Location: 551 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10176
Email: Email Me
Ms. Kaufman handles complex litigation involving business and commercial matters, employment, product liability and toxic tort, and family law matters. She has also conducted investigations involving financial, employment and pharmaceutical issues.
In the commercial litigation area, Ms. Kaufman has handled litigation arising from financial transactions, securities matters, mergers and divestitures, complex real estate transactions, and breaches of restrictive covenants.
In employment matters, Ms. Kaufman has defended sensitive race, age and gender discrimination and sexual harassment cases in both the state and federal courts and in administrative agencies, for companies in the pharmaceutical and financial services industries and for colleges and universities. Through a thorough understanding of her clients’ businesses and strategic objectives and creative lawyering, Ms. Kaufman has obtained defense verdicts at trial and after hearings, summary judgment, dismissals at the pleading stage, and prevailed upon opposing counsel and their clients to simply dismiss cases that lack merit.
In the product liability and toxic tort area, Ms. Kaufman has served as national coordinating counsel, national science counsel, New York counsel in mass torts and other pattern litigation and as a member of nationwide “virtual law firms.” In these various roles, Ms. Kaufman has developed innovative strategies and achieved excellent results for her clients, ranging from defense verdicts at trial to summary judgment, to convincing plaintiffs to abandon their cases due to a lack of merit. She has identified and developed top experts in various scientific fields and medical disciplines and turned them into effective testifying experts. As a corollary to her work in this field, she has worked closely with regulatory affairs, mergers, divestitures and acquisitions and marketing personnel, and helped to develop and coordinate media strategy.
Ms. Kaufman has been appointed to three leadership positions within the American Bar Association: Vice Chair of the Section of Litigation for the 2019-2020 bar year; co-chair of the Task Force on Efficient Justice; and Representative to the United Nations Department of Public Information for the 2019-2020 bar year.
Ms. Kaufman is a past President of The National Association of Women Lawyers and was its delegate to the ABA House of Delegates from 2009-2013. She served from 2009-2012 as the Second Circuit Representative to the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. She has served as an officer of and on the Council of the ABA Section of Litigation and chaired numerous committees and events for the Section. Most recently, she co-chaired the Rules Roadshow, a 17-city presentation for judges and lawyers on how to implement the December 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Ms. Kaufman serves as outside General Counsel of Legal Momentum, the former NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. Dedicated to protecting the legal rights of women throughout the United States, Legal Momentum supports women in the workplace and in the courts, those stricken by poverty or victims of domestic violence, and also provides assistance in the areas of education and economic opportunity.
From the start of her legal career, Ms. Kaufman has been active in The New York City Bar Association, one of the nation’s most important bar associations, and serves as co-chair of the In-house/Outside Litigation Counsel Group at the City Bar. She has chaired the Committee on Law Student Perspectives and Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction and, in that role, participated in judicial candidate reviews, and proposed innovations in litigation practice for New York’s trial level courts. She served on the City Bar’s Executive Committee from 2000-2004 and assumed the helm of the Committee on the Judiciary in 2004 (the first woman to do so), where she supervised the effort of over 60 lawyers in their evaluation of all judicial candidates for primary election, general election, appointment or certification to all state and federal courts within the City of New York, to the United States Court of Appeals and to the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as candidates running for election as District Attorney in each of the five boroughs and those who were nominated as United States Attorney in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. She also served on that Association’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Judicial Selection.
In 2008, Ms. Kaufman was appointed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee of Judicial Nominations and served on that Committee through the end of the Mayor’s term in 2013.
Ms. Kaufman is an elected member of the American Counsel Association and of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.
Ms. Kaufman received her J.D. degree from the University of Richmond School of Law in 1978 (Williams Law Scholar) and graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) with a B.A. in 1975. She is admitted to practice in New York and Pennsylvania (inactive), the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York and for the District of Connecticut.
Areas of Practice
- Complex Litigation
- Products Liability Defense
- Employment Defense
- Family Law
- New York
- Pennsylvania (Inactive)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
- University of Richmond, School of Law, Richmond, Virginia
- J.D. – 1978
- Queens College-CUNY
- B.A. magna cum laude – 1975
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
- Author, “Sophisticated User Defense Gains Acceptance,” Product Liability Law & Strategy, May 2009
- Author, “Lone Pine Orders Increase Judicial Efficiency,” Product Liability Law & Strategy, July 2008
- Author, “Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Protection,” Product Liability Law & Strategy, December 2007
- Author, “FDA’s New Labeling Rule Asserts Federal Pre-emption of State Product Liability Claims,” Product Liability Law & Strategy, April 2006
- Author, “New Federal Rules for Electronic Discovery May Become Effective in 2006,” Product Liability Law and Strategy, October 2005
- Author, “Federal Pre-emption of Failure to Warn Claims in Recent Drug Cases,” Product Liability Law & Strategy, July 2005
- Author, “Discoverability of Attorney Work Product Communications Supplied to Experts,” Product Liability Law & Safety Reporter, October/November 2004
- Author, “Electronic Discovery in Mass Tort MDL Litigation,” Product Liability Law & Safety Reporter, February 2004
- Author, ” Statewide Coordination of Mass Tort Cases,” Product Liability Law and Safety Reporter, July 2003
- Author, “Certification of Nationwide Class Action Suits,” Product Liability Law & Safety Reporter, October 2002
- Author, “The Federal Judicial Center,” Product Liability Law & Safety Reporter, April 2002
- Chair, ABA Section of Litigation Women in Litigation Joint Conference, Leading for Success in the Courtroom, in the Judiciary, and in the Profession, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 15-17, 2017. For more information, please visit https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/events_cle/2017_women_in_litigation_joint_conference.
- Moderator, ABA Section of Litigation Women in Litigation Joint Conference, “Women Lawyers as Judges: Diversifying, Leading, and Excelling in the Federal and State Courts,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 16, 2017. For more information, please visit https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/events_cle/2017_women_in_litigation_joint_conference.
- Co-chair for the 2017 ABA Annual Meeting, Annual Section of Litigation Events & CLE, CLE Showcase programs to help sharpen litigation skills and stay abreast of developing legal issues, New York, New York, August 10–12, 2017
- Co-chair for programming, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (“FDCC”) Symposium, “The In-House Lawyer’s Toolkit – A Two-Day Conference for In-House and Outside Counsel Seeking to Provide Value Added Services to Their Clients,” New Orleans, Louisiana, September 28-30, 2015. For more information about the FDCC and the Corporate Counsel Symposium, please go to www.thefederation.org
- Moderator, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (“FDCC”) Symposium, “Managing our Insurers: A Second Track that Litigation Counsel Needs to Manage”, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 29, 2015. For more information about the FDCC and the Corporate Counsel Symposium, please go to www.thefederation.org
- Panelist, Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) Orientation, “Building a Successful Law Career: Keys to Professional Success,” the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, June 18, 2015
Honors and Awards
- New York Super Lawyers Business Litigation, 2014
- New York Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2018
- New York Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys, 2013 – 2014
- Metro Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women Attorneys in New York, 2015 – 2016
- One of Top 50 Women Lawyers in New York – Best Lawyers in America, 2009 – 2010
- Best Lawyers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Business Litigation 2010 – 2013
- Best Lawyers in America, New York, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2007-2019
- NAWL, Outstanding Member, 2006
- Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, 1995 – 2017, 2019
Professional Associations and Memberships
- New York City Bar Association, In-house/Outside Litigation Counsel Group, Co-chair
- State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction for The Association, Executive Committee , 2000 – 2004
- Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction
- New York City Bar Committee on the Judiciary, Blue Ribbon Task Force on Judicial Selection Committee, 2004
- Committee on Law Student Perspectives
- Mayor’s Advisory Committee, appointed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, years 2008 – 2013
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Member
- American Counsel Association, Member
- The National Association of Women Lawyers, Past President
- ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, Second Circuit Representative, 2009 – 2012
- ABA Section of Litigation, Co-chair, 2016-2017; ABA Annual Meeting, Co-chair, 2015 – 2016, Rules Roadshow; and Former Secretary and Member of Council