Executive Committee

Founding Members

Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin (U.S.D.J. Ret’d)

Of Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Former United States District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin serves as an arbitrator, mediator and special master. She also conducts neutral evaluations, mock trials and arguments as well as internal investigations and is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice. Since leaving the bench in May of 2016 she has conducted many mediations and arbitrations and has handled a number of mock trials and arguments. She is also a member of Stroock’s Internal Investigations Unit, formed to help companies and organizations respond to suspected sexual misconduct.

Judge Scheindlin, who was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, has presided over numerous criminal and civil cases during her 22-year tenure with the Southern District of New York. Among many important cases, her opinions in electronic case management are recognized as case law landmarks, and she is the co-author of the first casebook on electronic discovery. Judge Scheindlin previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York and General Counsel for the New York City Department of Investigation. Earlier in her career she spent many years in private practice, including a stint as a litigation associate at Stroock.

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Faith Gay

Partner, Selendy & Gay

In a nationally-recognized career spanning more than three decades, Faith Gay has been lead counsel in over 30 jury trials and has successfully navigated bet-the-company investigations for scores of Fortune 500 companies. Before founding Selendy & Gay, she was the Co-Chair of National Trial Practice at one of the nation’s top litigation firms and a highly respected federal prosecutor. Raised on a farm in rural Georgia and a long-time resident of New York City, Faith is comfortable in courtrooms around the country.

Faith “has been repeatedly recognized as one of the leading trial, appellate, and white-collar lawyers in the US.” Burford Quarterly, Autumn 2016. In naming her a “Top Female Trial Lawyer,” Law360 described Faith as “a great litigator” with “a kind of magnetic charisma, a likeability and intelligence that allow her to present complicated cases in a way that disarms tough judges, hostile witnesses, and skeptical jury members.” A former Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit and of the Civil Rights Division in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Faith has deep experience on offense and defense.

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Executive Committee Members

Marjorie Peerce

Partner, Ballard Spahr

Marjorie J. Peerce is a litigator, with a practice focus on white collar criminal defense, regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation. In her more than 30 years of practice, she has handled matters across the criminal and regulatory spectrum. She is Co-Managing Partner of the firm's New York Office and is a leader of the firm's Virtual Currency team.

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Karen Lucas

Director, Immigration Justice Campaign

American Immigration Council

Karen Siciliano Lucas is the Immigration Justice Campaign Director at the American Immigration Council. Previously, Karen worked at the American Immigration Lawyers Association as the Associate Director for Advocacy and at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network as the State and Local Advocacy Attorney. Karen began her legal career as a litigation associate at the New York firm Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. She has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and an B.A. from Princeton University.

Michael Patrick

Partner (Ret’d)

Fragomen, Del Ray, Bernsen & Loewy

Michael has been practicing in the immigration field since 1981, when he joined the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. He subsequently became Chair of that office's Immigration Unit (1984-1986) under then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani. Prior to joining the Federal Government, Michael served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York (1978-1981), trying torts cases throughout the City. Michael's career in private practice began in 1986 when he left the U.S. Attorney's Office to start his own civil practice law firm with two colleagues, Denny Chin (now Second Circuit Judge) and Susan Millington Campbell. In 1990, they decided to close up shop and Michael accepted an offer to join Fragomen, Del Rey & Bernsen as a partner. During his 26 years at Fragomen, Michael served many roles, including as its General Counsel and on its Executive, Finance, Pro Bono and HR Committees. Michael was also a 24-year Immigration Columnist for The New York Law Journal and a charter member of the Katzmann Study Group on Immigrant Representation.

Prof. Lenni Benson

New York Law School

Professor Lenni B. Benson has been teaching and writing in the field of immigration law since 1994. She is a professor at New York Law School and serves as the director of the NYLS Safe Passage Project. Visit: www.safepassageproject.org to learn more. The Project recruits, trains and mentors lawyers and student volunteers who are willing to represent immigrant youth and has won state and national awards for its promotion and support of pro bono work. She also teaches a clinic of advanced students who join other Safe Passage volunteers to screen immigrant youth at the New York Immigration Court each week. She is a national and international speaker on immigration topics.

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