Elizabeth Wolstein is an experienced advocate who focuses on high stakes government and business litigation. She defends clients in government civil enforcement matters; represents organizations and individuals in civil litigation involving federal and state agencies; and litigates complex commercial disputes on behalf of businesses and individuals. 
 

Elizabeth has litigated complex disputes involving all manner of subject areas, including non-profit governance, academic freedom, trademark, breach of contract, fraud and other business torts, civil rights, the First and Fourth Amendments, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and federal and state freedom of information laws, to name a few. Her clients have included a family business sued by the Department of Justice for alleged False Claims Act violations; a national nonprofit in state-level attorney general investigations and subsequent litigation; the owner of a successful start-up defrauded by his business partner; a sovereign nation and its central bank in connection with a commercial dispute between a state agency and private fuel supplier; a Mexican sugar company and Brazilian seafood exporter in separate commercial disputes; parents in a grass roots challenge to New York's school mask mandates; and a professional fundraiser sued by a state attorney general for allegedly fraudulent charitable solicitations. Elizabeth emphasizes development and mastery of facts and evidence as integral to successful litigation strategy and works closely with clients to achieve their objectives.

Elizabeth served for nine years 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 several years as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Elizabeth handled some of the Civil Division's most significant cases, including defending the constitutionality of the federal statute banning partial birth abortion, representation of multiple federal agencies in the Enron bankruptcy, and defending Freedom of Information Act cases arising out of the war on terror. She argued numerous appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, two of which were televised on CSPAN. Elizabeth is a recipient of the Department of Justice's Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award.

 

NY Metro Super Lawyers® 2021

 

Government Litigation and Civil Enforcement Defense

  • Represented national nonprofit in state attorney general investigations and litigation raising corporate governance issues;
  • Representing parent group in grass-roots challenge to New York State mask mandates for schools and day care centers;
  • Won case on behalf of college professor investigated and fired for conduct of history class discussion, in case asserting violations of university’s rules on academic freedom and faculty discipline;
  • Brought in for final stages of appeal by nonprofit fundraiser sued by New York State Attorney General for allegedly fraudulent solicitations;
  • Defended high-volume shipper in False Claims Act action brought by Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office;
  • Defending federal law enforcement officer, under U.S. Department of Justice private counsel program, in Bivens action alleging Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations;
  • Represented internet blogger in Second Circuit appeal of conviction for threatening federal appeals court judges in blog post by criticizing panel ruling;
  • Won bid protest before New York State Comptroller’s Office challenging an award of contract by Office of Medicaid Inspector General;
  • Prevailed in New York Supreme Court and on appeal in Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) case on behalf of independent journalist seeking communications between Mayor Bloomberg’s Office and former Schools Chancellor Cathie Black.

Financial and Commercial Litigation and Appeals

  • Won judgment following trial against client’s former business partner arising out of partner’s theft of successful start-up business;
  • Defended fulfillment and e-commerce businesses in Lanham Act counterfeiting and infringement actions brought by national and global consumer brands;
  • Representing sovereign nation and its central bank in Southern District of New York and Second Circuit matters arising out of petroleum-related contracts;
  • Defended one of Mexico’s largest sugar companies in Southern District of New York against indemnification claims arising out of bond indenture;
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of landlord of landmarked Soho retail property in Americans with Disabilities Act case;
  • Obtained award in FINRA arbitration on behalf of bankruptcy litigation trustee asserting claims for securities fraud and other torts arising out of investment bank’s purchase of auction rate securities;
  • Represented New York City 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.
  • Selected to the New York Metro Super Lawyers® list for Business Litigation, 2021
  • United States Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award
  • Federal Bar Council
  • New York State Bar Association

“I will not rest until I secure the best possible outcome for every client, no matter the adversary.”