Overview

Jean-Marie L. Atamian is co-chair of Mayer Brown's Partner Promotion Committee and Committee On Professional Advancement. He is an experienced trial lawyer whose practice focuses on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation before state and federal trial and appellate courts. He has extensive banking litigation experience, which has included representing domestic and foreign banks in lender liability, securities fraud, and common law fraud actions. His securities fraud experience has included representation of corporations, financial services firms, and individuals in structured finance, Rule 10b-5, control person, insider trading, stock manipulation, and RICO actions. In recent years, he has defended financial institutions in multi-billion dollar claims arising from their sale of RMBS prior to the 2008 financial crisis.  He has also represented companies and individuals in internal investigations and corporate governance matters.

Jean-Marie has represented corporations, banks, and consulting firms in numerous bankruptcy actions, including adversary proceedings, preference actions, and cash collateral hearings. He has represented insurers and reinsurers in coverage and indemnification disputes in the property (catastrophe bonds), life and health businesses. Jean-Marie has represented corporate and individual clients in federal and state court actions involving contract disputes, shareholder derivative claims, breaches of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, unfair trade practices, fraudulent conveyances, veil piercing, sovereign immunity, and government takings. He has also represented property owners in real estate disputes with management companies, government agencies and lessees.

Jean-Marie has also arbitrated a broad spectrum of disputes before various tribunals.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • French

Experience

  • In re Adelphia Communications Securities Litigation, US District Court, Southern District of New York: Represented Bank of Montreal (BMO) and its investment banking affiliate in numerous consolidated securities fraud actions and a lender liability action arising from the bankruptcy filing by and corporate scandal surrounding Adelphia.  The various actions alleged that financial institutions, including BMO, assisted in the multi-billion dollar fraud against Adelphia and its shareholders committed by Adelphia executives and board members.
  • Fontainebleau v. Bank of America, et al, US District Court, Southern District of Florida: Represented Sumitomo Mitsui, one of several syndicate lenders in a $2 billion credit facility, in a high profile lender liability action and several related actions in connection with the construction of a massive resort and casino complex in Las Vegas.
  • ABN AMRO Bank, N.V., et al v. MBIA Inc. et al, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Represented Morgan Stanley in challenging a transaction that stripped $5.4 billion from an insurance company for the benefit of its parent company and to protect one group of policyholders to the detriment of its structured finance policyholders.  In particular, Morgan Stanley (and a number of other banks) alleged that the New York Department of Insurance, in approving the transaction, acted arbitrarily and capriciously in favoring one group of policyholders. 
  • FHFA v. Ally Financial Inc., et al, US District Court, Southern District of New York: Represented Ally Financial Inc. in an action for misstatements in, and material omissions from, offering materials and for control person liability under the 1933 Securities Act, in connection with the purchase by Freddie Mac of $6 billion in RMBS.
  • U.S. Bank, N.A., et al in Article 77 Petition for Judicial Confirmation Order, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Represented a trustee in evaluating a proposed $4.5 billion settlement agreement between a group of institutional investors and JPMorgan purporting to resolve all repurchase claims for breaches of representations and warranties, as well as servicing claims, relating to 330 JPMorgan sponsored trusts.
  • U.S. Bank, N.A., et al in Article 77 Petition for Judicial Confirmation Order, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Represented a trustee in evaluating a proposed $1.125 billion settlement agreement between a group of institutional investors and Citigroup purporting to resolve all repurchase claims for breaches of representations and warranties with respect to 68 Citigroup sponsored trusts.
  • Allstate Insurance Company, et al v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, et al, District Court of Hennepin County, Minnesota: Represented GMAC Mortgage, LLC and various affiliated entities against common law fraud and negligence claims arising from their role in the securitization of $800 million of RMBS.
  • In re Tribune Litigation, US Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware: Represented Barclays in connection with a lender liability action arising from its participation as a syndicate lender in an $8 billion credit facility with Tribune Company, a Chapter 11 debtor.
  • Morgan Stanley, et al v. Swiss Casinos of America, US District Court, Southern District of New York: Obtained a $40 million summary judgment award on behalf of Morgan Stanley, which had sued a large gaming corporation for breach of contract in connection with the purchase of high yield notes and warrants.
  • Morgan Stanley and Invesco v. Hans Jecklin, et al:  US District Court, District of Nevada:  Following a two week bench trial in an alter ego and veil piercing action, obtained a $46 million judgment against three Swiss defendants who had stripped a US affiliate of all assets to avoid payment of a judgment we had previously obtained against that affiliate in a New York federal court.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. XYZ Development Companies, US District Court, District of New Jersey: Obtained a $30 million settlement payment on behalf of CIBC in a consolidated lender liability action following a five week bench trial against several real estate developers.
  • In re Suprema Specialties, Inc., US District Court, District of New Jersey: Obtained dismissal on behalf of Bank of America of a third-party complaint alleging lender liability, securities fraud and RICO claims in connection with a systemic accounting fraud culminating in the collapse of the corporate borrower.
  • Naya Inc., et al v. Bank of Montreal, et al, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Obtained dismissal of a $400 million lender liability action at the pleading stage against Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada.  Plaintiffs, including former owners of a large Canadian beverage company, had initiated an action arising from the sale of that company to an American subsidiary of Danone, a French company.
  • Bank of America, N.A. v. Mark Fischer, et al, US District Court, Eastern District of New York: Obtained a $30 million award on summary judgment on behalf of Bank of America, which had sued its borrowers for breach of contract and check kiting in connection with a loan to a company owned by defendants.
  • F&R v. Fleet Capital Corporation, US District Court, District of New Jersey: Represented Fleet Capital Corporation (predecessor to Bank of America) in a lender liability action. Following a one-month bench trial, Judge Dennis Cavanaugh dismissed the remaining claims against Fleet Capital Corporation and granted its counterclaims for breach of contract.
  • CCG v. Fleet Capital Corporation, US Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of North Carolina: Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Fleet Capital Corporation in a lender liability action alleging breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of North Carolina’s unfair trade practices act.  The bank’s former borrower had initiated this adversary proceeding following a hearing in which it had been denied use of cash collateral.
  • CCC Atlantic, LLC v. C-III Asset Management, LLC, US Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware: Obtained dismissal of action at pleading stage on the ground that bankruptcy action was filed in bad faith to divest a New Jersey federal court of jurisdiction on the eve of a hearing for the appointment of a receiver in a foreclosure action against CCC Atlantic, LLC.
  • ABN Amro Bank, N.Y. v. The L.I.D. Group, US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York: Represented a syndicate of banks led by our client ABN Amro in a cash collateral hearing where the lenders prevailed, thereby securing over $40 million in collateral.
  • Davis v. Scottish Re Group Limited, et al, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Obtained dismissal of all breach of fiduciary duty and derivative claims asserted by a value investor against our insurance and D&O clients. Preserved trial court victories in both the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals.
  • Wachovia v. Hudec, US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia: Obtained summary judgment on both liability and damages against a borrower on behalf of its lender Wachovia Bank.
  • Intelnet International v. ITT Corporation, et al, Superior Court of New Jersey: Represented Starwood Hotels in a $1.5 billion breach of contract action alleging that it was contractually obligated to purchase various telecommunications and media services from plaintiff.  Obtained summary judgment dismissing most of plaintiff’s claims and, following a 25-day bench trial on the remaining claims, the Court dismissed the remaining claims against Starwood.
  • Accenture LLP v. Computer Sciences Corporation, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Represented Accenture in prosecuting an action against Computer Sciences Corporation for breach of contract in connection with the outsourcing of information technology. The action was ultimately submitted for binding arbitration and was decided in favor of Accenture. 
  • Garrick-Aug v. The Sports Club Company, et al, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Represented an owner of upscale fitness centers in a major real estate dispute.  After a two-week bench trial, the judge granted a directed verdict dismissing all claims against our client.
  • Sand v. Coinmach, et al, US District Court, Eastern District of New York: Won a motion to dismiss, with prejudice, in a Rule 10b-5 class action against the company and its three senior executives.
  • Gray & Associates v. Huron Consulting Group, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Represented consulting company and healthcare turnaround firm in connection with management and financial services rendered on behalf of St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in New York City.
  • Neuburger v. Grant Thornton, Supreme Court of the State of New York: Won a motion to dismiss on behalf of an accounting firm dismissing fraud and negligence claims in connection with the demise of an audit client. 
  • Bennett v. Starzer, et al, American Arbitration Association: Represented an oil and gas company in connection with various allegations of misconduct against senior executives by a minority shareholder in a 14 day arbitration proceeding. This representation followed an internal investigation undertaken on behalf of the company's special litigation committee.
  • Allied Partners, Inc. v John Doe, American Arbitration Association: Represented a premier real estate investor in a series of partnership and valuation disputes.

Education

Columbia Law School, JD

Columbia College, BA summa cum laude (economics), Phi Beta Kappa, Dean's List

Admissions

  • New York

Court

  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • US District Court for the District of Colorado
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York

Memberships

  • Board of Directors of Columbia College
  • Co-Chair of Columbia College Annual Fund
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York