Commercial Federal Litigation Section Officers

Commercial Federal Litigation Section Officers

Gregory K. Arenson, Chair

Gregory K. Arenson is a partner with the firm Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP. He is a seasoned business litigator with experience representing clients in a variety of areas, including antitrust, securities, and employee termination. His economics background has provided a foundation for his recognized expertise in handling complex economic issues in antitrust cases, both as to class certification and on the merits. Prior to joining Kaplan Fox, Mr. Arenson was a partner with Proskauer Rose. Earlier in his career, he was a partner with Schwartz Klink & Schreiber, and an associate with Rudnick & Wolfe (now DLA Piper).

Mr. Arenson’s pro bono activities include being a co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Task Force on the State of Our Courthouses, whose report was approved June 20, 2009, and a member of the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Standards for Pleadings in Federal Litigation. He also serves as a mediator in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In addition, he is an active alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, having served as a member of the Corporation, a member of the Corporation Development Committee, vice president of the Association of Alumni/ae, and member of the Alumni/ae Fund Board (of which he was a past chair).

Paul D. Sarkozi, Chair -Elect

Paul D. Sarkozi is a partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP in New York City and a member of its litigation and alternate dispute resolution practice group. Mr. Sarkozi has been a member of the Section's Executive Committee since 2006, is the Chair of the Section's Committees on the Commercial Division and is the former Co-Chair of the Section's Commercial Division Law Report Committee.

A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Mr. Sarkozi's practice focuses on business litigation and arbitration, both in the United States and internationally, with a particular concentration on disputes in New York's Commercial Division. His experience covers a broad range of matters involving banking, media, technology, securities, contracts, partnerships, real estate, antitrust, and employment disputes, and he has also represented corporations and individuals in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. Mr. Sarkozi has extensive experience in settling business disputes - both in the context of litigation and through mediation. He currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbia Law School, where he teaches the "Negotiation Workshop," and also serves a private mediator and in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court.

Mr. Sarkozi has also played an active role in the Section's CLE offerings. In 2009, he organized and coordinated several programs for the Section's Spring Meeting. In 2008, he presented programs on "Piercing the Corporate Veil" and "Conducting Effective Depositions." Finally, in 2007 Mr. Sarkozi participated in the presentations given to the Justices of the Commercial Division at the New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University.

James M. Wicks, Vice-Chair 

James M. Wicks is a partner concentrating in business and commercial litigation. Mr. Wicks represents large and small businesses, financial institutions and individuals in federal and state trial courts, as well as in arbitrations, involving a variety of commercial, technology, real estate, insurance, contracts, banking issues, business torts, business dissolutions and breakups, franchise litigation, corporate governance and derivative and class actions. He has represented developers and landowners in connection with real estate disputes, including sale/leaseback disputes, environmental cleanup actions, foreclosures, broker disputes, boundary and adverse possession disputes. He also counsels and litigates issues involving attorneys and ethics.

Deborah E. Edelman, Treasurer  

Deborah E. Edelman is currently the principal law clerk and law secretary to a New York State Commercial Division Judge, the Honorable Lawrence K. Marks, in New York County.  Previously, she was the principal law clerk and law secretary for four other Commercial Parts, including Justice Marks’ Commercial Part in Nassau County.   

Prior to working for the Court, Ms Edelman was a litigation associate in New York, working primarily as an advocate in commercial ligation, mediation and arbitration.  During that time, she also received a Legal Aid Society Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. 

Ms. Edelman is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, from which she graduated with a degree in Studies in Conflict and Conflict Resolution.  She is a graduate of Stanford School of Law, where she was Executive Editor of the Stanford Law Review and a fellow at the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation.    

Jaclyn H. Grodin, Secretary

Jaclyn Grodin is an associate at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP in New York City and a member of its litigation and alternate dispute resolution practice group.  Ms. Grodin graduated from New York University and Boston College Law School and previously practiced in Boston, Massachusetts prior to returning to New York.  Her practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes involving financial services, intellectual property, employment, contracts, securities, and partnerships.  Ms. Grodin has been a member of the Section since 2011.



Section Delegates to the NYSBA House of Delegates

The Section’s 2012-2013 delegates to the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates are Section Chair Tracee E. Davis of Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP, former Section Chairs, David Tennant of Nixon Peabody LLP and Jonathan D. Lupkin of Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer LLP. The alternate delegate is Vincent J. Syracuse of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP and Joseph V. DeMarco of DeVore & DeMarco LLP.

Gregory K. Arenson:

Gregory K. Arenson is a partner with the firm Kaplan Fox & Kilsheider LLP. He is a seasoned business litigator with experience representing clients in a variety of areas, including antitrust, securities, and employee termination. His economics background has provided a foundation for his recognized expertise in handling complex economic issues in antitrust cases, both as to class certification and on the merits. Prior to joining Kaplan Fox, Mr. Arenson was a partner with Proskauer Rose. Earlier in his career, he was a partner with Schwartz Klink & Schreiber, and an associate with Rudnick & Wolfe (now DLA Piper).

Mr. Arenson’s pro bono activities include being a co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Task Force on the State of Our Courthouses, whose report was approved June 20, 2009, and a member of the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Standards for Pleadings in Federal Litigation. He also serves as a mediator in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In addition, he is an active alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, having served as a member of the Corporation, a member of the Corporation Development Committee, vice president of the Association of Alumni/ae, and member of the Alumni/ae Fund Board (of which he was a past chair).


Tracee E. Davis:

Tracee E. Davis is of counsel at Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP in New York City in the firm’s commercial litigation group. Ms. Davis has served on the Executive Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section since 2002 and served as Section Secretary from 2004 to 2005. Ms. Davis is Chair of the Section’s Diversity Committee and is the former Co-Chair of the Section’s State Court Counsel Committee. She also served as a member of NYSBA’s House of Delegates from 2004 to 2009.

Ms. Davis’ practice involves complex commercial litigation, consumer class actions, banking, commercial real estate and insurance matters in state and federal court. She has extensive experience handling disputes in New York ’s Commercial Division. Prior to private practice, Ms. Davis served as the Principal Court Attorney to Justice Charles Edward Ramos of the New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division in New York County and as Senior Court Attorney in the Law Department of the New York State Supreme Court, in New York County . 

Throughout the years, Ms. Davis has lectured extensively on various topics involving complex commercial litigation and New York civil practice. She has been appointed to various task forces, including the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Mandatory Retirement of Judges in 2007 and the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Wrongful Convictions in 2008. In 2004, she participated in the presentations given to the Justices of the Commercial Division at the New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University. 


David H. Tennant:

David H. Tennant, a partner in the Rochester office of Nixon Peabody, is the new chair of the 2,291-member Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Tennant practices in the fields of Indian Law litigation and appeals, other complex commercial litigation, products liability, and insurance. He is a founding member of his firm’s cross-office/cross-practice group, the Appellate Litigation Team.

An 18-year member of the State Bar, Tennant served as chair of the Committee on Mass Disaster Response from 1999 to 2002. Within the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Tennant most recently served as chair-elect and co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee. He also is a member of the section’s Task Force on State Court Appeals and the Commercial Division Committee.

Tennant is a member of the Defense Research Institute Appellate Advocacy Committee and American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers of the Judicial Division, He also serves on the pro bono panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Tennant received his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Michigan, and earned his law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles Law School (Order of the Coif).

Jonathan D. Lupkin:

Firm co-founder Jonathan D. Lupkin is a litigator and trial lawyer with two decades of experience. He has tried complex jury and non-jury cases in state and federal court and has experience in various forms of alternate dispute resolution procedures. A leader of the organized bar in New York, Mr. Lupkin has served as Chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association, a position held by two federal judges, the general counsel of a major New York City performing arts institution and senior partners at some of the nation's largest law firms. Most recently, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman appointed Mr. Lupkin to the Commercial Division Advisory Council, a permanent body created by the Chief Judge to advise him on all matters, statewide, involving and surrounding the Commercial Division. Mr. Lupkin also serves as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in New York County.

Mr. Lupkin has extensive experience litigating a variety of complex business disputes, including disputes involving attorney malpractice and other professional liability, commercial banking, real estate, partnership break-ups, securities and financial derivatives. Mr. Lupkin also handles the defense of white-collar professionals, corporate executives and others in criminal and quasi-criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as conducts internal investigations. His varied representations include:

  • Defense at trial of a major New York City law firm in a multi-million dollar suit alleging breach of the firm partnership agreement;
  • Defense of a major New York City law firm in a legal malpractice action arising from alleged transactional advice rendered by one of the firm's European offices;
  • Defense of the former Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange in an action brought by the New York State Attorney General;
  • Defense of former American Insurance Group ("AIG") director in an action by AIG alleging breach of fiduciary duty;
  • Representation of a member of the Duma, the Russian Federation's lower house of parliament, in a defamation action involving charges of anti-Semitism, embezzlement and participation in war crimes;
  • Prosecution on behalf of a successful real estate management company of a multi-million dollar fraud action against a corrupt insurance brokerage firm and its principals;
  • Defense, post 9/11, of a prominent insurance brokerage firm in a $42 million malpractice action stemming from the procurement of terrorism loss interruption;
  • Defense at trial of major New York industrial landlord in decade-long litigation of dispute with commercial tenant;
  • Prosecution at trial of an indemnity claim on behalf of a major plastics manufacturer against one of its suppliers;
  • Appeal to the Second Circuit of a complex antitrust action on behalf of a distributor of satellite television programming packages;
  • Prosecution of a civil RICO action on behalf of a well-known pharmaceutical manufacturer against one of its distributors;
  • Representation at trial of a former derivatives trader in an enforcement proceeding commenced by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System;
  • Representation of a major project management company executive in a corruption prosecution stemming from the renovation of the Post Office Building and Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York;
  • Representation of a prominent physician in prosecution stemming from the insider trading inquiry surrounding the IBM takeover of Lotus as well as before the Office of Professional Medical Conduct in connection with related licensure issues; and
  • Representation of foreign national in connection with high profile prosecution for alleged illegal exportation of military equipment.

Mr. Lupkin has lectured extensively on trial and appellate practice. He has served as an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the New York State Bar Association's Commercial Litigation Academy and has served on numerous CLE panels, including: "The Trial of a Commercial Case: Successful Techniques and Tactics," "Trying Your First Non-Jury Case and Preserving Issues for Appeal: The Mechanics for Success," "CIVIL RICO: Legal Overview & Tactical Considerations," "Civil Appeals: Strategies and Process in the New York Court," "Recent Developments in Civil Practice: CPLR and Evidence," and "Trial of a Civil Case in Federal Court." In 2003 and again in 2008, Mr. Lupkin participated in presentations given to the Justices of the Commercial Division at the New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University.

Mr. Lupkin was graduated from Columbia College in 1989 with a B.A. in comparative religion and from the Columbia University School of Law with his J.D. in 1992. He served as Notes and Comments Editor and a member of the Administrative Board for the Columbia Law Review and was named by the law school as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Immediately after graduating from law school, Mr. Lupkin served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Edward R. Korman, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.