Anthony Costantini concentrates his practice in the areas of professional liability, securities and commercial litigation, and he is the head of the Firm’s Professional Liability practice. In addition, he represents clients in alternative dispute resolution, administrative hearings and governmental and professional association investigations. He also has considerable appellate experience, being admitted by eight of the federal appellate circuits.
Mr. Costantini formerly served as associate general counsel to KPMG Peat Marwick and as regional counsel to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
He is a member of the Professional Liability Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association and is also a member of the Commodities and Futures Committee and a former member of the executive committee of the Business Law Section of the same Association.
Additionally, he has been a member of the Accounting and the Law Committee of the American Bar Association and the Litigation Committee of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and is presently a member of the Corporation Litigation Counsel Committee of that same Association.
He is also a court-trained mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and has mediated a number of cases. From 2006 to 2009, he was a public member of the Auditing Standards Board, which sets U.S. auditing standards for the accounting profession. In 2013, he was invited to become an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.
- Professional Liability Matters
- Represented major accounting firm sued by a state insurance commissioner for alleged improprieties in audit of the financial statements of a Pennsylvania insurer. Settled suit for less than one percent of the more than $100 million initially demanded.
- Represented an accounting firm in a case alleging that the accountants had violated ERISA. Won summary judgment on behalf of the accounting firm. McKinney v. Moore, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29494 (April 16, 2007, S.D.N.Y.)
- Successfully defended major accounting firm in trial and appeal of numerous issues relating to allegedly defective audited financial statements. Scottish Heritable Trust v. Peat Marwick Main & Co., 81 F.3rd 606 (5th Cir. 1996)
- Defended major accounting firm accused of defective auditing by significant investor in emerging growth company. Obtained on appeal a complete reversal of trial verdict for plaintiff in case with several million dollars of exposure. Frymire-Brimati v Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co., 2 F.3rd 183 (7th Cir. 1993) 3659
- Obtained complete defense verdict for accounting firm sued by investors for allegedly improper accounting work on projections with respect to the sale of housing units. Five-month trial produced a 100-page opinion in favor of client on all key issues where damages were alleged to be millions of dollars. Abrams & Wolfsy v. Renaissance Investment Corp., 820 F.Supp. 1519 (N.D. Ga 1993) 3660
- Corporate Investigations
- Co-headed, with two other partners of the firm, an effort, on behalf of a federal regulatory agency (OFHEO), to conduct an investigation and write a report on whether Fannie Mae and its senior officers had violated the agency’s safety and soundness standards. The ensuing litigation, headed by the same three partners, resulted in a settlement of $400 million with the regulated entity.
- Conducted numerous special investigations relating to options back-dating, compensation matters, foreign payments and whistle-blowing issues for audit committees of public corporation.
- Successfully brought a number of equitable actions as a government official.
- Other Civil Litigation
- Lead counsel in an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. The amicus brief was filed in support of New York City with respect to a summary judgment rendered against the City with respect to its efforts to prevent New York City schools from being used for religious worship. Summary judgment was reversed by the Court of Appeals and the case remanded. The Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education, 492 F.3d 89 (2nd Cir. 2007) Ultimately, the City’s position was sustained.
- Obtained summary judgment defense verdict in federal court for two executors of large estate sued for alleged breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. Potential damage exposure of millions of dollars was completely avoided. Devinsky v. Kingsford, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25909 (March 31, 2008, S.D.N.Y.)
- Obtained verdicts for client in patent infringement case involving the chemicals industry. Minerals Technologies v. Omya, 430 F. Supp. 2d 195 (S.D.N.Y. 2006)
- Successfully tried several cases in federal court on employment discrimination issues.
- Represented a bankruptcy trustee in lawsuit involving a reckless acquisition by a Board of Directors of public company. Resulted in a settlement favorable to trustee.
- Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1972
- University of Detroit, B.Engr., 1969
- American Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- Audit Standards Board (AICPA)
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