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Sara Shudofsky represents clients in a wide range of government investigations and commercial suits, bringing to bear her extensive government experience. Her practice focuses on healthcare, financial, and grant fraud investigations and litigation, including under the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS); challenges to the design & construction of buildings and related facilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, as well as programmatic challenges brought under the ADA and state and local laws; internal investigations into alleged workplace misconduct; environmental investigations and litigation, including under CERCLA, the asbestos NESHAP regulations, and the Clean Water Act; and general affirmative and defensive litigation, including in connection with regulatory and constitutional challenges.

Prior to joining the firm, Sara was Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where she supervised more than 55 Assistant United States Attorneys and oversaw litigation in a wide variety of practice areas. During her earlier tenure in the Civil Division, she served as Chief of the Civil Rights Unit, Deputy Chief of the Civil Division, and Chief Appellate Attorney. Between her two tours at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Sara spent five years in private practice, where she represented companies and individuals in connection with government investigations and complex civil litigation.

Experience

  • Sotheby’s in a major victory after a three-week jury trial in the Southern District of New York. Defeated all claims that client had colluded with art dealer Yves Bouvier to sell works of art to a Russian oligarch at highly inflated prices. The alleged fraud had been considered one of the largest art frauds in history, valued at up to $1 billion. Accent Delight v. Sotheby’s, 18 Civ. 9011 (JMF).
  • Major art auction house in multiple related litigations involving allegations of fraud with respect to the purchase and sale of numerous art masterpieces.
  • Various pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies in connection with federal civil government investigations under the FCA and the AKS.
  • Pharmaceutical company in qui tam suits by relator alleging federal and state False Claims Act violations and violations of the AKS.
  • Various companies in connection with federal civil government investigations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and in litigation with private plaintiffs under the ADA and state and local law.
  • University in connection with federal civil government investigation under the FCA.
  • Non-profit organization in internal investigation of allegedly abusive workplace environment.
  • Transportation network company in Article 78 action brought by company to challenge rulemaking by a New York City agency relating to wheelchair accessible vehicles.
  • Utility in environmental litigation alleging negligence, breach of contract, and violations of CERCLA and other statutes.
  • Company in connection with federal civil government investigation under the asbestos regulations.
  • Sports franchise in connection with ADA compliance.
  • Large industry trade group and multiple constituent companies in connection with federal civil government investigation under the Fair Housing Act.
  • Large insurance company in connection with an environmental suit brought against it under CERCLA.
  • Individual sued for trademark infringement pertaining to the development of financial software.
  • Various individuals and companies in connection with appeals in federal and state court, subpoenas for testimony and documents, and consultation as to potential initiation of litigation and pre-suit resolution of claims.

Perspectives

Arnold & Porter Notches Win for Sotheby’s
Enforcement Edge: Shining Light on Government Enforcement
Deskbook on Internal Investigations, Corporate Compliance, and White Collar Issues (2nd ed.)
Practising Law Institute
Fair Housing Law and Practice 2023
Co-Chair & Panelist, Practising Law Institute, New York, NY
Judge Orders Precision Lens and Co-Founder to Pay US$487 Million in Damages and Penalties Stemming from Kickback Verdict
Qui Notes: Unlocking the False Claims Act
Jury Returns $43 Million Verdict Against Precision Lens (pdf)
Westlaw Today
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Recognition

The Legal 500 US
Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (2017)
General Commercial Disputes (2017)
Director's Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney
(1996, 2000)
Henry L. Stimson Medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York
(2000)
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Credentials

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1986
  • B.A., European History, University of Pennsylvania, 1983, summa cum laude, with distinction in the major

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

Government & Military Service

  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Civil Division, Southern District of New York

  • Chief, Civil Rights Unit, SDNY U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Deputy Chief, Civil Division, SDNY U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Chief Appellate Attorney, Civil Division, SDNY U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Chief, Civil Division, SDNY U.S. Attorney’s Office

Activities

  • Board of Directors, Legal Services NYC (2017–Present; Secretary since November 2022)
  • Civil Chiefs' Working Group (2014–2016)—Coordinated on a range of issues with Main Justice, federal agencies, and other U.S. Attorneys' Offices
  • Federal Courts Committee, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2007–2009)
Overview