In a career spanning both private and public practice, Steven A. Engel has developed significant expertise litigating high-profile trial and appellate matters and advising clients on the most sensitive and complex legal issues. Mr. Engel also regularly counsels clients in connection with government, congressional, and internal investigations.
A trial and appellate advocate, Mr. Engel has appeared in courts across the country, handling a wide range of civil litigation matters, including in the areas of administrative, commercial litigation, and securities law. In addition, Mr. Engel, who clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for now-Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and on the U.S. Supreme Court for Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, is an experienced appellate litigator. He has regularly argued in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the New York appellate courts, and handled appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, seven U.S. Courts of Appeal, and numerous state appellate courts. Mr. Engel is a member of the pro bono panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Engel served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he provided legal advice to senior policymakers on the most difficult and critical issues facing the Executive Branch, including matters pertaining to financial issues, national security, constitutional law, congressional oversight, and executive orders.
Mr. Engel has been nationally ranked as a leading lawyer in The Legal 500 U.S. (2010) and Benchmark Litigation (2011-2012). Reflecting his active practice in two legal markets, Mr. Engel was named a 2013 “Rising Star” both by The New York Law Journal in New York, and by Super Lawyers in Washington, DC. Mr. Engel has frequently commented on legal subjects in numerous print publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and he has appeared on national news programs as a legal analyst, including on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, and the Fox Business Network. Mr. Engel has testified on several occasions before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
Significant RepresentationsComplex Civil Litigation
- Representing a New York real estate developer and Hasidic Jewish residents in civil rights litigation involving local governments in Sullivan County, New York that have erected discriminatory road blocks on building projects in an effort to deter the migration of Hasidic Jews into the area.
- Representing Rubin Schron, a New York real estate investor, in connection with a complex commercial dispute involving personal injury plaintiffs’ attempts to enforce over US$1 billion in default judgments in Florida federal, bankruptcy, and related state proceedings.
- Representing the NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and other police unions in connection with the federal “stop and frisk” litigation in the Southern District of New York and the Second Circuit.
- Represented Cammeby’s International in connection with a dispute centered on the control of a national nursing-home company and related fiduciary duty and malpractice claims brought against the operating companies’ owners and former attorneys; won a judgment for US$157 million following a two-week trial in the case and successfully argued multiple appeals before the New York Court of Appeals and the New York Appellate Division related to the litigation.
- Representing mortgage originator in connection with dispute with former employer; won dismissal of restrictive covenant and related tort claims and now pursuing claims against former employer for withheld compensation and related damages.
- Representing former directors of Paramount Biosciences and ChemRx in connection with a breach of fiduciary duty suit in New York Commercial Division brought by a litigation trust.
- Represented a telecommunications company in a confidential breach of contract and fraud claims filed under seal in the Southern District of New York.
- Represented the SkyLink Group, an aviation services provider, in connection with New York litigation concerning breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims; won an appeal dismissing most of the claims.
- Represented Medarex, Inc. in successfully defending against a dozen shareholder suits filed in New Jersey federal and state courts seeking to block a US$2.4 billion merger.
- Represented a foreign investment firm as lead counsel in an international arbitration arising out of breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims.
- Represented Morgan Stanley in defending against 309 consolidated securities fraud actions challenging underwriting practices during the Internet tech-stock boom; successfully won the dismissal of related consolidated actions alleging claims assigned to plaintiffs by settling issuers. In re IPO Securities Litigation (2d Cir. and S.D.N.Y.).
White Collar and Investigations
- Represented more than one hundred economists as amici curiae in support of the constitutional challenge to the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the amicus briefs were expressly cited and relied upon by the Eleventh Circuit in holding the individual mandate provision unconstitutional, as well as some of the Supreme Court opinions.
- Represented NML Capital Ltd. in winning affirmance of an appeal filed by the Republic of Argentina in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Represented, as counsel of record, a private company in winning affirmance of an appeal filed by Mariner Healthcare, Inc. in the New York Appellate Division, First Department.
- Represented, as counsel of record, the leading trade associations for the mutual fund industry in support of the successful administrative-law challenge to the SEC’s proxy access rules; the D.C. Circuit expressly discussed, and adopted, the arguments advanced in Dechert’s amicus brief in the course of striking down the rules under the Administrative Procedure Act.
- Represented, as counsel of record, a private company before the New York Court of Appeals in successfully vindicating the company’s right to acquire a one-third interest in Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings LLC, a national nursing-home company.
- Represented the National Federation of Independent Business and the Cato Institute as amici in support of certiorari a case concerning the First Amendment commercial speech doctrine.
- Represented Advamed, the leading trade association for the medical-device industry, as counsel of record in filing a Supreme Court amicus brief concerning the disclosure obligations of life science companies under the securities laws.
- Represented Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in connection with a commercial dispute.
- Represented Washington Legal Foundation as counsel of record in filing a Supreme Court amicus brief concerning the limitations period for securities-fraud cases.
- Represented California wineries in successfully challenging the constitutionality of discriminatory state laws precluding out-of-state wineries from direct shipping to consumers. Granholm v. Heald (U.S.).
- Represented the Motion Picture Association of America in successfully challenging Internet file-sharing service for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (U.S.).
- Represented Morgan Stanley employees in successfully defending the dismissal of a securities fraud suit based on alleged research conflicts of interest (2d Cir.).
Product Liability and Mass Torts
- Represented a major defense contractor in connection with an internal investigation concerning a former employee’s misuse of trade secrets and potential violation of export laws.
- Coordinated the Department of Justice’s response to a major congressional investigation, including preparing a dozen senior Department officials for depositions and supervising the review and production of thousands of pages of documents.
- Advised major financial institution in connection with its response to a federal regulatory investigation and in connection with an internal investigation initiated at the regulator’s request.
- Represented a private investment fund in connection with an internal investigation and with related communications with a U.S. Attorney’s office.
- Represented AstraZeneca before the Eleventh Circuit in connection with the first appeal to arise from several thousands of products liability actions pending in federal MDL proceedings.
- Represented the Dow Chemical Company by opposing class certification in a mass tort action and by winning the interlocutory dismissal of medical monitoring claims before the Michigan Supreme Court.
- Represented W.R. Grace & Co. in seeking to stop state environmental actions from going forward outside of bankruptcy proceedings.
Harvard College, A.B., 1996, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship, funding graduate study in England
University of Cambridge, M.Phil., 1997
Yale Law School, J.D., 2000, Essays Editor of the Yale Law Journal, recipient of the Benjamin N. Cardozo Prize for the best brief submitted in Moot Court, the Israel H. Peres Prize for the most outstanding note in the Yale Law Journal, the Thurman Arnold Appellate Competition Prize, and the William K.S. Wang Prize for top performance in introductory corporate law
Supreme Court of the United States
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
District of Columbia
Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy, Supreme Court of the United States
Honorable Alex Kozinski, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit