Her sensitive investigations experience includes:

  • The Board of Directors of CBS Corporation in an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against the CEO, senior CBS News personnel, as well as allegations about the corporate culture;
  • The Board of the Cleveland Orchestra in an independent investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct by two musicians;
  • Syracuse University in investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Special Committee of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, which arose as a result of allegations of sexual abuse made against Bernie Fine, former Associate Head Coach of the University’s men’s basketball team.  These investigations ended without any charges being brought;
  • The National Football League in an investigation into allegation of workplace misconduct involving a team owner;
  • Save the Children, an international NGO, in an investigation of alleged improper conduct by a past employee; and
  • Multiple secondary schools in such investigations, including The Ramaz School, The Potomac School, and The Laurel School, among others.

    Her civil and trial experience includes:

  • Aleading insurance company in the successful settlement after jury selection of a securities litigation arising from its demutualization;
  • Metromedia International Group in a trial in Delaware Chancery Court (In re Appraisal of Metromedia); and
  • Syracuse University in a defamation suit arising out of comments made by the basketball coach during an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Cantwell served for eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. During her tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and worked closely with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Ms. Cantwell joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2000, after four years as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She is a recipient of the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance as a Federal Prosecutor.

Before the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Cantwell spent a year working in Malaysia with the International Women’s Rights Action Watch, under a fellowship grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Ms. Cantwell joined Debevoise in 2008. She earned her J.D. cum laude in 1995 from Harvard Law School, where she was President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and her B.A. magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 1992.


Michael J. Dell is a leading trial and appellate lawyer who has been successfully resolving business disputes for his clients for more than 30 years. Michael represents corporations, accounting and financial services firms, and individuals in civil litigation in state and federal courts, in internal investigations, and in connection with investigations and enforcement proceedings before government and regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). His work on behalf of his clients involves a broad range of business matters, including securities, accountants’ and auditors’ liability, commercial, real estate and insurance, patents and intellectual property, False Claims Act, ERISA, fiduciary and employment, antitrust, and trusts and estates lawsuits. A skilled advocate, Michael has extensive experience representing clients in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, including arbitrations and mediations before FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the American Arbitration Association, the International Center for Dispute Resolution, JAMS, the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution and other ADR forums. Although he most often represents defendants, Michael has secured many judgments and settlements on behalf of plaintiffs.

Education

  • J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1978
  • Associate Editorial Director, Harvard Law Review, 1977-1978
  • Editor, Harvard Law Review, 1976-1977
  • B.A., with honors, Oxford University, Wadham College, 1975

Clerkship

  • Honorable Stanley A. Weigel, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1978-1979

Honors and Distinctions

  • Woodward White Inc.’s Best Lawyers in America (2010-2019)
  • Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC’s Benchmark Litigation (2007-2019)
  • Thomson Reuters’ New York Super Lawyers (2006-2018)
  • Chambers and Partners’ Chambers USA (2014-2018)
  • Legalease’s Legal 500 US (2011-2018)
  • NYSBA’s Empire State Counsel Honor (2015)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1992
  • New York, 1979

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court


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

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

 


Mr. 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 Stanford 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.