Touro Law Announces Mark C. Zauderer to be Touro Law’s 2016 Commencement Speaker, Eric L. Adams to Receive Honorary Degree

Date: March 22, 2016
Touro Law Center’s 2016 Commencement speakers Mark C. Zauderer (left) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
Touro Law Center’s 2016 Commencement speakers Mark C. Zauderer (left) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
Media Contact:

Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
pattid@tourolaw.edu
(631) 761-7062

Central Islip, N.Y.–The Law Center’s 2016 Commencement speaker is Mark C. Zauderer, a high-profile litigator and name partner at the Manhattan boutique firm Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer LLP. Additionally, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will receive the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa at this year’s commencement ceremony. Touro Law Center’s 2016 Commencement is Sunday, May 29 at noon, at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Greenvale, Long Island, NY.

Touro Law Center Dean Patricia Salkin, in announcing the choice of commencement speaker, said, “We are delighted to honor Mark Zauderer, who in nearly a half-century at the bar, has compiled an unparalleled record of success in the courtroom, the boardroom and in public service, and set an example superb lawyering and selfless dedication to the profession and to the community that will inspire generations of law students.”

When New York State’s top judges, attorneys and CEOs face tough cases or need expert counsel, or when the nation’s most trusted media need a thoughtful commentator, he is their go-to lawyer. 

He won a seminal case defining the extent of the extraterritorial application of the U.S. Securities laws. He successfully represented Clinton administration Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown in a lawsuit by former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, who alleged that Brown, as Chair of the Democratic National Committee, had improperly excluded him from the televised 1992 presidential debates. When then-NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer targeted former New York Stock Exchange chief Richard Grasso over his allegedly improper $187 million pay package, Zauderer helped defend him, and all claims were eventually dismissed. In 2010, he obtained a dismissal of a $500 million malpractice suit against the international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke. In 2012, when 57 former partners of the failed big law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf needed protection in the bankruptcy proceeding, they called him.

Despite his demanding schedule of complex litigation, he has always found the time to contribute to the public understanding of the legal system, and to answer the call of judicial leaders to help improve the courts and the profession.

In 1991, New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler concluded that suing the Governor and the Legislature was the only way to get adequate funding for state courts. He tapped Zauderer as his lead trial counsel.  In 2003, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye chose Zauderer to spearhead efforts to reform New York's antiquated jury system, naming him Chair of the Commission on the Jury, a blue ribbon panel that held public hearings and recommended changes to make better use of citizens’ time in jury service.  Two years later, at the Chief Judge’s request, he held town hall style meetings with high school students in courtrooms throughout New York State to engage them in a dialog on our jury system.

In 2012, Judge Kaye's successor, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, appointed Zauderer to a task force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st century, and the following year, he appointed him to serve on the Commercial Division's permanent Advisory Council.

He is quoted often in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Law Journal and other national print and electronic media, and has been the subject of nine half-hour interviews on the acclaimed national PBS television program, "The Open Mind," on subjects including the jury system, mandatory retirement for judges and lawyers, cameras in the courts, and the future of the legal profession.

Among his many honors and awards, last year the New York Law Journal selected him for its award for “Lawyers Who Lead By Example,” for his lifetime contributions to public service.

He was raised in Brooklyn, received a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction and Departmental Honors from Union College, and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.  In 2007, Union awarded him its Eliphalet Nott Alumni Medal for “great distinction” in his field.

In her announcement of Eric Adams as honorary degree recipient at this year’s commencement exercise, Dean Salkin stated, “Adams is well regarded advocate for the people of Brooklyn. We are excited that he will participate in our ceremony, providing us with a chance to honor his career and dedication to the community.”

For the past three decades, Eric L. Adams has served the residents of the city of his birth as a police officer, coalition builder, state senator and, since November 2013, as Brooklyn Borough President, the highest-ranking elected official of America’s fourth-largest city, and the first African-American to hold the office.

In his career as a police officer with NYC Transit and the NYPD, he made the kind of life-and-death decisions that reflect his insight, expertise and poise under fire, resulting in his promotion to captain and earning him the reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty. In 1995, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an initiative that not only improved NYPD/community relations, but raised funds for worthy causes throughout the city.

From 2006 until his election to borough president, he represented the 20th Senate District – which includes Borough Park, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, working tirelessly to address a broad range of issues affecting constituents, from civil rights and public safety to transparency in government and quality of life. He organized support against the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, and led efforts on behalf of gun control. His record in the New York State Senate underscores his strong commitment to the rights of people from every walk of life, including protecting the right to privacy, supporting marriage equality, and defending a woman’s right to choose.

Throughout his career, he has been an effective advocate for Brooklyn, bringing people and communities together to create progressive change, and working with both the private and public sectors to invigorate the borough’s economy by encouraging job growth and investment in every neighborhood. Whether his beat was on the street or in the halls of government, he has always looked out for the city’s working families and sought to protect its most vulnerable residents. A big believer in the power of connections, of bringing together people in need of services with resources that have long existed but have been underutilized, he has opened Brooklyn Borough Hall in ways that it has never been before, allowing thousands of people to connect for the first time with government and civic life.

He received his A.A. from City Tech, his B.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Master of Public Administration from Marist College.

 

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 Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art law school is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning model for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law, which has a student body of approximately 650 and an alumni base of more than 6,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs, several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

Touro Law’s newly implemented Portals to Practice is a cutting-edge, experiential learning program that reconceives and restructures the law school experience. Portals to Practice expands the scope and quality of legal education by focusing on the development of legal professionals, from pre-law through post-graduation.

About the Touro College and University System

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. New York Medical College, Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/media/.