November 10, 2015
As part of its series recognizing elite attorneys nationally, Law360 has profiled BLB&G partner Salvatore Graziano as one of its “Class Action MVPs” for the second time in 3 years. The feature outlines Mr. Graziano’s achievements in several high-stakes litigations over the course of the year, earning him a spot on this prestigious list.
Dubbing Mr. Graziano and the firm as “the go-tos for institutional investors and hedge funds waging securities class actions over headline-grabbing business controversies,” Law360 highlights Mr. Graziano’s recent success in obtaining over $204 million in the case against collapsed brokerage firm, MF Global. The case was significant in that “investors were charting largely untouched territory by challenging alleged accounting failures…without support from any government action.” According to Mr. Graziano, the case was “an uphill battle in the sense that we believed in the allegations but we needed to prove them. We didn’t have any kind of help from outsiders.”
Mr. Graziano was also responsible for obtaining the proposed $300 million settlement from General Motors Co. for allegedly mishandling ignition switch defects. In addition, he continues to represent investors in the case against Merck & Co. over the painkiller Vioxx, in which his team overcame a trial court’s initial dismissal and appellate process, obtained a unanimous Supreme Court decision reversing the dismissal, and, most recently, overcame Motions for Summary Judgment.
As a former assistant district attorney for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Graziano explains that working as a private prosecutor and representing clients on behalf of a class still feels “like you’re serving the public and working to expose corporate misconduct.” He emphasizes the importance of being conservative in bringing cases and making claims, explaining that “success comes from avoiding exaggerations or speculation.” According to Mr. Graziano, in order to earn credibility in the eye of the court, BLB&G has “to be incredibly careful with our allegations. We have to make sure we are firmly convinced of them personally before we bring them in court.”