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Jacob W. Buchdahl

Overview

Jacob Buchdahl successfully represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of commercial litigation in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels. On the plaintiff’s side, Buchdahl was lead counsel in the first case brought by a bond insurance company against an RMBS issuer to go to trial, winning a complete victory in Manhattan federal court in February 2013 that has been described in the press as a “game-changer” and a “turning point in the MBS wars.” For the defense, Buchdahl has obtained summary judgments establishing a pharmaceutical company’s exclusive license of a promising cancer treatment; rejecting trademark infringement claims against a clothing company; and defeating state RICO and other claims brought against a prominent hedge fund relating to short-selling.

Before joining Susman Godfrey, Buchdahl was a member of the Public Corruption Unit in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he investigated and prosecuted criminal conduct in federal, state, and local government and at the United Nations. Buchdahl never lost a jury verdict in his five years as a federal prosecutor, convicting sixteen defendants at ten different trials, including the former highest-ranking Russian at the UN on money-laundering charges and the President of a broker-dealer in a multi-million dollar securities fraud. In addition, Buchdahl filed over twenty briefs and argued more than ten appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Prior to his government service, from 1999 until 2002, Buchdahl was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.

Buchdahl lives in New York City with his wife Angela, the Senior Cantor at Central Synagogue, and their three children Gabriel, Eli, and Rose. Buchdahl is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School and of the Board of Directors of Recess Activities, Inc.

Education

Yale College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1994)
Yale Law School (J.D., 1997)

Honors and Distinctions

  • Named among “Super Lawyers,” New York Metro Edition (2013)
  • Selected as “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer for his trial victory in Assured Guaranty vs. Flagstar Bank (February 2013)
  • Included as a “Rising Star” in New York Metro Edition Super Lawyers (2011, 2012)
  • Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York (2002-2007)

Judicial Clerkship

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr., United States District Court, Southern District of New York (1997-98)
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr., United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1998-99)

Wins

  • Won a bench trial in the Southern District of New York on breach of contract claims brought by a bond insurance company against Flagstar Bank over nearly a billion dollars of RMBS.
  • Won at arbitration against Morgan Stanley in which FINRA rejected the bank’s attempt to recover on promissory notes extended to two of its former brokers and instead awarded over a million dollars in lost commissions to the brokers.
  • Won a summary judgment in California state court granting our client the exclusive right to develop a promising cancer treatment and rejecting all of the plaintiff’s claims for damages.
  • Won a summary judgment in Manhattan federal court defeating all of the plaintiff’s claims for trademark infringement.
  • Won a summary judgment in New Jersey state court ending a multi-billion dollar lawsuit asserting state RICO and other claims against a prominent hedge fund relating to short-selling.
  • Won a multi-million dollar New York state court judgment (subsequently upheld by the Appellate Division) against Ron Perelman on behalf of a movie development company.
  • Won a AAA arbitration on behalf of a client seeking to enforce a finder's fee contract against a company following its acquisition by a multi-billion dollar financial institution.

Professional Associations and Memberships

Member of the Federal Bar Council.

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