David M. Zornow
White Collar Criminal Defense and related matters; Trials
David M. Zornow is the global head of Skadden’s Litigation/Controversy practices, a member of the firm’s Policy Committee, and leads the New York office White Collar Crime Group.
Mr. Zornow represents corporations and individuals in federal and state grand jury investigations and at criminal trials. He also represents clients in regulatory investigations, including investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and state attorneys general, and conducts corporate internal investigations.
As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Zornow served as associate independent counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation and was a member of the trial team in United States v. Oliver L. North.
Mr. Zornow also served as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he supervised a wide range of white collar cases, including the investigation of corruption at the New York City Parking Violations Bureau. He was a member of the trial team that obtained the RICO conviction of Stanley Friedman, the Bronx Democratic leader. For his investigative and trial work on the Friedman case, Mr. Zornow was awarded the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award.
In 1994, Mr. Zornow was appointed by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani as chairman of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent agency that investigates allegations of police misconduct. He served in that role until 1996.
Mr. Zornow is listed in Chambers USA (Band 1 for New York White Collar Crime and Government Investigations), The Best Lawyers in America and The International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers. He also was selected by Lawdragon Magazine as one of the 500 leading lawyers in the country. In addition, Mr. Zornow was named one of Law360’s MVPs in the white collar category and he was profiled in a Law360 article that named Skadden as a “White Collar Group of the Year.” The Wall Street Journal included Mr. Zornow on a “short list” of lawyers to call when faced with high-profile insider trading charges and The New York Times cited him as a leading white collar defense lawyer.
Mr. Zornow is a visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School co-teaching a course on white collar criminal defense. He has taught in the trial advocacy programs at Harvard Law School and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and is a frequent speaker and writer on white collar crime issues. Mr. Zornow co-authored “On the Brink of a Brave New World: The Death of Privilege in Corporate Criminal Investigations,” 37 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 147 (2000). After presenting at a Fordham Law School conference on “Bob Dylan and the Law,” Mr. Zornow published “Dylan’s Judgment on Judges: Power and Greed and Corruptible Seed Seem To Be All That There Is,” 38 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1511 (2011). He has received a Burton Award for legal writing.
Mr. Zornow has been recognized for outstanding pro bono service to the New York City Legal Aid Society.
J.D., Yale Law School, 1980
B.A., Harvard College, 1976 (summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa)
Law Clerk to the Hon. Herbert J. Stern, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (1980-1982)
Member, Board of Advisors, Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law
Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York (1983-1987)
Associate Independent Counsel, Iran-Contra Investigation (1987-1989)
Chair, New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (1994-1996)