Christopher C. Palermo

Partner

Mr. Palermo is a Partner in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. His practice focuses on helping clients resolve commercial disputes across a wide range of legal areas, and includes matters involving contractual disputes, unfair competition and consumer protection claims, product liability, real estate, class actions, securities litigation, common law fraud and False Claims Act matters. He has represented corporate clients in jurisdictions throughout the U.S. in a number of different industries, including pharmaceuticals, insurance and financial services, industrial manufacturing and telecommunications.

In 2013, Chief Judge of the State of New York Jonathan Lippman selected Mr. Palermo to serve on the Commercial Division Advisory Council, which is charged with advising the Chief Judge on an ongoing basis about all matters concerning the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the branch of the New York court system that handles complex business disputes. 

Mr. Palermo also has significant experience representing corporate clients in governmental investigations and related civil litigation. He has represented pharmaceutical companies in government investigations, class action litigation and claims brought by state Attorneys General involving the marketing and pricing of pharmaceuticals. He has represented companies and individuals, including officers of broker-dealers, in connection with SEC investigations. He has also defended chemical manufacturers and suppliers in product liability actions arising from occupational exposure to industrial and laboratory chemicals. 

Representative Matters

Commercial Litigation

Represented a foreign bank in breach of contract action seeking recovery of funds advanced under letter of credit agreement and personal guaranty. Case settled for full amount sought at conclusion of bench trial.

Represented a bank issuing a letter of credit in an action seeking recovery from advising bank for wrongfully honoring documents presented to it by the beneficiary under the letter of credit agreement. Case settled for full amount sought.

Represented a receiver of a bank in an action seeking recovery under a note and guaranty.  Case settled for full amount sought.

Successfully represented several major life insurance companies, banks and other lending institutions in connection with foreclosures of various commercial real estate mortgage loans.

Successfully represented commercial landlords and tenants in various real estate litigation matters. 

Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets

Prosecuted an action for injunctive relief against former franchisee for misuse of client’s confidential information and for breach of a non-compete agreement. Case settled favorably after injunctive relief was granted.

Prosecuted action for injunctive relief against former VP of Information Technology of retailer for disclosure of confidential computer databases to client’s prime competitor and for breach of a non-compete agreement. Case settled favorably after injunctive relief was granted.

Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation

Successfully defended the manufacturer of a resin used to make polyethylene pipe in an action seeking indemnification for wrongful death claims, personal injuries and property damage arising from a building explosion. Plaintiff, a large utility, also sought to recover for the replacement of hundreds of miles of polyethylene pipe throughout its system. Representation included a National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the explosion.

Complex product liability and toxic tort litigation, including the successful representation of a subsidiary of a Fortune 100 international chemical manufacturer in two dozen lawsuits involving more than 200 individual claimants alleging multiple birth defect, wrongful death and personal injuries allegedly caused by worker exposure to various toxic photoresist chemicals used in the semiconductor microchip manufacturing process.

Government Investigations, Regulatory Counseling, False Claims Act Defense and Litigation Involving Allegations of Fraud

Lead counsel defending defense industry sub-contractor in False Claims Act litigation relating to the manufacture and sale of component parts for military equipment.  Motion to dismiss granted. Appeal pending.

National counsel to a Fortune 400 generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in cases seeking billions in damages relating to reimbursement for pharmaceuticals under Medicaid, including a nationwide whistleblower case brought under the federal False Claims Act, and 19 separate civil cases filed by state Attorneys General throughout the United States under state false claims acts and consumer protection statutes.  Resolved these complex matters through settlements or mediations.

Represented a manufacturer in a nationwide False Claims Act case brought by the Department of Justice and more than 20 separate civil cases filed by state Attorneys General involving allegations concerning client’s marketing, sales and pricing practices.

Represented a manufacturer in seven class actions consolidated in federal multi-district litigation, two class actions in New Jersey Superior Court, and a class action in Arizona Superior Court, in which the plaintiffs alleged violations of consumer protection statutes across the country in connection with drug sales and drug pricing.  

Represented clients in responding to subpoenas, civil investigative demands and informal requests for information from various federal and state government agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trade Commission and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in connection with various government investigations.

Defended a multimillion-dollar fraud action arising out of the sale of a PCB transformer reclassification business.  

Advised manufacturer in connection with issues relating to nationwide product recall.

Broker-Dealer Litigation

Defended a securities broker-dealer in a civil damages action pending in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging federal securities fraud, common law fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with an international investment transaction in financial instruments. Represented a broker-dealer and numerous corporate witnesses in connection with a related SEC investigation.

Represented a broker-dealer claimant in litigation and related bankruptcy proceedings in connection with the failure of a hedge fund investing in mortgage-backed securities to pay for and accept delivery of securities the broker-dealer had purchased for the hedge fund’s account.

Representation of Not-for-Profit Organizations

Represented not-for-profit health care network in breach of contract action.

Advised 16 religiously affiliated child care agencies in connection with implementation of the terms of a settlement agreement entered into in Wilder v. Bernstein, a class action brought by the ACLU involving allegations of racial and religious discrimination.  

Obtained summary judgment dismissal of high-profile libel case brought by journalist Sidney Zion against a prominent New York teaching hospital.

Submitted amicus curiae brief to the New York State Court of Appeals in support of a successful challenge to New York City Local Law 27, which imposed bid restrictions on municipal contractors.  

Submitted amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in Board of Education of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet, a First Amendment Establishment Clause case.

Obtained a series of restraining orders and injunctions for a landmark New York City church, barring disruptive activity by protesters, and successfully quashed a criminal subpoena served by protesters on a senior church official.   

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1987, cum laude
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1984, cum laude 

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Memberships

  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • New York State Bar Association
       Commercial and Federal Litigation Section
       Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law Section
  • Westchester County Bar Association

Professional Recognition and Community Involvement

  • New York Commercial Division Advisory Council
  • New York Super Lawyers, 2007, 2009 to present
  • Princeton University Alumni Council
  • Georgetown University Law Center, National Law Alumni Board
  • Bronxville School Foundation, Board Member