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Howard O. Godnick is a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where he focuses his practice in the areas of complex securities and commercial litigation, including class actions and corporate control disputes and creditor rights litigation. Howard has tried cases in federal district, bankruptcy and state courts throughout the country, including representing U.K.-based hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund in its proxy battle with CSX Corp., which resulted in the election of four of the fund’s nominees to the board of directors.
For almost 30 years, Howard has successfully defended hedge and private equity funds, their portfolio companies, boards of directors and auditing firms in cases touching on every facet of their businesses, including commercial torts and RICO claims, proxy contests, common law and securities fraud claims, accountant liability claims, bankruptcy confirmation battles, breach of contract claims, preference actions, market manipulation and short-selling claims, appraisal arbitrage litigation and corporate governance disputes. In addition, Howard is considered one of the country’s preeminent litigators in the area of alter ego liability, having successfully litigated and counseled clients on alter ego and vicarious liability globally. He authored “My Portfolio Company Did What?! Private Equity and the Perils of Alter Ego Liability” and the follow-up articles “I Am Not My Sister’s Keeper” and “Which State Wants to Pierce Your Veil?” for Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report. Howard recently gave a TED talk titled “Wash Your Hair” at Bergen Community College’s TEDx event.
A magna cum laude graduate of New York Law School, where he graduated first in his class and was Notes and Comments Editor of the New York Law School Law Review, Howard was honored to receive the school’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for his pro bono work on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As lead counsel in McWaters v. FEMA, a class action to secure the temporary housing assistance to which Katrina evacuees were entitled by law, he successfully obtained injunctive relief against FEMA, preventing the agency from evicting tens of thousands of hurricane victims from their federally funded hotel rooms pending determinations on their applications for benefits. The precedent-setting case garnered other recognitions for Howard, including pro bono counsel awards from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the Louisiana Bar Association and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In addition, he was a finalist for the 2007 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Public Justice Foundation and received the Award of Courage for his perseverance in overcoming a series of medical challenges. Howard is a member of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and graduated from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, Phi Beta Kappa. Before law school, he was an actor, street mime and stand-up comic, appearing on Saturday Night Live from 1981 to 1983 as a regular extra and bit-part player.
Last updated October 2018