Litigation partner and former New York City Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo is an experienced commercial and sports litigator who has vast experience in lawsuits involving New York City and the workings of the New York State court system. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Law Institute.
Before his appointment as Corporation Counsel by Mayor Bloomberg, Michael was a litigator with Proskauer from 1967-2001. He counseled and litigated on behalf of numerous sports leagues, including the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer. Among the sports cases he successfully tried was a six week antitrust jury trial for Major League Soccer. He was also co-chair of Proskauer’s Litigation Department and served three terms on the Firm’s Executive Committee.
As New York City’s 77th and longest-tenured Corporation Counsel, Michael was head of the city's 700-lawyer law department from 2002 through 2013, serving as legal counsel to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, elected officials, the City and all its agencies. His experience in representing virtually every city agency, as well as his extensive dealings with the federal and state governments, has also given him a unique insight on the way in which the government operates.
In this capacity, Michael set an impressive track record of reducing the city's payout of settlement and judgments by 14% and advised on scores of significant litigations including the city’s recovery of a more than $100 million judgment against Exxon, countless challenges to New York City regulations, and the defense of the more than 3,000 personal injury suits against the city alleging damages stemming from the recovery efforts following the 9/11 attack. Among the successful cases Michael personally argued was a real estate tax dispute with the government of India before the U.S. Supreme Court and a $2.5 billion bond case in the New York Court of Appeals.
Since his return to Proskauer in 2014, Michael has taken on a wide variety of commercial cases and a suit against New York City. He also helps to oversee the Firm’s pro bono practice and its diversity programs.
Long active in the public sector, Michael presently serves as a member of Chief Judge DiFiore’s Task Force on the Constitutional Convention and on the Advisory Board of Legal Outreach, which works with and supports minority high school students who aspire to become lawyers. He previously served as president of the 22,000-member New York City Bar Association, chair of both the Fund for Modern Courts and the Columbia Law School Board of Visitors and head of two court system task forces.