Howard Godnick

Howard O. Godnick

Partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

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919 3rd Ave Frnt 2, New York City, New York, United States
HQ Phone:
(212) 756-2000

General Information


B.A. , with honors - global television , radio and print media attention , State University of New York at Stony Brook

J.D. , magna cum laudeNew York Law School


Board Member - National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

Member of the Litigation Section - American Bar Association

Member of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and the Securities Litigation and Arbitration Committee - New York State Bar Association

Recent News  

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP - First Department Rules Derivative Claims Under Cayman Law Must First Go Through Cayman Courts

Howard O. Godnick
Authored by Howard O. Godnick and Andrew D. Gladstein.

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November 10, 2006 - Award of Courage

Howard O. Godnick is a partner in the New York office of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, focusing his practice in the areas of complex securities and commercial litigation.
A magna cum laude graduate of New York Law School, where he graduated first in his class, Howard was honored to receive the school's Distinguished Alumnus Award for his pro-bono work on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As lead counsel in McWaters v. FEMA, a class action to secure the temporary housing assistance to which Katrina evacuees were entitled by law, he successfully obtained injunctive relief against FEMA, preventing the agency from evicting tens of thousands of hurricane victims from their federally funded hotel rooms pending determinations on their applications for benefits. The precedent-setting case garnered other recognitions for Howard, including pro bono counsel awards from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the Louisiana Bar Association and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. In addition, he was a finalist for the 2007 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Public Justice Foundation. After graduating college, Howard spent three years as an actor, standup comic and street mime, and appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1981 to 1983 as a regular extra and bit-part player. After Ringling Brothers offered him a position in their prestigious clown college, Howard chose law school instead. By November 1992, Howard was on a partnership track at Schulte Roth & Zabel, and the running track outside of the office, having just finished his 4th NYC Marathon - all under 4 hours. In July, 1993, however, a routine checkup revealed severe blockages in his coronary arteries, and Howard underwent quadruple bypass surgery on his heart. Taking this as a sign that he should give up distance running, Howard became a regular denizen on the New York spinning scene, until August 2003, when he suffered a heart attack during a spin class in East Hampton, from which he was taken by helicopter to the University of Stony Brook Medical Center. Howard gave up spinning and turned to a safer pastime - skydiving. In 2009, Howard was stricken with anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in his left eye, a rare condition that left him with impaired vision in one eye. In 2010, the same neurological condition struck his right eye, leaving Howard visually impaired, extraordinarily sensitive to light, but still able to read through one eye. The condition, however, required Howard to give up driving, skiing (which he had been doing since he was 3), biking, and other past-times. He can still skydive, though. Sitting behind Howard's desk is a picture he took in India during a "buddy trip" he and his son went on in 2010. The picture is of a man buying a handful of water on a day when the temperature exceeded 120 degrees. As sad as this scene is - a poor man using whatever change he could beg for to buy a handful of water to help escape the searing heat - Howard keeps the picture prominently placed in his office as a reminder of the tens of millions of people in the world to whom this man is lucky, because he, at least, can buy that handful of water. The picture defines "perspective," and despite the many challenges Howard has been faced with, he considers himself among the lucky ones; the challenges have only made him stronger. Howard is married to Lisanne Godnick a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City, and they have two sons - Max, a junior at Brown University, and Andy, a freshman at Columbia Preparatory School in New York City.

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Additional SRZ chapter authors include litigation partners Eric Bensky, Charles J. Clark, Alan R. Glickman, Howard O. Godnick, William H. Gussman, Jr., Marcy Ressler Harris, Taleah E. Jennings, David K. Momborquette, Martin L. Perschetz, Howard Schiffman, Gary Stein, Michael E. Swartz, Robert J. Ward and Peter H. White, attorney Betty Santangelo and special counsel Michael G. Cutini and Jeffrey F. Robertson; investment management and regulatory and compliance partner Marc E. Elovitz; mergers and acquisitions and securities partners Eleazer Klein and Marc Weingarten; and business reorganization partner Adam C. Harris.
Howard Godnick

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