U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1993
Editor in Chief, Vanderbilt Law Review, 1992-1993
- B.A., Duke University, 1989
Editorial Page Editor, The Chronicle, 1987 - 1988
Columnist 1987 - 1989
Honorable Joseph M. McLaughlin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit,
Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Mediation Panel, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
International Bar Association
Edward P. Boyle
Mr. Boyle is Chair of the New York Commercial Litigation Practice Group, and co-chairs the firm's Class Action Defense Group. He represents clients in the financial services, consumer products, retail sales, media, and entertainment industries, as well as nonprofit organizations. His practice focuses on litigating disputes among parties to complex investment, financing and other business transactions, and defending class actions, particularly in the advertising and marketing, privacy, and consumer protection areas. Mr. Boyle also advises clients with respect to issues involving employment, corporate governance, securities, and regulatory matters.
Mr. Boyle brings to his client relationships a varied background in law that includes a federal judicial clerkship, seven years as a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, two years teaching law school as an adjunct professor, several years of practice with a sophisticated commercial and employment litigation boutique, and service as a court-appointed mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He has extensive experience litigating in federal and state courts, in New York and elsewhere in the United States. He has also handled numerous arbitrations and mediations. Mr. Boyle has served as an expert on New York and U.S. law issues in connection with proceedings outside the United States.
Class Action Defense
- Mr. Boyle represents clients in litigation involving disputes over earn-out provisions in agreements to acquire privately-held businesses. Recently, Mr. Boyle won dismissal of an earn-out litigation filed in the District of Delaware. Mr. Boyle also represents financial advisers in connection with merger and acquisition litigation.
- On behalf of a major investment bank and its affiliates, Mr. Boyle sued a hedge fund and related entities in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court, concerning rights to nearly $30 million in distributions from a trust established to liquidate various real estate-related investments. Early in the discovery phase, Mr. Boyle moved for summary judgment. The Court granted the motion, awarding our client an amount exceeding $30 million, including principal and interest.
- Mr. Boyle won a motion to dismiss a $60 million lawsuit in Delaware Superior Court by a limited partnership and its general partner against three of the limited partners and their ultimate corporate parent. Plaintiffs had claimed that the limited partners breached the limited partnership agreement by cancelling their future funding commitments, and that the parent, a major bank holding company, had tortiously interfered with the partnership’s prospective relations. Immediately following oral argument, the Court dismissed the case from the bench.
- Mr. Boyle represented a global hotel management company in litigation in New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division against the owner of an iconic hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, claiming that the owner breached the hotel's management agreement by removing our client as manager of the hotel before the contract term expired. The hotel sought lost profits damages to compensate for 42 years of unpaid management fees. The owner also asserted claims against the management company for breach of contract and various business torts. After several years of litigation, the case settled in 2016.
- On behalf of a major payment processor, Mr. Boyle won summary judgment disposing of a hedge fund's claims of conversion concerning a defunct credit card portfolio. The New York State Supreme Court held that the payment processor's contractual rights to use cardholder payments to pay down processing fees were superior to the hedge fund’s perfected security interest under U.C.C. Section 9-404(a). In August 2015, the Appellate Division affirmed, and the hedge fund subsequently dropped its remaining claims.
- Mr. Boyle recently represented a major investment bank in litigation against a hedge fund arising from the warehouse financing of a collateralized loan obligation (CLO) transaction, pending in the Commercial Division of New York State Supreme Court. The hedge fund had agreed to share in up to $24 million of the bank's financing risk in connection with forming the CLO. The CLO was cancelled when the market cratered, and the hedge fund sued to recover the amounts it had paid to date. In return, the bank claimed to recover the amounts remaining due under the agreement.
- At his prior firm, Mr. Boyle defended an advertising agency against invasion of privacy claims by Yogi Berra, based on the use of Mr. Berra's name in an advertising campaign.
- Mr. Boyle has conducted internal investigations for financial services clients on a variety of issues involving federal and state laws.
- Mr. Boyle advises the NFL Alumni Association regarding a wide range of issues arising from the organization's work for the benefit of retired professional football players.
- On behalf of a national supermarket chain, Mr. Boyle obtained dismissal of an Ohio state court consumer class action challenging the accuracy of "humanely raised" and "humane environment" labels on the grocery store's house brand chicken products. Plaintiffs had claimed these labels were false and misleading in violation of Ohio state law, and that the class had been harmed by paying a premium based on the labels' representations. On March 23, 2015, the court held that all of plaintiffs' claims were preempted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act, which vests the USDA with exclusive authority to review poultry labels for accuracy.
- Mr. Boyle recently won a motion to dismiss a privacy class action against an Internet advertiser, in an MDL proceeding pending in the District of Delaware. Plaintiffs had asserted that Mr. Boyle’s client and several others had violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Wiretapping Act, and Electronic Stored Communications Act by placing third-party "cookies" on plaintiffs’ computers and devices, despite the settlings on plaintiffs’ Apple Safari browsing software. Mr. Boyle and other defendants moved to dismiss all claims, primarily on the ground that the complaint failed to allege any cognizable injury. On October 9, 2013, the district court granted the motion to dismiss and dismissed all claims. See In re Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litig., MDL Civ. No. 12-2358-SLR, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145727 (D. Del. October 9, 2013).
- Mr. Boyle recently defended a major producer of poultry products in putative consumer class action lawsuits pending in the District of New Jersey and the Middle District of Florida, claiming that "humanely raised" labels on the chicken packages are deceptive, in violation of state statute and common law. Mr. Boyle also defended a national supermarket chain in a similar putative class action lawsuit in the Central District of California. There plaintiffs claimed that "humane environment" and "cage free" labels on our client's house brand chicken products are deceptive, in violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, and common law. The cases settled on an individual basis shortly after defendants moved for dismissal on the grounds of federal preemption.
- Mr. Boyle defended a foreign consumer products company (as well as its corporate parent and its two founders) in 16 putative class actions that were filed around the country. The lawsuits challenged the accuracy of our client’s marketing claims concerning the efficacy and ingredients of its weight-loss products. The complaints sought class-wide damages which, in the aggregate, would exceed $200 million. On our motion to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the 16 cases were consolidated and transferred to the District of Massachusetts, streamlining the litigation and saving the client substantial legal fees. Venable then moved to dismiss the complaints. These motions led to the dismissal of the corporate parent on personal jurisdiction grounds, and the elimination of several substantive claims against the remaining defendants. After some discovery, the parties conducted settlement negotiations that culminated in an extremely favorable court-approved settlement for the client – including nationwide consumer releases covering all the client’s weight-loss products, total settlement payments to class members of less than $50,000, no cy pres award, and a relatively small payment for plaintiffs' attorney’s fees and expenses.
- Mr. Boyle obtained final court approval of a settlement of a putative class action in the Northern District of California against a major national footwear company, alleging the company’s text messaging program with its customers violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The settlement featured non-cash compensation to class members.
- On behalf of the nation's largest nonprofit credit counseling company, Mr. Boyle succeeded in defeating class certification in an action alleging violation of a Georgia consumer protection statute. The District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held that both plaintiffs were inadequate to represent the putative class, and that claims for damages under the statute's strict liability provisions were inappropriate for class action treatment.
- On behalf of a major retail clothing store chain, Mr. Boyle negotiated what was effectively a "walk away" settlement of putative class action claims alleging violations of New York State consumer protection statutes. Plaintiffs agreed to settle their claims shortly after Mr. Boyle served counsel with a motion to dismiss all claims in the action.
Member, Alternate Dispute Resolution Mediation Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2011-present
Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University Law School, 2000-2002