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BSF Partner Harlan Levy Named Chief Deputy to NY Attorney General

Public & Professional Leadership

Firm Newsletter Spring 2011

Harlan Levy

When New York’s newly-elected Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, took office on January 1, 2011 (replacing now-Governor Andrew Cuomo), he appointed BSF partner Harlan Levy as his principal deputy.  As First Deputy Attorney General, Levy will lead and supervise the divisions and bureaus of the Attorney General’s 650-lawyer office. The divisions of the AG’s Office include Economic Justice, Social Justice, Criminal Justice, State Counsel and Solicitor General; the bureaus they encompass include investor protection, antitrust, environment, civil rights, labor, organized crime, and Medicaid fraud. The Office’s largest portfolio of cases involves defense of the state in cases against the State of New York.

That portfolio will include restoring New Yorkers’ confidence in their government by rooting out public corruption and prosecuting attempts by private parties to defraud the public in such areas as health care and consumer sales. Cleaning up the environment will be a major priority, as will ensuring fairness for all in the criminal justice system and attacking all forms of discrimination.  Sharing Harlan’s experience representing clients in private practice, Schneiderman has said that “the overwhelming majority of people in finance are hard-working.  I’m going to get the bad actors.” 

BSF Chairman David Boies commented, “The Firm is proud to see Harlan Levy join a number of our other partners in devoting part of his career to public service.  No elected official is more important to the legal system than the State Attorney General.  Harlan’s outstanding legal skills, practical insight and personal integrity will tremendously assist Eric Schneiderman in fulfilling that vital role.”

Harlan has known the Attorney General since their days together at Amherst College.  During Schneiderman’s first successful campaign for election to the State Senate in 1998, Harlan chaired weekly strategy meetings.  They worked together on policy initiatives such as eliminating New York’s practice of distorting legislative districts by counting non-voting prisoners in the sparsely populated upstate areas where they were incarcerated, instead of in the urban districts from which they come.  After his election as Attorney General, Schneiderman tapped Harlan to chair a transition team of nearly 100 members to fulfill the mandate of “Legal excellence above all else.”

Harlan joined BSF as a partner in 2000 when the Firm expanded into New York City.  His practice has focused on business litigation and white collar criminal defense, with numerous trials in state and federal court.  In cases involving complex business and scientific issues, Harlan has worked with many top experts to produce strong expert reports and powerful testimony.

Harlan previously served as a homicide prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.  He chairs the Council on Criminal Justice of the New York City Bar Association and served on the executive committee of the Fund for Modern Courts.  He is the author of a book on DNA evidence, And the Blood Cried Out, praised as “superb” by The Wall Street Journal.  He has contributed articles to The New York Times Op-Ed page and the ABA’s Litigation Magazine, and has appeared over 100 times as a trial commentator on CourtTV.