Jamie A. Levitt

Partner | New York

jlevitt@mofo.com | (212) 468-8203

jlevitt@mofo.com
(212) 468-8203

Jamie Levitt is co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Trial Group and former head of the New York Litigation Department. Her practice involves all aspects of complex commercial litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on securities litigation. She has represented public companies and their officers and directors in securities fraud actions, shareholder derivative suits, and SEC and other regulatory investigations. She also has experience conducting and defending corporate internal investigations and advising board committees and individuals with respect to investigations.

Jamie is a trial lawyer with extensive experience representing companies in the courtroom in a broad range of commercial disputes, including real estate financing disputes, bankruptcy-contested proceedings, accounting claims, and intellectual property cases involving trademark, trade secret, and unfair competition claims. Her clients include companies, officers, and directors in a wide array of industries, including financial services, life sciences, technology, and real estate.

Jamie serves on numerous boards and committees of public interest groups, including having served on the Board of the Federal Bar Council and as past Chair of its Public Service Committee; Executive Vice President and past Chair of the Board of Advocates for Children of New York, Inc.; Chair of the Board of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest; and member of the Board of VisionSpring. In addition, Jamie serves on the Board of Directors of Morrison & Foerster LLP and as Chair of The Morrison & Foerster Foundation and was formerly Chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Pro Bono Committee.

Jamie received her B.A. magna cum laude in 1988 from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. in 1992 from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an Articles Editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. From 1993 to 1994, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

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Experience

  • (S.D.N.Y.; Del. Ch. Ct.) Lead trial counsel for a global transportation company at a trial in the Southern District of New York in a case brought by the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the City of New York alleging violations of state and federal law arising out of alleged illegal shipment of untaxed cigarettes from Native American retailers in violation of an Assurance of Discontinuance (“AOD”) and various state and federal laws. Also served as lead counsel for the company and its board of directors in the Delaware Court of Chancery in a derivative action that sought to piggyback on the State and City of New York’s allegations in the SDNY case. The plaintiff argued that demand on the board was excused because a majority of the board allegedly faced potential liability for breach of fiduciary based on failure to monitor and thus could not independently assess plaintiff’s litigation demand. The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the AOD had somehow imposed an obligation on the board to do more than oversee an internal process designed to comply with the AOD, which is all Delaware law required of directors, and dismissed the case. (2017)

  • Defended Ernst & Young (EY) in litigation brought by investors in the alternative investment funds (the Rye Funds), which hired Bernard Madoff as an investment advisor. The plaintiffs alleged that EY issued audit reports on the Rye Funds’ financial statements, which contained misstatements, and sought $112 million in damages. The case went to trial, and the jury rejected the vast majority of FutureSelect’s claims and only found EY liable for approximately $10 million. (2014)

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Lead litigation counsel to Residential Capital and its affiliates, one of the largest residential real estate finance, loan servicing, and origination companies at the time of its chapter 11 filing, with assets and liabilities in excess of $15 billion. Residential Capital was the largest bankruptcy filing of 2012, and the case represents the first time that a mortgage servicer was able to successfully continue servicing and originating mortgages in bankruptcy and be sold as a going concern. Lead counsel for the debtors and their officers and directors in an Examiner investigation, negotiated and litigated a settlement of approximately $45 billion of exposure to claims relating to debtors’ residential mortgage-backed securities, and successfully first chaired the trial of an adversary proceeding against Residential Capital’s junior secured noteholders defeating their claims of entitlement to hundreds of millions of post-petition interest. (2012-2013)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Represented NovaGold Resources, Inc. and certain officers and directors in a securities class action in connection with disclosures of estimated capital costs for a mining project. Succeeded in getting all claims dismissed but for one that was favorably resolved with global settlements in the United States and Canada. (2010)

  • (S.D.N.Y). Defended officers of Worldspace and coordinated with counsel for investment bank defendants in a securities class action arising out of the company’s initial public offering. Mediated a favorable global resolution. (2013)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Represented Canadian Superior Energy Inc. and certain officers and directors in a class action filed in the Southern District of New York alleging that the defendants issued a number of false and misleading statements about Canadian Superior’s offshore well operations in Nova Scotia. The matter and a parallel Canadian action were favorably settled. (2011)

  • (E.D.N.Y; 2nd Circuit) Secured dismissal of a securities class action against Etsy, Inc. in the district court on the ground that the complaint did not plausibly allege any false or material statements or scienter. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal, holding that many of the alleged falsehoods were “vague, aspirational statements” that could not provide the basis for a securities fraud action and that the factual statements that plaintiffs challenged were not actually false or misleading. (2016)

  • (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, D. Nev.) Secured a significant trial victory for JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. in connection with an involuntary chapter 11 bankruptcy petition and appointment of a trustee against a defaulting borrower in a real estate transaction. (2011)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Representing Acer Therapeutics Inc. and its officer and directors in a securities class action in the Southern District of New York and related shareholder derivative suits in the District of Delaware, District of Massachusetts, and Southern District of New York. (2020)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Lead litigation counsel to a former Och-Ziff executive in the Southern District of New York, with the Court ruling that our client had not participated in any of the allegedly misleading public statements of the company. The Court permitted the securities case to go forward against the other defendants but found that the alleged FCPA violations did not render statements about the company’s anti-bribery policies misleading because the challenged statements did not profess an opinion on the efficacy of the program, and there was no obligation to disclose violations to render statements about the existence of those policies not misleading. (2016)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Won summary judgment for United Industries Corp. in a consumer class action concerning United Industries’ Cutter Natural Insect Repellent where client sought nearly $100 million in damages. (2020)

  • (Del. Ch. Ct.) Successfully represented Ultratech, Inc. in an appraisal proceeding alleging that the merger price for Veeco Instruments Inc.’s merger with Ultratech was not indicative of the fair value of Ultratech. Petitioners dismissed the action following a resolution of the claims favorable to Ultratech. (2018)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Defended directors of Metromedia Fiber Networks, Inc. (MFN) in securities fraud class actions arising out of accounting restatements. One action was dismissed on a successful motion and the rest favorably resolved following mediation. (2004)

  • Represented former chair of the MFN audit committee in connection with an Audit Committee and SEC investigation into securities and accounting fraud allegations, which resulted in the SEC terminating its investigation of our client. (2007)

  • (DOJ, SEC; S.D.N.Y.) Defended the former Chief Financial Officer of one of the largest national mortgage originators in DOJ and SEC investigations and related shareholder litigation arising from the financial crisis. (2011)

  • Represented Chobani LLC in a false advertising suit filed by Dannon. We defeated Dannon’s request for a temporary restraining order and prevailed in a preliminary injunction hearing. Currently represent Chobani LLC in a series of consumer class action and advertising actions. (2017-2020)

  • (E.D.N.Y.) Representing contact lens manufacturer in two trademark infringement actions filed against companies selling gray market goods that do not comply with U.S. law. (2018-2020)

  • Represented Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its officers and directors in an SEC and internal investigation in connection with alleged accounting errors and disclosures in the company’s financial statements. (2008)

  • (D. N.J.; NJ State Court, Essex County; NJ Appellate Division) Defended Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its officers and directors in a securities class action, shareholder derivative actions, and subsequent merger litigation and a contested proxy dispute. Won motions to dismiss the federal and state derivative actions, affirmed after argument on appeal. (2008)

  • (D. Conn). Represented The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., and certain of its officers and directors in a securities class action arising out of the NY Attorney General’s investigations of alleged contingent commissions and bid-rigging. Convinced plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss a related ERISA action and motion to dismiss the class action based on inquiry notice was granted but reversed on appeal. Successfully mediated a favorable settlement of all claims. (2009)

  • (AAA arbitration; Supreme Court of NY, New York County) Represented RemoteReality Corp., a manufacturer of 360º imaging technology, and certain of its officers and directors in a successful four-week arbitration against a business partner claiming breach of contract and fraud in the inducement. Simultaneously represented the company, its officers, directors, and venture investors in vacating a temporary restraining order in order to allow a securities right offering to proceed. (2004)

  • (Del. Ch. Ct.) Represented Market Data Corporation in a preliminary injunction hearing and four-month trial in Delaware Chancery Court regarding allegations of breach of fiduciary duties. (2000)

  • (SEC) Represented outside directors and Audit Committee of the Board of a global developer, marketer, distributor, and publisher of software games and accessories in an SEC investigation concerning accounting matters related to the company’s financial statements, periodic reporting, and internal accounting controls. (2002)

  • Represented the Audit Committee of Interpool, Inc., a NYSE-listed company and one of the world’s leading lessors of shipping containers and chassis, in an internal investigation and subsequent securities litigation arising from an accounting restatement. (2003)

  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the Board of a major financial institution regarding executive compensation. (2009)

  • Conducted an internal investigation of issues arising out of a merger on behalf of the Audit Committee of Viatel, Ltd. (2001)

  • (E.D.N.Y) Represented First Bank in connection with a loan default, fraud claims, and related counterclaims. Succeeded in getting all claims against First Bank dismissed on a motion and settling First Bank’s affirmative action favorably. (2010)

  • (E.D.N.Y) Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of CheapTickets, Inc. in a trademark infringement and anti-cybersquatting action against an operator of an infringing travel website. (2007)

  • (S.D.N.Y) Successfully obtained a restraining order and favorable settlement on behalf of our client Verified Identity Pass in connection with theft of trade secrets by a former employee. (2008)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Successfully represented TouchTunes Musical Group in defense of a class action lawsuit. (2014)

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Lead litigation counsel to Residential Capital and its affiliates, one of the largest residential real estate finance, loan servicing, and origination companies at the time of its chapter 11 filing, with assets and liabilities in excess of $15 billion. Residential Capital was the largest bankruptcy filing of 2012, and the case represents the first time that a mortgage servicer was able to successfully continue servicing and originating mortgages in bankruptcy and be sold as a going concern. Lead counsel for the debtors and their officers and directors in an Examiner investigation, negotiated and litigated a settlement of approximately $45 billion of exposure to claims relating to debtors’ residential mortgage-backed securities, and successfully first chaired the trial of an adversary proceeding against Residential Capital’s junior secured noteholders defeating their claims of entitlement to hundreds of millions of post-petition interest. (2012-2013)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Represented NovaGold Resources, Inc. and certain officers and directors in a securities class action in connection with disclosures of estimated capital costs for a mining project. Succeeded in getting all claims dismissed but for one that was favorably resolved with global settlements in the United States and Canada. (2010)

  • (S.D.N.Y). Defended officers of Worldspace and coordinated with counsel for investment bank defendants in a securities class action arising out of the company’s initial public offering. Mediated a favorable global resolution. (2013)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Represented Canadian Superior Energy Inc. and certain officers and directors in a class action filed in the Southern District of New York alleging that the defendants issued a number of false and misleading statements about Canadian Superior’s offshore well operations in Nova Scotia. The matter and a parallel Canadian action were favorably settled. (2011)

  • (E.D.N.Y; 2nd Circuit) Secured dismissal of a securities class action against Etsy, Inc. in the district court on the ground that the complaint did not plausibly allege any false or material statements or scienter. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal, holding that many of the alleged falsehoods were “vague, aspirational statements” that could not provide the basis for a securities fraud action and that the factual statements that plaintiffs challenged were not actually false or misleading. (2016)

  • (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, D. Nev.) Secured a significant trial victory for JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. in connection with an involuntary chapter 11 bankruptcy petition and appointment of a trustee against a defaulting borrower in a real estate transaction. (2011)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Representing Acer Therapeutics Inc. and its officer and directors in a securities class action in the Southern District of New York and related shareholder derivative suits in the District of Delaware, District of Massachusetts, and Southern District of New York. (2020)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Lead litigation counsel to a former Och-Ziff executive in the Southern District of New York, with the Court ruling that our client had not participated in any of the allegedly misleading public statements of the company. The Court permitted the securities case to go forward against the other defendants but found that the alleged FCPA violations did not render statements about the company’s anti-bribery policies misleading because the challenged statements did not profess an opinion on the efficacy of the program, and there was no obligation to disclose violations to render statements about the existence of those policies not misleading. (2016)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Won summary judgment for United Industries Corp. in a consumer class action concerning United Industries’ Cutter Natural Insect Repellent where client sought nearly $100 million in damages. (2020)

  • (Del. Ch. Ct.) Successfully represented Ultratech, Inc. in an appraisal proceeding alleging that the merger price for Veeco Instruments Inc.’s merger with Ultratech was not indicative of the fair value of Ultratech. Petitioners dismissed the action following a resolution of the claims favorable to Ultratech. (2018)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Defended directors of Metromedia Fiber Networks, Inc. (MFN) in securities fraud class actions arising out of accounting restatements. One action was dismissed on a successful motion and the rest favorably resolved following mediation. (2004)

  • (DOJ, SEC; S.D.N.Y.) Defended the former Chief Financial Officer of one of the largest national mortgage originators in DOJ and SEC investigations and related shareholder litigation arising from the financial crisis. (2011)

  • Represented Chobani LLC in a false advertising suit filed by Dannon. We defeated Dannon’s request for a temporary restraining order and prevailed in a preliminary injunction hearing. Currently represent Chobani LLC in a series of consumer class action and advertising actions. (2017-2020)

  • (E.D.N.Y.) Representing contact lens manufacturer in two trademark infringement actions filed against companies selling gray market goods that do not comply with U.S. law. (2018-2020)

  • Represented Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its officers and directors in an SEC and internal investigation in connection with alleged accounting errors and disclosures in the company’s financial statements. (2008)

  • (D. N.J.; NJ State Court, Essex County; NJ Appellate Division) Defended Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its officers and directors in a securities class action, shareholder derivative actions, and subsequent merger litigation and a contested proxy dispute. Won motions to dismiss the federal and state derivative actions, affirmed after argument on appeal. (2008)

  • (D. Conn). Represented The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., and certain of its officers and directors in a securities class action arising out of the NY Attorney General’s investigations of alleged contingent commissions and bid-rigging. Convinced plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss a related ERISA action and motion to dismiss the class action based on inquiry notice was granted but reversed on appeal. Successfully mediated a favorable settlement of all claims. (2009)

  • (AAA arbitration; Supreme Court of NY, New York County) Represented RemoteReality Corp., a manufacturer of 360º imaging technology, and certain of its officers and directors in a successful four-week arbitration against a business partner claiming breach of contract and fraud in the inducement. Simultaneously represented the company, its officers, directors, and venture investors in vacating a temporary restraining order in order to allow a securities right offering to proceed. (2004)

  • (Del. Ch. Ct.) Represented Market Data Corporation in a preliminary injunction hearing and four-month trial in Delaware Chancery Court regarding allegations of breach of fiduciary duties. (2000)

  • (SEC) Represented outside directors and Audit Committee of the Board of a global developer, marketer, distributor, and publisher of software games and accessories in an SEC investigation concerning accounting matters related to the company’s financial statements, periodic reporting, and internal accounting controls. (2002)

  • Represented the Audit Committee of Interpool, Inc., a NYSE-listed company and one of the world’s leading lessors of shipping containers and chassis, in an internal investigation and subsequent securities litigation arising from an accounting restatement. (2003)

  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the Board of a major financial institution regarding executive compensation. (2009)

  • Conducted an internal investigation of issues arising out of a merger on behalf of the Audit Committee of Viatel, Ltd. (2001)

  • (E.D.N.Y) Represented First Bank in connection with a loan default, fraud claims, and related counterclaims. Succeeded in getting all claims against First Bank dismissed on a motion and settling First Bank’s affirmative action favorably. (2010)

  • (E.D.N.Y) Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of CheapTickets, Inc. in a trademark infringement and anti-cybersquatting action against an operator of an infringing travel website. (2007)

  • (S.D.N.Y) Successfully obtained a restraining order and favorable settlement on behalf of our client Verified Identity Pass in connection with theft of trade secrets by a former employee. (2008)

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Successfully represented TouchTunes Musical Group in defense of a class action lawsuit. (2014)

  • (N.D.Cal.) Secured a second win in related shareholder actions brought against Hortonworks. We previously secured a motion to dismiss in the Northern District of California, after which another shareholder subsequently filed a derivative suit in Delaware Chancery Court, which we successfully dismissed with prejudice. The court found that plaintiff failed to show that the liquidity statements were false or that the outside directors “intentionally disregarded their fiduciary duties or otherwise acted in bad faith.” (2017)

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