Aaron M. Zeisler counsels hedge funds, family offices, businesses and their principals on litigation, dispute resolution and dispute avoidance, whether involving their investments, trade secrets, real estate, employment issues, member/officer liability, boards of directors, intellectual property, libel claims or privacy issues. Aaron also serves in the role of outside “in-house” counsel for several funds, family offices and small businesses that view him as a trusted advisor given his long-standing relationship with these clients and his familiarity with their businesses.
As a trial attorney, Aaron has represented clients in numerous state and federal courts throughout the United States, both at the trial and appellate level, and has handled arbitrations and mediations before the AAA, ICDR, JAMS, and other private mediation services and court-assisted mediation programs. He is particularly experienced in disputes involving technology, intellectual property and financial instruments. Aaron also counsels clients on enforcing judgments, litigation avoidance, employment contracts, service on outside boards of directors, and partnership disputes.
Notably, as reported in the WSJ, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Dealbreaker and Reuters, Aaron and his colleagues recently secured the dismissal of all trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and unfair competition claims in an arbitration in New York brought by Bridgewater Associates against two former employees four years after they left Bridgewater. The arbitration panel’s Final Award cited Aaron’s “withering cross-examination that compelled [Bridgewater’s experts] to repudiate fundamental elements of [Bridgewater’s] case that their reports and testimony were designed to support” and “conclude[d] [Bridgewater] filed its claims in reckless disregard of its own internal records, and in order to support its allegations of access to trade secrets, manufactured false evidence.” The Final Award ordered Bridgewater to pay $2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs for having brought its misappropriation claims in bad faith. (See the Final Award)
- Representation of hedge funds as plaintiffs in investment dispute against multinational, Hong Kong-based company resulting in a $65 million judgment in New York; successful enforcement and collection of judgment in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Atlanta.
- Representation of hedge funds as plaintiffs against directors and officers for breaches of fiduciary duty, libel and other torts in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York resulting in favorable multi-million dollar public settlement.
- Representation of rating agency as defendant in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in fraud dispute over ratings issued for complex, structured investment vehicles.
- Representation of various law firm partners on fiduciary duty and other potential liability issues surrounding withdrawal and lateral movement, most notably guiding certain executive committee members of Dewey & LeBoeuf through its collapse.
- Representation of building developer and owner as defendants over air rights claims in New York.
Intellectual Property and Trade Secret Litigation
- Representation of former employees in defense of trade secret misappropriation claims, breaches of contract and unfair competition in AAA arbitration in New York brought by largest hedge fund in the world, obtaining dismissal of all claims against the employees and a Final Award of their attorneys’ fees and costs for claimant’s pursuit of the misappropriation claims in bad faith.
- Representation of software company in California in defense of trade secret misappropriation claims and related torts; obtained full dismissal and attorneys’ fees for plaintiff’s maintenance of trade secret claims in bad faith; successfully litigated counterclaims for NDA and related breaches through trial.
- Representation of corporation and directors over patents and related fuel cell technology in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York resulting in multi-million dollar judgment for clients; successful defense of appeal seeking to overturn judgment in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- Representation of hedge fund and its managing members as defendants over trade secret misappropriation claims in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii and Florida state court; successful discontinuance of case.
- Representation of restaurant chain over trademark and trade dress claims relating to design and marketing of newly-branded restaurants.
- Representation of publisher in defense of copyright infringement claims by photographer for alleged wrongful use of registered works.
- Representation of wallpaper designer and manufacturer over alleged copyright infringement of designs.
- Representation of record label in defense of copyright infringement and breach of contract claims in connection with distribution of rap album.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Disputes
- Representation of investors in federal securities action and related disputes over token purchases.
- Representation of technology provider to foreign crypto-exchange in contract and technology dispute.
- Representation of blockchain network against claims of executive regarding termination and token purchase agreements.
- Representation of executive as plaintiff asserting defamation, retaliation and breach of contract claims.
- Representation of large technology company in various non-solicit and non-compete disputes.
- Representation of executive as plaintiff in breach of employment agreement and defense of non-compete counterclaims.
Defamation and Right of Publicity Litigation
- Representation of avant-garde filmmaker and production company for alleged misappropriation of plaintiff’s name and likeness under Section 51 of York’s Civil Rights law.
- Representation of book publisher against defamation and trade libel claims by renowned medical professional over book publication.
- Representation of reinsurance company against defamation and trade libel claims by underwriting agent stemming from letters sent to reinsurer’s retrocessionaires.
- Representation of newspaper publisher against libel and Section 1981 claims stemming from reporting of politician’s background.
- Representation of book publisher against claims of defamation, false advertising and false endorsement by law professors over legal publication.
In addition, Aaron served for six years as an Audit Committee Chairman for a large, national organization, helping to oversee its financial reporting process, the selection of independent auditors, and review of audit results with its Audit Committee, full board and management. Aaron counsels clients on legal and audit related issues, best practices and whistleblower issues.
Prior to founding Zeisler PLLC in May 2014, Mr. Zeisler was a partner with Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP (2008-2014), an associate with Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP, and an economic analyst with the Congressional Budget Office.
Mr. Zeisler earned his joint undergraduate degree (B.A.,’92) in Economics and Public Policy magna cum laude from Colby College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and earned his law degree (J.D., ’99) from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a legal research and writing Dillard Fellow and Moot Court member.
Professional Activities, Memberships
- New York State Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section