Cassye Cole is a member of the Firm’s litigation department and represents clients in a variety of complex commercial litigation matters, including products liability defense, counseling and brand protection. She is also a member of the Independent Monitoring Team for the Newark Police Division (“NPD”), responsible for overseeing the City of Newark’s and NPD’s compliance with a Consent Decree entered into with the U.S. Department of Justice.
From 2017 to 2018, Ms. Cole served as a law clerk to the Hon. Susan D. Wigenton of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Cole was a student prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York. She earned her graduate degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she focused her research on the link between cultural biases, sub-cultural beliefs and policing. She has also spent time teaching in communities in Costa Rica.
Representative Matters have included:
Products Liability Defense
Ms. Cole serves as National and Local Counsel for medical device and prescription drug manufacturers of FDA-regulated products in state, federal and multi-district litigations. In this capacity, she handles all aspects of the litigation from initial pleadings through jury verdict, including appearing for court conferences, taking depositions, managing discovery, drafting dispositive motions, preparing mediation statements, and settlement agreements. She has prepared several cases for trial, including drafting motions in limine, developing outlines for direct and cross-examinations, and preparing jury charges.
Counseling and Advisory Work
Ms. Cole also works as an advisor and strategist for her clients. Currently, she counsels an athletic players association in connection with employee liability issues. She also advises a global pharmaceutical company on liability concerns for distributing vaccinations in Central Africa. In this capacity, she drafts internal position papers, letters of agreement, and company protocols on legal mechanisms for limiting liability.
Brand Protection: False Advertising and Lanham Act Litigation
Ms. Cole spent several years litigating on behalf of a leading dietary-supplement manufacturer, as well as a prominent pet food manufacturer. She has represented clients both as plaintiffs and defendants in multi-defendant anti-counterfeiting, false advertising and consumer fraud actions brought under state and federal law, including Lanham Act claims. In the former, the team successfully obtained a $20 million summary judgment verdict in the client’s favor; in the later, the team successfully obtained dismissal of an unclean hands defense based on the client’s alleged false advertising and fraud-based counterclaims.
White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations
Ms. Cole has served as counsel for individuals in connection with an internal investigation into alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other benchmark rates. She has also defended a private equity and venture capital firm against allegations of violating the Securities and Exchange Act.
Ms. Cole also maintains an active pro bono practice by helping clients from underrepresented communities. She currently represents a defendant in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from a conviction in federal court pursuant to appointment under the Criminal Justice Act. Ms. Cole also represents an LGBTI- and HIV-positive individual seeking asylum based on past persecution.
- U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
- New York
MEMBERSHIPS: The Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Member, 2019 Associate Leadership Institute; Member, Committee on Retention and Recruitment of Lawyers, 2016-present; Member, Professional Discipline Committee, 2017-present); Association of Black Women Attorneys (“ABWA”) (Co-Chair, Judicial and Legislative Committee, 2016-2017, Member 2014-present); National Bar Association (Member, 2012-present); Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (“PALS”) (Member, 2011-present); The Advancement Initiative (Leadership Board, 2018-present)
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: Presenter, “The Vaccine Project,” Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP (October 2016); Panelist, “PALS Roundtable Discussion: Navigating Bias Encounters in the Workplace,” Sidley Austin LLP (July 2016); Panelist, PALS Retreat for New Attorneys of Color, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (March 2017); Presenter, Rules of the Commercial Division CLE, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP (October 2014)
HONORS: National Bar Association, 40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates Award (2019); New York City Bar Association, Associate Leadership Institute (2019); Association of Black Women Attorneys, Ruth Whitehead Whaley Recipient (2013); Patterson Belknap Diversity Fellowship (2012); New York City Bar Diversity Fellowship (2011)
- John D. Winter, Cassye Cole & Jonah Wacholder, Toward a Global Solution on Vaccine Liability and Compensation, Food and Drug Law Journal, Volume 74:1, March 2019.
- Stephen P. Younger, Cassye M. Cole & Jordan M. Engelhardt, New York Commercial Division Practice Guide, Chapter III Rules of the Commercial Division, BNA, Litigation Practice Portfolio Series, Nov. 20, 2017.
- Michelle M. Bufano, Cassye M. Cole & Matthew Funk, Product Liability & Toxic Tort Litigation: Recent "Reglan" Decision Chips Away at Preemption, N.J.L.J., Dec. 14 , 2016.
- Daniel S. Ruzumna, Harry Sandick & Cassye M. Cole, Supreme Court: Criminal Defendants Can Use Their Own Funds to Hire Counsel, Crim. L. Rep. (BNA), May 4, 2016.