Collision at the Courthouse

The Bankruptcy Law Section and the Securities Law Section teamed up with the EDNY and SDNY Chapters on March 28, 2017 for a special CLE event. The program consisted of 4 90-minute sessions that addressed numerous key issues at the intersection of securities and bankruptcy law.

After the “Collision at the Courthouse” event, the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis was honored.  The Honorable Ramon A. Reyes presented Judge Garaufis with the Award for Excellence in Jurisprudence, which paid tribute to Judge Garaufis’ outstanding service to the federal courts and specifically to the area of securities law.  For additional information, see here

Attendees at lunch listen to Philip Anker speak on safe harbor issues in bankruptcy cases   

Charles Niemeier, chair of the Securities Law Section and Partner, Williams & Connolly, LLP

Luncheon speaker Philip Anker with Wilmer Hale discussed safe harbor issues arising in bankruptcy cases with securities law issues

Panel comparing federal receiverships to bankruptcies – from left to right: Alistaire Bambach; Sharon Cohen Levin; Richard A. Kirby; Lisa L. Lambert

Panel discussing parallel/overlapping civil and/or criminal enforcement actions – from left to right – Alistaire Bambach; Melanie L. Cyganowski

The Honorable Ramon A. Reyes presents Judge Garaufis with the Award for Excellence in Jurisprudence

The Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis gave remarks after receiving Award for Excellence in Jurisprudence

National Community Outreach Project: “Advanced Health Care Directives for Federal Court Staff: Understanding and Completing Living Wills and Health Care Proxys”

On May 25, 2016, the Health Law Committee of the Southern District of New York Chapter in cooperation with Chief Judge Preska, sponsored a lunchtime open house on advanced health care planning for courthouse and court security personnel. Despite it being the first nice day of spring and the judges being out of town it was wildly successful and the number of participants exceeded our every expectation.

Attorney volunteers and health care professionals were on hand to answer questions, provide information and tips on discussing advance health directives with family and friends. Attorneys assisted participants with completing their own health care proxy and living will on-site and acted as witnesses to the documents. Community groups, Caring Kind and the New York Legal Assistance Group, provided additional support. Thanks to a community activities grant from the Federal Bar Association we were able to fund copying costs and to distribute educational and commemorative materials.

The topic seemed to hit a chord with participants; they appeared grateful for our efforts and overwhelmed that the resources were made available, without charge, as a thank you from members of Bar. To a person, the volunteers were glad they participated. It would not be at all surprising if we received a request to hold a similar event in the future.

Southern District of New York Courthouse hosting the SDNY Chapter’s Advanced Health Care Directives Event

Volunteers Helping Federal Court Staff with Health Care Proxies and Living Wills

Volunteers Helping Federal Court Staff with Health Care Proxies and Living Wills

Volunteers Helping Federal Court Staff with Health Care Proxies and Living Wills

(l to r): Paula Rice, Mira Weiss (Health Law Committee Chair, SDNY Chapter), Michael Zussman (President, SDNY Chapter) and Natalie Kaplan

Tina Janssen-Spinosa

(l to r) Edward Greason, Mira Weiss (Health Law Committee Chair, SDNY Chapter), Elaine H. Nissen, Tina Janssen-Spinosa, Natalie Kaplan, Lissett C. Ferreira and Chelsey Axel

“Passing the Torch” Ceremony honoring Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska and incoming Chief Judge Colleen McMahon - April 2016

In April 2016, the Southern District of New York Chapter held a “Passing the Torch” ceremony to honor Chief Judge Preska, who is stepping down as Chief Judge, and incoming Chief Judge Colleen McMahon. The event was very well-attended and a big success.

(l to r) Wylie Stecklow, SDNY Chapter President-Elect; Danielle Lesser, SDNY Chapter National Delegate; Michael Zussman, SDNY Chapter President; Hon. Frank Maas, Chief Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York and SDNY Chapter Board Member; Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Chief Judge, Southern District of New York; Hon. Colleen McMahon, District Judge, Southern District of New York; Olivera Medenica, SDNY Chapter Immediate Past President; Steve Landis, SDNY Chapter Treasurer; and Rob Rando, EDNY former President and Intellectual Property Law Section Chair
Town Hall on Effective Representation in Mediation - November 5, 2014, at SDNY

On November 5, 2014, the FBA’s SDNY Chapter and ADR Section held a “Town Hall” on Effective Representation in Mediation. The program was a great success, due in no small measure to the Section/Chapter collaboration and the generosity of ADR Section Chair, Jeff Kichaven, who made a day’s round trip - from LA to New York and back - to join the program panelists. Quite likely, part of the program’s draw, held in the new SDNY Courthouse ceremonial Room 850, was the offer of cocktails before and after the one hour CLE program. The novelty of this program design was its active involvement of all audience members in a discussion, facilitated by Simeon H. Baum ( as moderator, of their advice to advocates on how to be effective representing parties in mediation. To keep audience participation lively and coherent, we held back on the single malt scotch until after the CLE was done.

SDNY Chapter President, Olivera Medenica, introduced the program and its moderator, Simeon Baum who quickly passed the baton to Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska. Judge Preska expressed the Court’s appreciation for the mediators who were present and the service offered by Court’s mediation program. Many of the 120 persons present were members of the Court’s ADR panel, who had been invited by the next speaker, Rebecca Price, the SDNY’s Mediation Supervisor. Following Rebecca’s remarks, Jeff Kichaven modeled mediator advice by sharing his tips on how to “win” for one’s client in mediation. Jeff presented his excellent and thoughtful remarks – that clearly come from two decades of experience – in a somewhat provocative way that did the trick. It gave Simeon Baum, the Program Moderator a set of issues that were perfect for presentation to the sophisticated group of mediators who filled the room. The ensuing discussion addressed questions on: (a) the nature of winning – as value creation – in mediation, in a manner that is consistent with mediation’s potential for going beyond competition to cooperation; (b) the role of evaluation, in a process where the parties’ own thoughts and decisions are key; (c) the use and timing of caucuses and joint sessions; (d) effective preparation for mediation; and (e) effective openings by representatives in mediation – to foster open dialogue, information disclosure, realistic assessment of alternatives to the deal, and a spirit conducive to understanding and deal making.

This event, presented by the FBA’s SDNY Chapter and ADR Section, was co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association’s Sections on Dispute Resolution, Commercial and Federal Litigation, and Labor and Employment; as well as by New York City’s Metropolitan Black Bar Association. The presenters offer their thanks to all attendees, panelists, sponsors, and the Court for their support. We note, with special thanks, the extraordinary efforts of SDNY Chapter members, Elyssa Emsellem, who handled CLE, and Stacy Yeung, who handled a variety of logistical issues – along with Chris McClure of Simeon Baum’s office.
2014 Swearing-In Ceremony - October 7, 2014

On October 7, 2014 the Southern District of New York Chapter had a luncheon with Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska.

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First Annual Rule of Law Awards - February 25, 2014

To recognize a victory of the independent judicial process over international terrorism, the Federal Litigation Section of the Federal Bar Association and the Southern District of New York Chapter have hosted the presentation of FBA Presidential Citations and Rule of Law Awards at the federal district courthouse in Manhattan.

» Download the press release
» Wall Street Journal, "German Heroes Honored in New York"
» U.S. News & World Report has highlighted this event in an article "Honoring Defenders of Justice".
» View the slideshow

Acting on directions from the highest levels of the government of Iran, in September 1992 a team of assassins murdered four dissident Iranians meeting at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin, Germany. There followed a sustained diplomatic and political effort in Tehran and Bonn to prevent the terrorists from being brought to justice in Germany. Ignoring those efforts, Chief Federal Prosecutor Alexander von Stahl and lead prosecutor Bruno Jost persevered for three years in bringing the case to trial and verdict of guilty. Assassins of the Turquoise Palace by Roya Hakakian made the dramatic story known in journalistic detail.

Bruno Jost (left) and Alexander von Stahl
Recipients of Rule of Law Awards

Now, FBA President Gustavo A. Gelpi has issued Presidential Citations to von Stahl and Jost, in recognition of their "faithful adherence to the rule of law and exemplary service in a significant case, in the highest and best traditions of the legal profession." At a crowded courthouse ceremony, Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska welcomed the honorees with remarks tracing the American tradition of a society ruled by laws, not by men. U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert presided over a lively discussion by Hakakian and former U.S. Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel, who spoke and answered audience questions about the lasting impact of the "Mykonos case." FBA litigation section Chair Robert E. Kohn presented the Presidential Citations, together with the first annual Rule of Law Awards, issued by the section and the Southern District of New York Chapter.

The FBA’s First Annual Rule of Law Awards
Daniel P. Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, Feb. 25, 2014

Stop, Frisk, And Judicial Independence - January 8, 2014

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014 the New York Chapters of The Puerto Rican Bar Association, The Federal Bar Association, and the National Bar Association presented a two-credit Ethics CLE on "Stop, Frisk, and Judicial Independence." Presenters included Professor Anil Kalhan, Drexel University School of Law; Professor Bruce Green, Fordham Law School; Emily Jane Goodman, Former New York Supreme Court Judge; and Pery Krinsky, Krinsky, PLLC.
Chief Judge Preska and Congressman José E. Serrano Announce Funding for New Security Pavilion at U.S. District Court - May 6, 2013

Loretta A. Preska, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), and Congressman José E. Serrano (NY–15) announced today that the court received $10.44 million to build a security pavilion outside the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, located at 500 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan.

Read the press release.
2013 Swearing-In Ceremony - October 1, 2013

Luncheon with Supreme Court Clerk General William K. Suter - March 14, 2013

On March 14, 2013 the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York FBA Chapters had a luncheon with retiring Supreme Court Clerk General William K. Suter. The General also conducted an admissions ceremony to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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2012 Swearing-In Ceremony - October 24, 2012

View the Slideshow of our 2012 Swearing-in Ceremony, held October 24, 2012 at the Southern District of New York Courthouse in Manhattan.

2012 E-Discovery Presentation - September 12, 2012

On September 12th, 2012 the Southern District of New York Chapter held a CLE event on E-Discovery with special guest speaker Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York. Topics discussed included: Mediation & Discovery, Key Word Mediation to Facilitate Efficient & Effective Electronic Discovery, Role of Special Master in E-Discovery, E-Discovery in JAMS & AAA Arbitration. The panel consisted of Simeon H. Baum, Esq., Resolve Mediation Services, Inc.; Yoav Griver, Esq., Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP; and Daniel Garrie, Law & Forensics, LLC.

Click the image above to view the slideshow.
2011 Swearing-In Ceremony - November 11, 2011

On November 8, 2011, the Honorable Loretta A. Preska, Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York, swore in new SDNY chapter officers.


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