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James R. Levine is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert. Mr. Levine has a broad range of experience in complex commercial, business-related litigation with emphasis on contract, corporate, securities, shareholder derivative and antitrust matters. Mr. Levine’s practice also encompasses restrictive covenants, employment issues, business torts, media and advertising law, real estate disputes, and mergers and acquisitions. He counsels clients on corporate governance issues and responding to investigations by government agencies.

Prior to joining Davis & Gilbert, Mr. Levine was a litigation attorney at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and he served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor when she was on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While at Columbia University School of Law, he was the Writing and Research Editor of the Columbia Law Review and was named a James Kent Scholar (awarded annually to highest-ranking 2 percent of each class) in each of his three years.

REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

  • Served as lead trial counsel for a global financial services institution in a $45-million FINRA arbitration proceeding brought by an investor asserting claims for alleged unauthorized securities trading.
  • Represented a global investment bank in a multibillion-dollar nationwide antitrust class action and Multidistrict Litigation brought by municipalities that issued tax-exempt bonds alleging bid-rigging in the procurement of municipal bond investment vehicles.
  • Represented a global healthcare software company in an AAA arbitration brought by another software company regarding a covenant not to compete contained in a business partner agreement between the two companies. Defeated the plaintiff’s attempt to obtain an injunction that would have forced our client to shut down a component of its software.
  • Represented the world’s largest marketing communications conglomerate in federal securities and shareholder derivative actions brought against the founders and venture capitalist insiders of a start-up media company, concerning the alleged improper diversion of $54 million of investment capital.
  • Representing a global beauty products company in a multimillion-dollar action brought by a distribution company in New York Supreme Court concerning the alleged breach of an exclusivity agreement. Successfully moved to dismiss the action based on documentary evidence.
  • Represented an investment bank in a dispute with a repledgee of collateral concerning priority of ownership over millions of dollars of pooled mortgage loans, as a result of the insolvency of a warehouse lender that acted as the seller and pledgor of collateral.
  • Represented a global investment bank in an arbitration proceeding before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regarding the termination of the two heads of the bank’s leveraged buyout division and the denial of multimillion-dollar guaranteed bonuses.
  • Represented a global cosmetics company in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought by a major commercial landlord concerning the naming rights to a premium New York City office building. Obtained a successful bench trial verdict in New York Supreme Court.
  • Represented a major consumer products company in a multimillion-dollar dispute regarding a services contract with the purchaser of one of the company’s business lines.
  • Represented a limited partnership and its general partners in a derivative suit brought by a limited partner concerning the management of a multimillion-dollar commercial real estate property. Obtained a successful bench trial verdict in New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Moderator, Finance Panel, Young Jewish Professionals' Legal Summit, June 11, 2014

PUBLICATIONS

Co-Author, "Limitations on Motions to Dismiss in FINRA Arbitration," Davis & Gilbert 2016 Mitigating Risk: Key Litigation Developments

Co-Author, "Is There Tolling of Class Action Statutes of Repose? Only Time Will Tell," D&G Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2012

Author, "Double-Derivative Shareholder Actions in the Wake of Stock-For-Stock Mergers," D&G Litigation Alert, February 2011

Author, "When Does a Contractual Relationship Give Rise to a Fiduciary Duty?" D&G Litigation Newsletter, Spring 2009

Author, “The Federal Tort Claims Act: A Proposal for Institutional Reform,” 100 Columbia Law Review 1538, October 2000

PRESS

Quoted, The New York Times,Sonia Sotomayor: A Trailblazer and Dreamer,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, May 26, 2009

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U. S. District Courts, Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York

EDUCATION

Columbia University School of Law, J.D., James Kent Scholar (1999, 2000, and 2001), 2001
Princeton University, B.A., cum laude, 1996


REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

  • Served as lead trial counsel for a global financial services institution in a $45-million FINRA arbitration proceeding brought by an investor asserting claims for alleged unauthorized securities trading.
  • Represented a global investment bank in a multibillion-dollar nationwide antitrust class action and Multidistrict Litigation brought by municipalities that issued tax-exempt bonds alleging bid-rigging in the procurement of municipal bond investment vehicles.
  • Represented a global healthcare software company in an AAA arbitration brought by another software company regarding a covenant not to compete contained in a business partner agreement between the two companies. Defeated the plaintiff’s attempt to obtain an injunction that would have forced our client to shut down a component of its software.
  • Represented the world’s largest marketing communications conglomerate in federal securities and shareholder derivative actions brought against the founders and venture capitalist insiders of a start-up media company, concerning the alleged improper diversion of $54 million of investment capital.
  • Representing a global beauty products company in a multimillion-dollar action brought by a distribution company in New York Supreme Court concerning the alleged breach of an exclusivity agreement. Successfully moved to dismiss the action based on documentary evidence.
  • Represented an investment bank in a dispute with a repledgee of collateral concerning priority of ownership over millions of dollars of pooled mortgage loans, as a result of the insolvency of a warehouse lender that acted as the seller and pledgor of collateral.
  • Represented a global investment bank in an arbitration proceeding before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regarding the termination of the two heads of the bank’s leveraged buyout division and the denial of multimillion-dollar guaranteed bonuses.
  • Represented a global cosmetics company in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought by a major commercial landlord concerning the naming rights to a premium New York City office building. Obtained a successful bench trial verdict in New York Supreme Court.
  • Represented a major consumer products company in a multimillion-dollar dispute regarding a services contract with the purchaser of one of the company’s business lines.
  • Represented a limited partnership and its general partners in a derivative suit brought by a limited partner concerning the management of a multimillion-dollar commercial real estate property. Obtained a successful bench trial verdict in New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Moderator, Finance Panel, Young Jewish Professionals' Legal Summit, June 11, 2014

PUBLICATIONS

Co-Author, "Limitations on Motions to Dismiss in FINRA Arbitration," Davis & Gilbert 2016 Mitigating Risk: Key Litigation Developments

Co-Author, "Is There Tolling of Class Action Statutes of Repose? Only Time Will Tell," D&G Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2012

Author, "Double-Derivative Shareholder Actions in the Wake of Stock-For-Stock Mergers," D&G Litigation Alert, February 2011

Author, "When Does a Contractual Relationship Give Rise to a Fiduciary Duty?" D&G Litigation Newsletter, Spring 2009

Author, “The Federal Tort Claims Act: A Proposal for Institutional Reform,” 100 Columbia Law Review 1538, October 2000

PRESS

Quoted, The New York Times,Sonia Sotomayor: A Trailblazer and Dreamer,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, May 26, 2009

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U. S. District Courts, Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York

EDUCATION

Columbia University School of Law, J.D., James Kent Scholar (1999, 2000, and 2001), 2001
Princeton University, B.A., cum laude, 1996