Peter L. Zimroth

Peter L. Zimroth

Retired Partner

Peter Zimroth is an accomplished trial lawyer and appellate advocate and is recognized as a leading litigator in products liability, commercial, securities, and white collar crime matters. He has tried jury and nonjury cases and arbitrations, argued appeals at every level of state and federal court (including in the US Supreme Court), and represented clients before government and regulatory agencies, disciplinary panels, and congressional committees.

Prior to joining Arnold & Porter LLP, Mr. Zimroth was corporation counsel of the City of New York. The corporation counsel, the city's chief legal officer, is in charge of all the city's legal business, and heads the city's law department of more than 500 lawyers. As corporation counsel, Mr. Zimroth supervised major litigations and provided counsel on employment issues, major economic development projects, city contract and procurement policies, environmental, healthcare, law enforcement, transportation and education issues, tort and products liability, and legislation. He was the architect of the city's law providing for the public financing of city elections, a law which has become the model for local legislation around the country.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Zimroth served as an assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York (securities fraud unit) and as the chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan, the highest non-elected position in the district attorney's office. He was a tenured professor at the New York University School of Law and a law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas and to Chief Judge David Bazelon of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal.

Mr. Zimroth has been published on a wide variety of subjects in the Yale Law Journal, The New York Times, and The New York Law Journal. He is the author of "Perversions of Justice" (Viking Press, 1974), a book about political trials.


Mr. Zimroth has had more than 40 years of litigation experience. Some representative highlights include:

  • Represented the AIG Credit Facility Trust, the entity which holds the taxpayers' 80% share of AIG, in matters including financial regulatory, corporate governance, litigation advice, press and media relations, and congressional oversight.
  • Represents a large multinational corporation in an FCPA investigation.
  • Represents one of the large corporate defendants in a highly publicized suit brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act.
  • Represents a Muslim religious community in its attempt to overturn a local New Jersey zoning law passed to block the development of a mosque.
  • Successfully defended a large financial institution in FINRA arbitration brought by former senior managing director asserting, among other things, claims for breach of contract and fraud relating to management of a hedge fund.
  • Successfully represented a senior executive at a major investment bank in investigations into market timing.
  • Lead national counsel for the defendant pharmaceutical manufacturer in In re Diet Drugs Products Liability Litigation, (MDL No. 1203). In addition to coordinating the defense of this massive litigation, Mr. Zimroth personally tried some of the more important matters (e.g., the lengthy evidentiary hearing that led to the approval of the national class action settlement and the trial that first brought to light some of the abusive practices by doctors and plaintiffs' counsel). He also argued several of the most important appeals. His work, and that of his colleagues at Arnold & Porter LLP, in uncovering fraudulent practices by plaintiffs' counsel and retained experts was featured in the April 10, 2006 edition of Forbes magazine.
  • Lead trial counsel for the defendant in a US$1 billion contract and fraud action in which the jury returned a defense verdict after a three-month trial.
  • Represented a major securities firm in criminal and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations of its clearing business as well as in the class actions and related lawsuits that followed.
  • Represented the White House Counsel in the Whitewater investigation.
  • Represented New York City in its challenge to the US census which systematically undercounted minorities in cities and rural areas.
  • Successfully argued in the US Supreme Court to uphold New York City's law prohibiting discrimination against women in private clubs.

Boards and Committees

Mr. Zimroth was appointed by the Chief Judge of New York State to serve as one of the three directors of New York's Capital Defender Office. (The other two members are appointed by the State Senate and the State Assembly.) The Board oversees the provision of legal defense for those who faced the death penalty in New York.

In addition, among other activities, Mr. Zimroth has served as:

  • a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association;
  • Secretary and Member of the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar;
  • on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society;
  • as a member of the Mayor's Committee on the Judiciary; and
  • on the boards of two schools for students with special needs, the Churchill School and the Windward School.


Litigating RLUIPA Claims: Al Falah Center v. Bridgewater Township (A Case Study)
Arnold & Porter Seminar/Conference
Moreland is gone; its cause lives on

New York Daily News

The Case That Makes a Lawyer's Life Meaningful

New York Law Journal


The Best Lawyers in America for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2008-2016) and Commercial Litigation (2006-2016)
The New York Law Journal's 2014 "Lawyers Who Lead by Example" in the Lifetime Achievement category
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2012 for Products Liability & Mass Torts (New York)


  • BA, Columbia University, 1963
  • LLB, Yale Law School, 1966
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
Government and Military Service
  • Assistant US Attorney, Southern District of New York
  • Chief Assistant District Attorney, Manhattan
  • Corporation Counsel, City of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, The Honorable David L. Bazelon

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