Arun Subramanian makes history as first Indian American confirmed as District Court Judge in Southern District of New York

Arun Subramanian. Photo taken in 2022 at the law firm Susman Godfrey where he served

Indian American Presidential nominee Arun Subramanian,43, was confirmed March 7, 2023, by the U.S. Senate, as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, considered one of the most active court on white-collar crimes in the country. Subramanian becomes the first Indian American and South Asian Judge to serve in the District Court of SDNY. He was confirmed with a 57-39 vote.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who immigrated to America from India in the early 1970s, Subramanian graduated summa cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and English. Three years later, he earned his law degree from Columbia Law School as a James Kent & Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He also served as executive articles editor for the Columbia Law Review.

A consumer protection expert, Subramanian currently serves as a partner with Susman Godfrey where he has dealt with cases on behalf of consumers and individuals injured by unfair and illegal practices, including public entities and whistleblowers. He’s also defended victims of trafficking in child pornography.

The Susman Godfrey website recounts his victories in court during his career.  “Arun has tried and arbitrated high-stakes cases on both sides of the “v,” and has successfully recovered over a billion dollars for public and private entities who were the victims of fraud and other illegal conduct,” says. “Arun’s expertise isn’t limited to any practice area. He has taken up the cause of public entities and whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases, victims of trafficking in child pornography, consumers and individuals injured by unfair and illegal practices, and has for over a decade focused on complex commercial litigation, including antitrust, patent infringement, and breach of contract cases,” the site says.

Some of his major victories listed on include securing over $400 million for state and federal governmental entities in United States ex rel. Kester v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.; Recovering $590 million in settlements in the ongoing LIBOR price-fixing class action;Achieving a complete jury victory in Tyler, Texas as co-lead counsel on behalf of defendant Globus Medical in a spinal insert patent infringement suit brought by Flexuspine, a local Tyler company; and securing what his law firm says is “a trailblazing judgment victory” of more than $100 million for client Assured Guaranty against Flagstar Bank in one of the first trials concerning repurchases of faulty RMBS—”a significant milestone in forcing banks to honor contractual commitments made which they sought to avoid after the financial crisis.”

He has served as a law clerk to Judge Dennis Jacobs on the Second Circuit Court, Judge Gerard Lynch in the Southern District of New York, and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of Brooklyn, New York.

He was also appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the court’s Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Subramanian has engaged in considerable pro bono work for years, serving on the pro bono panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He serves as Chairperson of  Susman Godfrey’s 2022 Pro Bono Committee, his law firm said. He is also a longtime Director of the Columbia Law Review. He was recently named a member of the Development Committee for The Appellate Project, an organization that provides minority lawyers and law students opportunities in the field of appellate law.

Upon his confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Sen. Charles Schumer who championed Subramanian’s nomination with the Biden-Harris Administration, described the Indian American as a “first-rate legal mind” who has defending consumers through his career.

“Arun Subramanian is the epitome of the American Dream and a history maker: the child of hard-working immigrants from India, he will become the first South Asian on the Southern District bench, in an area with a deep and diverse South Asian community,” Schumer said, adding, “I was proud to recommend Mr. Subramanian to President Biden and I’ve worked to confirm him as soon as possible. I am confident he will bring remarkable legal talent and experience, integrity and professionalism to the federal court. He will follow the law where it takes him, in the pursuit of fair and impartial justice.”



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