Lucas Kowalczyk is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group, which was named to the National Law Journal’s 2020 Appellate Hot List. He litigates appeals in a wide range of subject areas, including arbitration, bankruptcy, contracts, employment, and constitutional law. Lucas has drafted numerous briefs in state and federal appellate courts and oppositions to certiorari and amicus briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court. He also co-authored chapters of the treatise Principles of Appellate Litigation: A Guide to Modern Practice, published in 2021 by PLI.
Among his notable representations, Lucas helped obtain a critical victory at the First Circuit for the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico in four related appeals seeking to overturn the $18-billion plan of adjustment for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation, a critical component of Puerto Rico’s fiscal recovery. Lucas has also prevailed in a Second Circuit appeal addressing the showing the government must make to justify the continued detention of a noncitizen in removal proceedings.
In addition, Lucas is a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group focusing on asset forfeiture litigation in federal court, government and internal investigations, and criminal and regulatory matters. Among other matters, Lucas helped persuade the U.S. Department of Justice that the firm’s client was innocent, and secured a full release of nearly $20 million worth of interest in assets seized from the client by the government. In another matter, after nearly two years of litigation, Lucas helped convince the DOJ to dismiss forfeiture proceedings against a client and recovered over $16 million worth of properties held by the government.
Lucas has also successfully represented clients in high-stakes product-liability actions, securing, among others, a favorable resolution for the firm’s longtime client in a wrongful-death action.
Lucas maintains a diverse pro bono practice and has represented indigent clients in immigration, family, and appellate courts, and in death-penalty proceedings. Lucas received the 2019 Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award and Proskauer’s Golden Gavel Award for obtaining a critical victory for his client—an indigent grandmother acting as guardian for her two learning-disabled grandchildren—in an appeal, argued by Lucas, to the New York State Appellate Division, First Department. The court held that an amendment to New York’s Subsidized Kinship Guardian Program applied retroactively and required an award of benefits to the client’s grandchildren.
Lucas is a graduate of the National Trial Advocacy College.