FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Mark W. Lerner

Mark W. Lerner

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
Partner
New York, NY, USA


Mark W. Lerner is a trial lawyer with specialization in disputes arising out of employment relationships, competition between firms and thefts of intellectual property, white collar criminal litigation, civil fraud and criminal activity in the workplace. Mr. Lerner regularly appears before the state and federal courts of New York and Connecticut, as well as before FINRA, and has argued appeals before the Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals. He has also appeared in the state and federal courts of numerous other states including Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Mr. Lerner has been with the firm since 1999, and partner since 2001. From 1992 to 1999, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, Criminal Division, where he focused on money laundering, fraud and complex narcotics prosecutions. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's office, Mr. Lerner served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser in the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Lerner graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the Stanford Law Review.

Notable Representations

Civil matters:

  • Led defense trial team in Arena v. Agip USA, a gender and disability discrimination case tried before a jury in the Southern District of New York.
  • Led defense trial team on behalf of one of world’s 25 largest financial institutions in an age discrimination and retaliation case tried before a jury in the Southern District of New York.
  • Defended class actions brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging hostile work environment in publicized cases against a national television broadcaster and against Tavern on the Green Restaurant.
  • Defended numerous high-profile clients, including two major apparel designers and a principal New York newspaper, in matters involving allegations of employment discrimination.
  • Defended German investment bank in BMTS v. Viscardi, A.G., a lawsuit alleging fraud in connection with sale of biotechnology firm.
  • Represented numerous major entities, including Citigroup, CIBC Oppenheimer, TD Waterhouse, Société Générale and Time, Inc., in matters involving the hiring or departures of employees alleged to be violating non-competition or confidentiality covenants.
  • Advised or defended individuals or groups as large as 30 employees moving business units between firms against allegations of breach of non-competition, confidentiality, or other common law restrictions.

Criminal or investigative matters:

  • Representation of a newspaper in a U.S. Justice Department and Grand Jury investigation into circulation reporting, resulting in no charges or finding of wrongdoing.
  • Defense of an indicted real estate brokerage owner for bank fraud. As the trial in the Southern District of New York began, Mr. Lerner’s challenges of the government’s practices and evidence led to the withdrawal of the prosecution. Now-U.S. Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch stated at the time of dismissal in March 2009: “I think I would be remiss not to compliment Mr. Lerner. I don’t think this would have come about without the best intentions and efforts of the government had it not been for his extremely effective investigation of the facts here. . .. [I]t is the sort of rare case where the defense investigation appears to have been more thorough . . . than the government’s. . . . [F]rom where I sit [Mr. Lerner’s client] owes a debt of gratitude to a lawyer who did an extremely capable job in unearthing some issues that I think might not have surfaced without another lawyer or been as effectively exploited.”
  • Representation of the head of the 200-trader mortgage backed securities trading desk at CSFB accused by FINRA of mismarking trading books.
  • Representation of several major New York City school bus contractors in investigations by the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office for the making of corrupt payments to city officials and union officials. No prosecutions of Mr. Lerner’s clients have resulted.
  • Defense of sensational criminal charges against New York restaurateur, resulting in the dropping of charges by the Manhattan D.A.’s Office after Mr. Lerner investigated and presented the lack of credibility of the accuser.
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Lerner was lead trial counsel for the government in over a dozen criminal trials, including U.S. v. Blarek, an innovative prosecution which was the subject of a CBS “60 Minutes” television segment.
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