Orin Snyder is one of the nation’s top trial lawyers and litigators. The prestigious Chambers USA Awards for Excellence named Mr. Snyder one of the six best lawyers in the country in the category of “Litigation: Business Trial Lawyers.” He is a litigation partner in Gibson Dunn’s New York office, Vice Chair of the Crisis Management Practice Group and Co-Chair of the Media, Entertainment and Technology Practice Group. He is also a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Appellate and Intellectual Property Practice Groups.
Mr. Snyder routinely ranks among New York’s leading litigators and trial lawyers in surveys of corporate counsel. In Chambers USA, he is described as “absolutely the best—he’s an aggressive, highly motivated and incredibly effective litigator,” “ultra smart and highly focused,” with “exemplary trial skills.” In The Legal 500—US Edition, corporate counsel said, “we always use him as chief litigator,” he is “great in court” and has “excellent technical skills.” Benchmark Litigation’s Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys has recognized him as a “Litigation Star,” The Hollywood Reporter consistently names him to its prestigious annual “Power Lawyers” list, and Law360 annually recognizes him as a Litigation MVP. Mr. Snyder was recognized in Variety’s 2013 Legal Impact Report, an annual feature of the top 50 attorneys in the industry who “helped shape the face of entertainment.” AmLaw Litigation Daily named Mr. Snyder “Litigator of the Week” in October 2012 for his successful representation of Cablevision in its high-profile trial against DISH Network. Mr. Snyder was profiled in The American Lawyer as one of the 45 leading lawyers in the United States under the age of 45. The American Lawyer also featured Mr. Snyder in its articles naming Gibson Dunn “The 2010 Litigation Department of the Year” and “The 2012 Litigation Department of the Year.”
A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Snyder is a seasoned trial lawyer with a breadth of knowledge in virtually all industry sectors. With more than 25 years of experience, Mr. Snyder has a proven track record of success across many different practice areas in courts throughout the country.
Mr. Snyder has handled antitrust cases, complex contract disputes, class actions, fraud cases and employment litigation for major companies, including Atari, Bertelsmann, Cablevision, Capital One, Conference USA, CNN, Daimler/Chrysler Corp., Facebook, Home Box Office, NBC Universal, Sony, Starbucks, Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting Systems, and Warner Music Group.
- As lead trial counsel, obtained a lucrative settlement during a jury trial on behalf of VOOM HD Holdings, a high-definition television subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, in a multibillion dollar breach of contract action against DISH Network. An aggressive trial strategy resulted in sanctions against DISH Network for destruction of evidence, a decision that was affirmed by the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division in a precedent-setting opinion, and the exclusion of several of DISH Network’s expert witnesses. The settlement, one of the largest in a breach of contract case in New York State Court history, is valued at well over $1 billion.
- Lead Counsel to Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg in a fraudulent breach of contract action brought by an individual in federal court in Buffalo, New York, alleging a significant ownership interest in Facebook. Obtained expedited discovery that culminated in a motion to dismiss the action as a fraud on the federal courts.
- Lead Counsel to Capital One in a breach of employment case against the former chief executive officer of a subsidiary in federal court in Virginia, alleging breach of a restrictive covenant. Obtained a $20 million settlement prior to trial.
- Obtained a rare preliminary injunction victory following a three-day evidentiary hearing for NBC Universal blocking the move of one of cable TV’s most popular programs, “Project Runway,” to Lifetime in a decision that the New York Times reported “stunned parties on all sides of the deal because such injunctions are so rarely granted in entertainment industry disputes.”
- Obtained dismissal of a breach of contract case against Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. The dismissal was affirmed by the New York Court of Appeals in an important precedent affirming the application of the Statue of Frauds to oral contract claims.
- Secured a dismissal for Starbucks in its dispute with singer-songwriter Carly Simon over the disappointing sales for her album. Simon filed an amended complaint after the case was first dismissed by a federal court in Los Angeles. Her amended complaint was dismissed with prejudice on the grounds that Starbucks had no duty to disclose its business plans to her because she was a third party with no fiduciary, confidential or transactional relationship to Starbucks.
- Won dismissal of consolidated antitrust actions against Warner Music Group in cases challenging practices in the record promotion business.
- Won dismissal of consolidated employment discrimination cases against the popular television talk-show host Montel Williams and Paramount after persuading a federal judge that the case was based upon fraudulent allegations.
Mr. Snyder also has represented numerous companies in significant matters involving the New York Attorney General, including Aetna, Facebook, Freddy Mac, Goldman Sachs, Vantage Properties, and Warner Music Group.
- Represented Facebook in negotiating a groundbreaking settlement with the New York Attorney General in the area of internet safety that was hailed as a model of compliance and resulted in even more visitors to the social networking site.
- Represented Warner Music Group in negotiating an industry-changing settlement concerning the record promotion industry.
- Represented Freddie Mac in negotiating new standards for the home mortgage industry.
Mr. Snyder has tried and litigated copyright, trade secret, trademark, patent, privacy and First Amendment cases for media and technology companies, including Bertelsmann, Hachette, HarperCollins, Home Box Office, IAC/InterActive, Sony, Sharp, Time Warner, T-Mobile, and ValueClick.
- Defended IAC/InterActive in a trade secrets misappropriation action brought in the Southern District of New York that resulted in all of the trade secrets claims being dismissed on summary judgment.
- Defended numerous technology companies, including T-Mobile, Sharp, ValueClick and Violin Memory, in trade secrets cases in courts throughout the country.
- Won a verdict at the high-profile trial of the case brought against the Estate of Jonathan Larson challenging Mr. Larson’s authorship of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Broadway musical “Rent.” The case resulted in the leading Second Circuit precedent defining co-authorship under the Copyright Act.
- Won summary judgment for HarperCollins and Jessica Seinfeld in a copyright infringement action involving the New York Times Number 1 Bestselling book, “Deceptively Delicious.” The dismissal was affirmed by the Second Circuit.
- Litigated and tried copyright and trademark cases for Sony, Warner Music, Home Box Office, Bertelsmann and other clients that resulted in important legal precedents.
- Won an important First Amendment case that reaffirmed the libel-proof doctrine for Sony Pictures involving the film “Donnie Brasco.”
Mr. Snyder also represents well-known individuals in significant matters, including Julie Andrews, Marc Anthony, Mariah Carey, Anderson Cooper, Cindy Crawford, Bob Dylan, Phil Falcone, Nancy Grace, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, LeBron James, Kid Rock, Jennifer Lopez, Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, The Rolling Stones, Jerry Seinfeld, Jessica Seinfeld, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Walters, Montel Williams, and Mark Zuckerberg.
In addition to his very public litigation work, Mr. Snyder regularly counsels clients—both corporations and senior executives—in confidential matters, including criminal and other government investigations that require expert handling of public relations. These matters include whistleblower cases, fraud investigations, FCPA and money laundering, obstruction of justice, insider trading, tax fraud and allegations of personal misconduct.
Mr. Snyder also has handled numerous internal investigations involving alleged insider trading, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, tax evasion and alleged sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Mr. Snyder also represents, and has represented, numerous nonprofit institutions, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Intrepid Air and Space Museum, Susan G. Koman for the Cure, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Larson Foundation and The Museum of the American Indian.
Before joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Snyder was a name partner at Parcher, Hayes & Snyder, a prominent litigation boutique firm. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted organized crime and white collar crime cases and served as Chief of the Narcotics Unit. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Snyder handled one of the largest pension fund fraud prosecutions ever brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Snyder is active in the community and in public affairs. Most recently, he was selected to serve on the Transition Committee of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Mr. Snyder earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School cum laude in 1986, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University in 1983, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with high honors.