The SDNY Blog is relaunching as a publication of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  We expect to post several times a week on decisions and other developments in the Southern District of New York.  You can find us right here at, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening in the Southern District while we were away:

  • Judge Berman vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in deflating footballs used during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.  Judge Berman concluded that “Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and non-cooperation with the ensuing Investigation.”

Continue Reading SDNY Blog Returns as Steptoe Blog

In an opinion today, Judge Berman denied a motion to enjoin an SEC administrative enforcement proceeding.  The proceeding was challenged on the ground that SEC administrative law judges are too insulated from executive oversight for purposes Article II of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Free Enterprise Fund v. Pub. Co. Accounting Oversight Ed., 561 U.S. 477 (2010). Judge Berman agreed with the plaintiff on a threshold procedural point:  he ruled that the issues could be raised in district court, as opposed to raising them exclusively in the administrative proceeding itself (or on direct appeal to the Court of Appeals), because, absent a collateral challenge, the plaintiff would endure the very proceeding she was trying to block.  As Judge Berman observed: “The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 3d. Ed. (2005), defines the colloquial expression ‘you can’t unscramble an egg’ to mean ‘some processes are irreversible.’” But Judge Berman found the plaintiff was unlikely to succeed on the merits because he found that SEC ALJs’ insulation from removal was appropriate, given their adjudicatory (rather than policymaking) functions:
Continue Reading Judge Berman Refuses to Block SEC ALJ Proceeding; Finds ALJ Tenure Protections Likely Constitutional