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Jonathan Sherman

Partner
Washington, DC

t: 202 237 9605
f: 202 237 6131

jsherman@bsfllp.com
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Areas of Practice

Litigation

Appellate

Class Actions

Constitutional Law and First Amendment / Mass Media

Crisis Management and Government Response

Investigations / Corporate Governance

Securities Litigation


Education

Stanford Law School, J.D., 1991; Articles Editor, Stanford Law Review; Law Review Board of Editors' Award for Outstanding Editorial Contributions, Vol. 42; Hilmer Ohelman, Jr. Award for Excellence in First Year Research and Writing

Yale University, M.A., History, 1989; Yale Fellowship

University of Rochester, B.A., magna cum laude, History, 1984; Phi Beta Kappa; Highest Distinction in Major


Admissions

District of Columbia and New York

United States Supreme Court

United States Courts of Appeals: First, Second, Third, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits

United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York; United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Jonathan Sherman has built an eclectic practice and national reputation in international commercial, contract and securities litigation, as well as First Amendment litigation and counseling, including counseling clients on business defamation and trade libel.  Mr. Sherman was named as one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America” in 2012-13 and again in 2013-14.

Mr. Sherman has led high profile international commercial matters both in the United States and Europe, including securities litigations (on both plaintiff and defense sides; in both class actions and individual or opt-out litigation), corporate governance and compliance, financial institution and instruments, employment-related and general commercial disputes.  At the same time he has developed a national practice in the First Amendment, becoming the nation's leading expert on audiovisual and internet access to government proceedings, writing the briefs as a young associate to get television cameras into the O.J. Simpson criminal trial all the way through the continuing fight to bring cameras to the United States Supreme Court.   

Some of Mr. Sherman’s recent public work includes:

  • Representing hedge and private equity funds and other financial institutions based in the United States and in Europe in connection with financial instrument disputes and other securities-related matters, including, for example, securing summary judgment, before any discovery was permitted, for plaintiff funds permitting them to recover the value of redeemed dividends on preferred stock at double the price of the redemption.  E.g., D.E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios. v. Archon Corp., 570 F.Supp.2d 1262 (D. Nev. 2008) (argued), aff'd, No. 11-15406 (9th Cir. Sept. 12, 2012) (argued);
  • Acting as lead counsel for Blackhorse Capital Management and affiliates in litigation brought in Delaware Chancery Court arising out of disputed ownership of biotechnology and the governance of a joint venture.  Blackhorse Capital Management, et al. v. Xstelos Holdings, Inc., C.A. No. 8642-VCP (filed June 2013);
  • Representing Herbalife Ltd. in different matters arising out of highly publicized allegations made against the company by the hedge fund and short seller Pershing Square Capital Management;
  • Defending Qwest Communications International Inc. in connection with securities, accounting and commercial contract matters arising out of its investment in a Dutch telecommunications joint venture (Among other matters, Mr. Sherman argued and won (1) in the Third Circuit, which affirmed dismissal of a $9 billion litigation brought by Dutch bankruptcy trustees, Windt v. Qwest, 512 F.3d 183 (3rd Cir. 2008) (argued both appeal and motion to dismiss) and (2) in the Arizona Supreme Court, which affirmed the dismissal of securities opt-out litigation under novel interpretation of the Arizona Securities Act.  Grand v. Nacchio,  236 P3d 398 (Ariz. 2010) (argued at both appellate levels and before trial court).); 
  • Obtaining dismissal of Bank of New York Mellon from action brought against it, an investment bank, and two rating agencies by Bank of Abu Dhabi arising out of allegations that defendants failed to disclose risks of structured investment vehicle alleged to have consisted of pooled mortgage backed securities;
  • Representing Bain Capital in connection with claims made in Lehman bankruptcy relating to collateralized debt obligations; 
  • Advising one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds about potential U.S. and European litigation arising out of the liquidity crisis in the credit markets;
  • Acting as lead counsel on behalf of a certified class of shareholders of Genzyme Corporation challenging the propriety under the federal securities laws of its elimination of the so-called "tracking stock" of one of its divisions (the case settled in August 2007 with Genzyme agreeing to pay $64 million to the class);
  • Representing the designers Tory Burch, Joseph Abboud and Calvin Klein in different litigations – the first in Delaware Chancery Court in connection with claims that a former partner misappropriated her company’s intellectual property; the second, in New York state court against the company that manufactured and licensed his work; the last in federal court in New York alleging that a former business partner had diluted his brand through sales and distribution practices;
  • Representing European private equity firm Terra Firma at 13-day fraud trial in New York federal court arising from the 2007 public-to-private auction of EMI Group. Terra Firma Investments (GP) 2 Ltd. v. Citigroup Inc., 725 F. Supp. 2d 438 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), including successfully arguing and defeating Defendants’ motion to dismiss on grounds of forum non conveniens.

Mr. Sherman has represented clients in numerous other commercial matters, including involving employee benefits disputes, internal investigations, antitrust/patent misuse claims; and alleged bid-rigging and price fixing.

Mr. Sherman also has more than 22 years’ worth of experience defending and counseling clients (both media and non-media) in matters involving defamation, trade libel, access to government and judicial proceedings, copyright and privacy rights, government funding of speech, Internet-related access disputes, and international free speech rights. In the First Amendment area, Mr. Sherman was lead counsel on behalf of Court TV in litigation challenging the constitutionality of New York's statutory ban on television cameras in that State's courtrooms.  He currently represents Courtroom View Network, which provides streaming Internet transmissions of judicial proceedings, in its attempts to cover federal court proceedings.  Among other high profile matters: He assisted CBS Corp. in its defense to the FCC’s indecency fine for the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show involving Janet Jackson; in 2005, he represented a large media company in connection with an investigation of a leak of information from a highly publicized grand jury proceeding; in 2003, he defended Viacom Inc. in litigation brought by the filmmaker Spike Lee to prevent the launch of a television network.

Selected Professional Awards and Associations

Selection, 2012 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
American Bar Association
Who’s Who in America (2000-2014)

Publications

Lecturer, "The Media in Court," Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics and the Media, Syracuse University, February 2, 2009.

Panel Member, "International Class Actions," presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law, Brussels, Belgium, September 2008.

Thoughts on the Constitutionality of Televised Trials in the Age of Information and the Era of Infotainment, MLRC Bulletin (Jan. 2005)

New York Judge Issues Watershed Ruling Declaring Constitutional Right to Televise Trials (LDRC Libelletter, Feb. 2000)

Lifting the Veil, Legal Backgrounder (Nov. 1, 1996)

In Trusts We Trust, Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal (Nov. 1996)

Pictures at an Execution, New York Times, Op-Ed page (May 3, 1991)

Related News

Quaker Oats accused of stealing the "face of America's breakfast" (In The News)

Lawyer Limelight: Jonathan Sherman (In The News)

Rare Retrial Granted Following BSF’s Second Circuit Arguments for Private Equity Firm Terra Firma (May 31, 2013)

The BSF Report: Spring 2013 (03.08.2013)

Judge in Colorado shooting must decide fair trial versus transparency (08.05.2012)

Judges to Judges: Stop Sealing Cases (September 15, 2011)

BSF Assumes Lead Role in Emerging Legal Matters Arising from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme (In The News)

BSF Provides Legal Services and Expert Opinion on Matters Related to the Global Credit Crisis (In The News)

BSF's Ongoing Effort to Open Federal Courts to Cameras and the Internet Continues to Make Unprecedented Gains (December 20, 2009)

Firm Report: July 2008 (07.28.2008)

Are Banks Still Off Limits? (July 14, 2008)

Boies, Schiller & Flexner Continues to Press for Camera Access to Federal Court (July 7, 2008)

Firm Report: January 2008 (Vol. 3, Issue I) (01.22.2008)

Firm Report: July/August 2007 (Vol. 2, Issue II) (08.22.2007)

BSF Obtains $64m Settlement for Class in Tracking Stock Litigation (August 10, 2007)

Firm Report: November 2006 (Vol. 1, Issue III (11.01.2006)

Tracking Stock Class Action Litigation Against Genzyme Gets Major Boost (August 17, 2006)

Legal Battle Over Tracking Stocks Heats Up (August 11, 2003)