Attorneys

  • 270248johns

    John S. Siffert
    Partner

    jsiffert@lswlaw.com
    (212) 921-8399

    500 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY 10110

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    Mr. Siffert is a founding partner of LSW, where he has built a widely respected practice that encompasses every aspect of litigation.  He has been described in Chambers as “a classic counselor who is also a superb trial lawyer.”

     

    Mr. Siffert has successfully tried numerous civil and criminal trials to verdict, has prevailed as claimant and respondent in commercial disputes before arbitration panels, and has argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals, and the Appellate Division, First and Second Departments, of the New York State Supreme Court.  In addition, Mr. Siffert has helped clients avoid the cost and risks of courtroom battles by persuading governmental authorities not to bring charges and by devising consensual resolutions of business disputes.

     

    Mr. Siffert’s areas of practice range from commercial, contract, and other civil disputes to regulatory and criminal matters involving a wide range of allegations, including securities fraud, antitrust violations, professional misconduct, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.  Mr. Siffert’s clients have included corporations, boards of corporations, and individual directors and senior officers.  He also has appeared on behalf of major law firms and individual lawyers, both in court and before the Disciplinary Committee of the First Department.  In addition, he has been frequently called upon to advise audit committees and special committees that are conducting internal investigations and has been retained to mediate commercial disputes and to serve as a neutral arbitrator in commercial arbitrations.

     

    In 2012, Mr. Siffert was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules.  Mr. Siffert currently serves on the Attorney Panel of the Committee on Grievances for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and on that court’s mediation panel.  Mr. Siffert is the court-appointed Special Master and Mediator in Gulino, et.al. v. The Board of Education, currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Previously, he was appointed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to serve as the Discovery Master and then as the Mediator in Invista v. DuPont, and as the Escrow Agent for the Solomon Insider Trading and Investment Advisory Disgorgement Funds.  He also served as the SEC-approved Independent Counsel for MBIA Inc.  He also has served as a Special Master for the Appellate Division, First Department, of the New York State Supreme Court and served on its Departmental Disciplinary Committee.

     

    Mr. Siffert is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, serves on its Foundation and previously served on the Board of Regents and as Chair of its New York Downstate Committee.  He routinely appears in the Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers/White Collar Crime LawyersChambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for BusinessBest Lawyers in America, Expert Guides’ Best of the Best USA White Collar Crime, The Legal 500Super Lawyers, and a broad array of Who’s Who directories, including the Global Directory of Who’s Who/Top Lawyers in New York. In 2008, Mr. Siffert was ranked by Super Lawyers as one of the top 10 lawyers in New York.  In 2009, Mr. Siffert received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Second Circuit.  In 2014, he received the Healing and Hope Award from the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.

     

    Mr. Siffert also has given generously of his time to numerous bar and community organizations. Currently, he serves on the board of the Practising Law Institute and its Executive Committee. He serves as Vice Chair of Projects and Initiatives and Trustee on the board of the Historical Society of the New York Courts and is a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society.  He is on the Greater New York Regional Board of American Friends of Hebrew University and previously served as President.  He is also on the Emeritus Board of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, where he previously served as Chair.  He is on the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Council’s Inn of Court, was one of its founders and served as its President.  He has held various positions at the New York City Bar Association and other bar and civic organizations.

     

    Mr. Siffert is an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law and has taught on the NITA faculty and at the Harvard Law School, Hofstra Law School, Cardozo Law School, and Columbia Business School.  Mr. Siffert has appeared as a faculty presenter on numerous PLI Programs involving white collar crime, trial strategy and trial advocacy.

     

    Mr. Siffert served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted U.S. v. Chiarella, the first-ever criminal insider trading case.

  • Education

    Columbia Law School (J.D., 1972)
    Articles Editor, Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems

     

    Amherst College (B.A., 1969)
    cum laude

    Government Service

    Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, SDNY (1974-79)

     

    Law Clerk, Hon. Murray I. Gurfein, U.S. District Court, SDNY (1972-74)

    Admissions

    Bars:

    New York

    Courts:

    U.S. Supreme Court
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
    U.S. District Court, SDNY
    U.S. District Court, EDNY

    Professional Activities

    American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow; Trustee of the Foundation; former Regent; former Chair, New York Downstate Committee; former Chair, Admission Fellowship)

     

    Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules

     

    Practising Law Institute (Trustee, Executive Committee member)

     

    New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (Emeritus Board member and former Chair)

     

    Historical Society of the Courts of New York (Board member, Executive Committee member and Vice Chair of Projects & Initiatives)

     

    Federal Bar Council Inn of Court (Executive Committee and former President)

     

    Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (Trial Lawyer Honorary Society)

     

    New York Council of Defense Lawyers (former Board member)

     

    American Bar Foundation (Fellow)

     

    Supreme Court Historical Society (Trustee)

     

    New York City Bar Association (former member of Executive Committee, Nominating Committee and Honors Committee; former Chair, Federal Legislation Committee)

     

    New York State Bar Association

     

    American Bar Association

     

    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

     

    New York Civil Rights Coalition Advisory Board

     

    Greater New York Regional Board of the American Friends of the Hebrew University (Past President)

    Speaking Engagements

    Panelist, “Trial By Jury,” Practising Law Institute (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

     

    Panelist, “Comparison of French and American Criminal Legal Systems,” American College of Trial Lawyers (2014)

     

    Interview of Hon. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, American Trial of College Lawyers (2009)

    Selected Publications

    Books

     

    Modern Federal Jury Instructions - Criminal (3 volumes) (co-author, with Hon. Leonard B. Sand, Hon. Jed S. Rakoff, Steven Alan Reiss, Walter P. Loughlin, and Steven W. Allen)

     

    Modern Federal Jury Instructions - Civil (2 volumes) (co-author, with Hon. Leonard B. Sand, Hon. Jed S. Rakoff; Steven Alan Reiss, and Steven W. Allen)

     

    Business Crime:  Criminal Liability of the Business Community (6 volumes) (co-author, with Stanley S. Arkin, Hon. Jed S. Rakoff, Earl C. Dudley, Jr. and Donald Re)

     

    Chapters

     

    Obstruction of Justice, The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (2011) (co-author, with Kathryn Malizia)

     

    Commentary to Rule 53, Masters, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Joseph A. Patrice)

     

    Commentary to Rule 52, Findings by the Court, Judgment on Partial Findings, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Brian Fleischer and Joseph A. Patrice)

     

    Commentary to Rule 51, Instructions to Jury: Objection, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Joseph A. Patrice)

     

    Commentary to Rule 50, Judgment as a Matter of Law in Jury Trials, Alternative Motion for New Trial, Conditional Rulings, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Brian Fleischer and Joseph A. Patrice)

     

    Insider Trading:  Its Evolution and Elements and Practical Considerations, White Collar Crime Reporter (1990); reprinted as Chapter 6 in Readings in White-Collar Crime (1991) (co-author, with Patricia McDonagh)

     

    The Fifth Amendment and Tax Returns:  The Viability of the Deferred Filing/Current Payment of Tax Approach Pending a Criminal Investigation, White Collar Crime Reporter (1990); reprinted as Chapter 13 in Readings in White-Collar Crime (1991) (co-author, with Michael I. Saltzman)

     

    Articles

     

    Insider Trading as Fraud: Economic Benefit as an Element, New York Law Journal (2016) (co-author, with Leigh Llewelyn)

     

    Understanding Insider Trading as Breach of Duty of Loyalty, New York Law Journal (2016) (co-author, with Michael Herman)

     

    Lawyer-Mediator’s Dilemma to Report Misconduct but Maintain Confidentiality, New York Law Journal (2013) (co-author, with Julia C. Green)

     

    Insuring Defense Costs Arising From Disgorgement Claims, New York Law Journal (2012) (co-author, with Matthew G. Coogan)

     

    Using Hypotheticals During Jury Selection, Trial by Jury (2012) (co-author, with Deepa Rajan and Julie Blackman)

     

    Federal Sentencing of a Foreign National: The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, International Cartel Workshop (2004); reprinted as The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons:  Foreign Nationals Serving Prison Sentences in Their Home Country, White Collar Crime 2004 (2004) (co-author, with Shambie Singer)

     

    Role of Joint Defense Agreements in Defending Antitrust Investigations, Advanced International Cartel Workshop (2002)

     

    The Role of Separate Counsel for Corporate Employees in Criminal Antitrust Investigations, Advanced International Cartel Workshop (2001)

     

    Changing Role of Defense Counsel, New York Law Journal (1997) (co-author, with R. Erik Lillquist)

     

    Materiality in False Statement Cases after United States v. Gaudin, White Collar Crime Reporter (1996)

     

    Recent Developments In RICO Litigation, The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulations (August 1995)

     

    Simplify Jury Instructions in Patent Cases, New York Law Journal (1995)

     

    Cancer Patients’ Remedies Against Recalcitrant Health Insurers, New York Law Journal (1991) (co-author, with Richard F. Albert)

     

    Civil RICO - Jury Instructions, Civil RICO 1985 (1985) (co-author); reprinted from Chapter 84 in Modern Federal Jury Instructions - Civil

     

    Recklessness and Gross Negligence, as Requisite Mental Elements, in Criminal and Civil Cases, Mens Rea:  State of Mind Defenses in Criminal and Civil Fraud Cases (1985) (co-author, with Patricia McDonagh)

     

    The Use of Jury Gurus and Videotape in Trial Preparation, Oakes’ Criminal Practice Letter (co-author, with Deborah E. Landis)

     

    Trading on Inside Information:  Practical and Theoretical Issues in Criminal Prosecutions, Practising Law Institute (1984)

     

    What to Do If Your Son or Daughter Gets Arrested, Bottom Line (1982)

     

    Conflicts and Multiple Representation in Pre-Indictment Business Crime Cases, Criminal Defense Techniques (1981) (co-author, with Hon. Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge)

     

    Blockbusting, 7 Col. J.L. and Soc. Prob. 538 (1971)