Judy Scolnick is a partner in the firm's New York office. Ms. Scolnick is a graduate of New York University (B.A., cum laude 1972), Brandeis University (M.A. Political Science Theory, 1973), and Boston College Law School (J.D., 1976), where she served on the Boston College Industrial and Commercial Law Review. She has extensive experience in the fields of shareholder derivative law, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, employment law and employment class actions, and securities class actions. She has contributed substantially to recent jurisprudence expanding shareholders' rights to examine books and records of the corporations in which they hold stock. In Cain v. Merck & Co., Inc., 415 N.J. Super. 319 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2010), the New Jersey Appellate Division agreed with Ms. Scolnick and held in a precedential decision that the New Jersey Business Corporation Act allows shareholders to inspect the minutes of board of directors and executive committee meetings upon a showing of proper purpose. In King v. VeriFone Holdings, Inc., 12 A.3d 1140 (Del. Supr. 2011), the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in a ground-breaking decision that plaintiffs may, in certain circumstances, inspect a corporation's books and records to bolster a shareholder derivative complaint even after they have filed a lawsuit.
She has served as lead counsel in many shareholder derivative actions and is currently lead counsel in North Miami General Employees Retirement Fund v. Parkinson, No. 10-cv-6514 (N.D. Ill.), a shareholder derivative case on behalf of pharmaceutical company, Baxter International, arising from the Board's failure to comply with FDA orders to remediate a medical device known as the Colleague Pump. She is also lead counsel in Cottrell v. Duke, No. 12-4041 (W.D. Ark.), a shareholder derivative action brought on behalf of Wal-Mart arising from a widespread bribery and cover-up conspiracy conducted by Wal-Mart executives and Board members.
Ms. Scolnick has experience litigating shareholder derivative actions at both the trial and appellate level. She successfully argued the Baxter appeal where the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, reversing a trial court's dismissal, held that a pension fund's complaint on behalf of all shareholders passed the pre-suit demand futility threshold test under Delaware substantive law. Westmoreland County Employees' Retirement System v. Parkinson, 727 F.3d 719 (7th Cir. 2013). Also in 2013, Ms. Scolnick obtained a landmark ruling in the Wal-Mart shareholder derivative litigation from the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's stay of the federal action in favor of a related proceeding in Delaware Chancery Court, and held that a Colorado River stay is never appropriate where the federal complaint alleges valid, exclusive federal claims. Cottrell v. Duke, 737 F.3d 1238 (8th Cir. 2013).
Ms. Scolnick has also litigated a number of important employment discrimination class actions. These include U.S. v. City of New York, No. 07-cv-2067, 2011 WL 4639832 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 5, 2011) (successfully representing a class of black applicants for entry-level firefighter jobs who were discriminated against by the City of New York), Hohider v. UPS, 243 F.R.D. 147 (W.D. Pa. 2007), reversed and remanded, 574 F.3d 169 (3d Cir. 2009), where although the Third Circuit reversed certification of a nationwide class of Americans with Disabilities Act protected UPS employees, Ms. Scolnick was able to negotiate with UPS changes to its return to work policy with regard to injured workers.
Ms. Scolnick began her career by serving as a law clerk to the late Honorable Anthony Julian of the United States District Court in Massachusetts. Thereafter, she served as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she was lead counsel in several high-profile employment discrimination lawsuits against various U.S. agencies around the country.
Ms. Scolnick has been selected for the past two years in Thompson Reuter's "New York Super Lawyers."
Ms. Scolnick is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.