Katherine B. Forrest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Katherine Bolan Forrest
Katherine Forrest in Chambers.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
In office
October 17, 2011 – September 11, 2018
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byJed S. Rakoff
Succeeded byvacant
Personal details
Katherine Bolan Forrest

(1964-02-13) February 13, 1964 (age 55)
New York City, New York, U.S.
EducationWesleyan University (B.A.)
New York University School of Law (J.D.)

Katherine Bolan Forrest (born February 13, 1964) is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Early life, education and personal life[edit]

Katherine Bolan Forrest was born in New York in 1964 and grew up in Connecticut, one of six children. Her father, Richard S. Forrest, wrote mystery novels. Her mother, Mary Bolan Brumby, was a nurse. The family received food stamps for four years beginning when Katherine was 12. They were homeless for six months. "I came from nothing", Forrest said. "I came from a father who made no money. He was a playwright and then a writer, and even though he published a lot of books, I was a complete scholarship student all the way through."[1][2]

Forrest attended Choate Rosemary Hall, a private school in Wallingford, Connecticut, on a scholarship, graduating in 1982.[1] She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in 1986 from Wesleyan University. She received her Juris Doctor in 1990 from New York University School of Law.[3] She pursued a joint program at New York University that would have led to a J.D. and a Ph.D. in history, with an eye toward an academic career. Her focus shifted when she took a summer job at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP after her second year of law school. "I realized that commercial litigation was far more interesting than I thought it would be", Forrest said.[1] Forrest is married to New Zealand native Sean Baldwin, a partner with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and is the mother of two children.[1][2]

Professional career[edit]

Forrest joined the New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore right out of law school in 1990, becoming a partner in 1998 and handling an array of commercial litigation with a particular focus on antitrust, copyright and digital media. She "was cited as being one of the country's leading practitioners in the antitrust and intellectual property arenas in Chambers USA 2007: America's Leading Lawyers for Business."[4] Forrest was also cited by The American Lawyer as one of the top 50 young litigators in the U.S. and by Lawdragon as one of the leading litigators in the nation. In 2005, she was named in the Global Competition Review (GCR) in the "40 Under 40" issue "as one of the top competition practitioners or economists worldwide."[4][5] Forrest also was profiled in the GCR "as one of the top women antitrust practitioners worldwide."[4] In 2010, Forrest represented Continental Airlines and United Airlines in their merger.[6] In October 2010, Forrest left Cravath when she was recruited by Assistant Attorney General Christine A. Varney to join the United States Department of Justice as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division.[3][7][2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On May 4, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Forrest to fill a judicial seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that had been vacated by Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who took senior status at the end of 2010.[8] Forrest was nominated by Obama to the bench in May 2011 on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York.[1] In her financial disclosures, Forrest said she was worth $4.3 million and that Cravath will continue paying her $380,000 a year for the next ten years.[9] The U.S. Senate confirmed Forrest in a voice vote on October 13, 2011.[10][11] She received her judicial commission on October 17, 2011.[2] On July 18, 2018, Forrest announced her retirement from the bench, effective September 11, 2018.[12]

Significant cases[edit]

On May 16, 2012, in Hedges v. Obama, Forrest blocked enforcement of the National Defense Authorization Act's indefinite detention provision.[13] The ruling came as part of a suit challenging the NDAA as infringing "free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as well as due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution."[14][15] Forrest's ruling was unanimously reversed by a Second Circuit panel on July 17, 2013.[16]

In August 2014, Forrest dismissed a price-fixing suit against Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Glencore. She held that, although the defendant's actions did affect the aluminum marketplace, the plaintiffs failed to show the defendants had intended to manipulate prices.[17]

In 2015, Forrest presided over a jury trial in U.S.A. v. Ulbricht, where Ross William Ulbricht was accused of running the Silk Road online drug marketplace.[18] She ruled that emoji are permissible court evidence.[19] During the course of the trial, Forrest was doxed on 8chan, where her full mailing address, phone number, and Social Security number were posted on the baphomet subboard.[20] In regards to the defense team's argument that Silk Road enhanced safety by moving illegal drug activity away from real life drug dealing scenarios, Forrest stated "No drug dealer from the Bronx has ever made this argument to the court. It's a privileged argument and it's an argument made by one of the privileged."[21] Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to two life terms, plus another 40 years, without the possibility of parole.[22] The Department of Justice then subpoenaed Reason Magazine regarding reactions in the comments section of its article on the sentencing.[23]

From April 2016 to August 2017, Forrest presided over the civil lawsuit Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, in a case where notable YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein, known on YouTube as h3h3Productions, were accused of copyright infringement by fellow YouTuber Matt Hosseinzadeh. In her decision, Forrest ruled in favor of Ethan and Hila Klein stating that the video in question accused of copyright infringement[24] was "quintessential criticism and comment" of Hosseinzadeh's video and falls under the protection of "fair use". Hosseinzadeh's additional claims of DMCA misrepresentation and defamation were also dismissed.[25][26] Additionally, in her ruling, Forrest made the note that while the Klein video may be classified as a "reaction video", not all reaction videos would fall under the fair use doctrine.[27]

In January 2018, Forrest ruled that unlawful immigrants have a constitutional "right to say goodbye," barring a federal order to deport immigration activist Ravi Ragbir.[28] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement criticized the court's opinion, citing a 2000 conviction of Ragbir for wire fraud.[29]

In February 2018, Forrest ruled that Breitbart News, Heavy, Inc., TIME, Yahoo, Vox.com, Gannett Company, Herald Media, The Boston Globe, and New England Sports Network had violated the rights of Justin Goldman by embedding a link to a tweet of an image taken by Goldman of Tom Brady on their respective websites.[30][31] Goldman claimed that he had the exclusive right to display the image and that he had not been contacted for a license for the photo nor that he had publicly released the photo. The photo was first posted to Goldman's Snapchat account.[32]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bob Van Voris (6 February 2013). "Military Arrest in Doubt as U.S. Fights Rookie Judge". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Forrest, Katherine Bolan – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  3. ^ a b The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (May 4, 2011). "President Obama Nominates Six Judges to United States District Courts". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Partner Biography: Katherine B. Forrest" (PDF). American Bar Association. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  5. ^ '40 Under Forty', Global Competition Review, Vol 5, May 2008.
  6. ^ Lattman, Peter; de la Merced, Michael J. (6 July 2011). "Cravath to Hire Antitrust Chief". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  7. ^ "59th Annual Antitrust Spring Meeting: Katherine B. Forrest" (PDF). American Bar Association. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  8. ^ The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (May 4, 2011). "Nominations Sent to the Senate". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  9. ^ David Lat (26 May 2011). "Ex-Cravath Partner Nominated to S.D.N.Y. Is Pretty Stinking Rich". Above the Law. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  10. ^ Judicial Nominations and Confirmations: 112th Congress, United States Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  11. ^ Kathrine B. Forrest Confirmed By Full Senate, Office of U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. Press Release. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  12. ^ "US Judge Katherine Forrest Retiring From Federal Bench in Manhattan". New York Law Journal. 2018-07-18. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  13. ^ Judge blocks indefinite military detention provision, Reuters. By Basil Katz. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  14. ^ Federal court enjoins NDAA, Salon.com. By Glenn Greenwald. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  15. ^ Military Detention Law Blocked by New York Judge, Bloomberg-News. By Bob Van Voris and Patricia Hurtado. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  16. ^ United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (17 July 2013). "Hedges v. Obama, 12-3176 (L)" (PDF).
  17. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (29 August 2014). "U.S. judge dismisses aluminum price-fixing litigation". Reuters.
  18. ^ Raymond, Nate (12 January 2015). "Accused Silk Road creator goes to trial amid U.S. scrutiny of bitcoin". Reuters. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  19. ^ Rosen, Daniel (30 January 2015). "Welcome to the future: Emoji are admissable [sic] in court". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  20. ^ Machkovech, Sam (February 12, 2015). "Notorious 8chan "subboard" has history wiped after federal judge's doxing". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  21. ^ Thielman, Sam (2015-05-29). "Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life in prison". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  22. ^ Greenberg, Andy (29 May 2015). "Silk Road Creator Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life in Prison". Wired. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  23. ^ Rubino, Kathryn (12 June 2015). "Don't Threaten A Federal Judge — Yes That Applies To You Anonymous Commenters". Above the Law. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  24. ^ h3h3Productions (2017-08-23), The Big, the BOLD, the Beautiful (Re-Upload), retrieved 2017-08-24
  25. ^ Forrest, Katherine B. (2017-08-23). "16-cv-3081 Opinion & Order" (PDF). Document Cloud. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  26. ^ Lawful Masses with Leonard French (2017-08-23), h3h3 wins! Let's read Judge Forrest's Opinion, retrieved 2017-08-24
  27. ^ Ha, Anthony. "Judge sides with YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein in copyright lawsuit | TechCrunch". Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  28. ^ "Opinion and Order in Ragbir v Sessions".
  29. ^ Robbins, Liz (17 February 2018). "Activist Entitled to 'Freedom to Say Goodbye,' Judge Rules" – via NYTimes.com.
  30. ^ Nazer, Daniel (15 February 2018). "Federal Judge Says Embedding a Tweet Can Be Copyright Infringement".
  31. ^ "Terrible Copyright Ruling Over An Embedded Tweet Undermines Key Concept Of How The Internet Works".
  32. ^ "A Ruling Over Embedded Tweets Could Change Online Publishing".

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jed S. Rakoff
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York