Laura Taylor Swain
Laura Taylor Swain
|Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York|
|Assumed office |
April 10, 2021
|Preceded by||Colleen McMahon|
|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|
November 21, 1958
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Education||Radcliffe College (A.B.)|
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Laura Taylor Swain (born November 21, 1958) is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Education and career
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. 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. 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.
Swain also served as a member of the New York State Board of Law Examiners from 1986 to 1996. She chaired the advisory committee for the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure from 2007 to 2010.
Federal judicial service
On November 1, 1996, Swain became a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York. 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. She became Chief Judge on April 10, 2021, after Colleen McMahon took senior status.
Puerto Rico debt crisis
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.
Lapine v. Seinfeld
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.
The Seinfelds denied Lapine's claim. Lapine claimed she experienced substantial financial loss.
Hoover v. Boncompagni
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.
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." 
On February 19, 2021, Swain dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Devin Nunes against CNN. Nunes sought $435 million in damages and claimed that on November 22, 2019, CNN published a false news article and engaged in a conspiracy theory to damage his reputation. Swain noted that under California law, a retraction must be demanded in writing within 20 days of publication, which Nunes failed to request. 
- "The Honorable Laura Taylor Swain's Biography". The HistoryMakers. 2018-04-28. Retrieved 2020-03-14.
- "Swain, Laura Taylor - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
-  Archived September 25, 2003, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived December 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- Brown, Stephen Rex. "Manhattan Federal Court gets new chief judge amid coronavirus pandemic". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
- Goldstein, Matthew (5 May 2017). "Judge in Puerto Rico's Debt Lawsuit Handled Major Financial Cases". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
- "Jessica Seinfeld's recipes stir up plagiarism accusations". NY Daily News. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
-  Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "SIS FAMILY FEUD'S ONE FOR BOOKS - New York Post". New York Post. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Sister pact! Book flap settled". NY Daily News. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Peter Lattman. "Food Fight! Author Sues Seinfelds Over Children's Cookbook". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Seinfeld Complaint" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Seinfeld v Lapine" (PDF). Amlawdaily.typepad.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Dan Slater. "Of Copyright & Family Feuds: "Hedge Fund Wives" Goes to Court". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Hedge Fund Wives Complaint" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Dan Slater. "In Boncompagni Copyright Suit, Tatiana Gets TRO". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Boncompagnito Complaint" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "A Sisterly Settlement: The Boncompagnis Bury the Hatchet". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Boncompagnito Settlement" (PDF). Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Judge-rejects-Rep-Devin-Nunes-defamation-suit-15965052.php SF Gate. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
- Laura Taylor Swain at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Thomas P. Griesa
| Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
| Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York|