Boies Schiller Flexner LLP announced today that former U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin will join the firm on Monday, October 2, as of counsel.
Appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton in 1994, Judge Scheindlin served as a federal judge for 22 years, including sitting by designation on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits. Since stepping down from the bench in 2016, Judge Scheindlin has built a substantial practice as a neutral, overseeing mediations and arbitrations, as well as serving as a court-appointed special master, mock trial and appellate judge, and expert witness. Judge Scheindlin also provides clients with her experience and perspective as a long-serving federal judge in one of the nation’s busiest and most prestigious courts on issues in pending and potential litigation.
“Boies Schiller is one of the premier litigation firms in the world, and I’m delighted to be joining them,” Judge Scheindlin said. “As a disputes-focused firm, Boies Schiller offers an excellent platform to expand my practice with minimal conflicts.”
Throughout her two decades on the federal bench, Judge Scheindlin oversaw a wide range of high-profile matters relating to criminal law, financial services and securities laws, electronic discovery, civil rights and more. In civil rights matters, she ruled against New York City’s controversial Stop and Frisk policy and reformed the use of solitary confinement in the New York state prison system. She also presided over an important First Amendment case pertaining to the unlawful removal of ads mocking then Mayor Rudy Giuliani from city buses, and the criminal trials of both John Gotti Jr. and infamous arms dealer Viktor Bout.
“We are thrilled to bring a jurist with Judge Scheindlin’s wisdom, litigation skills, and breadth of knowledge to Boies Schiller,” said Managing Partner Matthew L. Schwartz, who also clerked for Judge Scheindlin at the start of his career. “Her experience will be invaluable to our existing clients on a wide range of cases – particularly trials and criminal matters – and we look forward to increasing her practice as a leading neutral, as well. On a personal note, it is truly a pleasure to reunite with my former judge.”
Among her many high-profile rulings, Judge Scheindlin issued several involving the rules around electronic discovery. In a securities fraud action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Judge Scheindlin ruled that the SEC could not place an undue burden on the defendant in a case that involved some 1.7 million electronically stored documents; the ruling addressed critical questions about the government’s discovery obligations in these situations. Additionally, in the well-known Zubulake decisions, the first opinions to address the prevailing standard in e-discovery, Judge Scheindlin held that litigants must retain all relevant electronic documents once litigation is anticipated.
Earlier in her career, Judge Scheindlin served as Chief Administrative United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. She was also general counsel of the New York City Department of Investigations and a Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District.
Judge Scheindlin served as the immediate past Co-Chair of the Board for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the American Constitution Society, and is a past Chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association. She is a member of the American Law Institute and has been an adjunct professor at New York University Law School.
Judge Scheindlin's arrival was covered in several articles. Please see links below.