Weisburst, Sanford I

Sanford I. Weisburst

Partner

  Biography

A former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Sanford (“Sandy”) Weisburst specializes in brief-writing and oral argument at both the appellate and trial levels, in federal and state court. Sandy has argued cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, the New York Court of Appeals, and the intermediate New York state appellate courts, and also has argued numerous motions in the federal district courts. Sandy played a principal role in briefing two recent merits cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc., leading to victory for Quinn Emanuel’s clients on both occasions. Sandy has also briefed dozens of additional cases in federal and state court, with particularly broad experience in the Second Circuit. These cases have involved various areas of substantive law, including administrative law, admiralty, bankruptcy, commercial torts, energy law, patent law, and trademark law.

Sandy graduated first in his class, with highest honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 1998.  Sandy served as the Topics and Comments Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.  Upon graduation, Sandy was awarded prizes for the best student in law and economics and the best paper by a graduating student, and was also admitted to the Order of the Coif.  Sandy earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in economics, magna cum laude, and was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa.

Following law school, Sandy served as a law clerk for Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1998-1999, and as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Supreme Court from 1999-2000.  

  Notable Representations

  • Argued and obtained decision from U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on vacating and remanding district court's judgment dismissing fraud and negligence claims by financial guaranty insurer against investment manager of a collateralized debt obligation vehicle that had $1.5 billion in assets at inception.
  • Argued and obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of ear plug manufacturer Moldex, reversing district court’s grant of summary judgment to Moldex’s competitor on ground that Moldex’s green color trademark on earplugs is functional and not eligible for trademark protection.
  • Argued and obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of Parmalat Extraordinary Administrator Dr. Enrico Bondi, reversing district court’s grant of judgment to auditing firm Grant Thornton in Dr. Bondi’s Illinois-law based case against Grant Thornton for misconduct in its audits of Parmalat.
  • Argued and obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, affirming district court’s ruling that, in the context of a broad arbitration clause, the arbitrators rather than a federal court must decide the preclusive effects of a prior arbitration, and thus allowing Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s arbitration against Citigroup to proceed.
  • Argued and obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of EQUATE Petrochemical Company, affirming district court’s judgment dismissing for lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Argued and obtained decision from the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, reversing lower court’s order disqualifying client’s chosen counsel.
  • Obtained decision from the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, reversing lower court’s ruling that the Indian Point Energy Center is not exempt from review under the New York Coastal Management Program.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. holding that the Alien Torts Statute does not extend to alleged conduct committed on foreign soil.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc. holding that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 categorically preempts state-law design-defect claims.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in AIG v. Bank of America reversing the district court and holding that the federal Edge Act does not extend to banking in a U.S. insular territory unless a federally chartered bank was involved in the banking transaction as opposed to taking a subsequent interest in it through an acquisition of the entity that was involved.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming in relevant part the district court’s judgment that Vermont statutes that purported to require the shut down of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in March 2012 were invalid as preempted by the federal Atomic Energy Act because those statutes were grounded in nuclear safety concerns.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in In re Parmalat Securities Litigation reversing the district court and holding that the case, brought by an Italian trustee on behalf of of the bankrupt Parmalat estate against the accounting firms that facilitated the insider fraud that caused Parmalat’s demise, was subject to mandatory abstention in favor of the Illinois state court in which the case was originally filed.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Merrill Lynch v. Allegheny Energy, Inc., vacating multimillion dollar judgment against Allegheny Energy and reinstating Allegheny Energy’s claims against Merrill Lynch.
  • Obtained decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversing multimillion dollar jury verdict in favor of independent record company in its suit against an executive of a major record company for fraudulent inducement, tortious interference with contract, and copyright infringement.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Grupo Televisa v. Telemundo reversing district court’s grant of summary judgment to Telemundo and holding that Televisa could proceed with its claims, under Florida law, for Telemundo’s tortious interference with a contract between Televisa and a Mexican telenovela actor.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Sinaltrainal v. The Coca-Cola Company affirming district court’s dismissal of case as not within the scope of the Alien Tort Statute or the Torture Victims Protection Act.

  Practice Areas

  • Appellate Practice
  • Energy Sector Disputes

  Education

  • University of Chicago Law School
    (J.D.,with highest honors, 1998)
    • University of Chicago Law Review:
      • Topics and Comments Editor
    • Order of the Coif
    • Best Student in Law and Economics
    • Best Paper by a Graduating Student
  • Harvard College
    (A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1995)
    • Mather House Representative to Economics Department's Student Advisory Committee, 1994-1995

  Admissions

The State Bar of New York; Supreme Court of the United States; United States Court of Appeals: First Circuit, Second Circuit, Third Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, Seventh Circuit, Eighth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, D.C. Circuit, Federal Circuit, United States District Court: Eastern District of New York, Northern District of New York, Southern District of New York

  Languages

  • French
  • Italian

  Prior Associations

  • Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP, New York:
    • Associate, 2001-2005

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Clarence Thomas:
    • Supreme Court of the United States, 1999-2000

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Laurence H. Silberman:
    • United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1998-1999

Publications and Lectures

  • "Judicial Review of Settlements and Consent Decrees: An Economic Analysis,"
    • 28 J. LEGAL STUD. 55 (1999)
  • "Adjusting a Criminal Defendant's Sentence After a Successful Collateral Attack,"
    • 64 U. CHI. L. REV. 1067 (1997)
  • "Economic Effects of Strengthening Patent Protection in Italy,"
    • 26 IIC INT'L REV. OF INDUS. & COPYRIGHT L. 1009 (1995) (with F.M. Scherer)