Elizabeth Wolstein joined the firm as a partner in 2011. She is an experienced trial and appellate advocate who focuses on business and financial disputes, government litigation, and appeals. For nearly ten years, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, including, for three years, as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney she handled some of the Office’s most significant cases, including in the areas of bankruptcy, constitutional law, civil rights, and the Freedom of Information Act. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office she argued numerous appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and handled jury and non-jury trials. She is a recipient of the Department of Justice’s Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award.
At Schlam Stone, Ms. Wolstein litigates matters in the federal and state courts and arbitral and administrative venues involving commercial disputes, trademark, business divorce, media and First Amendment, business torts, and real estate and other commercial transactions. She also represents clients in investigations before federal and state law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice and New York State Attorney General’s Office. Her extensive appellate experience is fundamental to her strategy of ensuring that issues are presented and litigated in the trial court to preserve them for argument to maximum effect on appeal.
REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS — FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION AND APPEALS:
- Obtained award in a FINRA arbitration on behalf of a bankruptcy litigation trustee asserting claims for securities fraud and other torts arising out of major investment bank’s purchase of auction rate securities for institutional customer’s cash management account;
- Obtained reversal on appeal of California lower court’s dismissal of client’s tortious interference claims against CalPERS relating to nine-figure investment management contract;
- Representing a black car industry trade group as amicus curiae in a Second Circuit appeal in Fair Labor Standards Act case brought by drivers seeking to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors;
- Represented Memorial Sloan Kettering and other leading academic research institutions as amici curiae before United States Supreme Court in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc., which raised the question whether royalties on patents may be paid after the patent has expired;
- Successfully defended, on First Department appeal, trial court’s refusal to dismiss fraud claims arising out of client-banks’ purchase of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS);
- Defended one of Mexico’s largest sugar companies in Southern District of New York against indemnification claims arising out of a bond indenture.
- Representing, in New Jersey state and bankruptcy courts, partner seeking recovery against former partner for fraudulent misappropriation of successful start-up business;
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of landlord of landmarked property in Americans with Disabilities Act case;
- Represented group of hedge funds in a Southern District of New York action alleging violation of anti-dilution rights arising out of PIPE transaction;
- Represented minority partner in series of disputes in New York state court over management and assets of local real estate partnerships, including successfully defending on appeal trial court’s judgment following bench trial; and
- Represented large public company in FINRA arbitrations alleging unsuitability, fraud, and other torts arising out of investment banks’ purchase of CDO-backed and other structured auction rate securities.
REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS – TRADEMARK:
- Defended fulfilment and e-commerce businesses in Lanham Act counterfeiting and infringement actions, and state law unfair competition and infringement actions, brought by national and global consumer brands.
- Represent mark owners in contested matters before U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT DEFENSE:
- Defend brick-and-mortar businesses and website owners sued for alleged violation of Americans with Disabilities Act by individuals claiming lack of access to website content and physical establishments.
REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS — GOVERNMENT LITIGATION AND APPEALS:
- Prevailed in New York Supreme Court and on appeal in Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) case brought on behalf of independent journalist seeking emails between Mayor Bloomberg’s Office and former Schools Chancellor Cathie Black relating to efforts to build support for Black’s nomination to the post;
- Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of high-volume shipping and logistics company in direct False Claims Act action by federal government alleging underpayment of postage;
- Represented internet blogger in Second Circuit appeal on First Amendment and other grounds of conviction for threatening federal appeals court judges by criticizing gun control ruling in a blog post;
- Won bid protest before the New York State Comptroller’s Office challenging an award of contract by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General, resulting in the Comptroller’s Office setting aside the contract award;
- Brought in for final stages of appeal by professional fundraiser sued by New York State Attorney General;
- Successfully defended Federal Bureau of Prisons employees, at request of Department of Justice, in constitutional tort case relating to prisoner medical treatment; and
- Represented large medical practice in parallel criminal and civil fraud investigation in the Southern District of New York.
Ms. Wolstein received her B.A. from Yale University in 1987, magna cum laude, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1993, cum laude. At Harvard, she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, Ms. Wolstein clerked for the Honorable James B. Loken of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She has also practiced with Kobre & Kim LLP, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, and Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP. Ms. Wolstein is a member of the Federal Bar Council and the New York State Bar Association.