Mark W. Smith is the founder of Smith Valliere PLLC. Having worked as a trial lawyer and business attorney for over a decade, Mr. Smith's courtroom accomplishments have captured the covers of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Law Journal and have been reported in every major media outlet. The media calls Mr. Smith "a powerhouse lawyer," a "rising public intellectual," "a high-stakes, high-profile Wall Street litigator" and "one of the fastest rising legal stars in the country." Mr. Smith is also a New York Times bestselling author of four books, a former professor of law, and frequently appears as an expert legal commentator throughout the national media.
Mr. Smith has tried jury and bench trials in state and federal court and has litigated cases involving billions of dollars. He has tried cases involving complex synthetic derivative financial products, real estate transactions, large corporate raiding efforts, partnership disputes and international commodity trades. As co-counsel in a federal jury trial, Mr. Smith won a million-dollar judgment in a precedent-setting civil rights case that a cover story in The New York Times proclaimed to be the largest of its kind in New York history. Mr. Smith tried the largest no-fault insurance trial in U.S. history for $23 million, and currently represents New York businesses in a multi-billion dollar challenge to New York's participation in the "cap and trade" scheme called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Mr. Smith represented Texas state legislators before the United States Supreme Court and represented African-American women seeking to start a hair braiding company in a highly publicized constitutional challenge to New York state economic regulations.
After graduating from the New York University School of Law, Mr. Smith clerked for a federal trial court judge. Upon the completion of his clerkship, Mr. Smith joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York City. From there, he joined the high profile, nationally recognized law firm of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP where he was a full partner for several years.
Mr. Smith's legal practice covers a broad spectrum of areas, including complex commercial disputes in the following: business, employment, computer software, securities, civil rights, bankruptcy, constitutional, real estate, intellectual property, medical malpractice, class actions, casinos and antitrust matters. Mr. Smith has litigated matters involving major international companies such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Charles Schwab, JP Morgan Chase, Wachovia, A.I.G., Adelphia Communications Corp, Talk Miramax, FoxMeyer Drug Company, Continental Grain Company, Unilever, Salomon Smith Barney, and the U.S. Trust Company.
Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Smith is often sought out as an advisor to companies and individuals seeking to avoid engaging in activities leading to costly disputes or legal liability. Mr. Smith has provided counsel to clients engaged in a wide variety of commercial transactions and business dealings including companies doing business in China, Hong Kong, and the European Union. Mr. Smith has advised clients in connection with matters involving employment, severance, licensing, agency, assignment, intellectual property, film financing, publishing, settlement, and secured lending agreements and arrangements. Mr. Smith has advised creditors, debtors, and debtors-in-possession on bankruptcy issues. He has advised magazines, pet product companies, bestselling authors, bank trustees, bloggers, music organizations, attorneys, and celebrity clients.
As both a former Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law, and former editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Mr. Smith has been recognized as a legal expert by several publications such as Policy Experts 2003: The Insider Guide to Public Policy Experts and Organizations, The Journalist's Guide to Legal Experts, and Policy Experts 2000: A Guide to Public Policy Experts.
Mr. Smith has frequently appeared as an expert legal analyst throughout the national media and appears regularly on CNN, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNBC. He has also been the subject of numerous articles in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times, the New York Observer, the National Law Journal, Slate, The Hill and ABC News' The Note.
Mr. Smith is a member of the American Theatre Wing's Advisory Committee and a Broadway Tony Awards voter. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Ball Players of America
Mr. Smith has achieved an AV Preeminent Lawyer ranking by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest ranking available for an attorney. Mr. Smith's professional and personal accomplishments earned him an Alumnus of the Year honor from the University of South Carolina's Honors College and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bronx, New York Conservative Committee.
Born in Maryland and raised in Vermont, Mr. Smith played semi-professional baseball in the Northern League for the Saxtons River Pirates. He then went on to receive a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of South Carolina where he was a member of the All American Debate Team. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Tim Valliere is the Managing Partner of Smith Valliere PLLC. He is an experienced "big firm" litigator who has been practicing law for over a decade in the areas of financial services, intellectual property, employment, product liability, and general commercial litigation. He has argued before Federal and State trial courts, arbitrators, and mediators. Most recently, Mr. Valliere was a founding partner of Bushell & Valliere LLP and, previously, was a partner at Schoeman, Updike and Kaufman, LLP. Mr. Valliere also litigated at Bingham McCutchen LLP and Richards & O'Neil LLP.
Mr. Valliere has handled matters involving internationally famous companies such as MGM, Farberware, Rent-A-Center, Lehman Brothers, Disetronic, and Ripley's Believe It or Not. He also has significant experience in large, complex commercial litigations. His legal practice covers complex commercial disputes in the following areas: financial services, business, employment, computer software, securities, intellectual property, and class actions.
As part of his intellectual property practice, Mr. Valliere has advised clients about the registration and protection of their rights and works, contracts, and the purchase and licensing of intellectual property. He has represented clients in numerous intellectual property lawsuits concerning a variety of issues, including those pertaining to computer software, photographs, books, screenplays, films and television programs. Mr. Valliere advised investment fund managers on many matters including intellectual property litigations.
Mr. Valliere's product liability practice includes serving as national and local counsel for national and international pharmaceutical, medical device, and manufacturing companies. Mr. Valliere has defended clients sued by individuals and in mass torts and class actions.
In addition to his litigation experience, Mr. Valliere has advised clients in a wide variety of commercial transactions and business dealings involving software licensing, employment, severance and non-compete agreements, recording contracts, corporate formation, operating agreements, and insurance coverage issues.
Born in Connecticut, Mr. Valliere received his law degree from the New York University School of Law where he edited The Annual Survey of American Law. After law school, Mr. Valliere served as a law clerk in the Eastern District of Louisiana to the Honorable Edith Brown Clement, who now sits on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and whose name frequently appears on the "short list" for an appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Valliere earned his Bachelors degree from Washington & Lee University in 1984, where he graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and was honored as a Rhodes Scholar finalist. While at Washington & Lee, Mr. Valliere was a three-time captain of the varsity wrestling team and earned Academic All American Honors in that sport. Mr. Valliere is a member of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Secretary, Judiciary Committee, 2004-2005); American Bar Association (Member, Sections on: Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Sports/Entertainment Law); New York State Bar Association; and New York County Bar Association.
Noelle Kowalczyk is a Partner at Smith Valliere PLLC. She is an experienced commercial litigator who has spent nearly two decades litigating matters in state and federal courts across the country and in proceedings internationally.
After graduating from law school, Ms. Kowalczyk served as a judicial law clerk for two years with the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Upon the completion of her clerkship, she was an associate at the international law firm White & Case LLP. In 2000, Ms. Kowalczyk joined the high-profile, nationally-recognized law firm of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP where she was promoted to partner in 2005.
Ms. Kowalczyk's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation. She has represented individuals and corporations in matters involving, among other things, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, toxic torts, products liability, trust and estate issues, professional malpractice, and contractual and employment-related disputes.
Ms. Kowalczyk represented 3,500 plaintiffs in a 17-month jury trial against the Monsanto Company and its successor, Solutia. The jury trial, which was the longest in Alabama history, resulted in a liability verdict and then settled during the damages phase (along with a companion case) for $600 million. The Washington Post described the case as a "huge victory in a landmark environmental lawsuit."
Ms. Kowalczyk has also represented, among others,
a Virginia banking corporation against claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and fraud;
a billion dollar multi-level marketing corporation against a claim for breach of contract;
the former general counsel of an international manufacturing corporation in an action seeking damages for unlawful stock conversion, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty;
a national radio conglomerate seeking damages for breach of contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty;
a multi-national corporation in products liability actions commenced in several states by former employees alleging chemical exposure in the manufacturing facilities;
an investment advisor against claims by a retail brokerage firm seeking to recover millions of dollars in embezzled funds;
an international bank in connection with a Department of Justice grand jury investigation, leading to the termination of the investigation without indictment;
the trade association for the American firearms industry in multi-state tort actions brought in federal and state courts;
a bankrupty trustee for a large pharmaceutical distributor in a federal corporate raiding case;
a multi-national corporation in a legal malpractice action against an AmLaw 100 firm;
individuals in a constitutional challenge to an allegedly unlawful taxation scheme;
an investor in a dispute with a prominent investment bank concerning a structured derivative product;
a medical diagnostic facility in a lawsuit against one of the nation's largest insurance companies;
a licensed alcohol distributor and importer in a partnership dispute;
a public relations firm in a breach of contract and employment dispute;
an individual in a partnership dispute concerning the ownership of proprietary trading software; and
a major corporation in a lawsuit concerning the application and calculation of foreign exchange and interest rates payable on promissory notes issued under a complex commercial indenture.
In addition to the practice of law, Ms.Kowalczyk has substantial business experience in the fashion industry. She is the president of a design and manufacturing company specializing in fine men's neckwear.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Ms. Kowalczyk graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo (B.A., 1991) where she also obtained her Juris Doctor degree in 1994. Ms. Kowalczyk is admitted to practice in the Western, Eastern, and Southern Districts of New York in the U.S. District Court. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Erie County Bar Association.
Kaye Scholer LLP v. CNA Holdings, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94996 (S.D.N.Y. 2010).
Kaye Scholer LLP v. CNA Holdings, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43194 (S.D.N.Y. 2010).
Corvello v. New Eng. Gas Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102678 (D.R.I. 2008).
Corvello v. New Eng. Gas Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7775 (D.R.I. 2008).
Corvello v. New Eng. Gas Co., 532 F. Supp. 2d 396 (D.R.I. 2008).
Corvello v. New Eng. Gas Co., 247 F.R.D. 282 (D.R.I. 2008).
Corvello v. New Eng. Gas Co., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94862 (2007).
DiChiara v. Ample Faith Invs., Ltd., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85972 (S.D.N.Y. 2006).
De Bie v. Tredegar Trust Co., 61 A.D.3d 610; 877 N.Y.S.2d 331 (1st Dep't 2009).
Gregg Zimmer is a Special Counsel at Smith Valliere who has spent more than a decade representing clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations and major investment banks to small businesses and individuals in complex commercial and employment litigations and antitrust and securities class actions in both state and federal courts, and in arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association, NASD and New York Stock Exchange (now combined as FINRA). Mr. Zimmer has counseled clients on issues relating to business acquisitions, shareholder disputes, governmental investigations and executive employment matters among other issues. Before joining the firm, Mr. Zimmer previously practiced at two internationally respected law firms, Vinson & Elkins LLP and Cadwalader, WIckersham & Taft LLP in their commercial litigation groups.
Mr. Zimmer has handled matters involving top financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, major industrial and energy companies such as Shell, Saipem, S.p.A., and The Shaw Group. He has conducted internal investigations and represented companies and individuals before the SEC, NYSE, NASD and the New York State Attorney General's Office. He has also represented biotechnology and media companies in patent and copyright disputes, and hospitals, health insurance companies, broker-dealers, executives and media personalities in employment disputes. Mr. Zimmer’s experience in handling disputes includes representing individuals asserting political asylum and First Amendment free exercise of religion claims.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Mr. Zimmer graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, and received his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he received the ABA Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law, and edited the Georgetown Law Journal of Legal Ethics. He is a member of the American Bar Association.
Mr. Zimmer is admitted to practice in all New York State courts, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
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