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Jeffrey S. Trachtman litigates complex bankruptcy, mass tort and securities fraud matters, including some of the nation’s most significant and high-profile cases. As one of the principal litigators on behalf of breast implant tort claimants in the Dow Corning bankruptcy, Mr. Trachtman helped fashion, and obtain judicial approval for, the $3.17 billion settlement. He continues to represent the interests of tort claimants in the Settlement Facility – Dow Corning Trust as lead counsel for the Claimants’ Advisory Committee.
Mr. Trachtman has also helped lead litigation teams in bankruptcies and class actions involving asbestos and diet drugs, and on behalf of the creditors’ committees in the massive Chrysler, General Motors and Residential Capital bankruptcies. He also has represented creditors or creditor groups in such other well-known bankruptcy cases as Adelphia, Washington Mutual and WorldCom. Earlier in his career, Mr. Trachtman helped lead a team of lawyers that obtained a $90 million recovery – at the time, one of the largest arbitration awards – in a contract and securities fraud action arising out of a failed merger between Gulf Oil and Cities Service Corp.
In addition to a history of successful trial work, Mr. Trachtman has distinguished himself as an appellate advocate, winning reversal in the Seventh Circuit of a valuation decision in the United Airlines bankruptcy – more than doubling the recovery of Los Angeles International Airport bondholders – and serving as lead counsel in several Sixth Circuit appeals involving plan interpretation disputes in the Dow Corning case. He has also argued three Second Circuit appeals involving constitutional and administrative law issues affecting Social Security disability claimants and served as lead author on innumerable amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts.
Throughout his career, Mr. Trachtman has committed himself to pro bono activities. He helped build Kramer Levin’s widely praised program as chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee from 1994 to 2011. During his tenure, the firm received major awards from the American Bar Association, the National Law Journal, the New York State Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society. In his own pro bono activities, Mr. Trachtman has litigated extensively in the area of Social Security disability, as well as civil rights and civil liberties, with a particular focus on LGBT rights (including serving as co-counsel with Lambda Legal in the New York State marriage equality litigation and submitting amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Windsor, Perry, Dale and Lawrence cases). As a result of these efforts, Kramer Levin earned the Empire State Pride Agenda’s 2009 Equality@Work Award, given in recognition of the firm’s “historic pro bono litigation” on behalf of the LGBT community. Mr. Trachtman has been recognized for his personal pro bono efforts, including receiving the New York University School of Law OUTLaw 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award, the City Bar Association’s 2014 Arthur S. Leonard Award for distinguished service on behalf of the LGBT community, the 2013 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award and the 2005 New York State Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Service Award. He is co-founder and was a longtime director of Cause Effective, an organization that teaches other nonprofits how to generate human and financial resources, and he currently serves on the boards of Legal Services NYC and Volunteers of Legal Service.