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Fundamentals of Taking and Defending Depositions 2020


Speaker(s): Anita Spieth, David A. Piedra, David G. Keyko, Denise L. Plunkett, Eugene T. Boulé, Ian Simmons, Partha P. Chattoraj, Robin A. van der Meulen, Tracey Salmon-Smith, Wendy B. Reilly
Recorded on: Mar. 5, 2020
PLI Program #: 276094

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 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.


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.


Tracey Salmon-Smith is a partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in the Business Litigation Department. She is a member of the Financial Services and Best Interest Compliance teams. Tracey represents broker-dealers before FINRA in arbitrations and mediations related to allegations of sales practice violations and failure to supervise claims.  She also handles regulatory inquires, as well as discrimination, whistleblower claims, work-place harassment, wrongful discharge, U5 defamation matters, and expungement proceedings. Previously, Tracey served as in-house counsel at UBS Financial Services Inc. in the litigation group and served seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY). She graduated from Villanova University School of Law.  She received her undergraduate degree in English from Dartmouth College. 


Anita Spieth, Principal in Choate’s IP Litigation group, has more than 10 years of experience representing Life Sciences and Technology companies. She counsels clients in patent, trade secret, copyright and trademark litigation. In 2019, Ms. Spieth was named a “Next Generation Lawyer” by Legal 500 US and a Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star.

Anita’s experience includes:

  • Represented biopharmaceutical company in breach of contract litigation regarding exclusive license agreement related to cancer therapies.
  • Represented leader in production and supply of reagents for life sciences industry regarding theft of trade secrets by former employees and founders with respect to new company.
  • Represented US clothing retailer against claims of copyright infringement involving use of patterned fabric in apparel products.
  • Represented US clothing retailer against claims of trademark and trade dress infringement involving logo used on apparel.
  • Represented technology company in numerous misappropriation of trade secret actions relating to enterprise security, eGRC implementations and data storage technology.Cases also involved former employee’s violation of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. Successfully pursued and obtained preliminary injunctions.
  • Represented leader in production of and supply of reagents for life sciences industry in action against former employees and new competing venture for theft of trade secrets.
  • Represented mobile CT manufacturer in lawsuit against former Principal Mechanical Engineer and new employer. Lawsuit alleged former employee misappropriated confidential information and violated non-compete obligations by working simultaneously for both companies. Technology related to computed tomography with specific emphasis on detector arrays, scintillator crystals and data acquisition systems. 
  • Assisted in defense of media outlet against defamation claims.
  • Member of arbitration team that successfully represented company in dispute over costs of buying out minority shareholder.
  • Researched and executed Digital Millennium Copyright Act internet take-downs of infringing media on behalf of leading financial institution.

Ms. Spieth is a member of the Boston Bar Association and the Intellectual Property Inn of Court. She is an elected member of the Parks and Recreation Committee of Lincoln, Massachusetts and serves as a board member of Magic Garden Children’s Center.


As co-chair of the firm’s antitrust and competition practice, Ian Simmons has been lead counsel in more than 32 multi-district litigation (MDL) antitrust proceedings and has achieved precedent-setting results, including winning summary judgment for Samsung Electronics in the long-running In re: Optical Disk Drive litigation in which class plaintiffs were seeking U.S. $3 billion in damages. In 2019, the National Law Journal, in recognizing the DC office as litigation department of the year, singled out the $3 billion summary judgment victory for Samsung Electronics.  In addition to his extensive cartel experience, Ian is steeped in matters at the fulcrum of the antitrust analysis of intellectual property including the antitrust analysis of standard essential patents and FRAND obligations: in the Ninth Circuit, he represented 40 of the nation’s leading antitrust scholars in support of affirmance in Federal Trade Commission v. Qualcomm, Inc. and he represents Novartis Pharma AG in an antitrust action involving eye treatments. He has argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits.

An alumnus of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Ian’s career has been highlighted by several “firsts”: he was trial counsel in the first jury trial price fixing case to attack a wholly foreign conspiracy; he argued and won in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in what it called “a case of first impression” on the preemption of state antitrust laws; he is counsel to Bitcoin.com and Roger Ver in the first antitrust case involving crypto currency; and he is counsel to Samsung Bioepis in the first “pay for delay” case involving biosimilars (the district court, in lengthy opinion to be published, dismissed the claims. In re Humira Antitrust Litig., ____ F. Supp.3d ____ (N.D. Ill. 2020)). Ian recently achieved a significant dismissal in In re DRAM Antitrust Litigation, 400 F.3d Supp. 897 (N.D. Cal. 2019).

Ian’s representations are not limited to defense side work (as exemplified by the amicus brief in Federal Trade Commission v. Qualcomm, Inc.): he is counsel in the Southern District of New York to US Airways (American Airlines as successor in interest) in a cutting edge monopolization case involving two sided markets; the case alleges SABRE has illegally monopolized certain markets for the distribution of airline tickets.  Ian’s defeat of class certification in the Optical Disk Drive Litigation marked only the second time that class certification was defeated in a civil case where guilty pleas had been entered.  Ian is a member of the ABA antitrust section leadership and has appeared as a panelist or moderator at eight ABA antitrust spring meetings. A thought leader in cartel litigation, including representations of multinational clients such as Novartis, Marriott International, Samsung Electronics, Asiana Airlines, Hyundai Motors Corp. and Kumho Petrochemicals. 

WWL Competition 2018 applauded him with “Ian Simmons impresses peers and clients alike who consider him ‘a super smart litigator with great instincts’” Ian was also named a 2017 National Law Journal “antitrust trailblazer.”  Ian is a senior lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School.


Denise L. Plunkett is a partner in the Antitrust group at Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider. 

Ms. Plunkett has significant litigation experience in the payment card, financial services, and pharmaceutical industries.  Her matters have included high-stakes commercial disputes, class actions, multidistrict litigations, international arbitration, and government investigations.  In 2020, she was recognized as a leading lawyer for antitrust plaintiffs by Best Lawyers, and her experience includes numerous bench and jury trials and appeals, and many fact and expert depositions.


Eugene Boulé focuses his trial practice on the defense of negligence-based lawsuits in New York state and federal courts. Gene has extensive experience with complex, high-exposure construction accident, aviation, premises liability and security, and product liability matters involving personal injury and property damage claims. He is particularly skilled in direct and cross-examination of important damages trial witnesses such as doctors, vocational rehabilitation experts and economists.

A significant portion of Gene’s practice involves representing owners and contractors in construction site litigation. With over 25 years of experience handling matters governed by New York’s Labor Law Gene has developed in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the statutes, a strong background in contract interpretation and insurance obligations for the critical assessment and pursuit of risk transfer opportunities, and the ability to strategically plan litigation for the best outcomes for his clients. Gene has tried many construction site cases and has formed relationships in the New York Labor Law arena with attorneys, mediators and experts that enable him to achieve quality results. .

In addition, he represents commercial and general aviation interests, from manufacturers to airlines to facilities and all related service and support industries. Gene also regularly represents property owners and commercial tenants in premises liability matters ranging from negligent security matters to slip-and-fall actions to Dram Shop claims. In addition, he handles coverage matters on behalf of general liability insurers, issuing coverage opinions and litigating coverage issues.

Gene’s litigation approach reflects his clients’ desire for a high level of responsiveness, thorough analysis of claims and identification of opportunities for early resolution. He also is an experienced trial attorney and has obtained defense verdicts and favorable pre-trial results on behalf of his clients.


Ms. Reilly is a counsel in the firm’s Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including contract disputes and bankruptcy-related litigation? and advice, particularly on behalf of investment banking, financial advisory and asset management clients. She also has significant experience with white collar criminal defense and SEC investigations and enforcement actions. Ms. Reilly maintains an active pro bono practice as well, and she received the 2005 inMotion “Commitment to Justice” award, the 2015 New York Law Journal “Lawyers Who Lead by Example” Pro Bono award, the 2016 Chambers Diversity “Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year” award and the 2019 Sanctuary for Families' “Above & Beyond Pro Bono Achievement Award.”

Ms. Reilly joined the firm in 2001. From 2000 to 2001 she clerked for Justice James H. Coleman, Jr. of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Ms. Reilly received a J.D. with honors from Rutgers Law School in Newark in 2000, where she was a Marsha Wenk fellow, a managing editor of the Rutgers Law Review and a recipient of the Alumni Senior Prize. She received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Douglass College, Rutgers University in 1997.

Ms. Reilly is a member of the bars of New York and New Jersey and is admitted to practice before the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the District of New Jersey and the Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals.


Robin A. van der Meulen is a Partner in the New York office of Labaton Sucharow LLP, where she represents clients in complex antitrust litigation.  Robin has over a decade of experience litigating a wide variety of antitrust matters, including price-fixing, monopolization, benchmark and commodities manipulation, pay-for-delay agreements, and other anti-competitive practices.

The Legal 500 recommends Robin for excellence in the field of Antitrust Civil Litigation and Class Actions, describing her as “persistent, persuasive, and well-respected by peers and opponents alike.”  She has been recognized as a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation and has been selected to their ”40 & Under Hot List” as one of ”the best and brightest law firm partners” and someone who is “ready to take the reins.”

Robin is currently representing end-payor plaintiffs in In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation, a massive case against some of the biggest drug companies in the world alleging price-fixing and anticompetitive conspiracies.  Robin is also leading a pay-for-delay case, In re Novartis and Par Antitrust Litigation, seeking to recover millions of dollars in overcharges relating to hypertension drug Exforge on behalf of end-payor plaintiffs. 

Prior to joining Labaton Sucharow, Robin was a Litigation Associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she practiced antitrust and commercial litigation. She also served as a judicial intern in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York for the Honorable Elizabeth S. Stong.

Robin is an active member of the antitrust bar. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Antitrust Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and a member of NYSBA House of Delegates.  Robin is also a Vice Chair of the Antitrust Section’s Health Care & Pharmaceutical Committee of the American Bar Association and the Executive Editor of that Committee’s Antitrust Health Care Chronicle.  Since 2012, Robin has been an editor of the Health Care Antitrust Week-In-Review, a weekly publication that summarizes antitrust news in the health care industry.

Robin earned her Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School. While in law school, Robin served as an Associate Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and Policy and was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University where she competed as a Division I athlete on Columbia’s track and field team.