Naomi Reice Buchwald

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Naomi Reice Buchwald
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Assumed office
March 21, 2012
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
In office
September 22, 1999 – March 21, 2012
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Miriam G. Cedarbaum
Succeeded by Analisa Torres
Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
In office
1994 – September 22, 1999
Personal details
Born 1944 (age 71–72)
Kingston, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Brandeis University B.A.
Columbia Law School LL.B.

Naomi Reice Buchwald (born 1944) is a Senior United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.


Buchwald was born in Kingston, New York, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University in 1965 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Columbia Law School in 1968. After law school, Buchwald practiced law in New York until 1973, when she became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, rising to the position of Chief of the Civil Division. She held this position until being named a magistrate judge in the same district in 1980. She served as Chief Magistrate from 1994 until 1999.

On February 12, 1999, Buchwald was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Miriam G. Cedarbaum. Buchwald was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 13, 1999, and received her commission on September 22, 1999. She assumed senior status on March 21, 2012.

She is married to criminal defense attorney Don Buchwald, also a former Assistant United States Attorney, and has two grown children.

LIBOR Scandal[edit]

In March 2013, Buchwald dismissed much, though not all, of a class action lawsuit directed at the banks that allegedly manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate.

In particular, in a complicated 161 page memorandum of decision, she argued that U.S. antitrust law does not apply. She said that since the LIBOR-setting process was never meant to be competitive, the suppression of that process was not anti-competitive.

Latest development : A US appeals court on Monday 23 of May 2016 reinstated a civil lawsuit accusing 16 major banks of conspiring to manipulate the Libor benchmark interest rate. The ruling overturns the 2013 decision of Judge Buchwald.

Organic Seed Growers & Trade Ass'n v. Monsanto Co.[edit]

On February 24th, 2012,[1] Judge Buchwald dismissed a lawsuit brought by a consortium of U.S. organic farmers and seed dealers aggrieved by Monsanto's Genetically Modified Organism seeds. Monsanto denied that it had harmed anyone. After extensive briefing and oral argument, she held that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue, calling the case a "transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists."[2] The decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on March 28, 2012.[3] The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the organic farmers in January 2014.[4]

Controversial Remarks About Sarah Palin[edit]

On February 5, 2009, the New York Daily News reported that, while presiding over a case involving an autistic boy, Judge Buchwald made a remark about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Down syndrome child, Trig, saying, "That kid was used as a prop, and that to me as a parent blew my mind."[5]

SEC v. Dorozhko[edit]

In a 2008 civil case for insider trading, Judge Buchwald ordered[6] the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to unfreeze the ill-gotten profits of Ukrainian resident Oleksandr Dorozhko. Dorozhko was accused of hacking into a company database to access a then-unreleased earnings announcement. Based upon the undisclosed information, Dorozhko invested $41,671 in put options, which he sold the following day for $328,571. The SEC froze the profits, but the Judge ruled against the SEC, finding that while Dorozhko's conduct almost certainly was criminal, it did not fall within the relevant civil statute. Judge Buchwald stayed her order pending appeal.

In a highly deferential opinion,[7] the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Judge's ruling. When Dorozhko later stopped participating in his defense, Judge Buchwald granted the SEC summary judgement and ordered Dorozhko to pay nearly $580,000 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.[8] It was later reported that the S.E.C. managed to seize about half of this amount.[9]


  1. ^ "Organic Seed Growers & Trade Ass'n v. Monsanto Co.", No. 11 Civ. 2163 (NRB) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2012).
  2. ^ "Monsanto prevails in suit brought by organic growers" by Carey Gillam, updated February 28th 2012, 2:17 AM. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
  3. ^ "Monsanto Lawsuit: Organic Farmers Appeal U.S. District Court Decision" by Carey Gillam, updated March 28th 2012, 3:46 PM. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  4. ^ "Top U.S. court refuses to hear appeal of Monsanto seed case". Reuters. Jan 13, 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Judge in autism case injects insult to Sarah Palin" by Thomas Zambito, New York Daily News; retrieved 2010-03-30.
  6. ^ SEC v. Dorozhko, 606 F. Supp. 2d 321 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  7. ^ SEC v. Dorozhko, 574 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 2009). Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  8. ^ SEC v. Dorozhko (S.D.N.Y. 2010). Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  9. ^ "Common Sense and Insider Trading" by Floyd Norris, The New York Times blog, March 29, 2010, 6:50 pm. Retrieved 2010-03-30.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Miriam G. Cedarbaum
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Succeeded by
Analisa Torres