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Appellate Advocacy 2015


Speaker(s): Alexandra A.E. Shapiro, Cate Stetson, Deepak Gupta, Hon. Judith S. Kaye, Kevin C. Newsom, Mark D. Harris, Richard B. Rosenthal, Scott A. Chesin
Recorded on: Jun. 2, 2015
PLI Program #: 58423

Alexandra Shapiro is a partner and co-founder of Shapiro Arato LLP, a New York litigation boutique.

Alexandra is an experienced trial lawyer and appellate advocate. She has tried many cases and argued numerous appeals in federal and state appellate courts, including Salman v. United States, a major insider trading case in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Alexandra has won a series of appellate reversals of criminal convictions in significant white collar prosecutions.  Most recently, she procured a new trial for Dean Skelos, the former New York State Senate Majority Leader.  Her victories include appellate judgments of acquittal in three cases (two overturned convictions for insider trading and one reversed a tax shelter fraud conviction), as well as several decisions granting new trials for clients who had been convicted of tax crimes, securities fraud, accounting fraud, public corruption, and obstruction of justice.

Alexandra is currently representing several clients in Second Circuit appeals from insider-trading convictions, including businessman William Walters, former investment banker Sean Stewart, and former SAC portfolio manager Mathew Martoma.

Alexandra has also conducted internal investigations on behalf of corporations, corporate boards, and Audit Committees. She has assisted clients in developing and implementing regulatory compliance programs.  She served as President of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, a not-for-profit professional association of about 250 experienced lawyers whose principal area of practice is the defense of criminal cases in the federal courts in New York.

Prior to co-founding her firm in 2009, Alexandra was a partner of Latham & Watkins LLP, and before that, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she also served as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney.  She clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the U.S. and for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Alexandra received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law; she graduated first in her class and was an articles editor of the Columbia Law Review. She received her B.A. from Williams College, graduating magna cum laude and with Honors in History.


Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC. He specializes in Supreme Court, appellate, and complex litigation on a wide range of issues, including constitutional law, class actions, and consumers’ and workers’ rights. He has also taught public interest law and appellate advocacy at Georgetown and American universities.

Deepak has briefed and argued a wide range of statutory and constitutional cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, several state supreme courts, and federal appellate courts nationwide. He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (2011), a landmark case at the intersection of arbitration, preemption, and class actions. He was lead counsel in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman (2017), arguing on behalf of a group of small merchants in a constitutional challenge to swipe-fees laws brought in the wake of the $7 billion Visa swipe-fee antitrust settlement. More recently, Deepak was appointed by the Supreme Court to brief and argue in support of a judgment left undefended by the Solicitor General in Smith v. Berryhill. He also serves as counsel for the plaintiffs in two cases challenging President Trump's violations of the Constitution's Emoluments Clauses, CREW v. Trump and District of Columbia v. Trump.

Before founding his firm in 2012, Deepak served as Senior Litigation Counsel and Senior Counsel for Enforcement Strategy at the CFPB. As the first appellate litigator hired under Elizabeth Warren’s leadership, he was instrumental in launching the Bureau’s amicus program, defending its regulations, and working with the Solicitor General’s office on Supreme Court matters. For seven years previously, he was an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group, where he founded and directed the Consumer Justice Project and was the Alan Morrison Supreme Court Project Fellow. He received his law degree from Georgetown, studied Sanskrit at Oxford, and received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Fordham.

Deepak serves on the boards of directors for the Alliance for Justice, The Impact Fund, the Biden Institute, the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, the Legal Affairs Committee of the American Association for Justice, and the Class Action Preservation Committee of Public Justice.


Judith S. Kaye joined Skadden in 2009 and focuses her practice on appellate litigation and arbitration. Before joining the firm, she served as chief judge of the State of New York and chief judge of the Court of Appeals for 15 years, until her retirement in 2008. She was appointed to the court in 1983 by Governor Mario Cuomo, becoming the first woman ever to serve on New York’s highest court.

Judge Kaye gained a national reputation for both her groundbreaking decisions and her innovative reforms of the New York court system. She wrote notable decisions on a wide variety of statutory, constitutional and common law issues, including rights for gay couples and the death penalty. Judge Kaye also left her mark on New York’s courts as a creative reformer, streamlining New York’s jury system and establishing specialized courts to focus on issues such as drug addiction, domestic violence and mental health issues. In addition, she created the Adoption Now program that has produced more effective procedures for children in foster care and their families. Her reforms have been implemented by many other state courts. Before her appointment to the bench, she practiced law at Sullivan & Cromwell, IBM and Olwine, Connelly, Chase, O’Donnell & Weyher, where she became that firm’s first female partner.

Judge Kaye is the author of more than 200 publications, including articles on legal process, state constitutional law, women in law, juvenile justice, professional ethics and problem-solving courts. She frequently speaks on these topics, as well as those that pertain to international arbitration. She has acted as an arbitrator or panel chair in a broad spectrum of international and U.S. commercial disputes.

She has received numerous awards recognizing her judicial and scholarly accomplish­ments, such as the New York State Bar Association’s inaugural Distinguished Jurist Award, New York State Bar Association’s Gold Medal, the ABA Justice Center John Marshall Award, the National Center for State Courts’ William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adoption Excellence Award, the New York Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the New York University School of Law’s Judge Edward Weinfeld Award. In 2014, Judge Kaye also was selected by Harvard Law School as an honoree for its inaugural International Women’s Day Exhibition.

Selected Publications

  • “International Arbitration: A Page of History,” New York Law Journal, June 9, 2014
  • “A Spirit of Liberty: A Perpetual Anniversary,” New York Law Journal, May 1, 2014
  • “An International Arbitration Perspective on Judging,” New York Law Journal, November 21, 2013
  • “Effective Appellate Advocacy,” Practical Law The Journal, September 2013
  • “International Arbitration: A Page From My ‘After-Life,’” New York Law Journal, February 6, 2013


Scott Chesin is a partner in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice in Mayer Brown’s New York office. He handles appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country, and he regularly partners with trial lawyers at Mayer Brown and at other firms to develop legal strategies applicable to all phases of litigation: pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appeal. Scott has experience litigating a wide variety of substantive legal issues; his particular areas of interest are product liability defense, punitive damages, and criminal defense. According to Legal 500, Scott is an “appellate specialist” who comes “highly recommended” by clients. In 2013, the New York Law Journal named Scott to its list of “Rising Stars” – lawyers under 40 who are “top contributors to the practice of law and their communities.” He has been listed as an appellate “Rising Star” by New York Super Lawyers since 2014. Also in 2014, he was appointed by the Second Circuit to its Criminal Justice Act panel, through which he accepts court appointments to represent indigent criminal defendants on appeal.

Scott’s appellate practice is national in scope, with a particular focus on New York-based matters: since joining Mayer Brown in 2004, Scott has argued appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Departments; he will argue his first case in the New York Court of Appeals in September 2015. Scott has authored approximately 75 appellate briefs, including approximately three dozen filed in the New York appellate courts (the Court of Appeals, the Appellate Divisions, and the Second Circuit), and others filed all around the country (including in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits, and multiple state appellate courts.

In addition to handling purely appellate matters, Scott regularly briefs and argues complex issues at the trial-court level. In the past four years, Scott has served as lead legal strategy counsel during ten highstakes jury trials. In addition, he has handled pre-trial motions practice and appellate preservation for over a dozen other cases that have either gone to trial or been resolved prior to trial. As legal strategy counsel before and during trials, Scott handles all aspects of appellate preservation, including drafting and arguing motions in limine, dispositive motions, directed-verdict and post-trial motions, proposed jury instructions and verdict forms, and exhibit objections. Scott regularly publishes and lectures on the subject of appellate preservation.

Scott received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a member of the Law Review. He received his A.B., cum laude in History, from Harvard College, where he won the Wendell Phillips Prize for the most promising orator in his class. Following graduation from law school, Scott served as a law clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Mark Harris is a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP and co-head of its Appellate Practice Group, which was recently named to the National Law Journal’s 2020 Appellate Hot List. He is also a member of Proskauer’s White-Collar Defense & Investigations and Securities Litigation Groups, concentrating his practice in the areas of white-collar criminal defense and related litigation, and representing both institutional and individual clients in government investigations and prosecutions.

Mark is a former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Lewis Powell, Jr., and to Judge Joel Flaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Mark served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, prosecuting a broad spectrum of federal crimes, including health-care fraud, financial fraud, and corporate embezzlement, and trying a number of jury trials and arguing appeals before the Second Circuit.

He is the editor of PLI’s new treatise Principles of Appellate Advocacy: A Guide to Modern Practice (forthcoming 2021), a comprehensive guide to appellate law and strategy.

Mark has handled dozens of cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts in areas spanning criminal law, bankruptcy, copyright, labor relations, employment law, and administrative law. In some of his major cases, he has successfully represented the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico before the First Circuit in more than two dozen appeals arising out of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy; he successfully represented Nextel Communications before the Second Circuit, which vacated the certification of a class of hundreds of former employees who had brought fiduciary and other claims against the company; he represented Biosig Instruments before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit, for which the American Lawyer named him its Litigator of the Week; and he argued a major Establishment Clause case in the Second Circuit.

Since 1996, Mark has been a member of the Board of Editors of the Federal Sentencing Reporter and a frequent contributor. He has lectured on both criminal law and appellate practice before the International Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, PLI, and the ABA Sections of Litigation, Criminal Law, and Employment and Labor Law, and has been interviewed by Bloomberg Radio, the National Law Journal, WINS AM-1010, Law360, Legal Times, and other news organizations. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Mathematics.


One of five firm lawyers to have clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court, Kevin Newsom is chair of the firm’s appellate group. Before joining the firm, Kevin served as Alabama's Solicitor General. Kevin has argued four cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and at least 35 more in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits, as well as in state supreme and appellate courts. Kevin also regularly briefs and argues critical motions in trial courts and the JPML.

Pursuant to the appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts, Kevin serves on the 10-person Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, which considers amendments and improvements to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Kevin is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, holds a "Tier 1" ranking for appellate law in Chambers USA, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of appellate law. In 2007, The American Lawyer magazine named Kevin one of its "Fab Fifty"—the top 50 litigators in the country under the age of 45—and in 2010, Law360.com named Kevin one of the nation’s top 10 appellate lawyers under the age of 40.

Kevin served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Kevin received a B.A. from Samford University, summa cum laude, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, where he served on the Harvard Law Review.


Richard B. Rosenthal is a solo appellate lawyer who handles appeals across the country, often on behalf of plaintiffs, from his offices in Miami and San Francisco.  He is a former law clerk to the Honorable Levin H. Campbell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and to the Honorable Edward B. Davis, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Rosenthal has served as a personal attorney to Barack Obama and as Statewide Lead Counsel to the Obama for America presidential campaign in Florida.  His clients have also included two United States Senators; a sitting Chief U.S. District Judge; a retired Appellate Justice from California; Secretary of Defense Medal of Freedom recipients; a Hall of Fame baseball star; a major political party in Florida; the nation’s largest independent record label; a police labor union; various nonprofit organizations, trade, and professional associations; and individuals of every background and station.

Mr. Rosenthal has been listed by the National Law Journal as a “Trailblazer” among American plaintiffs’ lawyers.  He has also achieved the rare distinction of having been named simultaneously to “Super Lawyer” and “Best Lawyer” lists in two states: Florida and California.  He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education events, has served as an adjunct professor of law, and has delivered guest lectures at various law schools including Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Michigan, as well as international lectures on the topic of American Democracy and American Values at law schools in Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine.  He can be reached at rbr@rosenthalappeals.com


Cate Stetson is the co-Director of Hogan Lovells’ nationally acclaimed Appellate practice group and a twice-elected member of the firm’s Global Board. Cate has argued one hundred appeals, including multiple times in the U.S. Supreme Court, in all of the federal courts of appeals, and in state appellate courts ranging from New York to California. She has been described to the press as “tough and smart” and “one of the most gifted litigators and orators I have ever encountered,” and commended for her "brilliance of mind and ability to grasp complicated technical matters."