Professor Samuel Issacharoff, Faculty Co-Director
Samuel Issacharoff is the Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law. His wide-ranging research deals with issues in civil procedure (especially complex litigation and class actions), law and economics, constitutional law, particularly with regard to voting rights and electoral systems, and employment law. He is one of the pioneers in the law of the political process, where his Law of Democracy casebook (co-authored with Stanford’s Pam Karlan and NYU’s Richard Pildes) and dozens of articles have helped to create a vibrant new area of constitutional law. He is also a leading figure in the field of procedure, both in the academy and outside. He served as the Reporter for the Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation of the American Law Institute.
Professor Issacharoff is a 1983 graduate of the Yale Law School. After clerking, he spent the early part of his career as a voting rights lawyer. He then began his teaching career at the University of Texas in 1989, where he held the Joseph D. Jamail Centennial Chair in Law. In 1999, he moved to Columbia Law School, where he was the Harold R. Medina Professor of Procedural Jurisprudence. His published articles appear in every leading law review, as well as in leading journals in other fields. Professor Issacharoff is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Arthur Miller, Faculty Co-Director
Arthur Miller CBE is this nation’s leading scholar in the field of civil procedure and is coauthor with the late Charles Wright of Federal Practice and Procedure, the legendary treatise in the field. Professors Miller and Wright are among the most-often cited and well regarded law treatise writers today. Their multi- volume series is an essential reference for judges and lawyers. Arthur Miller is also one of the nation’s most distinguished legal scholars in the areas of civil litigation, copyright and unfair competition, and privacy. He is the author of more than 40 books and numerous articles, including The Assault on Privacy: Computers, Data Banks, and Dossiers, the first book warning of the threat to privacy posed by modern information technology. Miller is currently a University Professor at New York University and the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. This professorship is conferred on outstanding scholars in recognition of the in- terdisciplinary dimension and breadth of their work. Previously, Miller was the Bruce Bromley Professor of Law at Harvard, where he earned his law degree and taught for 36 years. Miller is the recipient of numer- ous awards, including five honorary doctorates, three American Bar Association Gavel Awards and a Special Recognition Gavel Award for promoting public understanding of the law.
Professor Miller was honored by the Queen of England for his charitable and media work by being named to the Commander of the Order of the British Empire. A renowned commentator on law and soci- ety, he won an Emmy for his work on “The Constitution: That Delicate Balance,” one of the several acclaimed PBS series which he has moderated. Miller also served for two decades as the legal editor for ABC's Good Morning America and hosted several weekly issue shows on national television. Miller has argued cases in all of the US Circuit Courts of Appeal and several before the US Supreme Court. He has worked in the public interest in the areas of privacy, computers, copyright, and the courts and has served as a member and reporter of the Advisory Committee of Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States by appointment of two Chief Justices of the United States, as Reporter and Advisor to the American Law Institute, a member of a special advisory group to the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and as a member of various American Bar Association committees, among others. In addition, Miller was appointed by President Ford as commissioner on the United States Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Work.
Professor Geoffrey Miller, Faculty Co-Director
Geoffrey Miller is author or editor of eight books and more than 200 articles in the fields of compliance and risk management, financial institutions, corporate and securities law, constitutional law, civil procedure, legal history, jurisprudence, and ancient law. He has taught a wide range of subjects including property, corporations, compliance and risk management, financial institutions, land development, securities, the legal profession, and legal theory. Miller received his BA magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1973 and his JD from Columbia Law School in 1978, where he was a Stone Scholar and editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review. He clerked for Judge Carl McGowan of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and Justice Byron White of the US Supreme Court. After two years as an attorney adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel of the US Department of Justice and one year with a Washington, DC, law firm, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School in 1983, where he served as associate dean, director of the Program in Law and Economics, and editor of the Journal of Legal Studies. He joined the faculty of NYU School of Law in 1995. Miller has been a visiting professor or visiting scholar at Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, University of Basel, University of Genoa, University of St. Gallen, University of Frankfurt, Study Center Gerzensee, Collegio Carlo Alberto, University of Sydney, University of Auckland, and the Bank of Japan. Miller is a founder of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies, co-convener of the Global Economic Policy Forum, director of the NYU Law Center for Financial Institutions, and co-director of the NYU Law Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. He serves on the board of directors of State Farm Bank. In 2011, Miller was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Troy McKenzie, Faculty Co-Director
Troy A. McKenzie is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. His research and teaching interests include bankruptcy, civil procedure, complex litigation, and the federal courts. He has served as a faculty co-director of two NYU centers: the Institute of Judicial Administration and the Center on Civil Justice. From 2011-2015, he served, by appointment of the Chief Justice, as a reporter to the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. From 2015-2017, he took a leave of absence from NYU to serve in the Department of Justice as a deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. McKenzie earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1997 from Princeton University and a law degree in 2000 from NYU, where he was an executive editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States. Before joining the NYU faculty in 2007, McKenzie was a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York.
Peter Zimroth, Director
Peter Zimroth, director of NYU Law School’s Center on Civil Justice, is an adjunct professor at the Law School. He currently serves as the independent monitor appointed by the United States District Court to oversee the New York City Police Department's compliance with the court’s orders regarding the NYPD’s practices and policies regarding “stop, question and frisk” and enforcement of trespass laws.
Mr. Zimroth is recognized as an accomplished trial lawyer and appellate advocate, as well as a leading litigator in products liability, commercial, securities, and criminal law matters. He has tried jury and nonjury cases and arbitrations, argued appeals at every level of state and federal court (including in the US Supreme Court), and represented clients before government and regulatory agencies, disciplinary panels, and congressional committees.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Zimroth was corporation counsel of the City of New York. The corporation counsel, the city's chief legal officer, is in charge of all the city's legal business, and heads the city's law department of more than 500 lawyers. As corporation counsel, Mr. Zimroth supervised major litigations, was the prosecuting authority in juvenile cases and provided counsel on employment issues, major economic development projects, city contract and procurement policies, environmental, healthcare, law enforcement, transportation and education issues, tort and products liability, and legislation. He was the architect of the City's law providing for the public financing of city elections, a law which has become the model for local legislation around the country. Mr. Zimroth served as an assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York (securities fraud unit) and as the chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan, the highest non-elected position in the district attorney's office. He was a tenured professor at the New York University School of Law and a law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas and to Chief Judge David Bazelon of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He was appointed by the chief judge of New York State to serve as one of the three directors of the now defunct Capital Defender’s Office, which had the responsibility of ensuring legal representation for indigents charged with capital offenses, and served on the Moreland Commission appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to report on campaign finance and related ethical issues.
Mr. Zimroth has served on many boards and committees among which are the executive committee of the New York City Bar Association, chair of its Criminal Law Committee, the ACLU’s Privacy and Due Process committees, the board of the Legal Aid Society, the Criminal Procedure Law Advisory Committee to the Judicial Conference and the boards of two schools for children with learning disabilities. He serves as a referee for the Appellate Division First Department in attorney discipline matters.
Mr. Zimroth has been published on a wide variety of subjects in the Yale Law Journal, The New York Times, and The New York Law Journal. He is the author of "Perversions of Justice" (Viking Press, 1974), a book about political trials. He has received many awards and recognitions, including:
- The New York Law Journal's 2014 "Lawyers Who Lead by Example" in the Lifetime Achievement category.
- Interfaith Center’s 2014 James Parks Morton Humanitarian Award (for “lifetime achievements and contributions towards increasing respect and mutual understanding among people of different faiths, ethnicities, and cultural traditions.”)
- Association of Muslim American Lawyers 2016 Honoree for his work defending civil rights and civil liberties.
- City and State NY Magazine’s top 50 most influential people in New York politics working in law.
- The Best Lawyers in America for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2008-2016) and Commercial Litigation (2006-2016)
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2012 for Products Liability & Mass Torts (New York)
- New York Super Lawyers 2006-2011
- New York Super Lawyers 2011 for Securities Litigation and Business Litigation
- Chambers USA 2006-2011 Products Liability
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2011 for Products Liability
Sheila Birnbaum, Chair of the Board of Advisors
Sheila Birnbaum practices primarily in the areas of products liability, toxic torts and insurance coverage litigation. Ms. Birnbaum represents corporations in complex mass tort and insurance litigation. Among other significant matters, she secured a historic victory for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insur- ance Company, when the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a $145 million punitive damages award against the company as unconstitutionally excessive. The New York Times reported that the Court’s decision has been hailed as “a major victory in the long-running effort to shield corporate defendants from unconstrained jury awards.” The Wall Street Journal characterized the decision as “a big win for business interests con- cerned about ballooning legal judgments,” and the Washington Post described it as “a big win for corpo- rate America.” Ms. Birnbaum was national counsel or lead defense counsel for numerous Fortune 500 companies in some of the largest and most complicated tort cases in the country. She was national counsel for Dow Corning Corporation in the breast implant litigation, for Aventis Crop Science in several class actions and multidistrict litigation arising out of biogenetic corn and for Thompson-Delaco in the over-the-counter drug “PPA” litigation.
Ms. Birnbaum has argued many significant appeals in appellate courts throughout the country. In the U.S. Supreme Court, she successfully argued the case of Buckley v. Metro North, a landmark case in- volving medical monitoring. She successfully represented an insurer in the New York Court of Appeals on the issue of whether a punitive damage verdict awarded in another state was insurable under New York law. She also represented Chrysler Corporation before the Florida Supreme Court in a case involving the standard of proof necessary to establish liability for punitive damages. Ms. Birnbaum represented FMC Corporation in an appeal in New York that resulted in a reversal and new trial of a $5 million punitive damage award arising out of a construction accident. She has lectured extensively and has authored numer- ous law review articles. She is a co-author of the Practitioner’s Guide to Litigating Insurance Coverage Actions. Ms. Birnbaum also has written a regular column on New York practice in the New York Law Journal, as well as a column on products liability in The National Law Journal.
David Siffert, Director of Research and Projects
David Siffert is an attorney born-and-raised in New York City. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Siffert was a civil litigator at Boies, Schiller & Flexner. Mr. Siffert clerked for Hon. Robert S. Smith, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and Hon. Barbara S. Jones, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Siffert is an alumnus of New York University School of Law ('09) and the University of Chicago (AB '06).