David Lebowitz maintains a diverse litigation practice representing individuals and organizations in civil rights cases, class actions, and commercial disputes. He has successfully litigated civil rights matters involving wrongful convictions and false imprisonment, excessive use of force by law enforcement and correctional officers, housing discrimination, the First Amendment, abuse and mistreatment of people with disabilities, and violations of employee labor rights. He has also served as counsel for classes of employees and consumers in complex class actions against businesses and non-profit institutions, and has represented plaintiffs and defendants in commercial matters including breach of contract and defamation.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Lebowitz clerked for the Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the ACLU National Prison Project. Mr. Lebowitz received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he represented prisoners in solitary confinement in Connecticut, served as a Board member of Yale’s Liman Public Interest Program, worked as Executive Editor and Symposium Director for the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, and received the Michael Egger Prize for best student Note or Comment on current social problems for his work on prosecutorial misconduct.
- Represented three individuals wrongfully convicted and imprisoned as a result of an improper 1995 Bronx double‑murder investigation. ECBA ultimately recovered over $30 million in state and federal lawsuits brought on behalf of the firm’s clients. Vazquez v. City of New York, No. 10 Civ. 6277, 2014 WL 4388497 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 5, 2014) (denying summary judgment).
- Obtained a $6.6 million settlement on behalf of a class of former medical residents in a case against their training hospital involving novel commercial tort claims and complex federal taxation issues. Simon, et al. v. New York and Presbyterian Hospital, 36 F. Supp. 3d 292 (S.D.N.Y. 2014) (denying motion to dismiss).
- Currently representing developmentally disabled adult residents of a State-run group home who were severely abused and neglected by the workers entrusted to care for them. D.K. by L.K. v. Teams, 260 F. Supp. 3d 334 (S.D.N.Y. 2017)(denying motions to dismiss).
- Obtained a substantial monetary settlement on behalf of teenager who was illegally placed in foster care without required judicial oversight or parental consent and forcibly separated from his mother in the last two years of her life. P. v. City of New York, No. 13 Civ. 5049, 2014 WL 4704800 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 19, 2014) (denying summary judgment).
- Successfully sued a New York City landlord on behalf of a non-profit service provider for people with disabilities to prevent the eviction and displacement of seven developmentally disabled men from their homes in upper Manhattan. The New York Foundling Hospital v. Riverside 1795 Associates, LLC, 15 Civ. 04747 (S.D.N.Y.).
- Obtained monetary relief and detailed injunctive settlement orders on behalf of two non-profit fair housing organizations in a suit challenging discriminatory affordable housing eligibility requirements on Long Island. Long Island Housing Services, Inc. and Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc. v. Village of Great Neck Plaza and Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, No. 14 Civ. 3307 (E.D.N.Y.).
- Successfully represented a commercial real estate broker in multiple litigations alleging breach of contract for failure to pay renewal and extension commissions, recovering significant damages and obtaining summary judgment in favor of ECBA’s client. Schlesinger & Co., LLC v. George Comfort & Sons, Inc., No. 151643/14, 2016 WL 740430 (N.Y. Cnty. Sup. Ct. Feb. 23, 2016) (granting summary judgment).
- On behalf of a strategic communications firm and its principal, obtained dismissal of a lawsuit alleging defamation and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage arising from comments to the press. Cipriani v. Bunting, No. 153047/17, 2017 WL 3616371 (N.Y. Cnty. Sup. Ct. Aug. 18, 2017) (granting motion to dismiss).
The Myth of Prosecutorial Accountability After Connick v. Thompson: Why Existing Professional Responsibility Measures Cannot Protect Against Prosecutorial Misconduct, 121 Yale L.J. Online 203 (2011) (with David Keenan, Tamar Lerer, and Jane Cooper).
- ECBA Wins Unsealing of Court Records in First Amendment Ruling
- Family Brutalized by U.S. Marshals in Justice Sotomayor Houses Files Federal Lawsuit
- Columbia Sociologist Lauds ECBA In Sociological Forum
- Federal Court Sustains Suit Challenging Over-detentions of People Entitled to Release on Bail from New York City Jails
- ECBA Files Brief For Public Defenders and Civil Rights Groups Urging Appeals Court to Reconsider Approach to False Evidence Claims
Yale Law School, J.D., 2012
Harvard University, A.B., magna cum laude with high honors, 2008