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Current Developments in Federal Civil Practice 2021


Speaker(s): Ajmel Quereshi, Hon. Barbara Moses, Hon. George B. Daniels, Hon. Sanket J. Bulsara, Hon. Sarah L. Cave, Jacob Hollinger, John K. Villa, Jonathan L. Frank, Lauren E. Aguiar, R Jason Straight, Zoe Salzman
Recorded on: Feb. 1, 2021
PLI Program #: 305772

Barbara Moses was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York on December 23, 2015.

Judge Moses graduated from Dartmouth College in 1978, magna cum laude, and from Harvard Law School in 1982, cum laude. Between college and law school she worked as a radio reporter in New England. After receiving her law degree, Judge Moses clerked for Chief Judge Vincent L. McKusick of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. She then joined the San Francisco office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she became a litigation partner in 1990. In 1992, Judge Moses moved to Orrick’s New York office, and in 2002 she joined the New York firm now known as Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Anello, where she continued to practice in the field of securities and business litigation.

From 2009 through 2011, in addition to her private practice, Judge Moses taught a full-year, first-year course in Lawyering at NYU Law School. From 2011 through 2015 she directed the Constitutional and Civil Rights Litigation Clinic at Seton Hall Law School, where she also taught Professional Responsibility.

Judge Moses has been a director of the New York County Lawyers’ Association since 2007. From 2013 to 2014 she served as NYCLA’s 59th President, and from 2004 to 2006 she chaired the NYCLA Federal Courts Committee, which honored her with the David Y. Hinshaw Award in 2015. Judge Moses is also a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the American Law Institute.


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.


John Villa is a partner at Williams & Connolly where he specializes in corporate and financial services-related litigation (both civil and criminal) and legal malpractice defense.  The Financial Times of London writes “John Villa, of Williams & Connolly in Washington, has a reputation for being the lawyer that law firms turn to when in a spot of bother.”  He was named to National Law Journal's list of "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" as "the first lawyer that other attorneys and law firms turn to when caught up in the S&L and banking scandals."  Chambers says “John Villa is the ‘first name to come to mind for financial services litigation matters.’”  The PLC Global Counsel’s Handbook describes him as “an exceptional banking, financial and corporate governance litigator.”  American Lawyer has called him “perhaps the premier [legal] malpractice defense lawyer in the nation.”  The Washington Post reports “John Villa of . . . Williams & Connolly [is] the lawyer and firm that lawyers and law firms turn to when they’re in trouble,” and describes Villa as “a litigator who has gained national prominence with a somewhat rare specialty: defending top-flight law firms in trouble.”  Law 360 has listed him and W&C first among the “6 Firms to have on Speed Dial if Malpractice Trouble Hits.” He has been Chambers rated Tier One nationally and regionally in a number of areas for nearly a decade including financial enforcement, securities defense and commercial litigation.  

He is the author of the following treatises and legal casebooks: Banking Crimes: Fraud, Money Laundering and Embezzlement (2 vol.) (West), Bank Directors' and Officers' and Lawyers' Civil Liabilities (Aspen), Corporate Counsel Guidelines (2 vol.) (West /ACC), and Professional Responsibility: Representing Business Organizations (West Academic).  Mr. Villa is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School teaching a course entitled "Counseling the Corporation in Crisis" and will teach at Duke Law School’s Winter session in 2019.  Mr. Villa was a trial attorney (Honors Program) in the United States Department of Justice.


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; sexual assault; Child Victims Act abuse; wrongful conviction; police and prison abuse; tort and contract disputes; partnership disputes; housing discrimination; constitutional litigation; developmental disability discrimination; and school bullying. 

She also represents lawyers, executives in all fields, employees, and companies in internal investigations and the negotiation of employment, severance, and separation agreements.

Ms. Salzman specializes in representing victims in #MeToo cases with claims for sexual harassment, assault, or abuse. In 2019, Ms. Salzman argued and won a landmark victory in the First Department Appellate Division that rape and sexual assault are necessarily motivated at least in part by animus towards the victim’s gender, and therefore prohibited by the New York City Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law. Many of Ms. Salzman’s other cases in this field have been resolved in high-value confidential settlements or litigated in confidential arbitrations.

Ms. Salzman regularly teaches and speaks on panels hosted by the Practising Law Institute (PLI), the National Employment Lawyers Association/New York, New York University School of Law, and other institutions and law schools.

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.


Ajmel Quereshi serves as Senior Counsel at LDF. In that role, Ajmel maintains a diverse caseload spearheading LDF’s work in the areas of education and economic justice, among others.  In 2019, Ajmel led LDF’s efforts in Bradford v. Maryland State Board of Education, a case on behalf of a class of school children in Baltimore who have been denied a constitutionally adequate education. In 2018, Ajmel served as lead counsel for LDF in multiple suits challenging the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s suspension of housing regulations that would have made housing more accessible and affordable. In Open Communities Alliance v. Carson, LDF obtained a preliminary injunction, enjoining the Trump Administration from suspending the regulation. That same year, Ajmel led LDF’s work in Morningside v. Sabree, regarding discriminatory tax foreclosures in Wayne County, Michigan. The resulting settlement saved hundreds of homes in Detroit from foreclosure. In 2016, Ajmel launched LDF’s work on behalf of airline passengers who have been subject to racial and religious profiling. The project resulted in the issuance of new federal agency documents guiding airline staff as to the proper procedures for the questioning of individuals aboard planes. In 2015, Ajmel spearheaded the filing of a federal complaint regarding the cancellation of the Baltimore Red Line. The filing was covered by and Ajmel was quoted in The Guardian, among others. The Washington Post described the complaint as raising the “next civil rights issue of our time.”

While at LDF, Ajmel has also assisted in filing a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians on account of the President’s derogatory statements regarding Haiti, settled a class action against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority regarding its racially discriminatory background check policy, filed suit against the U.S. Department of Education regarding its failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, coordinated a national coalition of organizations working to reduce the over-criminalization of African-American children in schools, and composed a report – Locked Out of the Classroom – regarding the role of implicit bias in the over-disciplining of African-American children. In addition, he represents an individual sentenced to death in Arkansas as well as African-American parents in four school desegregation cases in Alabama.

Beyond his work at LDF, Ajmel serves as Director of the Civil Rights Clinic at Howard University School of Law, where he also has taught courses in Torts, Federal Civil Rights, and Appellate Litigation. Under his direction, the Clinic has filed amicus briefs in several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as in Fletcher v. Lamone, in which the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland upheld the nation’s first statewide law to prohibit prison-based gerrymandering. Last fall, the Clinic filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. His teaching has been recognized by Harvard Law School, which in 2016, awarded him a Wasserstein Fellowship. The fellowship recognizes exemplary lawyers who have distinguished themselves in public interest work and who can assist students who are considering similar career paths.

Before joining LDF, Ajmel worked as Staff Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, where he litigated complex class action claims involving the United States’ most inhumane correctional facilities. He served as one of the lead counsel in Dockery v. Epps, challenging conditions at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, and assisted in the representation of the Plaintiff class in Parsons v. Ryan, a statewide class action concerning the lack of health care and conditions of confinement in Arizona’s prisons.

Before joining NPP, Ajmel received a Skadden Fellowship and directed the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU of Maryland. In that capacity, he argued before Maryland’s highest court and regularly testified before the Maryland legislature. He currently serves on the ACLU of Maryland’s Board of Directors.

Ajmel frequently speaks with the media, having been interviewed by the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and National Public Radio, among many others. In addition, he regularly presents on racial justice issues to large audiences. In 2016, he debated the future U.S. Solicitor General regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Bank of America v. Miami, concerning whether cities had standing under the Fair Housing Act. Likewise, he has represented LDF at multiple Supreme Court reviews, debating various Supreme Court advocates from the public and private bar.

Ajmel’s editorial writings have appeared in the Baltimore Sun and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; he has published articles in several legal journals on topics ranging from international environmental law to the compatibility of Islam and democracy; and his cases have been featured by the New York Times and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, among others. He has spoken at law schools around the country, including Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, American University, and George Mason University. In 2010, the Maryland Daily Record named him one of the top legal professionals in Maryland under 40 and the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s DC Chapter recognized him for his work in legislative advocacy. 

Ajmel is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. After graduating, Ajmel clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Honorable James G. Carr of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

 


Hon. Sarah L. Cave was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York on October 1, 2019.  Judge Cave received a B.A. from Colgate University in 1995, magna cum laude, and in 1997, received a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a Note Editor for the Journal of Law Reform.

From January 2007 until her appointment, Judge Cave was a litigation partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed in New York City, where her practice focused on securities litigation, bankruptcy litigation, and accountants’ liability.  During her tenure in private practice, Judge Cave was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Circuits, as well as the Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern District Courts.  Before joining Hughes Hubbard in 2002, Judge Cave clerked for the Honorable Joan A. Lenard in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and served as a Staff Law Clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Judge Cave is actively involved in the Federal Bar Council, where she chaired the Second Circuit Courts Committee, served on the Strategic Planning Committee, and served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Foundation.  She served terms as Chair and Vice President of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Committee to Encourage Judicial Service of the New York City Bar Association.  From 2013 to 2018, she was a member of the New York State Bar Association President’s Committee on Access to Justice.  Judge Cave served in several pro bono and community organizations, including The Legal Aid Society, on whose Board of Directors she served, as well as The Friends of Governor’s Island and the First Step Program of the Coalition for the Homeless.  From 2013 to 2014, she was a Fellow in the David Rockefeller Fellows Program of the Partnership for New York City.

In 2012, Crain’s New York Business recognized Judge Cave as one of the Leading Women Lawyers in New York City, and the New York Law Journal designated her as a “Lawyer Who Leads By Example.”  In 2015, she became a member of the American Law Institute, and she received the Legal Aid Society’s Public Interest Law Leadership Award.  She is a ten-time recipient of the Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award.


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 Partner in the Complex Litigation and Trials group 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  breach  of  contract, M&A, fraud, fiduciary, employment, trust & estate, copyright, false advertising, trade secret, and class action litigation. 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 also is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Covenant House International, a shelter in the U.S. and Central America for homeless and trafficked youth. She serves on the advisory board of the 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 is recognized as a stand-out in her field, including as a leading lawyer in general commercial litigation by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Best Lawyers (2018- 2020); Latin America Corporate Counsel Association (as a leading practitioner); Super Lawyers (Top 50 Women Lawyers in NY Metro 2019-2020); and Crain's Notable Women in Law (2021). She is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America (a peer selected group). 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.


R Jason Straight is a Senior Managing Director and Chief Privacy Officer at Ankura, based in the New York Office.  Jason is a leader in the cybersecurity and privacy consulting practice and oversees Ankura’s internal data privacy program.  He has extensive experience managing complex cybersecurity investigations and data breach events in a wide variety of industries involving a range of threat actors including malicious insiders, organized criminal operations and state sponsored groups.  In addition, Jason has overseen and led large data risk and privacy compliance consulting matters for global companies facing regulatory challenges arising from the General Data Protection Regulation, the California Consumer Privacy Act, HIPAA, federal and state financial services regulations and other frameworks.  Jason also founded and led a Gartner-recognized Managed Detection and Response business providing continuous network security monitoring and threat detection to companies in the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, legal and technology sectors.  Jason has also served as the Chief Privacy Officer for an international technology services firm.


Sanket J. Bulsara was appointed as a Magistrate Judge of the Eastern District of New York on August 28, 2017.  Judge Bulsara received an A.B. degree magna cum laude in 1998 from Harvard College, and a J.D. degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2002.  He is a graduate of Edgemont High School. 

Upon graduating from law school, Judge Bulsara was a law clerk to Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York.  Thereafter, he was an associate at Munger Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in New York, where he worked from 2005 to 2015, including as a partner of the firm.  In 2015, he became the Deputy General Counsel for Appellate Litigation, Adjudication, and Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC.   Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Bulsara served as Acting General Counsel of the SEC. 

Judge Bulsara is an Adjunct Professor of Law at St. John’s Law School where he teaches Remedies and Brooklyn Law School where he teaches Securities Litigation.


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.