Marvin Wexler focuses his practice on civil litigation. Mr. Wexler has represented most of the nation’s major insurers as plaintiffs in fraud cases of all kinds, in courts in New York and across the country, as well as in coverage cases. He is noted for trailblazing work in civil RICO litigation. Additionally, a longtime focus of Wexler’s practice is the representation of New York City hospitals now comprising the Mount Sinai Health System in commercial litigation spanning a broad array of disputes, including issues with or concerning physicians, suppliers and other contractors, related business ventures, landlords, competitors and regulatory authorities.
Mr. Wexler is a 1973 graduate of Yale Law School. He also holds an M.S. from the London School of Economics and is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College.
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Insurance Coverage
- Civil RICO Litigation
- Lead counsel for Aetna in the first case ever successfully to employ the Federal RICO statute in civil litigation. Aetna v. Liebowitz (E.D.N.Y.). The landmark case concerned a massive auto insurance fraud that for years bedeviled the auto insurance industry in New York, impervious to traditional legal approaches. The fraud was brought to a halt by a preliminary injunction issued shortly after this RICO case was begun, after the chief perpetrator took the Fifth about ten questions into cross-examination at the preliminary injunction evidentiary hearing in Federal Court.
- Lead counsel for Aetna, CIGNA and Metropolitan Life in a RICO lawsuit against National Medical Enterprises and its affiliate, Psychiatric Institutes of America ("PIA"), involving a massive fraud scheme to induce people, by means of kickbacks to referral sources, trickery and coercion, into being admitted to PIA's psychiatric facilities and keep them there until their insurance benefits were exhausted, even though they had no need for psychiatric institutionalization. Aetna v. National Medical Enterprises (N.D. Tex). After intense discovery and motion practice, including as concerns waiver of defendants' attorney-client privilege, the case was settled for what was, at that time, the largest ever health insurance fraud recovery.
- Co-lead trial counsel for Vanessa Redgrave in three-week contract and civil rights jury trial in Boston concerning the Boston Symphony Orchestra's termination of the client's contract to narrate "Oedipus Rex" at BSO's centennial performance because of objections by BSO Board members to her political views. Redgrave v. Boston Symphony Orchestra (D. Mass). The client recovered her contract fee plus consequential damages.
- Lead counsel for Aetna in a RICO case against Paracelsus Healthcare Corp. and telemarketer entities involving a scheme to generate fraudulent health insurance claims. Aetna v. Greeson (C.D. Cal.). The case resulted in the recovery of the client's very large losses, although litigation by other insurers against Paracelsus had been unsuccessful.
- Lead counsel for UnitedHealth, Aetna, CIGNA and Humana in the "California Cosmetic" civil RICO litigation Connecticut General v. New Images of Beverly Hills (C.D. Cal.). The defendants were 10 corrupt outpatient surgery clinics in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the owners of those clinics, and about 20 surgeons and other doctors who participated in a scheme that involved submitting fraudulent bills and medical records that disguised cosmetic surgeries as covered medically-necessary surgeries. This complex litigation recovered a very large sum for the clients.
- Lead counsel for Chubb affiliate Executive Risk in a multi-million dollar insurance coverage dispute arising from claims against the officers and directors of Trace International Holdings by the Bankruptcy Trustee following the bankruptcy of Trace. Pereira v. Gulf Ins. Co , et. al, (S.D.N.Y). The Court dismissed the claim against the client on summary judgment on the ground that the policy's prior litigation exclusion applied as a matter of law.
- Lead counsel for Aetna in a case involving serious wrongdoing committed by a prisoner from his cell in Federal prison. Aetna v. Alex Wade. (S.D. Tex.). The prisoner was seriously misusing Aetna's name, including by fabricating letters of credit supposedly issued by Aetna. He had been convicted and sentenced to prison for similar misconduct, but the wrongdoing continued, as he orchestrated the continuing wrongdoing from his prison cell, using the prison library copying machine to prepare his fraudulent documents and the prison phones to call his confederates outside of prison. The case thus presented the question of what legal relief was available that could put an end to wrongdoing by a person already behind bars. The answer was an application to hold him in contempt of Court for violating the injunctive provisions of the civil Judgment that Aetna had obtained against him under the trademark statute. After an evidentiary hearing, the Court held him to be in contempt and in effect directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to transfer him to the highest security Federal prison, put him in solitary confinement there and monitor his telephone calls. The wrongdoing stopped as soon as he was transferred.
- Lead counsel for Beth Israel Medical Center in ten million dollar dispute with a former Department Chairman concerning whether his termination was "for cause." Scott v. Beth Israel Medical Center (N.Y. Sup. Ct. N.Y. County). After intense discovery, the Appellate Division, First Department entered summary judgment in favor of the client. The case also made New York law on piercing attorney-client privilege when an employee communicates with his attorney over the employer's e-mail system.
- Lead counsel for Gosconcert, the Russian State Concert Agency, and the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra in dispute with music agency that arose after the cancellation of a contracted-for American tour. Gosconcert v. Hillyer (S.D.N.Y. 1993).
- Lead arbitration counsel for Textron in high-stakes dispute with Unisys over Unisys' right to sell its interest in a joint venture to Honeywell. Textron v. Unisys (American Arbitration Association). After numerous depositions across the country, the case was settled on terms extremely favorable to the client.
- Co-lead counsel, along with Lawrence Fox, in the representation of a major New York hospital in a highly-publicized dispute over the estate of the heiress Huguette Clark, including allegations of undue influence by the hospital in connection with Ms. Clark's Will and inter vivos gifts. In re Huguette Clark and In the Matter of the Petition of the Public Administrator, N.Y. Co., as Temporary Administrator of the Estate of Huguette Clark (Surrogate's Ct. N.Y. Co.). The Will contest was settled in 2013 during jury selection, with the settlement giving the full amount of Ms. Clark's bequest to the hospital. In related proceedings, the administrator of Ms. Clark's estate sued the hospital to recover more than $50 million in donations and gifts that Ms. Clark made to the hospital and others. The Surrogate's Court dismissed all claims against the client, holding that the hospital owed no fiduciary obligation as alleged and that the undue influence and conversion claims were time-barred. In January 2017, the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the dismissal of all claims against the client hospital.
- Lead counsel for Warner Bros. Records in a lawsuit brought by person assaulted at an Aerosmith concert in Madison Square Garden who claimed that the music incited the assault and that Warner Bros. Records was responsible for the music. Lynda Matarazzo v. Aerosmith-Productions, Inc. et al (S.D.N.Y). That claim was dismissed on motion on First Amendment grounds.
- Counseled the employees of the Mayflower Madam Sydney Biddle Barrows concerning various legal issues that arose after Barrows' exposure.
- In re Huguette Clark, 146 A.D.3d 495, 45 N.Y.S.3d 41 (App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2017), affirming on the law the dismissal of all claims against the client hospital as concerns the Estate of Huguette Clark.
- In the Matter of the Petition of the Public Administrator, N.Y. Co., as Temporary Administrator of the Estate of Huguette Clark, New York Law Journal, August 28, 2015, http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202616372981/Will-of-Huguette-M-Clark-19951375A?slreturn=20150814141829 (Surrogate's Court, N.Y. Co.), dismissing fiduciary breach, undue influence and conversion claims asserted against client, Beth Israel Medical Center.
- Natale v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 2014 WL 5374349 (S.D.N.Y. 2014), granting motion to dismiss tortious interference claim against client Mount Sinai.
- Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. d/b/a Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield v. Lester, 2013 WL 3753138 (S. Ct. N.Y. Co.), granting Judgment of liability in favor plaintiff health care insurer client against defendants insureds and chiropractor on contract and on fraud claims based on findings of gross discovery abuse by defendants.
- Beth Israel Medical Center v. Siemens, 2013 WL 1385711 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) and Beth Israel Medical Center v. Verizon, 2013 WL 1385210 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), denying Siemens' motion to dismiss complaint and holding that Siemens had fiduciary obligations to client hospital to prevent overbilling by Verizon, and dismissing certain non-contract claims against Verizon, arising out of very large overbillings by Verizon and overpayments by clients to Verizon.
- Eden v. St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 96 A.D.3d 614, 947 N.Y.S.2d 457 (1st Dep't 2012), dismissing fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, contract and N.Y. Labor Law claims asserted by doctor against client hospital.
- Verizon v. Continuum Health Partners, Inc., 2010 WL 2161826 (1st Dep't. 2010), affirming grant of summary judgment in favor of client Continuum on ground that Verizon's commercial claim against Continuum was time-barred under Delaware's 1-year statute of limitations, which governed by application of New York's borrowing statute.
- Pereira v. Gulf Ins. Co, 2009 WL 1262954 (2d Cir. 2009), affirming Pereira v. Nation Union, 2007 WL 2509757 (S.D.N.Y. 2007), granting summary judgment in favor of client Executive Risk Indemnity, Inc., an affiliate of Chubb, in a liability policy coverage dispute, on the ground that the prior litigation exclusion applied as a matter of law.
- Harris v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 2009 WL 612498 (S.D.N.Y. 2009), granting client Beth Israel's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint on res judicata grounds, ruling that the claim against Beth Israel could have been asserted in prior State court action in which the same Plaintiff had asserted a different claim against Beth Israel and which was voluntarily dismissed after this firm filed a Motion to Dismiss that prior Complaint.
- Scott v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 47 A.D.3d 541, 850 N.Y.S.2d 81 (1st Dep't 2008), granting summary judgment to client Beth Israel on wrongful termination claims by former Department Chairman, holding that Chairman breached his duty of loyalty.
- Bloom v. St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc., 57 A.D.3d 819, 870 N.Y.S.2d 400 (2d Dep't 2008), a class action brought against client St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc., reversing grant of summary judgment on merits in favor of client.
- Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. New Images of Beverly Hills, 2007 WL 3353704 (9th Cir. 2007), holding that $2,900,000 Judgment against one of the 30 defendants in insurance fraud RICO action was not satisfied by the settlements with other, settling defendants but, rather, the settlement proceeds had to be rationally allocated as between the ten separate RICO enterprises complained of by clients CIGNA, Aetna, United Healthcare and Humana
- Pereira v. National Union, 2007 WL 2509757 (S.D.N.Y. 2007), granting in virtual entirety our motion for summary judgment in coverage action against client Executive Risk Indemnity Inc.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama v. Unity Outpatient Surgery Center, 490 F.3d 718 (9th Cir. 2007), vacating stays entered by the District Court in insurance fraud RICO action brought on behalf of clients Blue Cross Plans and arising out of notorious "Rent-a-Patient" scheme, where a few of the 50 civil RICO defendants had been indicted and holding that, for purposes of evaluating whether stays are proper in light of parallel criminal proceedings, distinctions had to be drawn between, among others, defendants who had been indicted and those who had not.
- Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. New Images of Beverly Hills, 2007 WL 942394 (9th Cir. 2007), affirming entry of treble-damage insurance fraud judgment on RICO claim brought by clients CIGNA, Aetna, United Healthcare and Humana.
- Scott v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 17 Misc. 3d 934, 847 N.Y.S.2d 436 (S. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2007), holding, in wrongful termination action by former Department Chairman Scott against client Beth Israel, that Scott's communications with his litigation counsel over Beth Israel's e-mail system are not privileged.
- Indemini v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 4 N.Y.3d 63, 790 N.Y.S.2d 625 (2005), dismissing claims by terminated physician against client, Beth Israel, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, pursuant to Section 2801 of the Public Health Law.
- ATUC v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 2005 WL 6165946 (S. Ct. N.Y. Co.), denying ATUC's motion to set aside the jury's verdict in favor of client on a claim that the client owed a significant contingency fee under the parties' contingency fee contract.
- Modugu v. Continuum Health Partners, Inc., 3 A.D.3d 422, 771 N.Y.S.2d 118 (1st Dep't 2004), entering summary judgment in favor of client, Continuum, on former employee's claim for supplemental compensation.
- Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. Zilka, 321 F.3d 878 (9th Cir. 2003), affirming grant of preliminary injunction freezing the assets of a defendant in a civil RICO insurance fraud action brought on behalf of CIGNA, Aetna, United Healthcare and Humana.
- Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. New Images of Beverly Hills, 2003 WL 729077 (9th Cir. 2003), affirming grant of summary judgment, and entry of treble damage Judgment, in favor of clients Aetna, United Healthcare, CIGNA and Humana on RICO claim against corrupt surgeon in insurance fraud action.
- Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. New Images of Beverly Hills, 2003 WL 729135 (9th Cir. 2003), affirming imposition of terminating sanctions against two defendants on fraudulent conveyance claim.
- Carpino v. National Store Fixtures, 275 A.D.2d 580, 712 N.Y.S.2d 684 (3rd Dep't 2000), dismissing claims against client, a Texas firm, for lack of jurisdiction under New York's long-arm statute.
- Redcross v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 260 A.D.2d 908, 688 N.Y.S.2d 817 (3rd Dep't 1999), entering summary judgment in favor of client, Aetna, on portion of bad faith claim.
- Solomon v. Beth Israel Medical Center, 248 A.D.2d 118, 669 N.Y.S.2d 807 (1st Dep't 1998), affirming grant of motion to dismiss complaint on alternative grounds, including immunity conferred by the Federal Health Case Quality Improvement Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11101 et seq.
- Ingersoll-Rand Co. v. Textron, Inc., 1996 WL 680266 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), dismissing claim against client, Textron Inc. for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
- Perez v. Park Madison Professional Laboratories, Inc., 212 A.D.2d 271, 630 N.Y.S.2d 37 (1st Dep't 1995), entering summary judgment dismissing claim against client doctor who performed abortion challenged as non-consensual.
- Milliken & Co. v. Con Ed., 84 N.Y.2d 496, 619 N.Y.S.2d 686 (1994), dismissing claims against client Empire City Subway Company, arising out of power black-out.
- Craig-Oriol v. Mount Sinai Hospital, 201 A.D.2d 449, 607 N.Y.S.2d 391 (2nd Dep't 1994), affirming grant of summary judgment in favor of client Mount Sinai on grounds of issue preclusion and, in the alternative, the merits.
- Gosconcert v. Hillyer, 158 B.R. 24 (S.D.N.Y. 1993), arising out of a litigation brought on behalf of clients, Gosconcert and the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, against a company that contracted to bring the Orchestra to the United States for a concert tour which fell through.
- Columbus Park Corp. v. Dept. of Housing Preservation, 80 N.Y.2d 19, 586 N.Y.S.2d 554 (1992), resolving first-impression issue of law about client co-op's development rights under Mitchell-Lama housing statute.
- Chrysler Capital Realty, Inc. v. Grella, 942 F.2d 160 (2d Cir. 1991), resolving mortgage dispute involving client, Chrysler Capital.
- Eenkhoorn v. New York Telephone Co., 148 Misc. 2d 999, 568 N.Y.S.2d 677 (App. Term, 1st Dep't 1990), dismissing intellectual property claim by former employee against client, N.Y. Telephone Company.
- Heafitz v. Interfirst Bank of Dallas, 711 F. Supp. 92 (S.D.N.Y. 1989), granting motion by client joint venturer in oil and gas development transaction to remand to State Court lawsuit asserting claim against bank for tortious interference with the transaction.
- Seawall Associates v. City of New York, 74 N.Y.2d 92, 544 N.Y.S.2d 542 (1989), holding unconstitutional New York City Local Law No. 9, which prohibited the demolition or conversion of single-room occupancy dwellings and obligated the owners to restore such units to habitable condition representing, pro bono, amicus Coalition for the Homeless, arguing in support of the statute.
- Matarazzo v. Aerosmith Productions, Inc., 1989 WL 140322 (S.D.N.Y. 1989), declining to award attorneys' fees to client, Warner Brothers Records, following dismissal on the law of a complaint brought against Warner Brothers Records by a person who was assaulted during an Aerosmith concert and who claimed that Warner Brothers Records was responsible for the assault because of the provocative nature of the music.
- Redgrave v. Boston Symphony Orchestra, Inc., 855 F.2d 888 (1st Cir. 1988), affirming damage award after three-week jury trial in Boston in favor of client Vanessa Redgrave in contract/civil rights action (tried with Dan Kornstein).
- Textron v. Unisys, 138 Misc.2d 124, 523 N.Y.S.2d 715 (S. Ct. N.Y. Co. 1987), resolving discovery-in-aid-of-arbitration issues in favor of client, Textron, in a dispute concerning Unisys' ability to sell its interest in a joint venture to Honeywell.
- Magique v. Chippendales, Inc., 628 F. Supp. 106 (S.D.N.Y. 1986), holding that a triable issue of fact exists in an action brought to enforce a restrictive covenant involving client, Chippendales.
- Redgrave v. Boston Symphony Orchestra, 602 F. Supp. 1189 (D. Mass. 1985), making post-trial rulings and entering judgment in part for client and in part for defendant.
- Walker & Corsa v. Tunisian Office National des Cereales Embassy of Tunisia, 1985 WL 170 (S.D.N.Y. 1985), after evidentiary hearing, granting summary judgment to client, the Tunisian Government, in fee dispute with law firm arising out of an admiralty matter.
- The Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. v. Liebowitz, 570 F. Supp. 908 (E.D.N.Y 1983), holding that client, Aetna, is not entitled to recover legal fees based on obtaining civil RICO preliminary injunction followed by monetary settlement with defendant.
- Libpalmco v. Alfa-Laval, Inc., 729 F.2d 1443 (2d Cir. 1983), affirming Judgment entered below by Judge Broderick in favor of client defendants, dismissing plaintiff's claim and awarding damages on clients' counterclaim, concerning a contract for the construction of large palm oil plant in Liberia that plaintiff canceled promptly after the Liberian Government was overthrown, rejecting plaintiff's arguments that the cancellation was excusable under the doctrine of impossibility and upholding the contract's cancellation clause as a valid liquidated damages provision.
- Navajo Nation v. United States, 668 F.2d 1100 (9th Cir. 1982), holding that client, The Navajo Nation, could not insist that its Federal rights to Colorado River water be adjudicated in Federal Court and deferring, on abstention grounds, to State Court action initiated by the State of Arizona (with Judge Rifkind and Mark Alcott of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison).
- Estate of Weiskopf, 77 T.C. 135 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1981), at conclusion of trial, rejecting the Government's claim against client Estate and holding that certain trusts were not beneficiaries of the Estate at the time certain stock interests were sold (with James Lewis of Paul Weiss on the briefs).
- Quinn v. Aetna, 482 F. Supp. 22 (E.D.N.Y. 1979), aff'd, 616 F.2d 38 (2d Cir. 1980), dismissing on First Amendment grounds an action to enjoin client, Aetna, from placing advertising messages that urged reform of State tort law (with Lewis Kaplan of Paul Weiss, now Judge Kaplan).
- Toker v. Pollak, 44 N.Y.2d 211, 405 N.Y.S.2d 1 (1978), in a defamation action brought by an unsuccessful candidate for judicial office complaining of the client, Henry Stern's comments about the candidate to the Mayor's Committee on the Judiciary, holding that the statements were subject to a conditional privilege, not an absolute privilege (with Max Gitter of Paul Weiss).
- Goodrich v. Gonzalez, 451 F. Supp. 747 (E.D.N.Y. 1978), holding that pro bono challenge, to District Attorney's practice of conditioning consent to adjournments of criminal actions in contemplation of dismissal upon waiver by defendants of their rights under civil rights statutes, was moot (with Arthur Liman of Paul Weiss).
- Dolph's Clothier's v. City of New York, 57 A.D.2d 757, 394 N.Y.S.2d 416 (1st Dep't 1977), reversing judgment entered against client, Empire City Subway Company, for water damage resulting from bursting of huge and ancient City water pipe that client allegedly interfered with in connection with subway construction in 1904 (with Ed Costikyan of Paul Weiss).
- United States v. Winston, 558 F.2d 105 (2d Cir. 1977), reversing conviction of client in first-ever prosecution for violation of the criminal provisions of the Railway Labor Act (with Jay Topkis of Paul Weiss).
- United States v. Dansker, 537 F.2d 40 (3rd Cir. 1976), reversing conviction of client Nathan Serota under the Federal Travel Act and holding that the conduct charged as criminal did not constitute a crime as a matter of law (with Martin London and Max Gitter of Paul Weiss).
Selected Reported Cases
- New York
- 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 Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Tax Court
- Supreme Court of the United States
- Yale Law School, J.D., 1973
- London School of Economics, M.S., 1970
- Yale College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1969
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2015-present
- Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard LLP
- Partner, 1981-2015
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
- Associate, 1974-1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Law Clerk to the Hon. J. Joseph Smith, 1973-1974
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Founder and presenter of poetry program for very elderly and disabled residents of nursing homes, and creator of www.poetryfortheelderly.org, a website focused on the therapeutic value of poetry for the very elderly. The poetry program was featured in a New York Times article in January 2015.
- Member of the Steering Committee of the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Louis Armstrong Music and Medicine Program
- Annual Mamaroneck, N.Y. Martin Luther King Award for community work, 1994
- "Al-Andalus – An Andalucian Romance," a script for a film or play about the culture of Covivencia in Tenth Century Al-Andalus a/k/a Spain, featuring historical characters and Arabic and Hebrew poetry of that time and place. Published in December, 2016 under the "About Us" tab on the www.poetryfortheelderly.org website.
- Featured in "Soothing the Aged With Verse, a Lawyer Takes a Road Less Traveled," The New York Times, January 1, 2015
- "A poetry program for the very elderly - Narrative perspective on one therapeutic model," Vol. 27, Journal of Poetry Therapy, Issue 1, March 2014
- Principal Author, "The Creation of An International Criminal Court," Report of the New York State Bar Committee on International Litigation, adopted by the A.B.A. House of Delegates at the A.B.A. Annual Meeting, August 1992
- Co-author, "The Fraud Behind the 'Waiver'," Vol. 91, No. 12, Best's Review, April 1991
- Principal Author, "Report on the UNCITRAL Model Law of International Commercial Arbitration," Report of the New York State Bar Committee on International Litigation, reprinted in Vol. 23,No. 1, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics 87, Fall 1990
- Co-author, "Civil RICO: A Weapon Against Fraud," Vol. 86, No. 10, Best's Review, Feb. 1986
- "Comment on Redgrave v. BSO," Vol. 17, 10 Harvard Law Record, Jan. 25, 1985
- "Aetna v. Liebowitz: A RICO Milestone," Vol. 1 RICO Law Reporter at 64, 1984
- "RICO in the Second Circuit: One Step Forward and Two Uncertain Steps Backward," Vol. 1 RICO Law Reporter at 249, 1984
- "Betterment Recovery: A Financial Proposal for Sounder Land Use Planning," 3 Yale Review of Law and Social Action, 1973
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Co-presenter, "What You Need To Know About the Power of Statistics and Other Circumstantial Evidence in Fraud Litigation," Presentation to the Forty-First Blue Cross/Blue Shield Annual Lawyers' Conference, May 2, 2007
- "A Case of Insurance Fraud Perpetrated by a Prisoner from Inside a Federal Prison, and the Equally Outrageous Rent-a-Patient Insurance Fraud Case," Presentation to Insurance Industry SIU Representatives at Grand Teton Lodge, June 13, 2006