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Harvey Kurzweil

Harvey Kurzweil is a litigation partner in Winston & Strawn’s New York office. Mr. Kurzweil has acted as lead trial counsel in a large number of major litigations for many years, in cases involving exposure in the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. Mr. Kurzweil has been lead counsel in areas as diverse as antitrust, intellectual property, insurance coverage, securities, contested works of art, defamation, ERISA, and consumer class actions, and has been nationally recognized for many years.

Representative Matters

  • Complex Commercial Litigation: Lead counsel in the representation of The Travelers in the coverage litigation arising out of the destruction of the World Trade Center. Lead trial counsel in Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Executive Committee v. United States, a constitutional challenge to the dispute resolution procedures of NAFTA. In Insurance Alliances Group, Inc. v. Mutual of New York—obtained a jury verdict in favor of defendant in a two-week jury trial in which the plaintiff alleged that Mutual of New York breached a written agreement and an oral joint venture, committed fraud, and attempted to destroy the plaintiff’s business. Achieved a favorable settlement after three weeks of trial in the matter of Frank B. Hall v. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, involving placement by Hall of nationwide collateral protection coverage for all Nissan automobiles sold or leased in the United States. Hartigan v. Minskoff—successfully represented an institutional lender in a several-week jury trial on breach of contract claim seeking damages for failure to comply with a guarantee of completion of a large office building. Empire v. Timeplex—successfully represented defendant Timeplex in a four-week trial in a complex contractual dispute relating to the sale of classified defense equipment to the Government of Israel. Tesoro Petroleum Corporation v. Coastal—obtained a jury verdict for plaintiff in a three-week jury trial arising out of the sale of a large quantity of gasoline. Lead counsel in the representation of The MONY Group in class action litigations involving sales practices for life insurance policies, known generally as the “vanishing premium” cases. Represented a major financial institution in major litigation against a private equity firm. Represented a major cable TV provider in high-profile litigation against a content provider.
  • Antitrust Litigation: Lead trial counsel in major litigations for many years. Mr. Kurzweil was lead trial counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in a landmark ten-week jury trial in which the court granted defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law. In that case (In re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litigation), potential damages in the billions were sought along with injunctive relief, arising out of claims that various pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers had conspired to deprive retail pharmacies of discounts for brand name prescription drugs. Represented certain regulated common carriers in a six-month jury trial on charges of illegal monopolization of telephone terminal equipment. Represented a major wholesale distributor of magazines and periodicals in an antitrust action brought by a French publishing conglomerate, alleging monopolization and restraint of trade. Represented a major health care provider in several restraint of trade cases.
  • Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation: Led the team that successfully litigated a major class action in Delaware Chancery Court, In re MONY Group, Inc. Shareholders Litigation, relating to the acquisition of MONY by AXA. Successfully represented a group of institutional investors in a five-week jury trial regarding large losses of federal book entry securities. The claims were brought against Marine Midland Bank, Comark (a government securities dealer), and one of its former general partners. Represented the Fiduciary Trust Company, an alleged tippee defendant, in major insider trading cases. Represented MedImmune, a biotech company, in a major 10b-5 case. Represented numerous other defendants in other securities cases and cases involving breach of fiduciary duty claims. Defended Investcorp in an important breach of fiduciary duty case arising out of the failure of Color Tile, one of its portfolio companies. Currently defending Omnicare in a number of securities class actions. Mr. Kurzweil also recently tried a challenge to a recapitalization of a public company in Delaware Chancery Court.
  • Intellectual Property Litigation: Mr. Kurzweil represented United States Surgical Corporation in a landmark three-week patent trial (Ethicon v. U.S.S.C.) in which U.S. Surgical sought to have an unnamed co-inventor added as an inventor of a patent covering an endoscopic surgical instrument known as a safety trocar. Potential damages were in excess of $1 billion dollars. Represented U.S. Surgical in a complex patent case tried to a jury involving issues of infringement and patent invalidity (Applied v. U.S.S.C.). Lead trial counsel for MedImmune in several important patent cases involving monoclonal antibodies. Work alongside UK barristers and solicitors in the successful trial of a biotech case in the UK.
  • Defamation Litigation: Successfully represented Eli Lilly in the defense of a major defamation case brought by the Church of Scientology relating to the prescription drug Prozac. Successfully represented a major telecommunications carrier in two major defamation/invasion of privacy cases.
  • Financial Services Litigation: Represented the Resolution Trust Corporation (“the RTC”) in proceedings brought in the Southern District of Florida against former officers and directors, and outside professionals, arising out of the failure of a Florida savings and loan. Representing the RTC in the Eastern District of New York as receiver in numerous suits against former officers and directors. Represented the RTC in the Southern District of New York as receiver in an action by the former 100 percent shareholder of a failed savings and loan association who alleged that the government’s abrogation of the use of supervisory goodwill to meet federal regulatory capital requirements caused there to be a failure of consideration under certain assistance agreements entered into between plaintiffs and the government. Represented a major bank in litigation brought by hedge funds.
  • Represented Flushing Federal Savings and Loan Association in a trial in which a permanent injunction was obtained against Michael Rapp, the so-called “Wall Street Swindler,” and Carl Cardascia, formerly the president of Flushing Federal, in connection with a series of fraudulent loans which Rapp had obtained from the institution.
  • ERISA Litigation: Successfully represented Travelers in a major class action with significant public relations aspects brought by all salaried retirees whose health insurance benefits had been curtailed. The case was settled on terms favorable to defendants after a three-week trial.
  • Art Litigation: In a landmark matter, The Republic of Lebanon v. The Trustee of the Marquess of Northampton 1987 Settlement, successfully represented the owner of an antique Roman silver collection (known as the Sevso Treasure) worth at least $200 million in a seven-week jury trial which resulted in a defendant’s verdict. The action was brought in replevin by three foreign governments against the Trustee of the Marquess of Northampton’s Trust. Representing the owner of rare antiquities in litigation against dealer.
  • Appellate Representations: Argued numerous appeals throughout the country, including the New York Court of Appeals and the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits. Successfully obtained two certiorari petitions in recent years.
  • Pending Representations: Current matters include the representation of a major property and casualty insurance company in significant matters arising from Superstorm Sandy; a major insurance company in a series of class actions relation to the marketing of credit card enhancements; and a major institutional pharmacy in a series of securities and qui tam litigations around the country.

Mr. Kurzweil received a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1969, where he graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and received the Milton Handler Prize in Trade Regulation. He received an A.B., cum laude, from Columbia University in 1966.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Kurzweil has been selected for inclusion in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers, The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, Institutional Investor and LawDragon 500.

Activities

Mr. Kurzweil is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (membership by invitation only and limited to 500), a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation. He is a member of the Federal Bar Council, the New York State Bar Association, the Antitrust and Litigation Sections of the American Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Committee on Trade Regulation (1982-1985), and the District of Columbia Bar Association.

Mr. Kurzweil has served on the Board of Trustees of the Menninger Foundation from 1997 to the present and is currently a Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Menninger Clinic. He has served on the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School from 2000 to the present. Mr. Kurzweil was on the Board of Directors for the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts from 1994-1999. He is a board member of the Kenworthy-Swift Foundation.

Publications

  • “Twombly: Another Swing of the Pleading Pendulum,” Sedona Conference Journal (Fall 2008).
  • Chapter on “The Trial of the Sevso Treasure, What a Nation Will Do in the Name of Its Heritage,” Who Owns the Past? Cultural Policy, Cultural Property, and The Law, co-author (2005).
  • “Suing or Representing Foreign Companies in New York State Courts,” Chapter 17 of Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, Second Edition (2004).
  • “Assessing Risk Through Preparation and Honesty,” Chapter in Leading Litigators, (2002).
  • Report for Trade Regulation Committee of City Bar Proposed Amendment to the Tunney Act (July 1985).
  • Chapter on “Objections,” Federal Evidence Practice Guide by Honorable Joseph M. McLaughlin (1988).

Speeches/Programs

  • Sedona Conference on Antitrust Law and Litigation, Faculty Member on Current Developments in Antitrust Law & Litigation (2007).
  • Sedona Conference on Antitrust Law and Litigation, Faculty Member on Current Developments in Antitrust Law & Litigation (November 2006).
  • New York Intellectual Property Law Association, Talk entitled: What Every Licensing Lawyer Needs to Know: MedImmune v. Genentech and Related Cases (April 2006).
  • Sedona Conference on Antitrust Law and Litigation, Faculty Member on Current Developments in Antitrust Law & Litigation (November 2005).
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Panel on the Class Action Fairness Act (October 2005).
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Panel on Winning Commercial Cases in Federal Courts (October 2004).
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Panel Discussion on Trial of Cases in Commercial Part, New York State Supreme Court (May 1998).
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Cultural Property Round Table (November 1996).