Mason Barney

Attorney

Mason A. Barney is an experienced trial attorney who for the past decade has represented large and small companies, along with individuals, in complex commercial litigations.  Mr. Barney also applies his experience as a litigator to assisting his clients in transactional matters.

Mr. Barney received his J.D., summa cum laude from Brooklyn Law School, in 2005.  He served as a law clerk to the Honorable David G. Trager in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  After clerking, he was a member of the litigation departments at Latham & Watkins LLP and then Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP.  Before law school, Mr. Barney earned his B.A. from Bowdoin College, where he double majored in Computer Science and Studio Art, and after college he served as a lead database developer for three years at a successful Internet start-up in Washington D.C.

Mr. Barney has appeared in the New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, a Thomson Reuters lawyer rating service for lawyers under 40.  In addition to his commercial practice, Mason was recognized by the New York Legal Aid Society for his outstanding work representing poor and indigent individuals in matters concerning prisoners rights, immigration, and special education.

Representative Matters

Trials and Arbitrations

  • Represented privately held Bermuda corporation in a three-week arbitration hearing concerning a $100 million indemnification claim over a CERCLA superfund cite;
  • Represented a Japanese animation company in a 13-day trial seeking to terminate a licensing agreement with an American licensee;
  • Represented a prisoner in a four-day federal jury trial asserting his constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment;
  • Defended one of the worlds largest accounting firms in a 10-day arbitration hearing against charges of professional misconduct;
  • Defended publicly held home goods manufacturer in a six-day arbitration hearing in an action by former executive concerning the breach of his employment agreement;
  • Defended investment bank in FINRA arbitration against claims that its members breached non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and won counterclaims for compensatory damages;
  • Represented major French bank in a FINRA arbitration concerning breaches of contract and fiduciary duty.

Motion Practice

  • Successfully dismissed action against open source software manufacturer in dispute over licensing and partnership agreement by asserting novel arguments that the nature of open source software prevented plaintiff from claiming fraud in the inducement and that there was a territorial limit to California’s broad consumer protection laws. (CingleVue Intern. Pty, Ltd. v eXo Platform NALLC, No. 1:13-CV-818 GLS/RFT, 2014 WL 3400856 (N.D.N.Y. July 10, 2014)). Opinion featured in the Decisions of Note section of the New York Law Journal.  (New York Law Journal, Decisions of Note(July 18, 2015), available at http://dec.nylj.com/1202663548176);
  • Won appellate reversal of state court summary judgment, securing the validity of a sublease on apparent authority grounds even though the operating agreement of the building’s owner prohibited subleases; the appellate victory cleared the path to a negotiated settlement that included remuneration of over $250,000 in attorneys’ fees (Black Theatre Workshop Inc. v Nubian Properties LLC, 89 A.D.3d 518 (1st Dep’t 2011));
  • Successfully won dismissal of multiple claims for breach of contract, fraud and negligent infliction of emotion distress against a small private school that serves students with disabilities. Spadone v. The Lang School, No. 151964/2015, 2015 WL 4656519 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Aug. 04, 2015); McCarthy v. The Lang School, No. 160061/2015, 2016 WL 1182109 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. March 25, 2016);
  • Won temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction for New York City Private School to prevent illegal defamation by former parent (The Lang School v. McCarthy,Index No. 652372/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.));
  • Quashed subpoena issued to Bermuda corporation in as part of a CERCLA funding action in Wisconsin (Appvion, Inc. and NCR Corporation v. Windward Prospects Ltd., No. 2:08-cv-16-WGG (E.D. Wis.));
  • Helped win summary judgment victory for multinational advertising conglomerate in multi-billion-dollar securities class action (In re Omnicom Group, Inc. Sec. Litig.,541 F. Supp. 2d 546 (S.D.N.Y. 2008), affd, 597 F.3d 501 (2d Cir 2010)).

Settlements and Contract Negotiations

  • Negotiated a high seven figure settlement for U.S. distributor of generic drug components in a matter concerning a distribution contract with an Asian chemical manufacturer in arbitration before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution;
  • Reached successful settlement for one of the world’s largest advertising holding companies in complex corporate governance class action and in contract disputes;
  • Negotiated successful settlement for advertising company regarding its claims against a former executive who breached his non-compete agreement by attempting to improperly convince clients to leave;
  • Advised multi-national software manufacturer in re-negotiating licensing agreement with major customer;
  • Drafted standard vendor contract for large specialty food retailer;
  • Represented client in forming LLC for privately held education company;
  • Represented author in negotiating publishing contract;
  • Obtained positive settlement for major league baseball agent in dispute concerning the representation of two baseball players.

Other

  • Represented publicly traded software and hardware manufacturers in U.S. Attorney and SEC investigations, assisted company in drafting new internal policies;
  • Conducted internal investigation for publicly traded international computer hardware manufacturer concerning alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at a Chinese subsidiary. Persuaded the DOJ and SEC to not take any actions against the company. Worked with senior executives to draft and implement new international sales policies and training programs;
  • Represented employee of major international bank in connection with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation conducted by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission;
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of private company into alleged use of fraudulent customs documents in Malaysia;
  • Represented New York City charter school founder in responding to a New York State Attorney General investigation;
  • Collaborated with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest to establish pro bono project representing parents and students in administrative hearings to ensure that the student received appropriate special education services;

Selected Legal Publications & Legal Instructor

  • Article: The FBI vs. Apple: What Does the Law Actually Say?, Inc. Magazine (February 2016)
  • Article: Is Forcing Apple to Bypass its Own Security Technology “Unreasonably Burdensome”?, Bloomberg BNA (February 2016).
  • Article: RadioShack Bankruptcy Deal to Sell Customer Data is a Cautionary Tale for Companies, Advertising Law Blog (June 2015).
  • Article: Georgetown’s Third Annual Cybersecurity Law Institute – A Recap of Informative Programming, eWhite House Watch (June 2015).
  • Article: Legal Landscape for Cybersecurity Risk is Changing as Federal Government and SEC Take Action, Inside Counsel Magazine (May 2015).
  • Article: Can Lawyers Be Compelled to Produce Data They Compile? An Emerging Front in the Trenches of e-Discovery Battles, Bloomberg BNA (May 2015).
  • Client Alert: New DOJ and SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Guide a Useful Company Resource (November 2012).
  • Client Alert: Federal Court Endorses Computer-Assisted Review in e-Discovery (March 2012).
  • Article: Tellabs v. Makor, One Year Later, Securities Law 360 (July 2008).
  • Comment: Not as Bad as We Thought: The Legacy of Geier v. American Honda Motor Co.in Product Liability Actions, 70 Brooklyn L. Rev. 949 (Spring 2005).
  • CLE Instructor: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Recent Developments and Best Practices (June 2013).
  • Adjunct Professor: City College, Education Law (Summer 2016)

Admissions

  • New York, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Southern Districts of New York, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern Districts of New York, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2013

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