Laura Taylor Swain

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Laura Taylor Swain
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Assumed office
July 11, 2000
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Thomas P. Griesa
Personal details
Born Laura Taylor Swain
1958 (age 58–59)
Brooklyn, New York
Education Radcliffe College (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)

Laura Taylor Swain (born 1958) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Swain earned an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1979 from Radcliffe College. She earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1982.[1] From 1982 until 1983, Swain worked as a law clerk for Judge Constance Baker Motley of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.[1] From 1983 until 1996, Swain worked in private legal practice in New York City, practicing as an associate, and then counsel, in the areas of ERISA, employee benefits, executive compensation and employee law for the firm Debevoise & Plimpton.[1][2]

Swain also served as a member of the New York State Board of Law Examiners from 1986-1996. She chaired the advisory committee for the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure from 2007-2010.

She teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Yeshiva University).

Federal judicial service[edit]

On November 1, 1996, Swain became a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York.[3] She served in that role until on April 25, 2000, President Clinton nominated Swain to be a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to the seat vacated by Judge Thomas P. Griesa. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 16, 2000 and received her commission on July 11, 2000.[1]

Puerto Rico debt crisis[edit]

On May 5, 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Judge Swain to oversee the debt restructuring case in the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis.[4]

Copyright and authorship cases[edit]

Swain's tenure on the District Court bench has included some of the Southern District of New York's high-profile book authorship disputes. In particular, she presided over Lapine v. Seinfeld and Hoover v. Boncompangi. Both cases were widely covered by the press, and were rich fodder for New York's tabloid newspapers.[5][6][7][8]

Lapine v. Seinfeld[edit]

This action was filed by author Missy Chase Lapine against comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, Jessica Seinfeld, asserting that the couple used ideas for Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food from Lapine's book The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals.[9][10]

The Seinfelds denied Lapine's claim. Lapine claimed she experienced substantial financial loss.[11]

As a result of comments made by Mr. Seinfeld about the authorship dispute on the Late Show with David Letterman, Lapine included a cause of action for defamation to her suit.[10]

Hoover v. Boncompagni[edit]

This action was filed by Tatiana Boncompagni Hoover against her older sister Natasha Boncompagni. Hoover, a New York socialite, professional author, and wife of an heir to the Hoover cleaning founder, accused her sister of making unauthorized electronic copies of her book Hedge Fund Wives.[12][13]

The court granted an emergency temporary restraining order preventing the older sister from further distribution of the pre-publication manuscript.[14][15]

The case reached closure in early 2009 when Swain entered a consent order stating, "The Defendant has announced to the Court that she is not a co-author of Hedge Fund Wives and has no authorship or co-authorship rights to the work. The Defendant agrees to release any registered or pending copyrights that she has relating to Hedge Fund Wives, and any domain names or other property relating to Hedge Fund Wives or the Plaintiff’s first novel, Gilding Lily." [16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Swain, Laura Taylor - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived September 25, 2003, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ [2] Archived December 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Goldstein, Matthew (5 May 2017). "Judge in Puerto Rico’s Debt Lawsuit Handled Major Financial Cases". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Jessica Seinfeld's recipes stir up plagiarism accusations". NY Daily News. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  6. ^ [3] Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "SIS FAMILY FEUD’S ONE FOR BOOKS - New York Post". New York Post. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sister pact! Book flap settled". NY Daily News. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Peter Lattman. "Food Fight! Author Sues Seinfelds Over Children’s Cookbook". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Seinfeld Complaint" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Seinfeld v Lapine" (PDF). Amlawdaily.typepad.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Dan Slater. "Of Copyright & Family Feuds: "Hedge Fund Wives" Goes to Court". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Hedge Fund Wives Complaint" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Dan Slater. "In Boncompagni Copyright Suit, Tatiana Gets TRO". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Boncompagnito Complaint" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "A Sisterly Settlement: The Boncompagnis Bury the Hatchet". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Boncompagnito Settlement" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas P. Griesa
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
2000–present
Incumbent