200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166-0193 USA
Stella Cernak is a litigation associate in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Ms. Cernak’s practice focuses primarily on white collar defense, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation, where she has worked with a range of clients—including Fortune 500 technology companies and clients in the real estate and banking/finance industries—in an array of federal and New York State cases, administrative proceedings, and federal and state regulatory investigations. Ms. Cernak has drafted trial and appellate briefs in both state and federal court and has experience managing teams and providing clients with advice in connection with government investigations and complex civil litigation matters. Ms. Cernak also has significant discovery experience and has worked extensively with expert and fact witnesses. Ms. Cernak has been a member of multiple trial teams, including the Gibson Dunn team that successfully defended Lynn Tilton and her company Patriarch Partners against the largest individual administrative enforcement action ever brought by the SEC, and a team that obtained a successful jury verdict on behalf of a Fortune 250 company in connection with civil litigation related to an alleged “Ponzi” scheme.
Representative matters also include:
Ms. Cernak maintains an active pro bono practice. Ms. Cernak was a member of the Gibson Dunn team that drafted an amicus brief for constitutional law scholars in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, addressing the constitutionality of the State of Mississippi’s enactment of the Gestational Age Act. She successfully drafted a habeas petition that resulted in the release of a client from detention on bond and has helped clients obtain asylum. She has also worked with Partnership for Children’s Rights to help a client obtain access to necessary educational services and she serves as a firm liaison to Crisis Text Line. Ms. Cernak volunteers with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and served on the organization’s Board of Trustees from July 2018 through July 2021.
Ms. Cernak earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, in December 2014 from the University of Michigan Law School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Journalism, magna cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009. While in law school, Ms. Cernak served on the selections committee for the Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, where she published a Note that applied international law as a method of handling gender inequality and military misconduct. Most recently, Ms. Cernak has been recognized as 2023 “Ones to Watch” by Best Lawyers in America.
Ms. Cernak is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the Southern District of New York.
University of Michigan - 2014 Juris Doctor
University of Massachusetts - 2009 Bachelor of Arts
New York Bar