Fran Jacobs is a partner in the Firm’s Trial Department. She is experienced in litigating all aspects of business disputes, but has also represented clients in some more unusual matters involving issues such as common-law marriage and first amendment rights in the landlord-tenant context.
In addition to serving as lead counsel in dozens of bench and jury trials in both state and federal courts in New York, Ms. Jacobs has also handled international arbitrations. While she can try a case to conclusion, she recognizes that it may be in a client’s interest to resolve a dispute prior to trial.
Her self a mediator for the Alternate Dispute Resolution Program of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, Ms. Jacobs has not only served as a neutral, but has used the same skills, judgment, and creativity in negotiating settlements that her clients have found favorable. She has also successfully argued numerous appeals.
Ms. Jacobs received her law degree from the University of Virginia in 1979. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Barnard College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to law school, she earned an M.A. in English literature from Columbia University. She has served as a member of the New York City Bar’s Judiciary, Federal Court and Professional Responsibility Committees.
- Defended SEC Enforcement Action. Represented members of Reserve Primary Fund senior management and obtained a federal jury verdict clearing the clients of fraud charges in a case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission arising after a $62 billion money market fund “broke the buck.”
- Asset Purchase Agreement Litigation. Lead counsel for buyer-claimant in arbitration based on breaches of representations and warranties that buyer did not experience material adverse change prior to acquisition. Client was awarded $18 million in damages.
- Fraud Litigation. After successfully defeating summary judgment motion, acted as lead counsel for plaintiff corporation in jury trial based on claim that seller of business misrepresented its prospects. Multimillion-dollar settlement reached after four days of trial.
- Investment Fee Dispute. Defended start-up energy company in claim by investment banking firm seeking $4.4 million fee. Case was resolved through mediation for nominal amount at minimal legal cost.
- Sale of Payphone Customer Contracts. Represented competitive local exchange carrier in dispute in bankruptcy court about client’s acquisition of payphone customer contracts. Following three-day bench trial, bankruptcy court ruled in client’s favor against debtor and awarded full damages sought.
- Common-Law Marriage. Successfully defended actor in high-profile case brought by woman who claimed actor had entered into common-law marriage with her while making a movie in South Carolina.
- RICO Litigation. Represented national bank and two officers charged with RICO violations and fraud in action by commercial borrower. Obtained dismissal of all claims after trial.
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- New York City Bar Association
- Mediator, New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division
- Special Master, New York County Lawyers’ Association
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