Michelle Gitlitz Courtney
|New York, NY||v. +1.212.885.5068||f. +1.917.332.3723|
Michelle Gitlitz Courtney concentrates her practice in the areas of corporate litigation, white collar criminal defense, and government and internal investigations. She represents corporate and individual clients in civil and regulatory matters, including general business, contract, and shareholder disputes before trial and appellate courts and government entities throughout the country.
With more than a decade of banking and securities experience, Ms. Gitlitz Courtney regularly represents clients in transactions involving a variety of financial products, including derivatives, such as swaps and options, proprietary yield enhancement trades, mortgage-backed securities, and securitizations. She also counsels clients in disputes arising out of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, financial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, partnership agreements, and employment matters. Having worked at an investment firm before law school, Ms. Gitlitz Courtney has an in-depth understanding of the financial services industry.
Ms. Gitlitz Courtney frequently represents clients in partnership/corporate dissolution proceedings, business valuation proceedings, shareholder appraisal proceedings, minority shareholder oppression or breach of fiduciary duty actions, joint venture disputes, and surrogate court proceedings relating to family-owned businesses.
Ms. Gitlitz Courtney also has significant experience with e-discovery and cybersecurity issues, as well as with managing document-intensive litigations and investigations. Ms. Gitlitz Courtney has co-authored articles on e-mail privacy: "Whose E-Mail is it Anyway?," published in the Privacy & Data Security Law Journal, and an update to that article, "Whose E-Mail is it Anyway? . . . It Depends," published by Mondaq.
She is a member of Blank Rome’s China Securities Litigation Task Force, a team which provides full-service solutions to complex litigation issues for Chinese public companies.
Prior to joining Blank Rome, Ms. Gitlitz Courtney worked as an intern for Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
- Represent one of the country’s premier banking and financial services institutions to recover damages for repudiation of customer obligations under interest rate swap agreements.
- Represented Fortune 500 company and its Board in two putative class actions commenced in the Southern District of Indiana arising out of the merger. After motion practice, the parties entered into a global “disclosure only” settlement of all litigation with a small monetary payment to plaintiffs’ counsel. Obtained a similar result for a digital printing company and its directors in two putative class actions filed in Connecticut state court, and one filed in the District of Connecticut, following an announcement that the company would be acquired. The parties entered into a similar “disclosure only” settlement and the monetary payment negotiated with plaintiffs’ counsel was one of the smallest known in the settlement of recent class actions.
- Represented Chinese manufacturer of nutritional supplements in connection with a formal order of investigation issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Represented trucking company in connection with breach of an “evergreen” shipping contract.
- Representation of investment companies and employees in connection with alleged violations of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
- Resolved governmental investigations on behalf of video game publisher and distributor relating to securities fraud, stock options backdating, breaches of fiduciary duty and improper business practices.
- Represented director of digital printing company in connection with securities fraud matter before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Represented Special Committee of mining company in connection with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of possible violations of the securities laws by the company and its officers, directors and affiliates.
- Representation of the country's largest mortgage due diligence firm in connection with sub-prime mortgage investigations by the New York State Attorney General, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Connecticut Attorney General.
- Representations of audit committees, independent directors and special committees of boards of directors in conducting investigations relating to corporate securities and advertising disclosures, accounting issues, stock options backdating, and shareholder demand letters.
- Representations of officers and directors in connection with possible violations of the securities laws and accounting fraud matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Attorney's Office.
- Representation of individuals and corporations in accounting disputes.