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Michael S. Oberman


Phone: 212.715.9294 Fax: 212.715.8294 New York

Michael S. Oberman litigates a wide variety of complex civil cases at the trial and appellate levels and in arbitration. Mr. Oberman joined Kramer Levin in 1973, served as a partner between 1980-2015, and became counsel on January 1, 2016. His experience spans a wide and varied range, and includes copyright, arbitration law and major commercial cases.

Mr. Oberman served as lead counsel for Sirius XM Radio in an arbitration lasting 20 days in which the claimant sought over $130 million in damages for alleged breach of contract and tortious conduct. The arbitrators dismissed all of the claims. Mr. Oberman successfully handled the case through judicial review, ultimately securing a unanimous affirmance of the arbitration award from the New York Court of Appeals in a decision of first impression on the standard for “evident partiality” to be applied by New York state courts under the Federal Arbitration Act.

An experienced advocate in intellectual property matters, Mr. Oberman obtained injunctive relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a publisher of video games in a landmark decision providing expansive copyright protection for video games. In another case, he obtained a judgment dismissing a claim for $100 million in consequential damages in litigation that set limitations under New York law on claims for consequential damages.

Mr. Oberman heads Kramer Levin’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group. A fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, he serves as an arbitrator and a mediator, in addition to representing parties in ADR proceedings. He is a member of the Large Complex Commercial Case Panel of the American Arbitration Association, as well as its Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Panels, and of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution Inc. (CPR) Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. Mr. Oberman was one of the first attorneys chosen as a mediator for the Mandatory Mediation Program of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He serves as a member of the Dispute Resolution sections of the American Bar and New York State Bar associations.

Mr. Oberman has written extensively on copyright law, arbitration law and federal civil procedure. He has also been active in efforts for court and ADR reform. He served as a member of New York Chief Judge Judith Kaye’s Commercial Courts Task Force, which created the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court, and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Rules and Operating Procedures for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Since 1989, he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York Bar Association and was the section’s delegate in the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates from 1989 to 1991.

J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1972
  • National First Prize, Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition, 1972
A.B., cum laude, Columbia College, 1969
District of Columbia, 1992
California, 1981
New York, 1973
Honorable Milton Pollack,  U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York, 1972 - 1973
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S.C.A., 2nd Circuit
U.S.C.A., 5th Circuit
U.S.C.A., 7th Circuit
U.S.C.A., 9th Circuit
U.S.D.C., Central District of California
U.S.D.C., Northern District of California
U.S.D.C., Southern District of California
U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York
U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York
    -Woodward/White Inc.’s Best Lawyers (2018)
    -Thomson Reuters’ New York Super Lawyers (2006-2016)
    -New York State Bar Association: delegate, House of Delegates (1989-1991); member, Committee on Federal Courts (1977-1989); member, Executive Committee, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section; member, Executive Committee, Intellectual Property Law Section (1993-1996); member, Dispute Resolution Section
    -New York City Bar Association: member, Committee on Federal Legislation (1978-1981); Committee on Copyright and Literary Property (1981-1985, 1988-1991, 1997-2000, 2007-2009)
    -American Bar Association, Litigation Section and Dispute Resolution Section
    -The State Bar of California
    -Federal Bar Council
    -The New York Bar Foundation, fellow
    -Columbia College Alumni Association, director
    -College of Commercial Arbitrators, fellow
    -New York International Arbitration Center, director