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Jonathan Sherman

Washington, DC

t: 202 237 9605
f: 202 237 6131
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Areas of Practice



Class Actions

Constitutional Law and First Amendment / Mass Media

Crisis Management and Government Response

Global Investigations and White Collar Defense

Securities Litigation


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


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 general commercial litigator.  He combines 25 years of business litigation and First Amendment expertise to specialize in the strategic use of reputation to resolve commercial disputes in the so-called “knowledge economy” problems.  Named to its annual list of “500 Leading Lawyers in America” since 2012, Lawdragon calls Jonathan a “nimble advocate with a sharp legal mind” who “can handle any task” and whose “passion for the law bubbles forth with astonishing ferocity.” A recent profile dubbed him “Floyd Abrams meets David Boies with a side order of Hunter S. Thompson.”

Jonathan has led trials and arbitrations, argued appeals, and resolved multi-party negotiations in securities, financial institution, business defamation, intellectual property, unfair competition, antitrust and free speech disputes.  He has represented an eclectic mix of clients: from mining to media, finance to fashion, reinsurance to on-line gaming, political figures and cultural critics, writers and musicians, among many others.

The following typifies Jonathan’s work over the last several years:

  • Acting for one of the world’s largest financial institutions in two separate litigations brought alleging multi-billion dollar securities frauds: one case filed against an $18 billion, publicly traded REIT, the other against Petrobras, the multinational oil company, more than half of whose equity is Brazil’s federal government;
  • Representing a state-owned, Asia-based company in a dispute (resolved successfully in negotiation) with a publicly-traded Australian firm arising out of a contract to mine the client’s untapped coal reserve, the world’s second largest;
  • Advising the publisher of a critical biography of President-elect Donald Trump;
  • Representing (in different actions) approximately ten financial firms (private equity firms and hedge funds) in matters to collect the value of securities, bankruptcy and other assets, including, for example, obtaining summary judgmentbefore discovery—for plaintiffs, upheld by the Ninth Circuit.
  • Arguing against and defeating a motion to obtain video deposition used at trial of the late Steve Jobs taken shortly before he died, during the Firm’s 2014 federal trial win over antitrust claims relating to iPods;
  • Successfully defending the world’s largest internet gaming company against false news reports based on anti-Semitic sources and published in collusion with client’s competitor;
  • Defending allegations that the global re-branding of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent violated US trademark law, including defeating a preliminary injunction motion to halt the re-branding;
  • Defending a US telecommunications company against allegations of accounting fraud (in litigation in Europe and the US) arising out of a joint venture with its Dutch partner, including obtaining the dismissal—upheld by the Third Circuit—of a $9 billion RICO lawsuit brought by bankruptcy trustees appointed by the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.

At ease under heavy scrutiny from his earliest years in practice— he was the principal draftsperson of Court TV’s briefs arguing for cameras in the court in the OJ Simpson criminal proceedings—Jonathan has become among the most widely known advocates for public access to courts, as well as a First Amendment expert.  The New York Times has twice published his op-ed pieces.  A former member of the New York State Bar Association’s Media Law Committee, he has taught at Yale, Stanford and Fordham, and lectured in London, Brussels, Budapest and elsewhere.

Jonathan is a Trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC, and has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 1997.

Selected Professional Awards and Associations

Member, Board of Trustees, Shakespeare Theatre Company (2016-2019), see

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

American Bar Association

Who’s Who in America (2000-2016)


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

Mutual fund giant sues real estate mogul: 'Multi-year fraud, cover-up' (

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 Addresses European Conference on Courts and Communication (2015)

Jonathan Sherman to Lecture at European Conference on Courts and Communication (2015)

Co-Moderator, "International free-speech rights, defamation, privacy, and access to information," Media Law Resource Center (London, United Kingdom) (2005)