Ms. Hart is the Chief Operating Officer and head of Lowey Dannenberg’s securities litigation practice. She represents a broad range of clients in complex litigation, with a particular emphasis on securities and antitrust litigation. Ms. Hart has earned an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating a lawyer can obtain, indicating a very high to preeminent legal ability and exceptional ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar. Ms. Hart is Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the New York State Antitrust Committee and a member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys.
Just last month, after a multi-day arbitration hearing, Ms. Hart won a full multi-million dollar award on behalf of a minority partner in a real estate development partnership.
In March 2013 Ms. Hart, as Lead Counsel, won Judge Colleen McMahon’s approval of a $219 million settlement of Madoff feeder-fund litigation. Judge McMahon commended her on the “unprecedented global settlement” and recognized that Ms. Hart “carried the laboring oar.”
Judge McMahon’s praise continued:
- “Your clients - all of them - have been well served.”
- “Rarely has there been a more transparent settlement negotiation. It could serve as a prototype for the resolution of securities-related class actions, especially those that are adjunctive to bankruptcies.”
- “The proof of the pudding is that an astonishing 98.72% of the Rule 23(b)(3) Class Members who were eligible to file a proof of claim did so (464 out of 470), and only one Class Member opted out (that Class Member was not entitled to recover anything under the Plan of Allocation). I have never seen this level of response to a class action Notice of Settlement, and I do not expect to see anything like it again.”
- “I am not aware of any other Madoff-related case in which counsel have found a way to resolve all private and regulatory claims simultaneously and with the concurrence of the SIPC/Bankruptcy Trustee. Indeed, I am advised by Private Plaintiffs' Counsel that the Madoff Trustee is challenging settlements reached by the NYAG in other feeder fund cases (Merkin, Fairfield Greenwich) which makes the achievement here all the more impressive.”
Ms. Hart is Lead Counsel for the NYC Pension Funds prosecuting a securities class action against Community Health Systems, Inc. (Norfolk County Retirement System v. Community Health Systems, Inc., 11-cv-0433) currently pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Ms. Hart also served as Lead Counsel in the Juniper Networks Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.) involving allegations of massive options backdating. On August 30, 2010, in approving the $169,000,000 settlement, the Hon. James Ware deemed it an "excellent result." The recovery was the third largest of any of the dozens and dozens of litigations involving options backdating.
Ms. Hart served as Counsel to the Office of the Treasurer of the State of Connecticut in the In re Waste Management Securities Litigation, which settled for $457 million and was (at the time) the third-largest securities class action settlement. Ms. Hart was appointed Co-Lead Counsel in the In re Air Cargo Antitrust Litigation (E.D.N.Y) one of the largest collusion cases in history involving most of the world’s major airlines. Ms. Hart was Co-Lead Counsel in the In re El Paso Corporation Securities Litigation, garnering a $285 million settlement. In addition, she led the team prosecuting the In re Amgen Corporation Securities Litigation. Ms. Hart is prosecuting claims in the Superior Court of California against Sears, Roebuck & Co. alleging that Sears falsely sold its Craftsman tools as being Made in USA. Immediately after the litigation was initiated Sears is alleged to have blacked out Made in USA on the tools and removed Made in USA from the Craftsman website. A few of her notable antitrust settlements include: In re Stock Exchange Options Trading Antitrust Litigation ($47 million settlement); In re Brand Name Drug Litigation ($65 million settlement); In re Augmentin Antitrust Litigation ($29 million settlement); In re Paxil Antitrust Litigation ($65 million settlement); In re Sodium Erythorbate and Maltol Antitrust Litigation ($18.45 million settlement); In re Synthroid Marketing and Antitrust Litigation ($87.4 million settlement); and In re Warfarin Sodium Antitrust Litigation ($44.5 million settlement).
On behalf of her clients Ms. Hart pushed for reform to both New York’s Martin and Donnelly Acts. Ultimately, her efforts led to an amendment making New York an “Illinois Brick” repealer state granting standing to injured New Yorkers. This precipitated similar amendments in other states. Ms. Hart co-edited the 2011 New York Antitrust and Consumer Protection Law handbook. Ms. Hart has successfully represented New York institutional clients as amici curiae on various matters, including on New York’s Martin Act.
Ms. Hart recently co-authored “Another Alarm Blasts as the Second Circuit Rejects Class Action Tolling of the Statutes of Repose” NAPPA article, August 2013 Volume 27, Number 3; “Don’t Bend ‘American Pipe’” New York Law Journal, November 7, 2012; as well as “NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund v. Goldman Sachs & Co.: The Implications on Class Standing and Why We Should Think About Amici Support Now,” The NAPPA Report, Vol. 26, Number 4, November 2012. Ms. Hart’s other writing includes Morrison v. National Australia Bank: "The Potential Impact on Public Pension Fund Fiduciaries" The NAPPA Report, Vol. 24, Number 3, August 2010. She has also written on the impact of other Supreme Court decisions including: "Donnelly Act Class Claimants Given New Lease on Life" New York Law Journal, May 17, 2010. Other writings include "New York's Martin Act: Investor Sword or Fraudster Shield?" New York Law Journal, December 11, 2009; "Can Public Pension Funds Make SOX Meaningful?" The NAPPA Report, Vol. 22, Number 4, Nov. 2008; "Loss Causation in the Ninth Circuit" New York Law Journal, September 2, 2008; and "Antitrust Protections Expanded in New York" New York Law Journal, June 22, 1999. In addition, she is regularly called on cutting-edge issues in her field: see "Ruling Calls Into Question Investors' Reliance on U.S. Securities Law in Foreign Transactions" Council of Institutional Investors, Volume 15, No. 25; FOX News program on Madoff on the day he pleaded guilty. In October 2013 Ms. Hart spoke on private claims under international antitrust laws at the Research in Law and Economics Conference. In 2011 Ms. Hart moderated a special section of the Fiduciary Responsibility Summit called “The Impact of Stepped-Up Government Regulation on Fiduciary Responsibilities. Ms. Hart spoke at the American Constitution Society’s 2011 National Convention on the Supreme Court's Twombly and Iqbal decisions and on antitrust developments in an ABA Antitrust Forum questioning "Is the Robinson-Patman Act the right Rx for Pharmaceutical Industry.” She has appeared before the Council of Institutional Investors, The Federalist Society, the New York State Bar Association, the Institute for Law and Economic Policy, the Public Funds Forum and the Practicing Law Institute.
Ms. Hart is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (B.A. 1982), the University of North Carolina (M.A. 1987), and the Fordham University School of Law (J.D. 1992), where she was a member of the Law Review and on the Dean’s List. Ms. Hart is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, and is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Circuits; and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.