James D. Zirin
Zirin graduated from Princeton University with honors and received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School where he was an editor of the Michigan Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He is married to Marlene Hess and has two children.
Zirin has appeared in state and federal courts around the nation. His practice has featured the defense of major accounting firms charged with violations of professional responsibility and in substantial class actions. These matters have included the American Express salad oil and Equity Funding cases where he represented Deloitte Haskins & Sells, and the IOS and DeLorean litigations. His clients have also included the Rockefeller Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Citibank, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the City of New York. He represented a Brazilian trader who was a significant figure in the silver debacle of 1979 and 1980. He has handled white collar criminal cases, shareholders’ litigation, patent infringement and directors and officers liability cases. His experience includes litigation involving reinsurance on the London market, arbitration and alternate dispute resolution.
He recovered over $100 million in cash and property for Armco in its requirements contract litigation with Allied Chemical. He has appeared in major estates litigation, most notably the litigation involving the Estate of Mark Rothko, the estate of William S. Todman as well as the litigation involving the estate of the widow of the expressionist artist, Max Beckmann. He served as an arbitrator in the complex disputes involving the limited partnership owning the Helmsley Palace Hotel. He successfully represented a take-over target against a $90 million claim for a break-up fee, and the City of New York in resisting a class action seeking over $2 billion, in connection with investments made by the Teachers’ Retirement System. He recovered a large judgment for a placement agent against a substantial private equity fund after the fund appealed unsuccessfully to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
James D. Zirin has written over 100 op-ed articles for Forbes, Barron’s, the LA Times, The Times, The Washington Times, the New York Sun and the New York Law Journal on legal, political and foreign policy subjects/ He is host of the weekly prime time cable television program Conversations in the Digital Age where he has interviewed such guests as Governor Thomas Kean, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Ambassador Frank Wisner, Princeton Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter and New York Times Technology Columnist David Pogue. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the executive committee of the Pilgrims of the United States. In August 2003, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed him to the New York City Commission to Combat Police Corruption.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the former chair of its International Law Committee and a past chair of its Alternatives for Dispute Resolution Committee; a member of the advisory board of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; a trustee of New York Law School; and a member of the Consolidated Corporate Fund Leadership Committee of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the New York Law Journal. He is listed in “Who’s Who in America.”
He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Mother Court-Tales of Cases That Mattered in America's Greatest Trial Court to be published in June by ABA Books.