Leading NY State Litigators

Prior to joining the firm, Justice James M. Catterson participated in hundreds of jury trials and more than 6,000 civil and criminal appeals as an associate justice of the Appellate Division, First Department of the New York State Supreme Court. He is one of the most published judges in New York state history and carries a strong reputation for scholarly writing, having authored more than 250 signed opinions and dissents.  Prior to his time on the bench, he served as the Deputy County Attorney for Suffolk County and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. He currently litigates across multiple jurisdictions, in both state and federal court, in all types of commercial disputes at both trial level and appeals.

With decades of experience as a trial and appellate judge in New York state courts, Justice Rolando T. Acosta is widely recognized as one of the foremost jurists in the country. He has authored hundreds of opinions on complex and novel criminal and civil matters. Throughout his tenure as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, the Court underwent a swift and strategic modernization, achieving improved efficiency and affording the public greater access to justice. Justice Acosta sat on over 10,000 appeals and presided over hundreds of bench and jury trials during his tenure in the New York courts. Justice Acosta also maintains a varied commercial litigation practice in multiple jurisdictions and is equally at home at the trial level or on appeal.

As the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard P. Donoghue led one of the nation’s largest and most sophisticated U.S. Attorney’s Offices, comprising more than 150 attorneys.  As principal Deputy Attorney General and later acting Deputy Attorney General, he supervised the day-to-day operations of the Department of Justice and oversaw 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices.

Prior to joining Pillsbury, Brian H. Montgomery served in several senior positions at the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), including leading the Department’s program to examine regulated institutions for compliance with federal and state consumer financial laws.  Brian also oversaw investigation and enforcement actions involving consumer financial products and services.  Additionally, Pillsbury has a team of associates with deep experience litigating in every court in New York, with several having worked in the court system.  

Representative Experience

  • Represented major university in $1 billion litigation arising out of contractor’s failure to protect a construction site, resulting in extensive water damage to multiple buildings. Obtained record settlement for client after procuring denial of defendant’s summary judgment motion (NYS Commercial Division), which was affirmed by the First Department.
  • Representing a major pharmaceutical company in a royalty dispute with another large pharmaceutical company. Obtained very favorable settlement for client after completing discovery and dispositive motions (NYS Commercial Division).
  • Represented U.S. board of trustees in a dispute over the management of a large endowment and the governance of a prestigious private school. Obtained complete victory after a three-week bench trial (NYS Commercial Division).

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  • Represented high-net-worth family in litigation stemming from theft of family member’s computer in attempt to coerce settlement payment in connection with contentious custody dispute. After bench trial, obtained order precluding use of information from computer, sanctioning opponent and recovering attorney’s fees (NYS Supreme Court), which was affirmed by the First Department.
  • Represented vineyard in action commenced by a distributor for alleged improper termination. Successfully vacated TRO and defeated preliminary injunction motion, after which plaintiff voluntarily discontinued action and paid defendant all amounts owed (NYS Commercial Division).
  • Represented major bank in action commenced by guarantor of hundreds of millions of defaulted notes, alleging a breach of duties that allegedly resulted in plaintiff’s losses. Obtained summary judgment in bank’s favor, dismissing all claims (NYS Commercial Division).