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Vyskocil Sworn in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge, Southern District of New York

April 11, 2016, 07:37 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP announced Mary Kay Vyskocil was sworn in by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York. Judge Vyskocil, most recently a Litigation Partner in the New York Office, officially assumed her duties last week.

Judge Vyskocil practiced law at Simpson Thacher for more than thirty years as a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department. She is a seasoned trial attorney and appellate advocate with a diverse practice handling complex commercial cases, including major insurance and reinsurance disputes, bankruptcy-related issues, contract and tort issues, securities and antitrust law.

“Mary Kay is a widely respected trial lawyer who has been a valued colleague and a leader of our Insurance Litigation Practice,” said Bill Dougherty, Chairman of Simpson Thacher’s Executive Committee. “We are proud of all that she has achieved and congratulate her on this distinguished appointment.”

Judge Vyskocil joined Simpson Thacher after graduation from law school. In three decades of trial practice, she has litigated some of the most significant insurance and reinsurance cases, representing major domestic and foreign insurers in complex coverage litigations, including numerous arbitrations, jury trials and appellate arguments. She played a pivotal role in the highly publicized victory for Swiss Re in the World Trade Center trial. Other high profile cases included an environmental coverage case against Shell Oil Co., antitrust cases in the New York Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, and a long running case involving reinsurance for a billion dollar settlement of asbestos-related claims.

Outside the insurance area, Judge Vyskocil represented Countrywide and UBS in connection with major litigations involving residential mortgage-backed securities. She also represented former officers of Washington Mutual Bank in ERISA and securities cases and in litigation with the FDIC. She was involved in the successful representation of JPMorgan Chase resulting in a $350 million verdict in a trial of a breach of guarantee action against Motorola arising out of the Iridium telecommunications transaction. She was involved in the representation of Paramount Communications in the Paramount-Viacom-QVC takeover litigation and represented Matsushita Electrical Industries in MCA v. Epstein, which was successfully argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. Finally, she was successful at trial for the Dish Network in a licensing agreement case.

Active in professional organizations and community affairs, Judge Vyskocil has served as Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Council and was Chair of its Second Circuit Court Committee. She is a founding Member and Officer of the New York Inn of Court.

She has had numerous judicial appointments including service from 1994 to 1997 as a co-chair of one of the subcommittees involved in the Second Circuit Study on Racial, Ethnic & Gender Fairness; service on the SDNY Judicial Improvement Committee Advisory Group; and most recently, as a Departmental Disciplinary Committee hearing referee and a member of the SDNY Judicial Merits Selection Panel (for Magistrate Judges). In May 2013, she was invited by the Chief Judge of the State of New York to serve as a member of the Advisory Council on the New York State Commercial Division. In 2014, she was elected to the Board of the Historical Society of the New York Courts, nominated by Chief Judge Lippman.

Judge Vyskocil has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Judges & Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (“JALBCA”) and a trustee of St. Joseph’s Seminary. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Community Trust, a member of the Executive Committee of the Lawyers Committee of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund and a trustee of Dominican College of Blauvelt. She is President Emeritus of the Alumni Board of Directors at St. John’s University School of Law and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Law School. She has also served on the law school’s Dean Search Committee.

Judge Vyskocil received her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1983 and her B.A. from Dominican College of Blauvelt, summa cum laude and Valedictorian, in 1980.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is one of the world’s leading international law firms. The Firm was established in 1884 and has more than 900 lawyers. Headquartered in New York with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., the Firm provides coordinated legal advice and transactional capability to clients around the globe.

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