Michael C. Rakower

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in New York, NY

Rakower Law PLLC
 | 260 Madison Avenue, 15th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 347-943-1445
Fax: 212-660-5551
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2011
Licensed Since: 2000
Practice Areas:
  • Business Litigation (50%),
  • General Litigation (30%),
  • Appellate (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    Passionate about pursuing results on behalf of individual people and large company clients, Michael C. Rakower is a founding member of Rakower Law PLLC. Focusing his practice on business litigation, Mr. Rakower generally handles cases involving issues such as professional liability, partnership disputes, fraud, employee rights and whistleblower claims, hedge funds, commercial lending and business disputes.

    In 1993, Mr. Rakower received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating cum laude. He went on to attend the University of Virginia School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor in 1999. While attending law school, Mr. Rakower served on the managing board for the Virginia Journal of International Law.

    Having nearly 20 years of legal experience, Mr. Rakower has provided representation to clients throughout the state of New York in a range of commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense cases. His notable successes include representing a real estate financier in a $140 million real estate transaction that involved alleged fraud, representing a former CEO of a nonprofit agency in a claim over the agency’s refusal to pay retirement benefits, and representing a New York City public school worker in a whistleblower retaliation claim. Mr. Rakower has an Avvo “Superb” rating and has received the highest possible rating of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell.

    Staying active in the legal community, Mr. Rakower is a member of and has served in varying capacities for numerous professional associations. He is a master of the Federal Bar Council American Inn of Court, co-chair for the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Federal Legislative Priorities, and a member of the executive committee for the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Rakower is also a member of the American Friends of the Kigali Public Library.

    *AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

     
    Practice Areas
    • 50%Business Litigation
    • 30%General Litigation
    • 20%Appellate
    Focus Areas

    Litigation, Appeals

    Selections

    Selected to Super Lawyers for 8 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 1 years

    Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2020 Rising Stars: 2011

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    About Michael Rakower

    Admitted: 2000, New York

    Professional Webpage: http://www.rakowerlaw.com/michael-rakower.html

    Honors/Awards:

    • Recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the "Top 100" attorneys in the New York Metropolitan Area, 2015-2019, 2019
    • Selected for Inclusion in New York Metropolitan Edition of Super Lawyers, 2013-2019, 2019
    • Recognized Practitioner 2017-2019., Chambers USA, 2019
    • Martindale - Hubbell, Client Distinction Award, 2013-2019, 2019
    • Martindale - Hubbell, Client Champion Award, 2017-2019, 2019
    • Panel Judge for ALM's Rising Stars, 2013-2016, 2016
    • Michael Rakower featured in "Lawyer Limelight" column, Lawyer Limelight: Michael Rakower, Lawdragon, 2014
    • Recipient of the New York State Bar Association's 2006 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award
    • Recognized in 2007 by Lawyers USA as one of eight "up and coming" lawyers in the nation
    • Lifetime Achievement, America's Top 100 Attorneys, 2016
    • Rakower Law PLLC featured in The New Yorker magazine 2014-17, Trial Lawyer Michael Rakower Discusses His Court Victory in Non-Profit Benefits Case, Lawdragon, 2017

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • Executive Committee Member of NYSBA's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and Co-Chair of that Section's Federal Procedure Committee, 2011—.
    • Senior Law Clerk, The Hon. Richard C. Wesley, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2004.
    • Associate, Latham & Watkins, 1999-2002.
    • Principal, Law Office of Michael C. Rakower, P.C. 2005-2012.
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    • Of Counsel, The Legal Aid Society, Prisoner's Rights Project, 2003.
    • Of Counsel, The Law Offices of Gordon Mehler, PLLC, 2005—2012.
    • New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • Legal Researcher, Office of the Prosecutor, United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2002.
    • Member of New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Federal Bar Council and American Inns of Court.
    • Managing Board, Virginia Journal of International Law, 1998-1999.
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • American Friends of the Kigali Public Library, 2003-2015 (Vice President, 2011-2015)

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Served as panelist with New York Appellate Division Justice and premier appellate practitioners., Panelis, Civil Appeals and Argument, Commercial Litigation Academy, New York State Bar Association, 2019
    • This article analyzes attorney fee awards under ERISA 502(g)(1)., Co-Author, Attorney Fees Under ERISA 502(g)(1): An Exception to the American Rule, New York Law Journal, 2019
    • Speaker, Anatomy of a U.S. Lawsuit, Buying Legal Council, 2016.
    • "Statutory Indemnification of Officers and Directors: Foresight is Power," New York Law Journal, 2015
    • Panelist, Litigation Career Paths in the Private Sector, New York City Bar Association, 2015.
    • Witness, Hearing on Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Washington, D.C. 2013.
    • Faculty Member, Building and Managing a Small Law Firm, Fordham University School of Law, 2011, 2012, 2014 & 2015.
    • Faculty Member, Wall Street Meltdown Puts Boards on the 'Hot Seat,' Practical Law Institute, 2009.
    • Faculty Member, Civil RICO: Legal Overview and Tactical Considerations, New York State Bar Association, 2006 & 2007 (initially prepared with Jonathan D. Lupkin)
    • Speaker, International Criminal Law and the Role of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Albany Law School, 2006.
    • Moderator, Heroes of the Bar: A Salute to Pro Bono Achievements, Federal Bar Council, 2005.
    • Panelist, Employment Litigation Under Title VII: Racial Slurs in the Workplace, New York City Bar Association, 2005.
    • Co-Chair, Trial Practice Webinar Series, NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, 2018
    • Panelist, “Questioning Witnesses,” NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, 2018
    • "Rule 68 Offers of Judgment and Mootness, Especially for Collective or Class Actions," Federal Procedure Committee, NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, 2015
    • "The Section Hosts a Webinar on the Impact of Recent Amendments to the Federal Rules," New York State Bar Association, 2016
    • "Seeking Benefits Owned Under an ERISA Top-Hat Plan: A Primer for Litigators," New York Law Journal, 2017
    • "Building and Managing a Small Law Firm," Fordham University School of Law, 2011, 2012 & 2014.
    • "Wall Street Meltdown Puts Boards on the "Hot Seat,'" Practical Law Institute, 2009.
    • "The Khmer Rouge: An Analysis of One of the World's Most Brutal Regimes," as published in To Oppose Any Foe: The Legacy of U.S. Intervention in Vietnam, 2006.
    • "Civil RICO: Legal Overview and Tactical Considerations," New York State Bar Association, 2006 & 2007.
    • "RICO Damages After Set-Off: Treble vs. Double Recoveries," N.Y.L.J., March 10, 2008 (republished in RICO Law Reporter, May 2008).
    • Panelist, Is It Really Time to Change: Analyzing the Scope and Impact of the Recent Amendments to the Federal Rules, New York State Bar Association, 2016.
    • "The Supreme Court's Proximate Cause Analysis Under RICO: A Distinction Between Direct and Foreseeable Harm," NY Litigator, Summer 2011 (republished in RICO Law Reporter, September 2011).
    • "Guidance on Proposed Federal Rules," New York Law Journal, (letter to the editor co-authored with James Parver), December 6, 2013.
    • "Report on Proposed Amendmens to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36 ,37, 84 and Appendix of Forms," Federal Procedure Committee, NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, (group authorship; M. Rakower co-chair of Federal Procedure Committee), October 1, 2013.
    • "The Section Reports on Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules and Appendix of Forms," New York State Bar Association, 2013
    • "Report on District Court Review of Magistrate Judge's Reports and Recommendations: Should Arguments Not Previously Made to the Magistrate Judge Be Considered," Federal Procedure Committee, NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, (group authorship; M. Rakower co-chair of Federal Procedure Committee), July 9, 2013.
    • "Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Should Be Revised to Allow for Electronic Service of Papers Without Prior Consent," Federal Procedure Committee, NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, (group authorship; M. Rakower co-chair of Federal Procedure Committee), December 12, 2012.
    • "Whether The Heightened Pleading Requirements of wombly and Iqbal Apply to Pleading Affirmative Defenses," Federal Procedure Committee, NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, (group authorship; M. Rakower co-chair of Federal Procedure Committee), March 21, 2012.
    • "Report on Proposed Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45," Federal Procedure Committee, NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, (group authorship; M. Rakower co-chair of Federal Procedure Committee), January 10, 2012.
    • "Myanmar or Burma: Can the West Help," Clemens Nathan Research Centre, 2011.

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Michael Rakower featured in "Lawyer Limelight" column, 2019
    • Won attorneys' fee award of approximately $2.5 million on behalf of client in complex ERISA action., 2019
    • Won jury trial against fraudulent contractor and pierced corporate veil, 2018
    • Won trial leading to judgment worth approximately $14 million on behalf of former CEO, 2017
    • Won TRO and preliminary injunction in "bet the company" litigation, 2012
    • Won dismissal of action based on obscure "stateless citizen" doctrine, 2012

    Educational Background:

    • University of Pennsylvania (B.A., cum laude), 1993
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    Office Location for Michael C. Rakower

    260 Madison Avenue
    15th Fl.
    New York, NY 10016

    Phone: 347-943-1445

    Fax: 212-660-5551

    Michael C. Rakower:

    Last Updated: 6/29/2020

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