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Jeffrey S. Trachtman


Phone: 212.715.9175 Fax: 212.715.8000 New York

Mr. Trachtman is a litigation partner who focuses on complex bankruptcy and mass tort litigation and also has experience in such diverse civil practice areas as securities fraud, intellectual property, administrative law, and constitutional law.

Mr. Trachtman was one of the principal litigators on behalf of breast implant tort claimants in the Dow Corning bankruptcy, helping to fashion and obtain judicial approval for a $3.17 billion settlement, and continues to represent the interests of tort claimants in the Settlement Facility - Dow Corning Trust, including by serving as lead counsel on several Sixth Circuit appeals on plan interpretation issues. He has played active roles in bankruptcy or class action litigation involving asbestos, diet drugs, and other products; helped represent the creditors' committees in the Chrysler, General Motors, and ResCap bankruptcies; and has represented creditors or creditor groups in such other major bankruptcies as Adelphia, Washington Mutual, and WorldCom. Mr. Trachtman also won reversal in the Seventh Circuit of a valuation decision in the United Airlines bankruptcy, more than doubling the recovery of LAX Airport bondholders. Earlier in his career, Mr. Trachtman helped lead a team of lawyers that obtained a $90 million recovery in a contract and securities fraud action arising out of a failed merger between Gulf Oil and Cities Service Corp.

Mr. Trachtman served as Chair of Kramer Levin's Pro Bono Committee from 1994 to 2011. During his tenure, the firm and its lawyers received major awards from the American Bar Association, National Law Journal, New York State Bar Association, and Legal Aid Society. In his own pro bono activities, Mr. Trachtman has litigated extensively in the areas of Social Security disability and 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 Supreme Court amicus briefs in the Windsor, Perry, Dale, and Lawrence cases). These efforts helped earn 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 received several individual pro bono recognitions, including the 2013 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award and the 2005 New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award. He was co-founder and a longtime director of Cause Effective, an organization that teaches other nonprofits how to generate human and financial resources, and currently serves on the boards of Legal Services NYC and Volunteers of Legal Service.

Mr. Trachtman has appeared on panels at the American Bankruptcy Institute's New York City Bankruptcy Conference (presentation on substantive consolidation), "Bridge the Gap" CLE programs for the Practicing Law Institute, and Mealey's Breast Implant Litigation Conference in Palm Beach, Florida. In the public interest arena, he has presented frequently at the annual Law Firm Pro Bono Conference of the Pro Bono Institute and has also participated in panel discussions and CLE presentations on marriage equality and pro bono practice issues at the New York County Bar Association, the New York Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, and Harvard, NYU, and the University of Pennsylvania Law Schools. He has written articles and commentary on legal and public policy issues for such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsday, and The National Law Journal and has been interviewed and profiled by the New York Law Journal and Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. Mr. Trachtman has been listed in Legal 500 US and in several editions of New York Super Lawyers.

Representative Matters

  • In re Dow Corning — counsel to Tort Claimants Committee and Claimants' Advisory Committee in the Dow Corning Settlement Facility.
  • In re Adelphia  — counsel to FrontierVision Noteholders Committee.
  • In re Owens Corning — counsel to Credit Suisse First Boston as agent for bank lenders.
  • In re Consolidated Diet Drug Litigation — counsel to largest group of objectors to mass tort settlement.
  • In re Autobacs Strauss — counsel for Japanese auto parts retailer Autobacs 7 in bankruptcy of U.S. subsidiary Autobacs Strauss and subsequent litigation. 
  • Mobius Management Sys. v. Fourth Dimension Software — counsel for software manufacturer in false advertising trial against competitor.
  • Hernandez v. Robles — co-counsel with Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in suit seeking recognition of marriage rights for same-sex couples. 
  • Encarnacion v. Astrue — co-counsel with Center for Disability Advocacy Rights in class action challenging policies affecting adjudication of children's disability claims.

J.D., cum laude, New York University School of Law, 1984
  • Note and Comment Editor, 1983-1984, New York University Law Review
  • Order of the Coif
B.A., New York University, 1981
New York, 1985
Massachusetts, 2009
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2014
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 2014
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2008
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2001
U.S. Supreme Court, 2000
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1996
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1996
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1986
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1985
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1985
Judge Leonard I. Garth,  U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1985 - 1986
Chief Judge Constance Baker Motley,  U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1984 - 1985
    -New York City Bar Association, Member (1990-96) and Secretary (1991-92), Committee on Legal Needs of the Poor; Member (1997-2000), Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services; Member (2000-03), Committee on Civil Rights
    -New York State Bar Association
    -American Bar Association
    -American Bar Foundation, Fellow