- Brooklyn Law School, J.D. ’86, cum laude
- State University of New York at Albany, B.A. in Political Science, cum laude
Mr. Block is a co-founding partner of Block & Leviton. With a career spanning almost thirty years, Mr. Block is recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent class action attorneys. Mr. Block currently represents the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System in In re: BP Sec. Litig., No. 4:10-MD-02185 (S.D. Tex.), charging that BP misled investors as to the amount of oil leaking from the Macondo well after the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Mr. Block, on behalf of the plaintiffs, successfully argued against defendants’ motions to dismiss the litigation and for certification of the class. Mr. Block also represented the Brockton Retirement System in an action challenging Google’s attempt to split its stock into voting and non-voting shares. See In re Google, Inc. Class C S’holder Litig., case no. 7469-CS (Del. Ch. Ct.). Two days before the start of trial, the action settled for significant corporate governance changes and a payment ladder valued up to $7.5 billion, which was designed to protect shareholders against any diminution in the value of their shares during the first year of trading. As a result of the payment ladder, shareholders ultimately recovered $522 million in cash and stock in May 2015. The payment ladder also caused the newly-issued non-voting shares to trade higher than they otherwise would have during the first year of trading. Thus, investors who sold their shares during the pendency of the payment ladder were able to mitigate losses associated with those sales.
In addition, Mr. Block has represented some of the country’s largest institutional investors, including the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM), the State of Michigan Retirement Systems, the Florida State Board of Administration, the New York City Pension Funds, Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System, and the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois.
Notable Class Action Cases »
- In re First Executive Corp. Sec. Litig., (C.D. Cal.)
- This case involved allegations that former Drexel Burnham Lambert junk bond king Michael Milken used First Executive to buy illiquid junk bonds to create the illusion of a trading market. The case settled for over $100 million.
- In re Xerox Corp Sec. Litigation, (D. Conn.)
- Xerox manipulated its financial results to meet target Wall Street earnings expectations and the action was settled for $750 million.
- In re Bristol Myers Squibb Securities Litigation, (S.D.N.Y.)
- Bristol Myers was charged with issuing false financial statements and the action settled on appeal for $300 million.
- In re Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products Sec. Litig., (D. Mass.)
- Lernout & Hauspie allegedly created phony revenue and manipulated its financial statements. The case was settled for $180 million.
- In re Symbol Tech. Sec. Litig., (E.D.N.Y.)
- Symbol and its executives were charged with manipulating their financial results and investors received $127 million through a settlement of the case.
- In re Prison Realty Sec. Litig., (M.D. Tenn.)
- Prison Realty was charged with misrepresentations about its business and financial results and investors recovered over $100 million.
- In re American Home Mortgage Securities Litigation, (E.D.N.Y.)
- One of the first subprime crisis cases, American Home Mortgage was charged with failing to properly account for its vast portfolio of subprime loans. After filing for bankruptcy, the case was settled for $50.5 million.
- In re Force Protection Sec. Litig., (D. S.C.)
- Case settled for $24 million after the company and its officers were charged with accounting fraud.
- In re Swisher Hygiene, Inc. Securities and Derivative Litigation, (W.D.N.C)
- Alleged violations of the federal securities laws; settled for nearly 40% of all cognizable damages.
Judicial Commentary »
- In Re BP Sec. Litig., (S.D. Tex)
- In commenting on the attorneys who argued competing motions for Summary Judgment, which Mr. Block argued on behalf of plaintiffs, the Court said “I really enjoy working with all of you. I have spent a lot of time speaking to young lawyers about how to be…a good advocate in the courtroom. I wish I could just take a video of you guys, and I would show that. It has really been a professional honor to me consistently throughout the case.”
- In re Swisher Hygiene Sec. Litig., (W.D. N.C.)
- In commenting on the settlement achieved by Mr. Block the Court said “the settlement is – gosh . . . the fact that it’s occurring within the context of a securities case, which is very difficult for plaintiffs to win, is extremely impressive to me . . . [T]his is a matter which has been fairly litigate by people who know what they’re doing.”
- Direnzio v. Philip Services Corp., (S.D.N.Y.)
- The Court noted, when approving the settlement achieved by Mr. Block as one of the co-lead counsel that counsel had “pursued this fact-intensive and legally complex litigation vigorously over a nine-year period, rejected offers of settlement for amounts inferior to the amounts upon which the parties ultimately agreed, and assumed significant risks of non-recovery. Co-Lead Counsel had to overcome the disclaimers and uncertainties of insurance coverage, and vigorous advocacy of extremely able and deeply-staffed defense counsel. … And they did their work efficiently, with minimal duplication, and maximum effectiveness.”
Institutional Client Representation »
Throughout his career, Mr. Block has been privileged to work on behalf of some of the largest and most sophisticated institutional clients in the United States and abroad. A sampling of those clients include:
- The Ohio Retirement Systems
- The Office of the General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement Board and the State Employees Retirement System
- The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island
- The Office of the New Mexico Attorney General on behalf of the New Mexico State Investment Council, the Public Employees Retirement System of New Mexico and the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board
- The New York City Pension Funds
- The Michigan Retirement System
- The Illinios Municipal Retirement System
- The Retirement System of Alabama
- The State of Wyoming Retirement System
- The Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement
- The Brockton Retirement Board
- The Quincy Retirement Board
- The City of Providence Solicitor’s Office on behalf of the Employee Retirement System of the City of Providence
- The Warwick Retirement System
- The State Universities Retirement System of Illinois
- The Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System
- The Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System
- Amalgamate Bank
- The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 129
Publications & Speaking Engagements »
- Moderator, International Recovery Strategies for Foreign Investments, Post-Morrison panel discussion for San Francisco Bar Association
- Panelist for United States District Court Discussion on Class Actions and Rule 23
- ALI-ABA Conference For Insurance and Financial Services Industry Litigation, Lecturer and Panelist
- Damages in Securities Litigation, sponsored by Law Seminars International at the Harvard Club Panelist
- Litigation to Remedy Meltdown Damages: What Can be Gained? Harvard Law School’s Capital Matter’s Conference, Speaker
- Guest Commentator on CNBC
Bar Admissions »
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- State of New York
- U.S. District Court for Massachusetts
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District for the Eastern District of New York