Partner

Clerkships

Hon. Warren E. Burger, U.S. Supreme Court

Hon. Louis H. Pollak, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Education

Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1979

Oxford University, B.Phil., 1973

  • Rhodes Scholar

Swarthmore College, B.A., high honors, 1971

Photo of Paul  Shechtman

Paul Shechtman

Overview
Experience
News
Affiliations

Paul Shechtman has more than 30 years of experience drawn from government service and private practice. Among New York’s most respected and sought-after litigators, he has been recognized in numerous industry rankings for his appellate and white collar work. Mr. Shechtman represents individuals, corporations, and municipal agencies in a wide range of federal and state criminal and regulatory investigations. He has experience in matters relating to antitrust law, health care fraud, insider trading, and other complex criminal cases.

Mr. Shechtman frequently argues before federal and state appellate courts. His work has clarified law and set important precedents that continue to shape the legal and political landscape in New York and beyond. For example, Mr. Shechtman represented New York Gov. George E. Pataki in the successful appeal of Silver v. Pataki, in which the state legislature had challenged the governor’s authority in the budgeting process.

Mr. Shechtman has a wealth of experience as a government attorney. Before entering private practice, he served in numerous positions in government. As the Director of Criminal Justice under Gov. Pataki, he negotiated criminal justice legislation on behalf of the governor and supervised all of the state’s criminal justice agencies; he spent six years as counsel to the district attorney of New York County; and he served two stints as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, first as chief of appeals and subsequently as chief of the criminal division. He also spent two years as a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

An active member of the legal community, Mr. Shechtman serves on a number of professional committees, such as the Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence, New York State Permanent Sentencing Review Commission, and the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Government Ethics. He was previously appointed by Gov. Pataki to serve as the chair for New York State Ethics Commission, the New York State Commission on Lobbying, and the governor’s Judicial Screening Committee for the Court of Claims. In 2005, Gov. Pataki appointed Mr. Shechtman as an advisor to the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General to help overhaul the state agencies that pursue Medicaid fraud. In addition, Mr. Shechtman has taught criminal procedure and evidence at Columbia Law School for more than 20 years and has won awards for outstanding teaching.

Mr. Shechtman graduated from Swarthmore College, earning a B.A. in economics with high honors. He then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, receiving a B.Phil. in economics prior to attending Harvard Law School. After law school, Mr. Shechtman served as law clerk to the Hon. Louis H. Pollak of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and to the Hon. Warren E. Burger, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professional Highlights

  • In 2012, Mr. Shechtman represented New York Crane Company, which was indicted for manslaughter and other crimes arising out of an accident at 91st Street in Manhattan. The highly publicized trial resulted in an acquittal on all counts. Mr. Shechtman cross-examined the prosecution’s star witness—a New York Crane mechanic who had pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide—and got him to acknowledge that, despite his guilty plea, he was safety conscious and indeed may not have done anything wrong.
  • In 2011, Mr. Shechtman represented the chief operating officer (COO) of a health care company who was charged with state felony counts that carried a mandatory prison sentence. Mr. Shechtman persuaded the New York Court of Appeals to dismiss the top count, which charged insurance fraud, on the ground that the legislature had “failed to criminalize the conduct at issue.” The client ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received no jail time; he was allowed to continue to participate in the Medicaid program.
  • In 2004, Mr. Shechtman represented Gov. George Pataki in Pataki v. Silver in the New York Court of Appeals. That landmark case centered on the governor’s powers in the budget-making process—more specifically on the meaning of Article VII, §4 of the New York State Constitution, which states that the legislature “may not alter an appropriate bill submitted by the governor except to strike out or reduce items therein.” After hearing oral argument for more than three hours, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion that “resolve[d] the dispute in the Governor’s favor."
  • Represented New York Crane Company, which was indicted for manslaughter and other crimes arising out of an accident at 91st Street in Manhattan. The highly publicized trial resulted in an acquittal on all counts. Mr. Shechtman cross-examined the prosecution’s star witness—a New York Crane mechanic who had pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide—and got him to acknowledge that, despite his guilty plea, he was safety conscious and indeed may not have done anything wrong.
  • Represented the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in a complex federal investigation of the city’s water treatment facilities.
  • Represented the CEO of a European air cargo company in a criminal antitrust case.
  • In 2011, Mr. Shechtman represented the chief operating officer (COO) of a health care company who was charged with state felony counts that carried a mandatory prison sentence. Mr. Shechtman persuaded the New York Court of Appeals to dismiss the top count, which charged insurance fraud, on the ground that the legislature had “failed to criminalize the conduct at issue.” The client ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received no jail time; he was allowed to continue to participate in the Medicaid program.
  • In 2004, Mr. Shechtman represented Gov. George Pataki in Pataki v. Silver, 4 N.Y.3d 75 (2004) in the New York Court of Appeals. That landmark case centered on the governor’s powers in the budget-making process—more specifically on the meaning of Article VII, §4 of the New York State Constitution, which states that the legislature “may not alter an appropriate bill submitted by the governor except to strike out or reduce items therein.” After hearing oral argument for more than three hours, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion that “resolve[d] the dispute in the Governor’s favor.”
  • Represented a well-known hip hop artist at her sentencing in a highly publicized perjury prosecution.
  • Defended the CEO of a leading New York-based materials testing company against fraud charges brought by the New York County District Attorney. The case involved a two-month trial before a jury in New York State Supreme Court.
  • Represented a Brooklyn bakery owner whose murder conviction was twice overturned in federal and state appellate courts.
  • Represented a pediatric neurologist whose conviction and 48-year prison sentence was overturned.
  • Our attorneys successfully represented Theodore Sihpol, who was prosecuted by the New York Attorney General for allegedly “late trading” mutual funds. In a case that was named by the New York Law Journal as one of the “Top Trials of 2005,” Mr. Sihpol was acquitted by the jury on 29 felony counts.
  • Represented the CEO of a New York Stock Exchange specialist company on charges brought by the SEC alleging fraud in trading. After a two-month hearing, all fraud charges were dismissed.

News

Mentioned & Quoted

Publications

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, Columbia Law School

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence
  • Member, New York State Permanent Sentencing Review Commission
  • Member, New York State Bar Association Task Force on Government Ethics
  • Former Chair, New York Governor’s Judicial Screening Committee for the Court of Claims
  • Former Chair, New York State Ethics Commission
  • Former Chair, New York State Commission on Lobbying

Offices