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Shira A. Scheindlin_Higginbotham Leadership Awards 2022_Speaker

Shira A. Scheindlin Of Counsel The Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and served for 22 years. Judge Scheindlin also served in the mid-’70s 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 left to become the general counsel of the Department of Investigations of the City of New York. 


She then returned to the Eastern District as a Magistrate Judge for five years, followed by eight years in practice as a partner at two large New York City law firms, representing clients in both commercial litigation and products liability, in both state and federal court. Her experience acquired over more than four decades in government service, private practice and on the bench makes her exceptionally well-qualified to assist parties and their counsel in resolving disputes through arbitration or mediation.

Experience and Qualifications 


  • Served for 22 years as a Federal District Judge — plus five as a Magistrate Judge — presiding over settlements, motions, discovery and trials, both civil and criminal. 

  • Sat by designation on the Second and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals. 

  • Served as Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. 

  • Arbitrated or mediated over 40 complex civil cases since leaving the bench in 2016. 


Arbitrations and Mediations 


Judge Scheindlin left the bench in May 2016. Since then she has arbitrated and mediated many cases, has heard mock arguments in several high-profile cases, has served as an expert witness and has been appointed as a Special Master by the federal court in Manhattan on two occasions. 


Her significant arbitrations include, among others, the following: 


  • 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. 

  • An attorneys’ fees dispute among successful plaintiffs’ counsel in a shareholder derivative action against a large pharmaceutical company. 


Judge Scheindlin has also mediated a number of large cases including insurance coverage disputes, RMBS fraud litigation by investors against a major bank, intellectual property disputes and employment disputes. In addition, she has handled a number of general commercial disputes, real estate disputes and one construction dispute. Most reached a successful outcome. 


As for mock arguments, Judge Scheindlin sat on an appellate argument involving a dispute between various insureds and their insurers regarding scope of coverage and tiers of coverage, a trial court argument regarding a large antitrust case against a major computer component manufacturer, and a Libor-related matter against a major U.S. bank. 


Judge Scheindlin is now a Special Master in a securities fraud case pending in the Southern District of New York and in another such case that has already settled but involves disputes regarding claim entitlement that remain to be resolved. 


Finally, Judge Scheindlin has served as an expert witness on issues of U.S. law in two cases involving major U.S. technology companies.

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