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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

Global Investigations and White Collar Defense

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 is a civil litigator specializing in high-risk commercial disputes—particularly those involving the strategic use of publicity.  In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, Lawdragon Magazine named Mr. Sherman one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in the United States.  In September 2014, Lawdragon News dubbed him “Floyd Abrams meets David Boies with a side order of Hunter S. Thompson,” and hyperbolized that “the only thing more interesting than Jonathan Sherman is perhaps to be one of his clients ....”

He specializes in resolving commercial disputes that lie where the bodies of law governing “information” intersect (e.g., reputation; intellectual property; competition and consumer protection; privacy; freedom of speech, the press and general constitutional law).  He represents plaintiffs and defendants, and has done so in an eclectic mix of industries: from mining to media, finance to fashion, on line gaming to bricks-and-mortar risk management.  He has led commercial trials and arbitrations; litigated class actions and opt out recoveries; resolved financial institution disputes; his work has taken him to the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia.

Jonathan began his career a member of the Court TV outside legal team that argued for televised coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial.  He has since become one of the world’s best known advocates for cameras in courts and a national expert on the First Amendment.  He has defended the news media in defamation, privacy and litigation protecting offensive speech (such as federal funding for the NEA, or Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show).   But, unlike most First Amendment lawyers, Jonathan also acts against the news media.  Sometimes, in fact, he does so for members of the media, typically to protect their right to creative freedom when competitors or commercial rivals publish false and harmful speech, or threaten to do so.

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

  • Leading the defense of Kering S.A. in a federal court challenge to enjoin and seek damages for the global re-branding of its Yves Saint Laurent label to “Saint Laurent Paris” and “Saint Laurent”; See, e.g., Saint Laurie, Ltd v. Yves Saint Laurent America, Inc. et al, No. 13-CV-6857 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2014) (order denying plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction); id. (Mar. 25, 2015 (denying reconsideration; and granting in part dismissal of heart of plaintiff’s claims);
  • Leading the Firm’s work for one of the world’s largest financial institutions to recover investment losses through securities and financial litigation;
  •  Leading defamation and competition-related litigation on behalf of Communications Director to former Mexican President Felipe Calderon asserted against a forbes.com “contributor” arising out of allegations that the client was “perceived to be” among the ten most corrupt people in Mexico, Mirafuentes v. Estevez, Civil Action, No. 1:2015cv00610 (E.D. Va);
  • Leading the Firm’s representation of one of the world’s largest gaming companies in a dispute with a news organization publishing defamatory articles in apparent coordination with client competitors;
  • Defeating a 2014 motion to obtain video footage of trial testimony of the late Steve Jobs, taped shortly before his death from cancer, as part of the Firm’s successful defense of Apple in BSF’s 2014 federal antitrust trial win involving iPods, In re Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litig., Case No. 05-CV-0037-YGR (N.D. Cal. Dec. 17, 2014) (argued);
  • Representing a state-owned Mongolian company in a dispute with an Australian mining company arising out of the world’s second largest untapped coal reserve;
  • Assisting in the Firm’s representation of Sony to respond to the cyberattack arising out of the movie The Interview;
  • 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 discovery, 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);
  • Representing Bain Capital in connection with commercial disputes, including claims made in Lehman bankruptcy relating to collateralized debt obligations; 
  • Representing Herbalife Ltd. in disputes 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, 529 F.3d 183 (3rd Cir. 2008) (argued both appeal and order granting motion to dismiss) and (2) in the Arizona Supreme Court, which affirmed the dismissal of securities opt-out litigation under a novel interpretation of the Arizona Securities Act.  Grand v. Nacchio, 236 P.3d 398 (Ariz. 2010) (argued in Supreme Court, intermediate appeals court and 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;
  • 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 (1) in successfully reversing adverse jury verdict, Terra Firma Investments (GP) 2 Limited v. Citigroup Inc., Dkt 11-126 (2d Cir. May 31, 2013); (2) at 13-day fraud trial in New York federal court arising from the 2007 public-to-private auction of EMI Group, and (3) defecting Defendants’ motion to dismiss on grounds of forum non conveniens. Terra Firma Investments (GP) 2 Ltd. v. Citigroup Inc., 725 F. Supp. 2d 438 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (argued). 

Selected Professional Awards and Associations

Selection, Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2012-2015)

American Bar Association

Who’s Who in America (2000-2016)

Publications

End the Supreme Court's Ban on Cameras,The New York Times, Op-Ed Page (Apr. 24, 2015)

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, The New York Times, Op-Ed page (May 3, 1991)

Related News

Cameras in the Courtroom: Jonathan Sherman Interview (RNN (Video))

Apple Lawyers Fighting The Release Of Steve Jobs’ Testimony, Claim The Media Just Wants To See A ‘Dead Man’ (Inquisitr)

Apple trial likely to go on with new plaintiff (AP)

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)

Seminars and Speaking Engagements

Jonathan Sherman Invited to Give Lecture at the Third Annual European Conference on Courts and Communication, To Be Held in Budapest in October 2015 (10.15.2015)

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