John Siegal

Partner

New York
T +1.212.589.4245
F +1.212.589.4201

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 that includes extensive experience in the areas of fiduciary duties, business divorces, partnership disputes, contracts, financial fraud, trade secrets and noncompetes, government contracts and investigations, Article 78 proceedings, real estate development and property management disputes, defamation, privacy and reporter’s privilege, civil rights, class actions and other business disputes.

Experience

Financial Services
  • Successfully tried and resolved many business divorces and valuation disputes in private equity and closely held corporation cases.

  • Persuaded the United States Court of Appeals for the Circuit to reinstate a developer's case against its lender due to the bank's participation in setting fraudulent LIBOR interest rates.

  • Handles noncompete, trade secret and employee raiding cases, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrations for investment banks, professional services companies and other clients.

  • 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.

Real Estate
  • Won dismissal of a claim for the owner of the largest single privately owned apartment building in Manhattan that would have subjected the building to permanent below-market rents based on a decades-old ground lease. The dismissal was affirmed by the Appellate Division, First Department, and the Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal.

  • Tried to a jury verdict 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 as the largest contract verdict 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 franchise for construction of a concert stadium.

Employment and Noncompetes
  • Has litigated dozens of noncompete and trade secret injunction cases in federal and state courts across the country for businesses in nearly every industry.

  • Has been 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.

  • Obtained a complete defense verdict in a race discrimination jury trial in the Eastern District of New York.

  • Frequently represents executives in negotiating employment and severance agreements.

Media, First Amendment and Constitutional Litigation
  • 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

  • Brooklyn Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project: Dedication to Justice Award (2017)
  • Chambers USA: Recognized Practitioner: Litigation: General Commercial in New York (2015, 2016)
  • New York Metro "Super Lawyer" (2006 to 2008, 2013 to 2017)

Memberships

  • New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board
    • Appointed a Board Member by Mayor Bill de Blasio 
  • Center for an Urban Future: Board of Directors

Prior Positions

  • Throughout his career, John has been active in government and public affairs. He started out of college as a Capitol Hill Staff Aide to Sen. Charles E. Schumer (then in his first term in the House). As a younger lawyer, he served in City Hall as Assistant and Chief Speechwriter to New York Mayor David N. Dinkins. John has been counsel and a senior advisor to six citywide political campaigns. He was appointed to the Transition Committee helping staff the Office of the Attorney General for New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He is currently an appointee of Mayor Bill de Blasio to the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, which provides civilian oversight of the New York Police Department disciplinary process.

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