If you’re seeking one of the strongest trial lawyers in the United States, it won’t be long before you come across the name Marc Kasowitz. However, aside from legal professionals, many may not know him. Who is this attorney with such a lengthy and hard-hitting career? Today, we’d like to give you a brief overview of the life and career of Marc Kasowitz, a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres in New York City.
Upbringing and Education
Marc Elliot Kasowitz was born on June 28, 1952, to Robert and Felice Kasowitz. He has always had a close-knit family, including his fraternal twin brother, Stephan, as well as Susan, Marc’s younger sister.
His father saw success running a scrap metal business. Marc’s grandparents put this business into motion after they immigrated to the United States from their native Poland. Eventually, Robert would inherit this business after a lifetime of learning the ins and outs of the venture. This strong work ethic, passed from generation to generation, certainly had an impact on Marc Kasowitz himself.
Marc Kasowitz attended New Haven’s Hopkins School, where he was fortunate to receive a high-quality education from a young age. He went to Yale University, thanks to his dedication to his coursework and his strong desire to continue focusing on his education. From Yale, he earned his bachelor’s degree in American history.
However, earning his undergraduate degree wasn’t the end of Marc’s education—far from it. With a clear vision of where he saw his career heading, he went on to earn his JD from Cornell Law School. This eventually developed into Marc’s lifelong career, beginning his journey as an esteemed legal professional.
Career and Professional Accomplishments
Since entering the field of law, Marc Kasowitz has had a strong track record as a formidable trial attorney, more than capable of winning just about any case he puts his mind to. As such, this has led him to accumulate a long list of professional accomplishments.
Early in his legal career, Marc worked at Mayer Brown law firm. This is where he stayed until 1993, when he decided to help establish Kasowitz Benson Torres. Kasowitz Benson Torres is a highly successful law firm with a team of 19 accomplished lawyers. Two of Mayer Brown’s clients also left the firm to begin their partnership with Kasowitz Benson Torres. These partnerships would, of course, prove to be fruitful. Kasowitz Benson Torres quickly established itself as a strong firm with an impressive record of wins across the many cases they’ve participated in.
According to Benchmark Litigation, Marc has become one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the United States. This is far from the only recognition he’s received over the years. For instance, the National Law Journal also honored Marc Kasowitz as a Litigation Trailblazer due to his game-changing approach to his legal work.
Much of Marc’s experience lies in the realm of complex commercial litigation, where he has proven to be an invaluable adversary for every party he represents. His cases have fallen under a wide variety of categories, including banking, antitrust, corporate governance, and breach of contract. Marc has shown himself to be a versatile trial attorney, rather than one who restricts himself to cases in just one narrow area. Instead, he has dedicated his career to developing the broadest possible legal knowledge he can achieve—and he’s continuing to learn and grow to this day.
Marc Kasowitz has also directed a wide array of internal investigations on behalf of management, special committees, and boards of directors throughout his career. He has performed these investigations during instances of alleged conflicts of interest, corporate misfeasance, insider trading, challenges to board authority, market timing, accounting fraud, market manipulation, and even obstruction of justice.
So, what are some of Marc’s most impressive accomplishments as a trial attorney? There are more than a few of them, without a doubt.
One famous case that Marc has become known for involves Woodstock 50, a festival intended to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original 1969 event. The legal battle was fought against a former financing partner of the large-scale event, Dentsu. Dentsu is a marketing and advertising company from Japan, which attempted to abruptly withdraw its financing of Woodstock 50. However, thanks to the strong evidence and points made by Marc, the New York Supreme Court ruled that Dentsu lacked the right to unilaterally cancel the festival, based upon the contract it had previously signed.
Another example of Marc’s courtroom prowess can be seen when he represented MBIA against Credit Suisse. In this case, MBIA was determined to recover for breaches of warranties and representations, all related to RMBS and insured by MBIA. Marc participated in a two-week-long bench trial after the case found itself in the New York Supreme Court. In the end, Marc proved that Credit Suisse breached representations and warranties. Consequently, Credit Suisse was found liable for more than $600 million worth of damages.
Finally, the third instance of Marc’s legal success occurred when he represented ACA Financial Guaranty in court. ACA Financial Guaranty is a large bond insurer, positioning itself against Goldman Sachs and Paulson & Co., a well-known hedge fund. This $120 million fraud suit occurred after Goldman Sachs and Paulson & Co. fraudulently induced ACA Financial Guaranty to provide a financial guaranty for Goldman Sachs’ own ABACUS CDO. This occurred when ACA was deceived about Paulson & Co.’s financial interest and role in this transaction.
Thanks to Marc’s argument (which he presented to the New York Court of Appeals) a fresh precedent was set on the standards for reliance in instances of fraud in New York state.
Marc Kasowitz has had a long and impressive career as one of the leading trial lawyers in the country. But, of course, several decades into his career, Marc has yet to slow down—he continues to thrive as a tough-as-nails legal professional, giving the parties he represents the most robust possible legal defense. So, who’s to say what he’ll accomplish next? It’ll be something big, that’s for sure.
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