Appointed to the federal bench by former President Bill Clinton, the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin served as a United States District Judge in the Southern District of New York for 22 years. Since leaving the bench in May 2016, Judge Scheindlin has overseen many mediations and arbitrations, and served as a court-appointed special master, mock trial judge, and expert witness.

Throughout her more than 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. Her experience as a long-serving federal judge provides clients with a unique perspective on issues in pending and potential litigation, including mediation and arbitration. Most recently in her private neutral practice, her cases have included disputes involving intellectual property, insurance coverage, RMBS fraud litigation, securities fraud, maritime, partnership contracts, construction, mass torts, employment, and other commercial matters.

Earlier in her career, she served as Chief Administrative U.S. 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. Additionally, she sat by designation on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits. Since leaving the bench, Judge Scheindlin has conducted well over a hundred mediations and arbitrations.

Judge Scheindlin's significant arbitrations include:

  • A large commercial/bankruptcy case in which a portion of a group of secured lenders, signatories to certain credit documents, sought millions of dollars, claiming that they were not allocated a fair share of the proceeds of the collateral that secured the loan following a sale of assets under section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code

  • A commercial transaction between two pharmaceutical companies with one claiming that a stream of payments (totaling millions of dollars) continued to be owed to the other based on an asset purchase agreement, despite the lack of success of the product

  • A catastrophic accident in which plaintiffs claimed they were injured as a result of a battery defect in a computer manufactured by a major computer manufacturer

  • Cybersecurity issues in the loss of funds by an investor in a cryptocurrency exchange

  • A major construction dispute involving the building of wind turbines
  • Trademark dispute involving a very famous mark and a major retailer selling alleged knock-off and counterfeit goods
  • Two cases involving breakups of a billion dollar real estate company and another involving the break of remaining two shareholders in the intellectual property of a famous musical entertainment company
  • An attorneys’ fees dispute among successful plaintiffs’ counsel in a shareholder derivative action against a large pharmaceutical company

Digital Dilemmas: Adapting Arbitration to Technological Evolution – A NY Perspective, New York Arbitration Week 2023

If the Supreme Court Abolishes Affirmative Action, Here’s What Women Need to Do, The New York Times

Democrats: Fill All Judicial Vacancies Now! | Opinion, Newsweek

The Racist Attacks Against Kristen Clarke End Now. The Senate Must Confirm Her | OpinionNewsweek

Virtual v. In Person ADR: What Does the Future Hold?, Reuters

Life in Lockdown: How Retired Judge Shira Scheindlin Adapted to Remote Lawyering,

I Was the Judge in the Stop-and-Frisk Case. I Don’t Think Bloomberg Is Racist., The New York Times

If Roe v Wade is Overturned, We Should Worry About the Rule of LawThe Guardian

Conservatives' Assault on the Supreme Court is a Judicial Tragedy in the MakingThe Guardian

Trump's Judges are a Giant Step Backward for America, The Guardian

We Should All Defend Judges, The New York Law Journal

Upholding the Louisiana Abortion Law Would Shred the Supreme Court's Credibility on the Constitution—and on Race | Opinion, Newsweek

A New ADR Development: Mass Arbitrations, Reuters

Should Brett Kavanaugh Occupy the Swing Vote Seat? His Judicial Record Says NoThe Guardian

Trump is Capturing the Judiciary at an Alarming RateThe Guardian

Trump’s Crazy Choices for the Courts, The New York Times

Trump’s Judges Will Call the Shots for Years to Come. The Judicial System is BrokenThe Guardian

Female Lawyers Can Talk, Too, The New York Times

America’s Trial Court Judges: Our Front Line for Justice, The New York Times

Embracing Change: A Pioneer Reflects on Her Varied Career, The Litigation Journal

Co-author, Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence in a Nutshell, West Academic Publishing

Co-author, Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence, Cases and Materials, American Casebook Series, West Academic Publishing 

Random Thoughts of a Federal District Judge, Fourth Annual Institute for Investor Protection Conference: The New Landscape of Securities Fraud Class Actions, Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 3. 

Big Data and Privacy: Finding the Balance, New York Law Journal

The Impact of Race and Policing -- Past, Present, and Future, National Black Law Journal

Co-author, Criminal Law Catches Up: New ESI Guidelines Issued, New York Law Journal

The Future of Litigation, New York Law Journal

Co-author, Sanctions in Electronic Discovery Cases: Views from the Judges, 78 Fordham Law Review

Selected Presentations:

Speaker, Artificial Intelligence in the Courts and the Use of Special Masters, PREX Conference 

Speaker, Undermining the Courts: The Consequences for American Democracy, ABA Annual Meeting

Speaker, If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR

Law Schools

Columbia Law School

Duke Law School

Fordham Law School

Harvard Law School

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

NYU Law School

NYU Center for Civic Justice

UCLA Law School

University of Chicago Law School

University of Cincinnati School of Law

Yale Law School

Bar Associations

American Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association

Connecticut Federal Bar Association

Federal Bar Council

New York City Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

Orlando Federal Bar Association

South Asian Bar Association

Westchester Bar Association


American International Group

Deutsche Bank

General Motors

National Judicial College

Professional Associations 

American Constitution Society

American Employment Law Council

ARIAS·US 2018 Fall Conference

College of Commercial Arbitrators

Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR)

Defense Research Institute

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Mass Torts Made Perfect

New York International Arbitration Center

Philadelphia Diversity Law Group

Practicing Law Institute

Sedona Conference



Special Master

Expert Witness

Mock Trials

  • Cornell Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Columbia University, M.A.
  • University of Michigan, B.A.


  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Best Lawyers in America, Arbitration, Mediation (2024)

The American Lawyer's Lifetime Achievement Award (2019)

Francis McGovern Writing Award, Academy of Court Appointed Masters (2019)

The Stanley H. Fuld Award for Outstanding Contributions to Commercial Law and Litigation, New York State Bar Association (2014)

Distinguished Jurist Award, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2008)

William Nelson Cromwell Award for unselfish service to the profession and the community, New York County Lawyers Association (2007)

Edward Weinfeld Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Administration of Justice, New York County Lawyers (2005)

William J. Brennan Award, Criminal Law Section, New York State Bar Association (2003)

Robert L. Haig Award for Distinguished Public Service, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, New York State Bar Association (2001)

Special Achievement Award in Appreciation and Recognition of Sustained Superior Performance of Duty, U.S. Department of Justice (1980)

Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators

Chair, Federal Courts Subcommittee of the Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, American Bar Association

Member, Advisory Council, Cornell Law School

Former Member, Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States (1998-2005)

Member, former Chair, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, New York State Bar Association

Member, Council on Judicial Administration, Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Board of Directors, Justice Resource Center (formerly Mentor)

Judicial Advisory Board, The Sedona Conference

Co-Chair of the Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Board of Directors (Executive Committee), American Constitution Society

U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York

Chief Administrative U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York

General Counsel of the New York City Department of Investigations

Sat by designation on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits