Shira Scheindlin

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Shira A. Scheindlin (pronounced SHEND-lin) (born 1946 in Washington, D.C.) was a United States District Court judge on senior status for the Southern District of New York. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on July 28, 1994, to a seat vacated by Louis J. Freeh (who went on to be the director of the FBI), confirmed by the United States Senate on September 28, 1994, and commissioned on September 29, 1994. On December 12, 2012 her vacated seat was filled by Lorna G. Schofield.

Scheindlin is known for her intellectual acumen, demanding courtroom demeanor, aggressive interpretations of the law, expertise in mass torts, electronic discovery, and complex litigation.[1]



Scheindlin received her Bachelor's Degree in Far Eastern Studies from University of Michigan (1967), her Master's Degree in History from Columbia University (1969), and her J.D. from Cornell Law School (1975).

Pre-judicial career

[2] Before taking her current seat on the Southern District, Scheindlin worked as a prosecutor, commercial lawyer, and judge. She was a clerk for federal judge Charles L. Brieant, and from 1977 to 1981 was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. From 1981 to 1982, she was General Counsel for the New York City Department of Investigation. Starting in 1982, and continuing through 1984, she served as special master in the Agent Orange mass tort litigation. From 1992 to 1994, she was special master for another mass torts case involving property damaged by asbestos.

As a commercial lawyer, Scheindlin worked for Stroock & Stroock & Lavan (1975–76), Budd, Larner, Gross, Rosenbaum, Greenberg & Sade (1986–90), and Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C. (1990–94).

Important cases

During her tenure, Scheindlin has presided over a number of high profile cases, many of which advanced important new positions in the interpretation of the United States Constitution or federal law.


Distinguished Jurist Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2008)

William Nelson Cromwell Award for unselfish service to the profession and the community from the New York County Lawyers Association (2007)

Edward Weinfeld Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Administration of Justice, New York County Lawyers (2005)

William J. Brennan Award, Criminal Law Section, New York State Bar Association (2003)

Robert L. Haig Award for distinguished public service, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, New York State Bar Association (2001)

Special Achievement Award in appreciation and recognition of Sustained Superior Performance of Duty, U.S. Department of Justice (1980)


The Future of Litigation, N.Y.L.J., February 5, 2010

One Day in September (A Celebration of the Bill of Rights), N.Y.L.J., September 25, 2006 (with Brian Lehman, Esq.).

E-Discovery: The Newly Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Moore's Federal Practice, 2006.

Electronic Discovery Sanctions in the Twenty-First Century, 11 Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review 71 (Fall 2004) (with Kanchana Wangkeo, Esq.).

With All Due Deference: Judicial Responsibility in a Time of Crisis, 32 Hofstra L. Rev. 795 (Spring 2004) (with Matthew L. Schwartz, Esq.).

Mastering Rule 53: The Evolution and Impact of the New Federal Rule Governing Special Masters, 51 Federal Lawyer 34 (Feb. 2004) (with Jonathan M. Redgrave, Esq.).

Revisions in Federal Rule 53 Provide New Options for Using Special Masters in Litigation, 76 Journal of the N.Y. State Bar Association 18 (Jan. 2004) (with Jonathan M. Redgrave, Esq.).

Judge Jack V. Weinstein, Tort Litigation, and the Public Good: A Roundtable Discussion to Honor One of America's Great Trial Judges on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday, 12 J.L. & Pol'y 149 (2003) (panel).

Outside Counsel: Retaining, Destroying and Producing E-Data: Part 2, N.Y.L.J., May 9, 2002 (with Jeffrey Rabkin, Esq.).

Electronic Discovery in Federal Civil Litigation: Is Rule 34 Up to the Task?, 41 B.C.L. Rev. 327 (2000) (with Jeffrey Rabkin, Esq.).

Secrecy and the Courts: The Judges' Perspective, 9 J.L. & Pol=y 169 (2000) (panel).

Foreword, A Corporate Counsel=s Guide to Discovery in the Information Age, Washington Legal Foundation (2000).

Judges, Juries, and Sexual Harassment, 17 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. 813 (1999) (with John Elofson, Esq.).

A Year in the Life: Reflections of a New District Judge, N.Y.L.J., Nov. 20, 1995.

The ADR Landscape, 496 PLI/Lit 437 (1994) (with David Ross, Esq.).

Legal/Business Advice Dichotomy, N.Y. L.J., Aug. 5, 1993.

Guide to the Southern District of New York Civil Justice Expense and Delay Reduction Plan, 481 PLI/Lit 729 (1993).

A Portrait of a Lady: The Woman Lawyer in the 1980s, 35 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 391 (1990) (with Prof. Stacy Caplow).

Discovering the Discoverable: A Bird's Eye View of Discovery in a Complex Multidistrict Class Action Litigation, 52 Brooklyn L. Rev. 397 (1986).

Venue in the Second Circuit, 43 Brooklyn L. Rev. 841 (1977) (with Hon. Charles L. Briaent, Jr.).

Legal Services: Past and Present, 59 Cornell L. Rev. 960 (1974).


  1. ^ Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, 2005
  2. ^ Id.
  3. ^ See 202 F. Supp. 2d 55 (2002).
  4. ^ See 306 F. Supp. 2d 379 (2004).
  5. ^ See 382 F. Supp. 2d 536 (2005); 231 F.R.D. 159 (2005).

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