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Naomi Reice Buchwald Edit Profile

Naomi Reice Buchwald, American federal judge. Bar: New York 1968, United States Court 2nd District Court of Appea circuit) 1969, United States District Court (southern and eastern districts) New York 1970, Supreme Court of the United States Court 1978. Member Federal Bar Council (trustee 1976-1982, 97-00, vice president 1982-1984), Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Epsilon.


Buchwald was born in Kingston, New York, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University in 1965 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Columbia Law School in 1968.


Bachelor cum laude, Brandeis University, 1965. Bachelor of Laws cum laude, Columbia University, 1968.


After law school, Buchwald practiced law in New York until 1973, when she become an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, rising to the position of Chief of the Civil Division. She held this position until being named a magistrate judge in the same district in 1980. She served as Chief Magistrate from 1994 until 1999.

On February 12, 1999, Buchwald was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Miriam G. Cedarbaum. Buchwald was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 13, 1999, and received her commission on September 22, 1999. She assumed senior status on March 21, 2012.

In March 2013, Buchwald dismissed much, though not all, of a class action lawsuit directed at the banks that allegedly manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate. In particular, in a complicated 161 page memorandum of decision, she argued that U.S. antitrust law does not apply. She said that since the LIBOR-setting process was never meant to be competitive, the suppression of that process was not anti-competitive.

On February 24th, 2012, Judge Buchwald dismissed a lawsuit brought by a consortium of U.S. organic farmers and seed dealers aggrieved by Monsanto's Genetically Modified Organism seeds. Monsanto denied that it had harmed anyone. After extensive briefing and oral argument, she held that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue, calling the case a "transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists." The decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on March 28, 2012.

The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the organic farmers in January 2014. On February 5, 2009, the New York Daily News reported that, while presiding over a case involving an autistic boy, Judge Buchwald made a remark about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Down syndrome child, Trig, saying, "That kid was used as a prop, and that to me as a parent blew my mind." Judge Buchwald would later backtrack from her comments.

In a 2008 civil case for insider trading, Judge Buchwald ordered the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to unfreeze the ill-gotten profits of Ukrainian resident Oleksandr Dorozhko. Dorozhko was accused of hacking into a company database to access a then-unreleased earnings announcement. Based upon the undisclosed information, Dorozhko invested $41,671 in put options, which he sold the following day for $328,571.

The SEC froze the profits, but the Judge ruled against the SEC, finding that while Dorozhko's conduct almost certainly was criminal, it did not fall within the relevant civil statute. Judge Buchwald stayed her order pending appeal. In a highly deferential opinion, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Judge's ruling.

When Dorozhko later stopped participating in his defense, Judge Buchwald granted the SEC summary judgement and ordered Dorozhko to pay nearly $580,000 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty. It was later reported that the S.E.C. managed to seize about half of this amount.


Member Federal Bar Council (trustee 1976-1982, 97-00, vice president 1982-1984), Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Epsilon.