Firm Co-chairman and Litigation Co-chair Gary P. Naftalis received New York Law Journal's Lifetime Achievement award at the Professional Excellence Awards held Oct.17.
Gary was also profiled in an article penned by Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, in a special New York Law Journal supplement covering the program. In his article, Judge Rakoff recounted the many successes of Gary's career: from the early 1970's when, as a young prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office, Gary successfully tried the head of a mob family on difficult to prove perjury charges - a trial that culminated in a two-hour summation Judge Rakoff called "among the best I have ever seen," - to his turn to private practice, becoming co-chair of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, and becoming the "lawyer of choice" for Fortune 500 companies. Judge Rakoff cited Gary's successful defense of Michael Eisner, after which Mr. Eisner stated that Gary was "... awesome, fantastic, theatrical and always right," as well as securing the dismissal of all charges brought against Kenneth Langone before it went to trial.
Gary's devotion to pro bono work was also highlighted by Judge Rakoff, particularly his work for religious organizations, such as his representation of Congregation Jeshuat Israel and the Archdiocese of New York, the latter of which earned him the Benemerenti Medal, awarded by Pope Benedict XVI.
Judge Rakoff closed his article by noting that while the modern-day pressures of a career in law may disillusion many young lawyers, "In Gary, they can see someone who is not only supremely skilled in his craft, but also devoted to the highest ideals of achieving justice."
Read the full article here .