Joanne Zack sadly passed away in October 2012. In her illustrious career, Ms. Zack represented clients in complex litigation in a variety of areas, including antitrust, copyright, ERISA, securities, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. She has tried cases and argued appeals in both federal and state court.
Ms. Zack was a shareholder at Kohn, Swift and Graf from 1988 to 2004, and was associated with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton in New York from 1981 to 1986. She also served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles L. Brieant of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She graduated from Carleton College and N.Y.U. Law School, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and served as Research Editor of the Law Review.
Ms. Zack was admitted to practice in the courts of Pennsylvania and New York, the Second, Third and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She has served on the boards and executive committees of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and Philadelphia VIP, and as a sponsor in Philadelphia Futures Sponsor a Scholar program. In 2001, she received the Champion of Justice Award from CLS.
Representative cases include: In re OSB Antitrust Litig., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56584 (E.D. Pa. 2007)(price-fixing class action in the paper industry); In re Linerboard Antitrust, 305 F.3d 145 (3d Cir. 2002) and 203 F.R.D. 199 (E.D. Pa. 2001)(output restriction class action involving corrugated containers); Rossi v. Standard Roofing, Inc., 156 F.3d 452 (3d Cir. 1998)(refusal to deal in the roofing industry); Tabas v. Tabas, 47 F.3d 1280 (3d Cir. 1995)(alleged civil RICO); Alvord-Polk, Inc. v. F. Schumacher & Co., 37 F.3d 996 (3d Cir. 1994)(refusal to deal in the wallpaper industry); Parkway Garage, Inc. v. City of Philadelphia, 5 F.3d 685 (3d Cir. 1993)(City’s violation of civil rights through abuse of police power); Gulfstream III Associates, Inc. v. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., 995 F.2d 414 and 425 (3d Cir. 1993) (price fixing in the business jet industry); Breard v. Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd., 941 F.2d 142 (2d Cir. 1991)(securities fraud tax shelter); Ellis National Bank of Jacksonville v. Irving Trust Co., 786 F.2d 466 (2d Cir. 1986)(ERISA action); In re Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. Holocaust Insurance Litig., 228 F. Supp. 2d 348 (S.D.N.Y. 2002)(class action against life insurers for breach of contract); Random House, Inc. v. Rosetta Books, LLC, 150 F. Supp. 2d 613 (S.D.N.Y. 2001), aff’d, 283 F.3d 490 (2d Cir. 2002) (copyright action); Milandco Ltd., Inc. v. Washington Capital Corp., 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS (E.D. Pa. 2001)(alleged breach of contract for real estate); Borkon v. Saidel, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11707 (E.D. Pa. 1995)(alleged securities fraud); Goldberg v. Hankin, 835 F. Supp. 815 (E.D. Pa. 1993)(alleged securities fraud); Schutte v. Maleski, et al., 1993 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8332 (E.D. Pa. 1993) and 1993 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6980 (E.D. Pa. 1993) (ERISA class action); Bloch v. SmithKline Beckman Corp., 1988 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12397 (E.D. Pa. 1988)(monopolization in the pharmaceutical industry); Rosefielde v. Falcon Jet Corp., 701 F. Supp. 1053 (D. N.J. 1988)(price fixing in the business jet industry); EGW Partners, L.P. v. Prudential Insurance Co., 2003 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. Lexis 29 (Commerce 2003) (breach of contract and misrepresentation); Desert Equities v. Morgan Stanley Leveraged Equity Fund, 624 A.2d 1199 (Del. Supreme 1993)(breach of contract).
How Ms. Zack Was Remembered
Ms. Zack was held in the highest esteem by her colleagues. An article published in the Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer included the following praise by some of her many admirers:
- Joseph C. Kohn of Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C., where Ms. Zack worked for 18 years, said that "so many trial lawyers, class action lawyers, have egos that precede them by a few miles. Joanne would be the smartest attorney sitting around the room but not have to prove it. She could say one sentence at one point and solve the whole problem."
- Jeffrey J. Corrigan, a senior partner with Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis, said that when his firm was the lead counsel in the Oriented Strand Board antitrust class action, he picked Ms. Zack out of all the lawyers from 30 firms involved in the case to depose an expert. The expert witness was highly respected by the plaintiffs' expert witness and the plaintiffs’ counsel thought the expert was the best of all of the defense experts. Mr. Corrigan said that Ms. Zack's deposition “got enough dust on the expert” to bring that particular defendant to the settlement table. “In my business there are a lot of 'geniuses' and 'experts' and I put both of those terms in quotes," Mr. Corrigan said, but Ms. Zack, “despite her high competence and intelligence, never acted like a know-it-all.”
- Former Philadelphia Legal Services Executive Director Cathy Carr said of Ms. Zack, who volunteered for many years at CLS, that she was "an amazing combination of someone, both kind and generous, with lots of grace and someone who was an outstanding lawyer's lawyer."
- "She spoke softly," Mr. Boni said. "There was no flourish. There was no sense of self in her work, no superlative. She didn't boast, no conceit. She was just a brilliant attorney.”