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, high net worth family disputes involving trusts, estates and asset ownership, 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, construction, foreclosure and breaches of restrictive covenants.
In employment matters, Ms. Kaufman has defended sensitive race, age and gender discrimination, sexual harassment, workplace violence, and workplace safety 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 torts area, Ms. Kaufman has served as national coordinating counsel, national science counsel, New York counsel in New York State 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, again, convincing plaintiffs’ counsel 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 is the Immediate Past Chair of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, which she chaired for the 2021-2022 bar year. For the 2020-2021 Bar year, she was the Vice Chair of the Section, co-chair of its Task Force on Efficient Justice and the ABA’s Representative to the United Nations Department of Public Information. 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 meetings for the Section. From 2015 through 2016, 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 is a past President of The National Association of Women Lawyers and was its delegate to the ABA House of Delegates from 2009-2013. From October 2016 through June 2020, Ms. Kaufman served 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 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.
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Products Liability Defense
- Employment Defense
- Family Law
- B.A., Queens College-CUNY magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1975
- J.D., University of Richmond School of Law, Williams Law Scholar, 1978
Honors and Awards:
- New York Super Lawyers Business Litigation, 2014
- New York Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2021
- 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, 2006-2022
- NAWL, Outstanding Member, 2006
- Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, 1995 – 2017, 2019
- 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
- Speaker, NAWL Virtual Webinar “Women in Employment Law Presents Back to Work: Rules for the New Normal in the COVID-19 Era,” July 29, 2020. For more information, please visit: www.nawl.org.
- Moderator, ABA Virtual Webinar: “Trials and Hearings in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era: Virtual or In-Person?” July 21, 2020. For more information, please visit: https://www.americanbar.org/events-cle/ecd/ondemand/401049041/
- Moderator, ABA Virtual CLE: “Virtual Courts in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond,” June 30, 2020. For more information, please visit: https://www.americanbar.org/events-cle/ecd/ondemand/401049041/
- Moderator, ABA 2020 Virtual Section Annual Conference “General Counsel Forum: Navigating Legal and Business Challenges in the Wake of a Global Pandemic,” May 6, 2020. For more information, please visit: https://www.americanbar.org/events-cle/mtg/web/399428043/
- Speaker, Women Owned Law Inaugural Symposium on Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Law “Scaling Women Owned Firms in the Law,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 11, 2020. For more information, please visit: https://www.womenownedlaw.org/2020-wol-symposium
- Moderator, ABA Section of Litigation Women in Litigation Joint Conference “Men in the Mix: How a Few Good Men Can Help Advance Women Lawyers,” Chicago, Illinois, November 13-15, 2019. For more information, please visit: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/events_cle/2019-2020/womens-conference/
- Speaker, Duke University School of Law Evaluating 2015 Rule 26 Discovery-Proportionality Amendments and Bolch-Duke Guidelines and Best Practices Conference “Promoting Active Judicial Case-Management: Death Knell or Do We Double Down; Do We Promote Alternative Strategies, Including Promoting Greater Judicial Enforcement of Violations?” Arlington, Virginia, June 20-21, 2019. For more information, please visit: https://judicialstudies.duke.edu/proportionality-conference-2019
- 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 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 www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/events_cle/2017_women_in_litigation_joint_conference.
- Co-chair, 2017 ABA Annual Meeting, Annual Section of Litigation Events & CLE, CLE showcase programs to help sharpen litigation skills and stay abreast of the most current 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 visit 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 visit 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.
- 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