People

Paul Straus specializes in defending complex securities and commercial disputes, with a particular concentration in representing financial institutions and accounting firms. A partner in our Securities and Shareholder Litigation and Securities Enforcement and Regulation practices, Paul has successfully represented clients on a wide variety of issues in federal and state courts and in investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies.

Paul has over 25 years of experience defending clients in complex securities and commercial litigation and government investigations. He has built a reputation for excellent client service by being responsive, available on demand and sensitive to clients’ business and litigation concerns. He looks to help clients manage risk and reduce costs by winning early dismissals and persuading authorities not to take action. Paul also provides practical dispute advice to financial institutions and other clients seeking to head off full-blown litigation.

When trial is the right strategic approach, Paul is prepared to try cases. He second-chaired the trial defense of Jean-Marie Messier, the former Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal, S.A., in In re Vivendi Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), said to be the largest federal securities class action trial in history. After a four-month trial, the jury found in favor of Paul's client on all claims.

Paul has represented clients in cases pending in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Texas, Alabama and Florida. He has represented clients in investigations by the SEC, the New York State Attorney General, the New York Inspector General and other government authorities.

Paul also writes and speaks on various aspects of securities law, accountant liability and civil litigation.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., New York University

B.A., Cornell University, with distinction

New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Matters

Won the dismissal with prejudice of a Section 10(b) complaint against automotive transportation and logistics provider Jack Cooper Holdings and two of its officers by an alleged purchaser of $28 million of the company’s senior secured notes (see River Birch Capital, LLC v. Jack Cooper Holdings Corp. et al., 2019 WL 1099943 (S.D.N.Y. March 8, 2019)

Defended Jean-Marie Messier, the former Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal, S.A., in the jury trial of In re Vivendi Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), said to be the largest federal securities class action trial in history. The plaintiff class claimed billions of dollars in damages arising from the company’s allegedly false or misleading financial statements and public disclosures. After a four-month trial, the jury found in favor of Mr. Messier on all claims.

Defended and favorably settled a $120 million securities fraud action against a private equity firm arising from the sale of a natural gas storage facility.

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Matters

Won the dismissal with prejudice of a Section 10(b) complaint against automotive transportation and logistics provider Jack Cooper Holdings and two of its officers by an alleged purchaser of $28 million of the company’s senior secured notes (see River Birch Capital, LLC v. Jack Cooper Holdings Corp. et al., 2019 WL 1099943 (S.D.N.Y. March 8, 2019)

Defended Jean-Marie Messier, the former Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal, S.A., in the jury trial of In re Vivendi Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), said to be the largest federal securities class action trial in history. The plaintiff class claimed billions of dollars in damages arising from the company’s allegedly false or misleading financial statements and public disclosures. After a four-month trial, the jury found in favor of Mr. Messier on all claims.

Defended and favorably settled a $120 million securities fraud action against a private equity firm arising from the sale of a natural gas storage facility.

Defended the former chairman and CEO of At Home Corporation in Leykin v. AT&T Corporation (S.D.N.Y.), a shareholder class action alleging securities fraud against the company’s officers, directors and controlling corporate shareholders based on alleged misrepresentations concerning the company’s proprietary technology, revenues and growth projections.

Won the dismissal of multiple securities fraud class actions against an investment advisor arising out of $325 million in losses suffered by closed-end investment trusts investing in mortgage-backed securities and other instruments.

Won the dismissal of all claims against the former CEO of Just For Feet, Inc., in an action by purchasers of $200 million in notes (see AAL High Yield Bond Fund v. Ruttenberg, 00-C-1404-S, 2001 WL 34372980 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 30, 2001)).

Defeated an application for a TRO against an internet retailer in an action by short sellers alleging that the company was conspiring with its market maker to manipulate the market in the company’s stock.

Favorably settled a securities fraud class action against an underwriter alleging fraud in the issuer’s financial statements.

Has represented financial institutions, accounting firms and other clients in investigations by the SEC and other government agencies.

Has represented accounting firms in investigations by the SEC, the New York Attorney General and other agencies.

Defended an accounting firm in a consolidated federal securities class action brought by shareholders of a Bermuda reinsurer with over 25 million shares outstanding during the class period (see Schnall v. Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd.,3:02 CV 2133 (EBB), 2007 WL 2936242 (D. Conn. Oct. 5, 2007)).

Defended an accounting firm in a New York state court action alleging fraud, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting.

Won the dismissal of all claims against an actuary in a breach of fiduciary duty suit brought by trustees of major New York pension funds (see New York District Council of Carpenters Pension Fund v. Savasta, No. 99 CV 11362 (GBD), 2005 WL 22872 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2005)).

Defended and favorably settled a federal action against a major U.S. bank alleging breach of a standby letter of credit.

Regularly counsels commercial real estate lenders in connection with troubled loans, workouts, inter-creditor issues and disputes with borrowers and guarantors, often outside of litigation.

Won the dismissal of all claims against global real estate company Mitsui Fudosan America, Inc. in New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez et al. v. Deputy Inspector Edward Winski et al., Civ. No. 12 CIV 3389 (NRB) (RLE).

Successfully opposed a motion for a preliminary injunction against a real estate investment company in connection with the sale of a downtown Manhattan office building.

Defended and favorably settled a breach of contract action against a Luxembourg SICAV brought by a putative securities purchaser.

Defended a global corporate trade credit firm in an action by a major U.S. insurance company arising out the issuance of insured corporate trade credits.

Insights

Article · Source: New York Law Journal

December 16, 2010
Protection of Work Product Shared With Outside Auditors

View all

Matters

Won the dismissal with prejudice of a Section 10(b) complaint against automotive transportation and logistics provider Jack Cooper Holdings and two of its officers by an alleged purchaser of $28 million of the company’s senior secured notes (see River Birch Capital, LLC v. Jack Cooper Holdings Corp. et al., 2019 WL 1099943 (S.D.N.Y. March 8, 2019)

Defended Jean-Marie Messier, the former Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal, S.A., in the jury trial of In re Vivendi Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), said to be the largest federal securities class action trial in history. The plaintiff class claimed billions of dollars in damages arising from the company’s allegedly false or misleading financial statements and public disclosures. After a four-month trial, the jury found in favor of Mr. Messier on all claims.

Defended and favorably settled a $120 million securities fraud action against a private equity firm arising from the sale of a natural gas storage facility.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Won the dismissal with prejudice of a Section 10(b) complaint against automotive transportation and logistics provider Jack Cooper Holdings and two of its officers by an alleged purchaser of $28 million of the company’s senior secured notes (see River Birch Capital, LLC v. Jack Cooper Holdings Corp. et al., 2019 WL 1099943 (S.D.N.Y. March 8, 2019)

Defended Jean-Marie Messier, the former Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal, S.A., in the jury trial of In re Vivendi Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), said to be the largest federal securities class action trial in history. The plaintiff class claimed billions of dollars in damages arising from the company’s allegedly false or misleading financial statements and public disclosures. After a four-month trial, the jury found in favor of Mr. Messier on all claims.

Defended and favorably settled a $120 million securities fraud action against a private equity firm arising from the sale of a natural gas storage facility.

Defended the former chairman and CEO of At Home Corporation in Leykin v. AT&T Corporation (S.D.N.Y.), a shareholder class action alleging securities fraud against the company’s officers, directors and controlling corporate shareholders based on alleged misrepresentations concerning the company’s proprietary technology, revenues and growth projections.

Won the dismissal of multiple securities fraud class actions against an investment advisor arising out of $325 million in losses suffered by closed-end investment trusts investing in mortgage-backed securities and other instruments.

Won the dismissal of all claims against the former CEO of Just For Feet, Inc., in an action by purchasers of $200 million in notes (see AAL High Yield Bond Fund v. Ruttenberg, 00-C-1404-S, 2001 WL 34372980 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 30, 2001)).

Defeated an application for a TRO against an internet retailer in an action by short sellers alleging that the company was conspiring with its market maker to manipulate the market in the company’s stock.

Favorably settled a securities fraud class action against an underwriter alleging fraud in the issuer’s financial statements.

Has represented financial institutions, accounting firms and other clients in investigations by the SEC and other government agencies.

Has represented accounting firms in investigations by the SEC, the New York Attorney General and other agencies.

Defended an accounting firm in a consolidated federal securities class action brought by shareholders of a Bermuda reinsurer with over 25 million shares outstanding during the class period (see Schnall v. Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd.,3:02 CV 2133 (EBB), 2007 WL 2936242 (D. Conn. Oct. 5, 2007)).

Defended an accounting firm in a New York state court action alleging fraud, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting.

Won the dismissal of all claims against an actuary in a breach of fiduciary duty suit brought by trustees of major New York pension funds (see New York District Council of Carpenters Pension Fund v. Savasta, No. 99 CV 11362 (GBD), 2005 WL 22872 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2005)).

Defended and favorably settled a federal action against a major U.S. bank alleging breach of a standby letter of credit.

Regularly counsels commercial real estate lenders in connection with troubled loans, workouts, inter-creditor issues and disputes with borrowers and guarantors, often outside of litigation.

Won the dismissal of all claims against global real estate company Mitsui Fudosan America, Inc. in New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez et al. v. Deputy Inspector Edward Winski et al., Civ. No. 12 CIV 3389 (NRB) (RLE).

Successfully opposed a motion for a preliminary injunction against a real estate investment company in connection with the sale of a downtown Manhattan office building.

Defended and favorably settled a breach of contract action against a Luxembourg SICAV brought by a putative securities purchaser.

Defended a global corporate trade credit firm in an action by a major U.S. insurance company arising out the issuance of insured corporate trade credits.

Insights

Article · Source: New York Law Journal

December 16, 2010
Protection of Work Product Shared With Outside Auditors

View all

Credentials

J.D., New York University

B.A., Cornell University, with distinction

New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Association of the Bar of the City of New York