Ralph M. Stone, a founding partner of the firm, is recognized as a leading lawyer in the securities litigation, investor rights and international discovery fields. He has represented public and private companies, hedge funds and other institutional investors in a wide variety of commercial litigation in courts around the country and in FINRA and American Arbitration Association arbitrations, on creditor committees in international bankruptcies and in various other forums. Ralph actively represents and advises private banks and other non-U.S. institutions in major securities litigation and he regularly represents and advises them in various hedge fund disputes and matters arising from collapsed funds. Ralph also represents securities industry whistleblowers before the SEC and CFTC, helping whistleblowers maintain their anonymity in presenting tips and helping them to secure financial awards as a result of their whistleblowing. In each of the past several years, Ralph was named a New York “Super Lawyer”.
Mr. Stone also has been involved in a wide variety of securities arbitrations and other commercial cases relating to the securities industry. He has represented an AMEX-listed company in a dispute with an investment banking firm before the American Arbitration Association. He has represented investors with fraud, suitability, and deceptive practice claims against both electronic brokerage firms and traditional brokerages in FINRA arbitrations.
Mr. Stone has on several occasions served as a Court-appointed receiver or fiduciary to protect and distribute funds in various insider-trading disgorgement and other cases brought by the SEC.
Mr. Stone has been involved in a large number of mass actions, collective actions and class actions. Among other achievements, Mr. Stone obtained the first-ever class certification against a foreign government in Urban GmbH v. Republic of Argentina, in which he represented holders of defaulted Republic of Argentina bonds. He has represented a group of more than 100 bondholders of a Uruguayan bank in claims against the bank’s former directors who reside in New York. And he has represented high-profile hedge funds as well as European and Asian funds in major securities fraud actions.
The significant securities class actions in which Mr. Stone has played a principal role as one of the lead counsel include: In re Winstar Communications Inc. Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.) (over $40 million in recoveries, including a substantial recovery secured in connection with the pursuit of innovative claims brought against a business partner of a securities issuer); In re Baan Company Securities Litigation (D.D.C.) (settlement with bankrupt Dutch software company and its executives totaling $32 million, which amounted to nearly all of the damages claimed by class members); In re TEAM Communications Securities Litigation (C.D. Cal.) (settlement with bankrupt American television licensing company predominantly traded on a German stock exchange and its executives totaling $12.5 million); In re Crayfish Inc. Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.) (recoveries from Japanese software company and its executives totaling $9 million); In re Intershop Communications AG Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.) (recovery of more than $3 million from bankrupt German software company and its executives); In re Workstream, Inc., Securities Litigation (recovery of $3.9 million); Cooper v. CPS Systems, Inc. (N.D. Tex.) (recovery of $3.44 million); In re Mitcham Industries Securities Litigation (S.D. Tex.) (recovery of $2.7 million); Yuan v. Bayard Drilling Technologies, Inc. (W.D. Okla.) (recovery of $3.1 million); and Varljen v. H.J. Meyers & Co., Inc. (S.D.N.Y.) (recovery of more than $5 million).
Mr. Stone has also served as lead class counsel on behalf of participants in certain companies’ retirement plans, in a number of ERISA class actions, including: In re Ferro Corp. ERISA Litigation (N.D. Ohio) (recovery of $4 million for retirement plan participants); In re Comerica, Inc. ERISA Litigation (E.D. Mich.) (recovery of $2.2 million for plan participants).
In addition to the wide variety of matters relating to securities, Mr. Stone also actively litigates consumer protection class actions in courts around the country. For example, he played a principal role as lead counsel in Health Science Products LLC v. Sage Software SB, Inc. (N.D. Ga.), recovering $5.5 million on behalf of a class asserting that software was buggy and defective. Mr. Stone has also served as a lead counsel and made substantial recoveries for classes in many consumer protection cases, including in cases alleging that various finance charges imposed by banks, credit card companies and other lenders are deceptive or unfair, electronics products were defective, software was defective or invasive of privacy rights, sports memorabilia products were not genuine, insurance products were improperly or deceptively marketed , and that insurance contracts were breached.
Mr. Stone’s reported decisions include: In re Ferro Corp. ERISA Litigation, 422 F.Supp.2d 850 (N.D. Ohio 2006); In re Baan Company Securities Litigation, 245 F.Supp.2d 117 (D.D.C. 2003); Macomber v. Travelers Property and Casualty Co., 261 Conn. 620 (Conn. 2002); In re Baan Company Securities Litigation, 81 F.Supp.2d 75 (D.D.C. 2000); Milman v. Box Hill Systems Corp., 72 F.Supp.2d 220 (S.D.N.Y. 1999); Varljen v. H.J. Meyers & Co., [1998 Transfer Binder] Fed. Sec. L. Rep. (CCH) & 90,259 (S.D.N.Y. 1998); Saddle Rock Partners, Ltd. v. Hiatt, [1996.97 Transfer Binder] Fed. Sec. L. Rep. (CCH) & 99,413 (W.D. Tenn. 1996); and Sikes v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co., 841 F. Supp. 1572 (S.D. Ga. 1993).
From 1990 to 1992, Mr. Stone was associated with Mayer, Brown & Platt, where he was involved in a variety of commercial litigation. Mr. Stone was an associate at the law firm of Milberg Weiss from 1992 until 1997. At Milberg Weiss, Mr. Stone focused on the representation of investors and consumers in litigation involving the federal securities laws, consumer fraud statutes and the fiduciary obligations of corporate officers and directors.
He is admitted to practice in New York, and in many federal courts, including the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits. Mr. Stone has also been active in the legal community, serving on various bar association committees and as an Arbitrator in the New York City Civil Court.
Honors & Awards
Notes Editor, Review of Litigation, 1989-1990
New York Super Lawyers (2007-present)
Contributor of chapter “United States” in Shareholder Claims (Jordans 2012), describing U.S. law relating to investor and shareholder rights.
J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, 1990
Law Review: Review of Litigation, Note Editor
A.B., Columbia College, Columbia University, New York, New York, 1987
New York, 1991
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1992
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1992
U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 1994
U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, 2011
James P. Bonner, a founding partner of the firm, represents both plaintiffs and defendants in litigations and arbitrations venued throughout the country. Jim is a leading advocate on behalf of the victims of terrorism. He represents the plaintiffs in Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, where the victims of the 1983 Iranian terrorist attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon and other judgment creditors recovered nearly $1.9 billion secretly held by Iran’s central bank in a New York financial institution.
Jim was also part of a trial team named 2016 “Trial Lawyers of the Year” by Public Justice in connection with their representation of American victims of terrorism in Linde v. Arab Bank. The Arab Bank jury trial produced the first verdict ever against a financial institution for providing material support to a terrorist organization’s attacks upon American citizens.
Jim also frequently represents corporations, entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and large investors in litigations and arbitrations involving mergers, acquisitions, breaches of product development agreements, securities fraud and other business torts. In those matters, Jim has secured recoveries totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for his plaintiff clients and has won numerous dismissals for defendants he has represented.
Jim has consistently been named to the New York Super Lawyers list.
Jim served as counsel for the plaintiffs in Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, where the victims of the 1983 Iranian terrorist attack upon the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon and other judgment creditors recovered nearly $1.9 billion secretly held by Iran’s central bank in a New York financial institution. He successfully argued Peterson in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was also part of a trial team named 2016 “Trial Lawyers of the Year” by Public Justice in connection with their representation of the plaintiffs in Linde v. Arab Bank. That award “recognizes the work of an attorney or team of attorneys working on behalf of individuals and groups that have suffered injustice and harmful abuse.” The Arab Bank jury trial produced the first verdict ever against a financial institution for providing material support to a terrorist organization’s attacks upon American citizens. Following that trial, the Arab Bank case settled for a confidential amount on the eve of the first trial scheduled to assess the plaintiffs’ damages.
In addition to his ongoing representation of victims of terrorist attacks, Jim frequently serves as counsel for corporations, entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and large investors in litigations and arbitrations arising from mergers, acquisitions, and breaches of product development agreements and in cases involving securities fraud and other business torts. Recent commercial litigation and arbitration matters in which Jim has served as counsel include:
- Representing a private equity fund and its principal in an arbitration involving alleged breaches of fiduciary obligations and theft of trade secrets that produced a $22.5 million award in favor of SBR’s clients after a nine-day hearing;
- Representing entrepreneurs who sold their business to a government contractor in an arbitration related to earn-out compensation that produced a $20.5 million arbitration award in favor of SBR’s clients and a favorable settlement of the subsequent judicial proceedings related to the attorneys’ fees payable to SBR’s clients;
- Securing a $32 million judgment on behalf of a mezzanine lender in litigation arising from a failed real estate loan;
- Securing a confidential settlement on behalf of the former shareholders of a start-up medical device company in connection with an arbitration involving claims that a large, public company failed to fulfill its contractual obligation to develop the shareholders’ innovative cardiac care product for commercial purposes;
- Securing a multi-million settlement of securities fraud, suitability and breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted on behalf of companies that invested in auction rate securities that failed at auction, leaving SBR’s clients holding illiquid securities with minimal value;
- Successfully defending one of New York’s largest telecommunications contractors in an antitrust action involving alleged efforts to monopolize the market for the installation of telecommunications equipment and wiring in New York City in an action that produced a summary judgment ruling in the defendants’ favor;
- Securing a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of venture capital funds, entrepreneurs and other former shareholders of a start-up pharmaceutical company that sold a promising product to a large, public corporation that allegedly failed to fulfill post-sale obligations to develop the sellers’ product for commercial purposes;
- Successfully representing one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies in connection with breach of contract claims related to the failed design and implementation of a complex billing system by a software company and a consulting firm; and
- Securing the dismissal of claims asserted by the limited partners of real estate partnerships against the mezzanine lenders who financed failed commercial real estate projects.
Jim has also served as lead plaintiffs’ counsel in numerous large, complex securities and consumer protection class actions. He represented the class in In re Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, N.V. Securities Litigation, a securities class action that produced settlements totaling more than $180 million. At the time of the Lernout settlements, the recoveries included the third-largest ever settlement with an auditing firm, the sixth-largest settlement ever in a litigation involving a bankrupt issuer and a $60 million recovery against a European bank in connection with an innovative liability theory related to SEC Rule 10b-5(a) and (c). Jim also represented a number of New Jersey public pension funds in In re Tyco Securities Litigation, where SBR secured settlements totaling $85 million for its institutional investor clients, a recovery that represented a multiple of more than 50 times the amount those funds would have achieved had they participated in the settlement in the related class action.
Jim has also played a principal role in: In re Dreyfus Aggressive Growth Mutual Fund Litigation, a securities class action brought on behalf of investors in two Dreyfus mutual funds that produced a $20.5 million settlement amounting to over 90% of class members’ claimed damages; In re Winstar Communications Inc. Securities Litigation, a securities class action that produced over $40 million in settlements, including a substantial recovery secured in connection with the pursuit of innovative claims brought against a business partner of a securities issuer; In re CyberGuard Securities Litigation, a $10 million settlement that resulted in the collection of approximately 90% of the damages claimed by class members; Baird v. Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc., an action brought on behalf of purchasers of certain RCA and Proscan televisions in which SBR obtained a 100% recovery for the repair costs that consumers incurred as a result of the defects alleged by the plaintiffs as well as certain enhanced warranty benefits; Argyropoulos v. HomEq Servicing Corp., where SBR obtained 100% refunds of the late fees paid by certain class members on their mortgage payments and 65% refunds of the late fee payments made by the remaining class members; and Heller v. Circle K Stores, Inc., where SBR secured preliminary and final injunctions prohibiting the defendant from imposing certain taxes upon class members.
Honors & Awards
Jim was a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and graduated from Rutgers College with Highest Honors.
New York Super Lawyers (2014 – present)
Trial Lawyer of the Year, Public Justice, 2016
J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude, 1992
B.A., Rutgers College, Rutgers University, with Highest Honors, 1989
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. Courts of Appeals, for the First, Second and Third Circuits
U.S. Supreme Court
Patrick L. Rocco is a partner in the firm with a nationwide complex litigation practice. He is a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor, who has represented fortune 500 companies, pension funds, hedge funds, private equity firms, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in state and federal courts and before arbitral bodies in cases involving securities fraud, mergers and acquisitions, commercial contract disputes, federal anti-terrorism statutes and a wide variety of business torts against some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated law firms. In recognition of his professional achievements among his peers, Pat has consistently been named to the New York Super Lawyers list.
Pat frequently lectures on securities fraud litigation and federal discovery practices, including as a guest lecturer at Fordham Law School on deposition techniques, as a panelist on recent developments in securities fraud litigation at an ABA CLE conference at Seton Hall Law School and on the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank legislation at a New York City CLE advanced forum of the American Conference Institute.
At SBR, Pat led the litigation that recovered $85 million on behalf of New Jersey public pension funds who opted out of class action litigation to pursue their own private suit for civil RICO and securities fraud violations against Tyco International Ltd. and its former officers and auditors. Those settlements were the result of several years of hard fought litigation and reflect a recovery of more than 50 times what the firm’s pension fund clients would have received had they chose to participate in the related class action settlement.
Pat was previously co-lead counsel in the class action litigation that led to a recovery of $180 million for investors in the Lernout & Hauspie Securities Litigation. The settlements in that case included a $115 million recovery from KPMG, which at the time was the third-largest settlement with an accounting and auditing firm in a U.S. securities fraud action. Pat regularly counsels and represents prominent bond/private equity funds, institutional investors and corporate clients in federal and state courts. He is special counsel to some of the country’s largest state pension funds, and he has been heavily involved in the litigation of some of the largest securities fraud actions ever brought in this country.
Pat has acted as counsel for the United States Marines killed and injured in the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, and the family members of those Marines. Pat helped to lead the effort to successfully obtain an order from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that required Iran’s central bank and its outside bankers to surrender over $1.75 billion in assets primarily to those victims of terrorism. Pat was also an integral part of the team that successfully briefed and argued the Bank Markazi matter before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and assisted in protecting SBR’s victory in the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed the District Court’s order in 2016. The plaintiffs in the Bank Markazi matter are the first victims of terrorist attacks who have succeeded in recovering assets held in the name of the central bank of a state sponsor of terrorism.
Recent commercial litigation and arbitration matters in which Pat has served as primary counsel include:
- $3.25 million verdict for Claimant after 2-week trial in FINRA in Miami, FL
- Obtaining a $20 million arbitration award on behalf of a government contractor for the breach of an earnout provision of a stock purchase agreement involving the sale of the company
- Obtaining a $21 million verdict on behalf of a private equity fund client in a AAA arbitration trial in San Francisco, CA involving claims of theft of services and unfair competition;
- Representing the former shareholders of a start-up medical device company in an arbitration involving claims that a large, public company failed to fulfill its contractual obligation to develop the plaintiffs’ innovative product for use in connection with stenting procedures, resulting in a favorable settlement;
- Pursuing claims on behalf of investors that invested in auction rate securities that failed at auction, leaving investors holding illiquid securities with minimal value, resulting in a favorable settlement;
- Successfully defending a technology company from alleged anti-trust violations involving efforts to monopolize the market for the installation of telecommunications equipment and wiring in New York City;
- Representing a company that sold a promising product to a large, public corporation that allegedly failed to fulfill post-sale obligations to develop the sellers’ product for commercial purposes, resulting in a favorable settlement.
After his clerkship, Pat was an associate with the New York City law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel for five years, where his practice focused primarily upon federal securities law and complex commercial litigation.
From 1995 to 2001, Pat served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of New Jersey, prosecuting and/or trying numerous cases, including securities fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, insurance fraud and tax fraud cases. Pat’s outstanding achievements at the U.S. Attorney’s office resulted in several awards and honors, including the U.S. Attorney’s Special Achievement Award following the successful trial and conviction of six defendants in a cocaine, firearms and kidnapping conspiracy, and in which two of the defendants were sentenced to life without parole. That case also culminated in a published opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Jacinto Rodriguez-Moreno, 526 U.S. 275 (1999), wherein the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and reinstated the only conviction to have been previously reversed in the case. In 1996, Pat received a Letter of Commendation from the Director of the FBI for the successful trial and fraud conviction of a high-ranking official of the company that ran the New York and New Jersey state lotteries, resulting in a substantial prison term. In September 1998, Pat was nominated by the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey to be an instructor at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Trial Advocacy Institute. In January 2001, Pat received the U.S. Inspector General’s Integrity Award for his outstanding achievements in the successful prosecution of healthcare fraud.
In 2001 and 2002, Pat was associated with the law firm of Milberg Weiss, where he played a leading role in prosecuting various securities class action lawsuits, including In re: Lucent Technologies Securities Litigation, which culminated in a settlement of more than $600 million.
Pat is a graduate with honors of Rutgers Law School and received his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Rutgers College, Rutgers University.
Associate Articles Editor, Rutgers Law Review
Law Clerk to United States District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise in the District of New Jersey
New York Super Lawyers (2014 – present)
U.S. Attorney’s Special Achievement Award
U.S. Inspector General’s Integrity Award
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law – Newark, Newark, New Jersey
J.D., cum laude, 1988
Law Review: Rutgers Law Review, Associate Articles Editor
B.A., cum laude, 1985
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. District Court, for the Southern and Northern Districts of New York
U.S. Courts of Appeals, for the 1st Circuit, 2nd Circuit and 3rd Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Susan M. Davies, licensed to practice law in both the United States and Australia, has more than 25 years of experience as a commercial litigator in New York. Prior to joining Stone Bonner Rocco LLP in 2007, Susan was an associate in the litigation departments of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Sidley Austin LLP and then a partner at the New York City litigation boutique Gregory P. Joseph Law Offices LLC (now Joseph Hage Aaronson LLC).
Susan is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, where she received a Master of Laws in 1990, and the Australian National University College of Law, from which she graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Laws, with First Class Honors and a University Medal. While at Columbia, Susan was a Fulbright scholar and a legal writing instructor in the J.D. program.
Susan is actively involved in all the firm’s litigation, including playing significant roles in briefing before the trial and appellate courts in the case of Peterson v. Bank Markazi, in which the firm recovered nearly $1.9 billion from Iran’s central bank on behalf of victims of the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon and other Iranian terrorist attacks. Susan has also played a leading role in connection with several of the firm’s recent arbitrations involving disputes over earn-outs, and in its representation of a private equity firm and its funds in various securities and unfair competition disputes.
Susan is an active member of the New York and ex-patriate Australian legal communities. In 2012, she founded the NY Chapter of the Law Council of Australia, and has since served as its Convenor. From 2004 to 2009, she served on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, holding the positions of Section Treasurer (2008-2009) and Secretary (2007), and co-chairing the Section’s Committee on New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (2004-2006). From 2002 to 2010, Ms. Davies served on the Advisory Committee on Civil Practice to the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of the State of New York.
Susan is the author of a ground-breaking article on character evidence (Evidence of Character To Prove Conduct: A Reassessment of Relevancy, 27 Criminal Law Bulletin 504 (1991)) which has been cited in more than seventy treatises and law review articles, including The New Wigmore: A Treatise on Evidence at §§ 1.2, 3.1, 3.4. Ms. Davies’ article was relied upon by the Supreme Court of New Mexico in deciding, as a matter of first impression, that it was reversible error for a trial court to have excluded evidence of the defendant’s honest character. New Mexico v. Martinez, 195 P.3d 1232, 1236 (2008). Ms. Davies’ article was also described by the Second Circuit as “a valuable addition to the legal literature on the subject of evidence.” 103 F.3d 1085, 1092 (1997).
Honors and Awards
Australian National University, University Medal, 1986
Fulbright Postgraduate Student Scholarship, 1988-90
New York State Bar Association, Award for Outstanding Service to the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, 2009
Report of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section on a Proposal for Revision of CPLR Article 65 (Co-Author with James N. Blair), 7 NY Litigator 107 (Winter 2001)
Evidence of Character to Prove Conduct: A Reassessment of Relevancy, 27 Criminal Law Bulletin 504, November-December, 1991
Should Hate Speech Be Prohibited in Law Schools? (Co-Author with Mark Cammack), 20 Southwestern University Law Review 145, 1991
Adjunct Tutor, Constitutional Law, Australian National University College of Law, 1986 – 1988
Associate-in-Law, Columbia University School of Law, 1988 – 1990
Professional Associations and Memberships:
Law Council of Australia, International Division, NY Chapter, Convenor, 2012 – present
Advisory Committee to the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of the State of New York, Member, 2002 – 2010
New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Secretary, 2006 – 2007
New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Member, Executive Committee, 2002 – 2009
New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Treasurer, 2008 – 2009
New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, CPLR Committee Co-chair, 2002 – 2006
LL.M, Columbia Law School, 1990
Honors: Fulbright Postgraduate Student Scholarship
LL.B., Australian National University College of Law, Canberra, Australia, 1986
Honors: University Medal, First Class Honors
Law Review: Federal Law Review, Notes Editor, 1984 – 1985
B.A. University of Canberra, Australia, 1982
New York, 1991
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1991
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1991
U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2011
U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, 2005
High Court of Australia, 1986
Australian Capital Territory, 1986
New South Wales, Australia, 1987