Nick Akerman
PEOPLE

Nick Akerman

Partner
akerman.nick@dorsey.com

Overview

NICK AKERMAN HELPS CLIENTS NAVIGATE THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN DEALING WITH COMPLEX CIVIL AND CRIMINAL ISSUES AND GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS WITH AN EMPHASIS ON COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY, THE COMPUTER FRAUD AND ABUSE ACT, THE ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE ACT, RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS STATUTE, THE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT, SECURITIES FRAUD, STATE AND FEDERAL TRADE SECRET LAWS AND POST EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS.

Prior to private practice Nick served as a federal prosecutor. He was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted a wide array of white collar criminal matters, including bank frauds, bankruptcy frauds, stock frauds, complex financial frauds, environmental and tax crimes. Nick was also an Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor with the Watergate Special Prosecution Force under Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski. Nick has over 30 years of experience in helping clients respond to government investigations and prosecutions and assisting corporate clients prevent and respond to internal thefts and outside hackers. He is a nationally recognized expert on computer crime and the protection of competitively sensitive information and computer data. Nick regularly obtains injunctions for his clients under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and trade secret laws in various federal courts around the country requiring computer thieves to return stolen computer data and prohibiting the dissemination of the data to competitors. He also guides clients in developing systems, policies and protocols to protect computer data. Nick speaks and writes regularly on protecting computer data, including in his regular computer data column for the National Law Journal. He has been a featured quoted expert on computer fraud and computer security issues in the New York Times, USA Today, the San Jose Mercury News, the Boston Globe, the St. Louis Dispatch, the Sacramento Bee, Forbes, ComputerWorld, CFO Magazine, CNET, CNET Japan, ZDNet, MSN, Internet Week and the Weekly Homeland Security Newsletter. His blog can be found at http://computerfraud.us.

Education & Admissions

University of Massachusetts (B.A., 1969), magna cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa

Harvard Law School (J.D., 1972), cum laude

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York

Experience

Representative Litigation

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Representing Perry Gruss in an SEC enforcement action.  Securities and Exchange Commission v. Perry A. Gruss, 2012 WL3306166 (S.D. N.Y. Aug. 13, 2012) 
  • Represented CBQ, Inc. In a contract dispute in Esquire Trade & Finance, Inc. v. CBQ, Inc., 562 F.3d 516 (2009)
  • Represented Lockheed Martin Corp. in a trade secrets and computer fraud case in Lockheed Martin v, L-3 Communications, Inc., 2007 WL 3171299 (M.D. Fl. 2007)
  • Represented Lockheed Martin Corp. on RICO claims in Lockheed Martin v. The Boeing Company, 2005 WL 729685 (M.D. Fl. 2005)
  • Jury verdict in a civil RICO, libel and slander case affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Securitron Magnalock v. Schnabolk, 65 F.3d 256 (2d Cir. 1995)
  • Libel defense for media publications. Stover v. Journal Pub. Co., 105 N.M. 291, 731 P.2d 1335 (N.M. App. 1985)
  • Whistleblower cases. Rodgers v. Lenox Hill Hosp., 251 A.D.2d 244, 674 N.Y.S.2d 670 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dep’t 1998)
  • Contract disputes. Carte Blanche (Singapore PTE., Ltd.) v. Diners Club Intern., Inc., 758 F. Supp. 908 (S.D.N.Y. 1991)
  • Insurance coverage disputes. See e.g. Journal Pub. Co. v. American Home Assur. Co., 771 F. Supp. 632 (S.D.N.Y. 1991)
  • Defamation. See e.g. Criales v. American Airlines, Inc., 1999 WL 1487601 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 1999)

Protection of Trade Secrets and Computer Data

  • First preliminary injunction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act relating to the entry of a company database through a public Web site using the company’s confidential and proprietary information. EF Cultural Travel BV v. Explorica, Inc., 274 F.3d 577(1st Cir. 2001)
  • Over 15 injunctions for clients under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
  • Over 40 injunctions enforcing post-employment restrictive covenants for The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Prudential Ins. Co. of America v. Barone, 1998 WL 269065 (W.D.N.Y. May 9, 1998)
  • Injunctions enforcing covenants not to compete. Garber Bros., Inc. v. Evlek, 122 F.Supp.2d 375 (E.D.N.Y. 2000)
  • Assist companies in designing and reviewing corporate compliance programs. As part of this program, advise corporations on designing programs to protect intellectual property, trade secrets and computer data. Have conducted a trade secrets audit of a major national health insurance company to assist the company in establishing systems, agreements and procedures to protect its confidential and proprietary and trade secret protected information.

White Collar Representations

  • Have represented numerous corporations and individuals under criminal investigation by the United State Department of Justice for complex commercial and tax crimes. Defended numerous criminal cases in federal court including the acquittal of all defendants by a jury in United States v. Stella, 1990 WL 128918 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 27, 1990).
  • Representing New York State Senator John Sampson in U.S. v. Sampson, 2015 WL 2066073 (E.D.N.Y. 2015)
  • Representing hedge fund CFO in S.E.C. v. Gruss, 859 F.Supp.2d 653 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)

Internal Investigations

  • Conduct and direct internal investigations for corporate clients into allegations of corruption, bribery, internal fraud and theft including a well-publicized investigation in Chicago into allegations of abuse of corporate assets by the President of Florsheim. In many instances these investigations have resulted in RICO actions being filed against the wrongdoers. CNBC, Inc. v. Alvarado, 1994 WL 445717, RICO Bus. Disp. Guide 8629 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 17, 1994)

Federal Prosecution Experience

  • Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) from 1975 until 1983. Prosecuted a wide array of white collar criminal matters including bank frauds, bankruptcy frauds, stock frauds, complex financial frauds, environmental crimes and tax crimes. First prosecutor in the SDNY to use the RICO statute to prosecute traditional white collar criminal offenses. Tried over 25 cases before juries including successful prosecutions of Mafia bosses Russell Bufalino and Frank Tieri, and the RICO prosecution of ten individuals predicated on securities fraud and bankruptcy fraud violations for the formation and operations of The Westchester Premier Theater. United States v. Weisman, 624 F.2d 1118 (2d Cir. 1980)
  • Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor with the Watergate Special Prosecution Force from 1973 to 1975. Conducted grand jury investigations into misuse of federal agencies and other allegations of criminal conduct related to the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters. Examined all of the principals in the Watergate scandal before the various Watergate grand juries.

News & Resources

Articles

"It’s Easier for Employers to Sue for Data Theft," The National Law Journal
What Trump gets wrong about Comey: Parsing the President-elect strange statement on '60 Minutes'
How to Prepare for Theft of Company Information
"How to Prepare for Theft of Company Information," The National Law Journal
"Cybersecurity Compliance Just Got Tougher," The National Law Journal
"'Cannibal Cop' Decision Restrains Employers," The National Law Journal
"Time is Precious with Computer-Hacking Claims," The National Law Journal
The Yates Memo: A New DOJ Investigative Approach
How To Make Computer Fraud Claims Stick: National Law Journal
New Tools for Companies Against Cybercrime, The National Law Journal
To Catch an E-Thief - Under Federal Property Law, The National Law Journal
SEC Playing Bigger Role in Cybersecurity, The National Law Journal
Common Flaws in Computer Fraud Class Actions, The National Law Journal
"A Weapon Against Hackers on the Home Front," National Law Journal
The Conflicting Rulings on Employee Data Theft
"Company Computer Policies Risk Becoming Obsolete," National Law Journal
"Suing Employees for Computer Fraud Gets Easier," National Law Journal
"Practical Steps in Responding to a Data Breach," The National Law Journal
Dismissal of CFAA Claims for Lack of Jurisdiction, The National Law Journal
"Time to Review Corporate Computer Policies," The National Law Journal
"Will the Justices Rule on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," The National Law Journal
"When Workers Steal Data to Use at New Jobs," National Law Journal
Symposium for Corporate Leaders
"Unsecured Economies - Protecting Vital Information," McAfee, Inc.
"State Compliance Laws," The National Law Journal

News & Press Mentions

Dorsey Partners Akerman and Cattanach Comment on New Clinton Emails
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Comey's Investigation of Clinton Emails
Super Lawyers Recognizes 18 Dorsey Lawyers in New York
Dorsey Partners Akerman and Di Cioccio Comment on Telia Company Settlement
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on the Case Against James Comey
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Remarks on Acquittal of Vincent Asaro
Partner Nick Akerman quoted in various accounts of trial of NY State Senator Sampson
Legal 500 United States Recommends Three Dorsey Practices
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Economic Espionage Cases Between the US and China
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Remarks on Obama's Cyberattacker Sanctions
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Executive Order for Cyberattacks
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses the Security Risks of Improper Smartphone Disposal
Dorsey Attorneys Nick Akerman and Josh Colangelo-Bryan Remark on Sampson Case
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on NY Senator’s Case
  • Has published the Dorsey Anti-Corruption Digest from 2010 to the present.
  • Select Presentations

    Events & Speaking Engagements

    • 7 Steps to Protect Company Data – Society of Information Management, October 24, 2016
    • Protecting Company Data Through Proactive Compliance – Association of Corporate Counsel – Westchester Southern Connecticut, October 14, 2016
    • Webinar Playback: Trade Secrets in the Federal Era, June 22, 2016
    • Dorsey Seminar on Cyber Intrusions and Data Security, July 22, 2014
    • Seminar Playback: Company Computers Under Attack: Big Dollars and Private Data Are Being Stolen Every Day: What Are You Doing About It?, June 26, 2014
    • Seminar: Computer Fraud, July 14, 2010
    • Current Issues in White Collar Litigation, May 7, 2009
    • Symposium for Corporate Leaders, February 2009
    • Dorsey Symposium for Corporate Leaders - Securing Electronic Business Information: Do You Know What You May Be Missing?, October 16, 2008
    • Playback: Navigating the Evolving Financial Crisis Webinar, March 2008
    • Directors Round Table - Corporate Digital Assets: Protecting the Secrets of Success, February 28, 2008 Protecting Your Corporate Data: Using Self-Help and Taking Protective Measures, February 2008
    • Current Issues in White Collar Litigation, October 05, 2007 - October 05, 2007
    • 2007 Annual Meeting and Ethics Marathon: ACC, Greater New York Chapter, June 19, 2007 - June 19, 2007
    • Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefing Series: Covering Your Assets - Trade Secrets and Laws Relating to Competition, June 19, 2003 - June 19, 2003
    • Association of Corporate Counsel
      • June 2007 - Annual Meeting and Ethics Marathon
      • October 2007 - Protecting Your Corporate Data: Using Self-Help and Taking Protective Measures
      • December 2005 - Ethics Marathon
      • November 2005 - Corporate Counsel Community Forum

    Industries & Practices

    • Anti-Corruption Group
    • Antitrust & Competition Law
    • Banking
    • Corporate Governance & Compliance
    • Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
    • Educational Publishing, Technology & Services
    • Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations

    Professional & Civic

    Professional Achievements

    • Testified Before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Organized Crime
    • Faculty Member of the Practicing Law Institute on Personal Liability for Environmental Violations (1991)

    Accolades

    Rated by Super Lawyers - Nick Akerman

    • Listed as a "New York Super Lawyer," 2009 - 2016
    • Recommended by Legal 500 in Litigation - Trade Secrets, 2015
    • Special Commendations by the Department of Justice in 1979 and 1981 for Outstanding Achievements
    Nick Akerman