Avi Weitzman is of counsel in Gibson Dunn’s New York office. He is an experienced trial and appellate attorney, and is a member of the Firm’s Litigation, White Collar Defense and Investigations, Crisis Management, Securities Enforcement, Securities Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Media, Entertainment and Technology Practice Groups.
Mr. Weitzman is a nationally-recognized trial lawyer, litigator, and white collar defense attorney. In 2013, Mr. Weitzman was named one of five “Rising Stars” in the United States under the age of 40 in White Collar by Law360, an annual list that honors attorneys whose legal accomplishments belie their age. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, from 2005 to 2012, Mr. Weitzman served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he tried twelve federal criminal jury trials to verdict, and briefed and argued numerous federal appeals before the Second Circuit. As a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, Mr. Weitzman was part of the team of prosecutors leading the government’s “Operation Perfect Hedge” insider trading investigation, which resulted in several high profile insider trading cases against hedge funds and portfolio managers at those funds. Among others, Mr. Weitzman was part of the team that litigated United States v. Raj Rajaratnam and successfully defended the government’s use of wiretaps in that case, for which he received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Weitzman also was co-lead counsel in the first insider trading trial arising out of the government’s investigation of expert networking firms, United States v. Winifred Jiau.
In addition, as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Weitzman investigated and prosecuted a wide range of federal securities fraud offenses, and coordinated parallel civil proceedings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also gained significant experience in international investigations as a member of the Organized Crime Unit, leading numerous large, complex racketeering investigations and prosecutions involving international organized crime, as well as Italian, Albanian and Asian criminal enterprises in the United States. Mr. Weitzman’s international investigations resulted in the historic extradition of more than 20 individuals from Israel for their involvement in international telemarketing fraud, the largest-ever extradition from Israel, as well as the extradition and conviction of the Chief Aide to the Albanian Deputy Prime Minister for murder, kidnapping and racketeering offenses in the United States.
Since returning to private practice, Mr. Weitzman has been involved in a number of headline-grabbing, multi-billion-dollar trials. Mr. Weitzman is currently a member of the trial team representing Chevron Corporation in a federal RICO trial arising out of an $18 billion dollar environmental remediation judgment in Ecuador that has been marred by rampant fraud by the plaintiffs’ attorneys and others. In the Fall of 2012, Mr. Weitzman was a member of trial team that obtained a mid-trial settlement, valued at well over $1 billion, in a breach of contract case brought by VOOM HD Holdings, a high-definition television subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, against DISH Network.
Mr. Weitzman received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1999, where he was a Senior Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and a member of the Board of Student Advisors. He also received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 1996. Following law school, Mr. Weitzman served as a law clerk for Justice Dalia Dorner of the Israeli Supreme Court, and then for Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.