Leah Godesky

Partner

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Leah Godesky is a trial lawyer who represents clients across an array of industries, including insurance, entertainment, securities, and pharmaceuticals. Her litigation experience spans a variety of forums, including federal and state-court proceedings, arbitrations, and regulatory investigations. Leah works diligently to provide clients with favorable results in challenging and time-sensitive circumstances.

Leah also maintains an active pro bono docket. She is currently serving as co-counsel with the ACLU for Kentucky physicians asserting a constitutional challenge to a state statute.

Honors & Awards

  • Named to the 40 & Under Hot List in General Commercial & Securities by Benchmark Litigation (2018)
  • Shortlisted by Chambers Women in Law Awards: Future Leader –– Gender Diversity (2018)

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, First, Fourth and Sixth Circuits
  • US District Court, Southern District of New York

Education

  • Columbia University, J.D.: James Kent Scholar; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Colgate University, B.A., Political Science, Religion: magna cum laude

Professional Activities

Author

  • “State Attorneys General and Contingency Fee Arrangements: An Affront to the Neutrality Doctrine? The Underlying Legal Theories and a Novel Proposal for Reform,” Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems (May 2009)

Fellow

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

Member

  • New York Women's Bar Association
  • Representing pop-music star Kesha in litigation involving defamation and abuse claims.
  • Representing an insurance company in coverage disputes relating to environmental-pollution investigation and remediation costs. KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Century Indemnity Company (NY); Brooklyn Union Gas Co. v. Am. Home Assurance Co., et al.
    • Obtained important and broad-reaching New York Court of Appeals ruling rejecting policyholder’s argument that damages from long-term environmental contamination cannot be allocated “pro rata” during years insurance was unavailable.
  • Defending biopharmaceutical company CTI Biopharma in securities-fraud class action and derivative litigation alleging misrepresentations regarding the regulatory-approval process. In re CTI Biopharma Corp. Securities Litigation.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of a securities class-action complaint against a former Pfizer officer alleging misrepresentations regarding the safety profile of the company's pain medications. In Re: Pfizer Securities Litigation.
  • Obtained dismissal of a fraud complaint against a global financial institution relating to the creation, sale, and management of a collateralized-debt obligation. Aozora Bank Ltd. v. Barclays Bank PLC, et al.
  • National coordinating counsel for a global financial institution in federal-court litigation, FINRA arbitrations, and regulatory proceedings arising from the marketing, sale, and underwriting of auction-rate securities. 
    • Obtained summary judgment on investor's federal and state securities-fraud claims. Tutor Perini Corp. v. Banc of Am. Sec.
    • Obtained summary judgment that investor waived its right to arbitrate claims by first pursuing them in federal court. Merrill Lynch Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. N.R. Hamm Quarry.
  • Represented biopharmaceutical company Nektar Therapeutics in a breach-of-contract dispute regarding a licensed product.
  • Represented the former employee of a major financial institution in a criminal investigation of the municipal-bond industry.
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