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Fundamentals of Taking and Defending Depositions 2017


Speaker(s): Barbara J. Hart, Charles Michael, David A. Piedra, David G. Keyko, Denise L. Plunkett, Francis J. Menton, Jr. , James S. Goddard, Partha P. Chattoraj, Rishi Bhandari
Recorded on: Mar. 10, 2017
PLI Program #: 187378

Barbara J. Hart is President and CEO of Lowey Dannenberg, P.C., a fifty attorney firm specializing in complex securities and antitrust litigation. Ms. Hart, as Lead Counsel, recently won reversal before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for the NYC Public Pension Funds in litigation for shareholders of Community Health Systems Inc. Ms. Hart has been Lead Counsel in four of the top 100 largest securities class action settlements in history. She is a member of Thirty Percent Coalition working with institutional investors representing over $3.5 trillion in assets under management to see corporate boards become more diverse.

Noteworthy Cases & Achievements:
Ms. Hart recovered $219 million for upstate New York trade unions who had lost their pensions in the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Judge McMahon praised the “unprecedented global settlement” and recognized that Ms. Hart “carried the laboring oar.” Judge McMahon continued: “Your clients – all of them – have been well served . . . rarely has there been a more transparent settlement negotiation. It could serve as a prototype.”  Ms. Hart serves on the Steering Committee of the In re Packaged Seafood Antitrust Litigation prosecuting allegations of price fixing against the world’s largest tuna producers. In 2015, Ms. Hart, represented a doctor-whistleblower alleging false Medicaid billing and recovered a partial settlement of $22.4 million, the largest single New York Medicaid fraud recovery to date. In 2014, Ms. Hart tried a limited partnership dispute and after multiple days of testimony and oral argument won a multi-million dollar award.

Ms. Hart was Lead Counsel in the In re Juniper Networks Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.) involving allegations of massive options backdating and gained a $169,000,000 settlement that the Hon. James Ware called an “excellent result.” The recovery was the third largest of any of the dozens of litigations involving options backdating. Ms. Hart served as lead counsel representing the Office of the Treasurer of the State of Connecticut in the In re Waste Management Securities Litigation, which settled for $457 million; then the third-largest securities class action settlement. Ms. Hart served as co-lead counsel in the In re Air Cargo Antitrust Litigation (E.D.N.Y) one of the largest collusion cases in history involving most of the world’s major airlines. Ms. Hart was co-lead counsel in the In re El Paso Corporation Securities Litigation, garnering a $285 million settlement. A few of her notable antitrust settlements include: In re Stock Exchange Options Trading Antitrust Litigation ($47 million settlement); In re Brand Name Drug Litigation ($65 million settlement); In re Augmentin Antitrust Litigation ($29 million settlement); In re Paxil Antitrust Litigation ($65 million settlement); In re Sodium Erythorbate and Maltol Antitrust Litigation ($18.45 million settlement); In re Synthroid Marketing and Antitrust Litigation ($87.4 million settlement); and In re Warfarin Sodium Antitrust Litigation ($44.5 million settlement). On behalf of her clients Ms. Hart pushed for reform to both New York’s Martin and Donnelly Acts. Ultimately, her efforts led to an amendment making New York an “Illinois Brick” repealer state, granting standing to injured New Yorkers. This precipitated similar amendments in other states. Ms. Hart co-edited the New York Antitrust and Consumer Protection Law handbook. Ms. Hart has successfully represented institutional investor clients as amici curiae on various matters, including on New York’s Martin Act.

Education:

  • B.A. Vanderbilt University (1982)
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  • M.A. University of North Carolina (1987)
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  • J.D. Fordham University School of Law (1992) Fordham Law Review 1989-1990; Dean’s List

 

Bar/Court Admissions:
Ms. Hart is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, and is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Circuits; and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.


Charles Michael has successfully handled a wide range of commercial litigation matters.  He has obtained favorable settlements or dismissals on behalf of clients accused of securities fraud, intellectual property infringement, antitrust violations, wrongful termination and breach of contract.  He has also successfully represented clients bringing claims for breach of fiduciary duty, trademark infringement, breach of contract, and professional malpractice.

Mr. Michael was recently part of the trial team that obtained a complete victory after a bench trial of a $120 million suit relating to a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) transaction.  He also secured a preliminary injunction preserving a medical practice’s contractual option to buy the company supplying the practice’s non-medical support staff, and won an appellate decision reversing the trial court and dismissing a $200 million fraud and alter ego suit against a private equity firm.

Mr. Michael is also experienced in regulatory and criminal investigations.  He has represented clients under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). 

He is the founder and editor of the SDNY Blog which covers civil litigation and trial practice in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Additionally, Mr. Michael has recently given several presentations to in-house counsel at private equity firms and others about limiting the risk of being held responsible in court for portfolio company liabilities, and preserving the attorney-client privilege among corporate affiliates.

Representative Matters

  • Defeated a Japanese billionaire’s federal court petition to force a US-based global investment bank to produce, for purposes of a Japanese litigation, extensive discovery from the bank’s Japanese broker-dealer
  • Successful dismissal of multimillion-dollar breach of contract and fraud suit brought by real estate developer against project owner
  • Granted summary judgment for a home furnishings company accused of failing to pay over $20 million in alleged liabilities under an acquisition agreement
  • Defended software firm in dispute relating to $150 million acquisition of another software firm
  • Defended dietary supplement maker in multimillion-dollar lawsuit arising from the failed launch of a pre-workout beverage
  • Secured a preliminary injunction in a case involving theft of trade secrets
  • Successfully defended several asset purchasers in successor liability lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions
  • Granted summary judgment that largely disposed of case seeking $15 million in damages for alleged breaches of an oil rig lease and related contracts
  • Defended investment banking executive in multiple investigations relating to auction-rate securities market collapse
  • Successfully defeated, before trial court an on appeal, a motion to preliminarily enjoin a consumer products manufacturer from selling its largest brand
  • Defended private equity firm in $55 million wrongful termination lawsuit brought by its former president
  • Defended the former owners of the “Tinkerbell” trademark in a fraud and breach of contract action brought by a former licensee
  • Obtained summary dismissal of a securities fraud case against a publicly-traded technology firm
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction against a company improperly using a client’s trademarks
  • Represented a consumer products manufacturer in an lawsuit accusing two of the company’s former executives accounting fraud
  • Represented a public company in multibillion-dollar class action accounting fraud case
  • Successfully defended publicly-traded investment bank accused of understating options compensation in proxy statement
  • Represented bank in DOJ investigation of money transfers to sanctioned countries and entities

Noteworthy

  • New York Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2013-2016

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

  • SDNY Blog
  • A Middle-Ground Approach To 'Piggybacking'
    June 2, 2015, Law360
  • Judge Rakoff Allows FIRREA Claims Where Bank’s Misconduct ‘Affects’ Itself
    August 23, 2013, The CLS Blue Sky Blog


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 the chair of the Association's Legal Referral Service Committee and is a member 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.


James S. Goddard is a Director and Associate General Counsel with Citi f/k/a Citigroup in New York, NY, and has been a senior litigation attorney with Citi’s predecessors-in-interest, beginning with Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1991.  Mr. Goddard’s practice focuses on banking, securities, commercial and residential realty, intellectual property, technology, abandoned property and general commercial transactions.  His litigation experience includes jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, as well as arbitrations in several forums.

Prior to joining Shearson Lehman Brothers, Mr. Goddard was a litigation associate with Davis Polk & Wardwell, Edwards & Angell and Coudert Brothers.  Mr. Goddard served as Law Clerk to the Honorable William H. Timbers, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


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.


Rishi Bhandari is a partner at Mandel Bhandari LLP, which he co-founded. He is an experienced litigator and problem solver. Rishi is a highly respected trial attorney who frequently takes cases just days or weeks before trial. He has been selected as a Rising Star by the New York Super Lawyers magazine and has been certified as a Trial Advocacy Teacher by NITA.

Since founding the firm, Rishi has been lead counsel or co-lead counsel in seven cases that have resulted in verdicts or settled on very favorable terms on the first day of jury selection or shortly after opening statements. Rishi has achieved outstanding results for his clients, including a jury verdict that was more than nine times larger than the defendants’ final settlement offer and the settlement of claims worth more than $35,000,000.

Rishi started his legal career at the business litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. While at Quinn Emanuel, Rishi represented Fortune 500 companies, helped formulate the litigation strategy on behalf of one of the world’s largest dairy producers, and worked closely with one of the name partners on behalf of a major Hollywood talent agency embroiled in a legal malpractice and bad faith insurance action.

Before co-founding Mandel Bhandari, Rishi practiced at the highly regarded white collar and commercial litigation boutique Brune & Richard. At Brune & Richard, Rishi represented billion-dollar hedge funds, sizable private equity funds, and many different types of operating companies, from the publisher of business-to-business magazines, to one of the nation’s largest temporary staffing agencies, to a leading manufacturer of video game accessories.

Rishi has also devoted considerable time to public interest causes. He was a Teach for America Corps member and teacher in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and worked for the Democratic National Committee’s voter protection unit. Rishi co-authored materials and led training sessions for over 1,200 attorneys who volunteered for Michigan’s voter protection program.


Denise L. Plunkett is a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Antitrust and Consumer Financial Services Litigation practice groups.  She is Co-Managing Partner of Ballard’s New York office, Co-Leader of the firm’s Payment Systems industry group and a Co-Chair of Ballard Women. 

Ms. Plunkett has over 25 years of high stakes litigation experience.  She currently focuses her practice on antitrust and business litigation in the payment card, financial services, and pharmaceutical industries.  She has successfully defended an impressive array of claims, ranging from alleged violations of antitrust laws and consumer protection statutes to business torts and common law claims.  She also represents corporate clients as plaintiffs in significant loss recovery matters.  Her experience includes jury trials and appeals, and she has litigated in state and federal courts across the country. 


Francis J. Menton, Jr. retired from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP on December 31, 2015 after a career of more than 40 years, 31 as partner.  At Willkie Farr, he practiced in the area of commercial litigation and conducted more than 30 trials in state and federal courts around the country.  He served for many years as co-head of the Business Litigation group, and also for fifteen years as Chair of the Conflicts & Ethics Committee.  Currently he has a solo practice specializing in commercial litigation and issues of conflicts and legal ethics.