John Siegal

Partner

New York
T +1.212.589.4245
F +1.212.589.4201

"John Siegal is an exceptional, practical lawyer ... [He] is a source of sound advice, and his voice carries great weight."

— Chambers USA 2021

Overview

John Siegal is an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer in federal and state courts in New York and across the nation. He advises, litigates and arbitrates primarily for financial services, media and real estate industry clients in private business disputes and matters involving public agencies and controversies.

John has a 30-year track record of successful results for clients in the areas of fiduciary duties, business divorces, partnership disputes, contracts, financial fraud, trade secrets and noncompetes, government investigations and government contracts, Article 78 proceedings, real estate development and property management disputes, defamation, privacy and reporter’s privilege, false advertising, civil rights, class actions and other constitutional and business disputes.

Select Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Successfully tried and resolved numerous business divorces and valuation disputes in private equity and closely held corporation cases.
Trade Secrets
  • Co-leader of BakerHostetler's national Noncompete & Trade Secrets Practice Group.
Real Estate
  • Representing owners and managers of moderate-income housing properties in class action litigations, government regulatory investigations, commercial disputes and public policy matters.
Media, Government and Constitutional Litigation
  • Representing state authority in Article 78 proceedings involving contracting and public policy actions.

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Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Successfully tried and resolved numerous business divorces and valuation disputes in private equity and closely held corporation cases.
  • Won dismissal of a federal consumer class action involving allegations of deceptive business practices on a series of motions to dismiss without any discovery being conducted.
  • Prevailed in defense of a false advertising case in two federal district courts against a consumer products company in which the product remained on the market for 18 months without any injunctive relief and no depositions having been taken.
  • Prosecuting commercial fraud and contract claims on behalf of a government authority seeking to recover monies owed to pension funds and benefit plans.
  • As part of BakerHostetler’s role as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, served as lead attorney from 2009 to 2012 in Picard v. Madoff et al.
Trade Secrets
  • Co-leader of BakerHostetler's national Noncompete & Trade Secrets Practice Group.
  • Litigated dozens of trade secrets cases, often involving noncompetes and other restrictive covenants, in federal and state courts across the country for businesses in nearly every industry.
  • Enforce and defend against restrictive covenant and raiding claims for investment banks and financial services professionals in FINRA arbitrations and injunction proceedings in federal and state courts.
  • Founding Chair of New York City Bar Association Committee on Trade Secrets.
  • Member of Sedona Conference Working Group on Trade Secrets.
  • Published extensively on employment trade secret issues in the New York Law Journal, The National Law Journal, an academic law review and numerous industry publications, and served as program chair and panelist for Practicing Law Institute seminars on trade secrets and restrictive covenants.
Real Estate
  • Representing owners and managers of moderate-income housing properties in class action litigations, government regulatory investigations, commercial disputes and public policy matters.
  • Prevailed in jury trial on a claim by a condominium owner that the building’s board breached its duties in failing to timely and effectively remediate mold and other environmental hazards. The verdict was listed in the largest state court contract verdicts of the year by the New York Law Journal.
  • Served as lead counsel in the outdoor advertising industry’s successful challenge to New York City’s attempt to apply its land use regulations to locations on state-owned railroad rights of way.
  • Successfully litigated over land use approvals for two different New York City stadium projects, once helping to obtain dismissal of challenges to the public approvals for a sports stadium and once, as lead counsel, annulling the award of a concession for construction of a stadium in a park.
Media, Government and Constitutional Litigation
  • Representing state authority in Article 78 proceedings involving contracting and public policy actions.
  • Defending media organizations against libel and privacy claims and government investigations concerning data privacy and online sales.
  • Won an $18 million jury verdict in a three-week federal trial in May 2015 for a private equity executive in a civil rights case brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for First Amendment retaliation by state pension fund officials.
  • Represented Mayor Bill de Blasio prior to inauguration in the Second Circuit’s 2013 review of the remedies order in Floyd v. City of New York concerning the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices.
  • Represented 123 NYPD sergeants who passed the lieutenant’s exam in successfully opposing an Article 78 due process petition seeking to enjoin their promotions due to allegations of test improprieties by others.
  • Represented documentary filmmakers Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns in quashing a subpoena for outtakes of the film “The Central Park Five.” The City of New York sought the footage in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the subject of the film. The decision clarified and limited the scope of exceptions to the reporter’s privilege under Second Circuit case law.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Legal 500 United States (2019, 2021)
    • Recommended in Intellectual Property - Trade Secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
  • Brooklyn Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project: Dedication to Justice Award (2017)
  • Chambers USA: Litigation: General Commercial in New York (2015 to 2016 & 2018 to 2019, 2021)
    • Band 5 (2021)
    • Recognized Practitioner (2015 to 2016 & 2018 to 2019)
  • New York Metro "Super Lawyer" (2006 to 2008, 2013 to 2021)

Memberships

  • Fund for Modern Courts: Trustee (2015 to 2017)
  • Council of Urban Professionals: Board Member (2013 to 2015)

Prior Positions

  • New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board: Board Member (2017 to present) 
  • New York City Charter Revision Commission: Commissioner (2018)
  • General Counsel and Senior Advisor to six citywide Democratic political campaigns (1989 to 2009)
  • Assistant to the Mayor (1990 to 1992)
  • U.S. Congressman Charles E. Schumer: Staff Aide (1981 to 1982)

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • New York, 1987

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1987
  • B.A., Columbia University, Columbia College, 1981