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John Sand Siffert

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Firm Name
Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP
500 Fifth Avenue
Address 2
34th Floor
Name & Address

New York, NY 10110

Areas of Practice
Criminal Defense - White Collar
Google Maps:
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, USA
Full Biography

Mr. Siffert is a founding partner of LSW, where he has built a widely respected practice that encompasses every aspect of litigation. He has been described in Chambers as “a classic counselor who is also a superb trial lawyer.”

Mr. Siffert has successfully tried numerous civil and criminal trials to verdict, has prevailed as claimant and respondent in commercial disputes before arbitration panels, and has argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals, and the Appellate Division, First and Second Departments, of the New York State Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Siffert has helped clients avoid the cost and risks of courtroom battles by persuading governmental authorities not to bring charges and by devising consensual resolutions of business disputes.

Mr. Siffert’s areas of practice range from commercial, contract, and other civil disputes to regulatory and criminal matters involving a wide range of allegations, including securities fraud, antitrust violations, professional misconduct, art law, cybercrimes, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Mr. Siffert’s clients have included corporations, corporate boards, individual directors and senior officers. He also has appeared on behalf of major law firms and individual lawyers, both in court and before the Disciplinary Committee of the First Department. In addition, he has been frequently called upon to advise audit committees and special committees that are conducting internal investigations.

Mr. Siffert is also active as a mediator and arbitrator. He serves on the CPR panel of Distinguished Neutrals and has been retained privately to serve as a neutral arbitrator in a variety of commercial disputes. Mr. Siffert has been retained as a private mediator and serves on the Southern District of New York Mediation Panel. Previously, he served as Special Master for the First Department.

Mr. Siffert is the court-appointed Special Master and Mediator in Gulino, v. The Board of Education, currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Previously, he was appointed to serve as the Discovery Master and then as the Mediator in Invista v. DuPont, and as the Escrow Agent for the Solomon Insider Trading and Investment Advisory Disgorgement Funds. He also served as the SEC-approved Independent Counsel for MBIA Inc.

Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Mr. Siffert to serve on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules for two successive terms, from 2012-1018. Mr. Siffert currently serves on the Attorney Panel of the Committee on Grievances for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He previously served on the Disciplinary Committee of the First Department, of the New York State Supreme Court.

Mr. Siffert is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, serves on its Foundation and previously served on the Board of Regents and as Chair of its New York Downstate Committee. He routinely appears in the Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers/White Collar Crime Lawyers, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, America’s Top 100 Lawyers, American Society of Legal Advocates, Benchmark Litigation, Lawyers of Distinction, Best Lawyers in America, Expert Guides’ Best of the Best USA White Collar Crime, The Legal 500, Super Lawyers, and a broad array of Who’s Who directories, including the Global Directory of Who’s Who/Top Lawyers in New York. In 2008, Mr. Siffert was ranked by Super Lawyers as one of the top 10 lawyers in New York.

In 2009, Mr. Siffert received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Second Circuit. In 2014, he received the Healing and Hope Award from the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. In 2018, he received the George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award from the American Friends of the Hebrew University, and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Siffert also has given generously of his time to numerous bar and community organizations. Currently, he serves on the board of the Practising Law Institute and its Executive Committee. He serves as Vice Chair of Projects and Initiatives and Trustee on the board of the Historical Society of the New York Courts and is a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. He is on the Northeast Regional Board of American Friends of Hebrew University and previously served as President. He is also on the Emeritus Board of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, where he previously served as Chair. He is on the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Council’s Inn of Court, was one of its founders and served as its President. He has held various positions at the New York City Bar Association and other bar and civic organizations.

Mr. Siffert is an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law, where he has taught since 1979. He also has taught on the NITA faculty and at the Harvard Law School, Hofstra Law School, Cardozo Law School, and Columbia Business School. Mr. Siffert has been a faculty presenter on numerous PLI Programs involving white collar crime, trial strategy and trial advocacy.

Mr. Siffert served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted U.S. v. Chiarella, the first-ever criminal insider trading case.

Practice Summary


  • Modern Federal Jury Instructions - Criminal (3 volumes) (co-author, with Hon. Leonard B. Sand, Hon. Jed S. Rakoff, Steven Alan Reiss, Walter P. Loughlin, and Steven W. Allen)
  • Modern Federal Jury Instructions - Civil (2 volumes) (co-author, with Hon. Leonard B. Sand, Hon. Jed S. Rakoff; Steven Alan Reiss, and Steven W. Allen)
  • Business Crime:  Criminal Liability of the Business Community (6 volumes) (co-author, with Stanley S. Arkin, Hon. Jed S. Rakoff, Earl C. Dudley, Jr. and Donald Re)


  • Obstruction of Justice, The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (2011) (co-author, with Kathryn Malizia)
  • Commentary to Rule 53, Masters, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Joseph A. Patrice)
  • Commentary to Rule 52, Findings by the Court, Judgment on Partial Findings, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Brian Fleischer and Joseph A. Patrice)
  • Commentary to Rule 51, Instructions to Jury: Objection, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Joseph A. Patrice)
  • Commentary to Rule 50, Judgment as a Matter of Law in Jury Trials, Alternative Motion for New Trial, Conditional Rulings, Practice Commentaries – FRCP, with CFC, MDL, and Admiralty Rules (NITA) (2002/2003 Edition) (co-author, with Brian Fleischer and Joseph A. Patrice)
  • Insider Trading:  Its Evolution and Elements and Practical Considerations, White Collar Crime Reporter (1990); reprinted as Chapter 6 in Readings in White-Collar Crime (1991) (co-author, with Patricia McDonagh)
  • The Fifth Amendment and Tax Returns:  The Viability of the Deferred Filing/Current Payment of Tax Approach Pending a Criminal Investigation, White Collar Crime Reporter (1990); reprinted as Chapter 13 in Readings in White-Collar Crime (1991) (co-author, with Michael I. Saltzman)


  • Insider Trading as Fraud: Economic Benefit as an Element, New York Law Journal (2016) (co-author, with Leigh Llewelyn)
  • Understanding Insider Trading as Breach of Duty of Loyalty, New York Law Journal (2016) (co-author, with Michael Herman)
  • Lawyer-Mediator’s Dilemma to Report Misconduct but Maintain Confidentiality, New York Law Journal (2013) (co-author, with Julia C. Green)
  • Insuring Defense Costs Arising From Disgorgement Claims, New York Law Journal (2012) (co-author, with Matthew G. Coogan)
  • Using Hypotheticals During Jury Selection, Trial by Jury (2012) (co-author, with Deepa Rajan and Julie Blackman)
  • Federal Sentencing of a Foreign National: The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, International Cartel Workshop (2004); reprinted as The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons:  Foreign Nationals Serving Prison Sentences in Their Home Country, White Collar Crime 2004 (2004) (co-author, with Shambie Singer)
  • Role of Joint Defense Agreements in Defending Antitrust Investigations, Advanced International Cartel Workshop (2002)
  • The Role of Separate Counsel for Corporate Employees in Criminal Antitrust Investigations, Advanced International Cartel Workshop (2001)
  • Changing Role of Defense Counsel, New York Law Journal (1997) (co-author, with R. Erik Lillquist)
  • Materiality in False Statement Cases after United States v. Gaudin, White Collar Crime Reporter (1996)
  • Recent Developments In RICO Litigation, The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulations (August 1995)
  • Simplify Jury Instructions in Patent Cases, New York Law Journal (1995)
  • Cancer Patients’ Remedies Against Recalcitrant Health Insurers, New York Law Journal (1991) (co-author, with Richard F. Albert)
  • Civil RICO - Jury Instructions, Civil RICO 1985 (1985) (co-author); reprinted from Chapter 84 in Modern Federal Jury Instructions - Civil
  • Recklessness and Gross Negligence, as Requisite Mental Elements, in Criminal and Civil Cases, Mens Rea:  State of Mind Defenses in Criminal and Civil Fraud Cases (1985) (co-author, with Patricia McDonagh)
  • The Use of Jury Gurus and Videotape in Trial Preparation, Oakes’ Criminal Practice Letter (co-author, with Deborah E. Landis)
  • Trading on Inside Information:  Practical and Theoretical Issues in Criminal Prosecutions, Practising Law Institute (1984)
  • What to Do If Your Son or Daughter Gets Arrested, Bottom Line (1982)
  • Conflicts and Multiple Representation in Pre-Indictment Business Crime Cases, Criminal Defense Techniques (1981) (co-author, with Hon. Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge)
  • Blockbusting, 7 Col. J.L. and Soc. Prob. 538 (1971)

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Trial By Jury,” Practising Law Institute (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Panelist, “Comparison of French and American Criminal Legal Systems,” American College of Trial Lawyers (2014)
  • Interview of Hon. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, American Trial of College Lawyers (2009)



New York


U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. District Court, SDNY
U.S. District Court, EDNY


Columbia Law School
J.D., 1972
Articles Editor, Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems

Amherst College
B.A., cum laude, 1969