John Siegal


New York
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F +1.212.589.4201


John Siegal is an accomplished trial lawyer and courtroom advocate in federal and state courts in New York and across the nation. He advises and litigates primarily for financial services, media and real estate industry clients in private business disputes and matters involving public agencies and controversies. John sees law as a strategic tool, always keeping clients' business objectives at the forefront. Combined with powerful written and oral advocacy, John gets results for his clients.

From 2009 through 2014, John served as the Litigation Group coordinator of BakerHostetler's New York practice, managing a group that rapidly expanded to more than 100 litigating lawyers. At the same time, and throughout his career, John has been an active participant in New York's civic and political life. He believes lawyers must fulfill community obligations and that his career-long engagement in public issues deepens his understanding of our economy and society and how to get things done for clients. 

Select Experience

John’s advocacy success this year includes:

  • Winning an $18 million federal jury verdict in a First Amendment retaliation case;
  • Convincing the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to permit a LIBOR fraud case to proceed against a global bank – BPP Illinois, LLC v. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, 603 Fed. Appx. 57 (2d Cir. 2015); and 
  • Annulling the City of New York’s regulation of outdoor advertising on state-owned railroad property – CBS Outdoor, Inc. v. City of New York, 2015 WL 53179 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., September 8, 2015).  

In recent years, his successful representations have also included:  

  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (as Public Advocate) in the Second Circuit’s review of the remedies order in Floyd v. City of New York concerning the stop-and-frisk practices of the New York Police Department – “Despite Stance, de Blasio, if Elected, Could Find a Police Monitor Intrusive,” New York Times, Nov. 1, 2013;
  • A global investment bank in litigating and resolving numerous employment and trade secrets arbitrations and cases; and 
  • Filmmaker Ken Burns in quashing a subpoena for film outtakes on reporter’s privilege grounds – “City Rebutted in Bid for Outtakes From Central Park Jogger Film,” New York Times, Feb. 19, 2013.
More »


Financial Services
  • Handles noncompete, trade secret and employee raiding cases, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrations for a global investment bank.
  • Has arbitrated numerous partnership and business 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 LIBOR interest rates.
  • 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 2012 to 2015 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 for a Practicing Law Institute seminar on “Protecting Corporate IP Assets: Enforcing Restrictive Covenants in the Employment Context.”
  • 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


  • Chambers USA: Recognized Practitioner: Litigation: General Commercial in New York (2015, 2016)
  • New York "Super Lawyer" (2006 to 2008, 2013 to 2016)


  • Fund for Modern Courts: Board of Directors
  • Center for an Urban Future: Board of Directors
  • Council of Urban Professionals: Board of Directors (2011 to 2015)
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Committee on Federal and Commercial Litigation, Commercial Division Law Reporter: Past Member
  • New York City Bar Association
    • Media Law: Past Member
    • Election Law: Past Member
    • New York City Affairs: Past Member

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. John is able to provide a unique service to clients because of the strategic sense, communications capabilities and contacts he has developed through these experiences.


  • 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


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