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PLI Ethics Programs: Winter 2014-2015

 
Author(s): C. Evan Stewart, Ronald C. Minkoff, David G. Keyko
Practice Area: Corporate & Securities, Ethics/Professional Responsibility
Published: Feb 2015
PLI Item #: 50039
CHB Spine #: F255

David Keyko is a partner in the law firm's Litigation practice and is located in the New York office. His practice has focused on major, complex litigation, often involving multiple parties. He has handled cases involving allegations of securities or other types of fraud, antitrust violations, ethics issues and trusts and estates issues across the country, often involving insurance coverage issues. He has conducted internal investigations and represented clients responding to government probes. Trials include: representing a plaintiff in a four-week bench trial in federal court in New York concerning a fraudulent scheme to finance the importation of coffee beans, which resulted in a $90 million judgment; a five-week jury trial in federal court in New Jersey concerning an alleged scheme to manipulate world-wide commodity prices; and a four-month bench trial in federal court in Louisiana concerning the finances of a bankrupt oil and gas company. He has also served as an expert witness in connection with legal malpractice litigation. Among the prominent cases Mr. Keyko has handled was the representation of the primary claimant to a $1.5 billion estate in lawsuits filed in several jurisdictions.

Mr. Keyko was named the "New York City Best Lawyers Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year" for 2012 and 2017. He has lectured and written widely on securities, antitrust, legal ethics and general litigation topics, and chairs PLI's programs on federal pretrial practice and ethics for corporate lawyers. He is a former columnist for the New York Law Journal and has written several dozen articles on litigation and ethics issues for such publications as the National Law Journal, and Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, on whose advisory board Mr. Keyko served.

Mr. Keyko has undertaken a variety of pro bono projects, including representing for over 20 years a death row inmate in Alabama asserting that the inmate is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, serving as Chair of the Board of MFY Legal Services, Inc., and serving two terms as a member of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Department. He was Chairman of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He chaired the ad hoc committee of the Association that commented on proposed SEC regulations under Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. He is currently the chair of the Association's Legal Referral Service Committee and is a member of the Association's Professional and Judicial Ethics Committee.

Mr. Keyko is a member of Pillsbury's Sarbanes-Oxley Committee, Opinions Committee and Professional Responsibility Committee. He is an adjunct professor at the Fordham University School of Law.


Ronald C. Minkoff is a partner in the Litigation Group and Head of the Professional Responsibility Group. Mr. Minkoff is one of New York State’s leading practitioners in the field of attorney ethics and professional responsibility, representing attorneys in a wide variety of matters including law firm partnership disputes, attorney discipline cases, legal fee disputes and legal malpractice and professional liability cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. He also provides ethics opinions and advice to a wide variety of law firm clients.  In addition, he also serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice lawsuits and attorneys’ fees disputes.

Mr. Minkoff is a member of several Bar Ethics Committees, including the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) and the Committee on Professional Discipline of the New York State Bar Association. He is also the Chair of the Task Force on Professionalism of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, a former member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism, and a past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. He has written extensively for the New York Professional Responsibility Report, The Professional Lawyer, The New York Law Journal, and other publications and is the co-Managing editor of the New York Legal Ethics Reporter. Mr. Minkoff has served as an Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York University School of Law, Fordham Law School, and Brooklyn Law School. He is a frequent lecturer on the law of lawyering.

In addition, Mr. Minkoff represents businesses and individual professionals and executives in a wide variety of commercial litigation, including business break-ups, securities lawsuits, and domestic and international trade disputes. He represents several law firm partners and law firms in partnership disputes, lateral transitions and law-firm dissolutions. And he represents an internationally known petrochemist in an oil and gas venture dispute. Mr. Minkoff was a member of Chief Judge Lippman’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century. He is also a member of the Council on Judicial Administration of the New York City Bar Association and of the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers’ Association.

Mr. Minkoff was named Best Lawyers’ 2011 New York Ethics and Professional Responsibility Lawyer of the Year. He was also recognized by Best Lawyers for his work in Commercial Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, and Regulatory Enforcement matters. He has been named a New York-area “Super Lawyer” for Professional Liability: Defense Work and Business Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine for nine consecutive years.

Mr. Minkoff is a graduate of Columbia Law School (JD, 1980). He was an attorney at the Nassau County Legal Aid Society (1980-83), and was associated with Obermaier Morvillo & Abramowitz, P.C. (1983-85) and Owen & Fennell (1985-87). Mr. Minkoff was a member of Fennell & Minkoff (1987-94) and Beldock Levine & Hoffman (1994-2001) before joining Frankfurt Kurnit. He is admitted to practice in New York.

Representative cases:

Fragin v. First Funds Holdings LLC and Moses & Singer LLP, 2016 WL 4256984 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2016);

Grynberg v. BP Exploration Operating Co. Ltd. 127 A.D.3d 553, 7 N.Y.S.3d 125 (1st Dep’t (2015);

Lakah v. UBS AG, 996 F.Supp.2d 250 (S.D.N.Y. 2014); QBE Ins. Co. v. Maloof, Lebowitz, Connahan & Oleske, 2105 WL 7188350 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2015);

In re Lerner, 112 A.D.3d 144 (1st Dep’t 2013);

Frauzblau v. Cassin and Cassin LLP Index: 105949/10 Supreme Court New York County (2010);

Carl v. Cohen and Greenberg Traurig, LLP 23 Misc.3d 1110(A) 886 N.Y.S.2d 66 (2009);

Conopco, Inc. v. Wein, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46945 (S.D.N.Y. 2007);

Trepel v. Dippold, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78050 (S.D.N.Y. 2006).


Mr. Stewart’s practice focuses principally on the financial services industry, where he handles litigation matters for domestic and international clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, in arbitration forums, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the U.S. Supreme Court. He advises clients on a range of complex commercial matters, including antitrust, bankruptcy, class action defense, ethics, intellectual property, internal investigations, securities litigation, and tax controversies.

Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the “Top Trials of 2005” for his successful representation of Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for “late trading” mutual funds. More recently, Mr. Stewart successfully represented Gary Prince against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May of 2013, after a three week bench trial in federal court, the judge dismissed all six charges of securities fraud against Mr. Prince.

Mr. Stewart previously served twelve years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The Nikko Securities Co. International Inc., and as a director of Nikko Financial Services Inc. Additionally, Mr. Stewart served as First Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Head of Litigation at E.F. Hutton & Company Inc. Since 2003, Mr. Stewart has been tasked by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to, among other things, oversee and litigate all of the disputes arising out of the company’s Private Wealth Management Division.

Recognized as a Super Lawyer for Securities Litigation since 2009, Mr. Stewart has also been hailed as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation since 2010. In 2016, Mr. Stewart received the Stanford D Levy Award from the New York State Bar Association's Ethics Committee for having "significantly contributed to an understanding of professional ethics by the publication of an article, commentary or a series of articles or commentaries on the subject." In 2008, he received the Modaq Content Award for writing the most popular article in the United States. Since 1980, Mr. Stewart has been AV(R) Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Stewart is a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct law professor at Fordham Law School. He has been a regularly contributing columnist for the New York Law Journal since 1990 and has published over 200 articles on diverse legal subjects. He is also frequently featured in the national media and regularly speaks across the country on securities, professional responsibility, and complex litigation issues.