Christopher W. Dysard
Christopher W. Dysard is an experienced civil and criminal litigator. Mr. Dysard’s practice consists of representing institutions in complex commercial litigation and representing individuals and institutions in white collar criminal proceedings and securities enforcement investigations.
Notable representations in civil matters include:
- representation of a group of hedge funds as plaintiffs in a civil action in the Southern District of New York against several individuals and entities, alleging a fraudulent scheme in violation of federal securities laws and state law; the district court denied six defendants’ motions to dismiss, see Absolute Activist Master Value Fund, Ltd. v. Ficeto, No. 09 Civ. 8862 (GBD), 2013 WL 1286170 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 28, 2013), and granted the plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss all counterclaims filed by an answering defendant, see Absolute Activist Master Value Fund, Ltd. v. Ficeto, No. 09 Civ. 8862 (GBD), 2014 WL 3600409 (S.D.N.Y. July 11, 2014);
- representation of a group of hedge funds as plaintiffs in a civil action in the Middle District of Florida, asserting an unjust enrichment claim against the former wife of the primary architect of a penny stock manipulation scheme; the district court has entered an extensive pretrial asset freeze;
- representation of a large international investment bank named as a defendant in multiple cases in federal and state courts, in which the plaintiffs sought billions of dollars in damages in connection with the offering and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities;
- representation of a group of foreign and domestic financial institutions, including Allstate, Bank Leumi, Bayerische Landesbank, International Finance Corporation, Société Générale, and Travelers, in a six-week jury trial in the Southern District of New York against a major U.S. investment bank to recover large losses related to the sale of bonds backed by consumer installment loans of Heilig-Meyers; in December 2008, the jury returned a verdict for our clients, resulting in a judgment of $144 million; the defendant appealed that judgment, and Spears & Imes continued to represent our clients on appeal; on July 20, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the judgment, see AIG Global Sec. Lending Corp. v. Banc of Am. Sec. LLC, 646 F. Supp. 2d 385 (S.D.N.Y. 2009), aff’d, 386 F. App’x 5 (2d Cir. 2010);
- representation of Société Générale in a contract action in the Southern District of New York; and
- representation of a private equity fund sued in a contract action; the fund’s motion to dismiss was granted.
Criminal and Securities Enforcement Matters
Notable representations in criminal matters and securities enforcement investigations include:
- representation of a senior trader at a major broker-dealer in connection with investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the SEC;
- representation of a former hedge fund analyst at a large international bank in an insider trading prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York;
- representation of a former employee of a ratings agency in investigations by the SEC and the New York Attorney General’s Office;
- representation of an employee of an information infrastructure solutions company in an insider trading investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York;
- representation of a sales representative of an international pharmaceuticals company in an internal investigation regarding sales practices;
- representation of an attorney at a large international bank in a cross-border tax investigation by the SEC;
- representation of a former director at a major accounting and consulting firm in a tax shelter investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York;
- representation of the former head of the lending desk of a large international bank in an investigation by the SEC; and
- representation of a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in a federal criminal conspiracy and wire fraud case brought by the Enron Task Force; the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal was reversed on appeal, see United States v. Brown, 459 F.3d 509 (5th Cir. 2006).
Mr. Dysard has an active pro bono practice. He acted as co-counsel in federal habeas corpus proceedings brought by two prisoners in military custody at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; both men have now been released to their respective countries of citizenship. He has also represented a prisoner in a criminal appeal before the Appellate Division, First Department; assisted in the drafting of an amicus brief in a disability rights case before the Second Circuit; and assisted in the drafting of an amicus brief in an adoption case before the Supreme Court of Missouri.
Mr. Dysard is a member of the Federal Bar Council and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He served on the City Bar’s Committee on Professional Ethics from 2014 to 2017 and the City Bar’s Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee from 2009 to 2011. He was an Adjunct Legal Writing Professor at Fordham University School of Law in 2011-2012.
In August 2017, Mr. Dysard was the co-moderator of a panel of federal and state court judges entitled Recurring Ethics Issues: The Judicial Perspective, part of the American Bar Association’s annual meeting.
• J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1998; Articles Editor, Virginia Law Review
• B.A., magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1995
• New York
• Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
• The Honorable John D. Rainey, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 1998-1999