Benjamin Semel is Of Counsel in Pryor Cashman’s Litigation Group. He handles cases in federal and state trial and appeals courts, as well as arbitrations and mediations before numerous agencies, including AAA and its international affiliate ICDR, JAMS, FINRA and others.
Ben has a broad experience in intellectual property matters, including trademark and trade secret protection, copyrights in film, television, music, software, literature and architectural works, idea theft, and rights of publicity and privacy. He also has an active practice in technology law, managing issues for software, Internet, new media and emerging technology companies.
Beyond IP matters, Ben litigates domestic and international commercial cases in a variety of areas, including contracts, fraud, defamation, real estate, securities, corporate governance and shareholder claims. His matters have involved procedural issues including the scope of eDiscovery, jurisdiction, choice of law, enforcement of foreign judgments and the interplay of international law. Ben has taken cases through jury and bench trials, including Stone v. C.R. Bard Inc. (S.D.N.Y.) where he and partner Jamie Brickell obtained a $58 million verdict for the plaintiffs in a breach of contract and fraud dispute over the sale of a medical program for the treatment of prostate cancer.
After graduating from Brown University as a triple major, Ben wrote for the daily newspaper and worked in jazz radio in New Orleans before moving to law. He graduated in 1998 from Columbia University School of Law as a Kent Scholar, the highest academic honor awarded, and received the Class of 1912 Prize, given to the single top student in the field of contracts.
Ben has combined his legal career with extensive international travel, spending five years on sabbatical from his native New York City, journeying across over 100 nations, engaged in teaching, managing NGOs, disaster relief, and conservation and animal welfare projects, along with eating some extremely unusual dishes.