DOUGLAS H. WIGDOR
It is hard to imagine another employment lawyer with a comparable record both in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. Mr. Wigdor routinely tries cases to verdict – having won numerous verdicts in the millions of dollars and regularly appearing in the New York Law Journal’s “Top Verdicts.” Because of his employment trial verdicts and high-profile cases, Mr. Wigdor has appeared in recent profiles about his career in the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the London Independent. Mr. Wigdor has been referred to in these and other major news publications as one of New York’s most high-profile litigators.
Mr. Wigdor is known for taking on some of the most powerful people in the business and political worlds. He represented the hotel maid in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case, the rape victim in the Delhi Uber case that recently led to numerous executive resignations, NBA All-Star Charles Oakley in a defamation lawsuit against James Dolan and Madison Square Garden, and over 20 employees at Fox News in their claims of gender discrimination, race discrimination, retaliation and defamation against the network.
As the Founding Partner of Wigdor LLP, the Firm has been referred to as “a high-powered employment law firm known for taking on some of the biggest companies in the US.” The Firm has successfully litigated discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims against virtually every large employer in New York. A former U.S. Senator for New York said of Mr. Wigdor, “it’s much better to have him on our side than risk sitting across from him.”
Mr. Wigdor was named as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the USA by the National Trial Lawyers and one of the Top 100 Labor and Employment Lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates. Two peer review studies, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, have recognized Mr. Wigdor as one of the best Employment Trial Lawyers in America.
Mr. Wigdor’s handling of numerous high-profile cases has resulted in frequent media appearances including Nightline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN American Morning, Neil Cavuto as well as regular spots on CNBC, ABC News, CBS News, NY1, the BBC and NBC News. He is regularly quoted as a legal expert in newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Law Journal, London Times, Daily Telegraph, London Independent, USA Today, New York Post, and Daily News.
Mr. Wigdor has been at the forefront of challenging racial discrimination, most recently the systemic racial bias at Fox News. Mr. Wigdor currently represents thirteen clients who have alleged racial discrimination against Fox. Mr. Wigdor also represents Rod Wheeler, a Fox contributor in an “explosive” lawsuit alleging defamation in connection with a story published about murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, Scottie Nell Hughes, a former Fox contributor in a lawsuit alleging retaliation after she complained of sexual assault by Fox Business host Charles Payne, and Lydia Curanaj, a Fox5 reporter in a lawsuit alleging gender and pregnancy discrimination against Fox News. The lawsuits join a succession of sexual harassment allegations made against Fox, and have been extensively reported on by both national and international media and referred to as a “Normandy like” legal assault. Mr. Wigdor and his clients have appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, the BBC, the Today Show and CBS This Morning, detailing the years of racial discrimination they encountered at Fox News.
Mr. Wigdor’s extensive litigation experience is frequently distinguished in the media; notably, a recent sexual harassment complaint filed by Mr. Wigdor against Chief Executive Officer of data management firm Exusia was lauded by one news outlet as a “stunning piece of legal work” and a “truly spectacular complaint.” The complaint was filed on behalf of Mr. Wigdor’s client, a female employee at the Company. Another well-known media outlet noted that “although U.S. lawyers are known to actively seek out victims to encourage them to sue for damages, Mr. Wigdor doesn’t need to chase clients”.
In addition to representing clients, Mr. Wigdor is an arbitrator, serving on the American Arbitration Association Employment Panel. Mr. Wigdor is also a lecturer, editor and author of articles on employment and criminal related subjects. He is regularly invited to appear and participate in leading legal forums regarding topical employment issues. Mr. Wigdor has appeared multiple times as part of an employment mediation panel at JAMS (Judicial Arbitration & Mediation) continuing legal education events, and has also appeared as a speaker at the American Arbitration Association forum, the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham Law Schools, as well as Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Mr. Wigdor also frequently speaks and moderates other continuing legal education seminars for the American Conference Institute and Practicing Legal Institute. He is also quoted frequently in the New York Law Journal, presents lectures to various Bar Associations, and has published articles in numerous journals.
The New York Law Journal has featured Mr. Wigdor and Wigdor LLP’s clients in the top New York State verdicts six times, including the number one and two employment verdicts and the number one disability discrimination verdict. Wigdor LLP has also been honored by the Litigator Awards, the highest awards in trial law. Wigdor LLP has been routinely recognized for extraordinary achievement in the categories of employee discrimination, wrongful termination, civil rights, whistle‐blower and wage and hour.
- $23.72 million arbitration award (one of the largest single plaintiff employment arbitration verdicts) on behalf of the former Chief Financial Officer of Six Flags;
- $7.5 million verdict in a disability discrimination case against Wal‐Mart, one of the largest verdicts ever in a single plaintiff case under the Americans with Disabilities Act;
- $8 million (approx.) verdict on behalf of the former Editor‐in‐Chief of The Source Magazine, who was retaliated against after she complained of gender discrimination;
- $3.35 million verdict on behalf of a former employee of Nassau County whose due process rights were violated;
- $1.35 million verdict in a disability case where our client was terminated from his employer after disclosing he was HIV positive; and
- Arbitration award of over $700,000 on behalf of former Managing Director at Manhattan based consulting group who was terminated without basis for “Cause”.
Experience and Types of Cases
Mr. Wigdor’s practice focuses on litigation and counseling of individuals and companies in connection with a wide array of employment issues, criminal matters and international issues. He has represented numerous clients who have been victimized by discrimination or harassment based on pregnancy, race, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability, including, but certainly not limited to:
- Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler in an “explosive” lawsuit alleging defamation in connection with a story published about murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, against Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., Fox News Network LLC, Fox reporter Malia Zimmerman, and Fox contributor Ed Butowsky;
- Former Fox News contributor Scottie Nell Hughes in a lawsuit alleging retaliation after she complained of sexual assault by Fox Business host Charles Payne, against Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., Fox News Network LLC, Dianne Brandi, Fox’s General Counsel, Irena Briganti, Fox’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications, and Fox host Charles Payne;
- Thirteen former and current employees of Fox News, including current News Anchor Kelly Wright, who have alleged race discrimination against Fox News Network LLC, Judith Slater, former Controller and Senior Vice President of Accounting at Fox, and Dianne Brandi, Fox’s General Counsel;
- Current Fox5 reporter Lidia Curanaj in a lawsuit alleging gender and pregnancy discrimination against Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., Fox Entertainment Group LLC, Fox Television Stations, LLC, and Bryon Harmon, Fox5 News Director;
- Former New York Knicks player and NBA All-Star Charles Oakley in a defamation lawsuit against The Madison Square Garden Company and its Executive Chairman, James Dolan;
- A VP in the Wealth Management Division at the large investment bank Goldman Sachs in a lawsuit alleging systematic racial discrimination against Goldman Sachs;
- Multiple individual plaintiffs in a racial profiling lawsuit against Macy’s;
- Television personalities, news anchors, and other media employees and executives in discrimination, harassment and contract claims against their employers and others individually responsible;
- Employees of the New York Times in a class action lawsuit alleging age, race and gender discrimination;
- A former executive in a sexual harassment and retaliation claim against a top hedge fund that appeared on the front page of the New York Times;
- A nationwide class action against Sephora on behalf of over seven hundred and thirty Asian customers who were the victims of racial profiling and discrimination;
- A former senior VP at renowned T.V. channel Al Jazeera America, in a lawsuit alleging retaliation and discrimination against her former employer;
- The courageous victim of a heinous sex crime at the hands of an Uber cab driver in India;
- Numerous attorneys against their former employees, including prominent international law firms. The attorneys were subjected to various forms of discrimination by their employers such as gender, age and sexual orientation discrimination;
- Thousands of victims of employment discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing or retaliation against virtually every bank and thousands of other hedge funds and financial institutions;
- The former Headmaster of The Epiphany School of Global Studies, Saul Benjamin in an action against school founder and widely known novelist Nicolas Sparks;
- The Adler family, on behalf of Sol Adler, in a discrimination and wrongful termination suit against 92nd Street Y;
- A class action wage and hour suit against CitiGroup;
- Former Executive Director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) in a retaliation action against the police watchdog;
- Service employees in a collective and class action against Japanese ramen restaurant chain Ippudo for unlawful wage practices;
- Former service employees in a class action against celebrity chef David Bouley for failure to pay minimum wages and tips;
- Former Executive in an age discrimination action against MetLife for failure to pay retirement benefits;
- A group of women in a gender discrimination case against Citigroup;
- Numerous women in pregnancy discrimination cases against large investment financial institutions;
- Women who were paid less than similarly situated men against large financial institutions;
- Executives in sexual orientation claims against their employer;
- The former CFO of Six Flags;
- A group of people of color in a race and national origin claim against Bank of America;
- Individual women in an alleged gender discrimination class action complaint against Dresdner Kleinwort;
- The former Tour Manager of *NSYNC in a lawsuit against *NSYNC;
- Several employees in age discrimination claims against their employers;
- Employees in a large wage and hour case against CitiMortgage; and
- Several celebrity models, actors, actresses and well‐known chefs in various legal disputes.
Mr. Wigdor regularly conducts oral arguments in appellate courts, including the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals, and the First Department, arguing some of the most closely watched legal issues in the employment field. Mr. Wigdor was a Federal Law Clerk to United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt and was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, New York where he investigated, prosecuted and tried hundreds of criminal matters ranging from robberies and burglaries to complex schemes to defraud. Prior to founding Wigdor LLP, Mr. Wigdor was a senior lawyer at one of the nation’s preeminent management side labor and employment firms.
Mr. Wigdor was named as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the USA by the National Trial Lawyers and one of the Top 100 Labor and Employment Lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates. Two peer review studies, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, have recognized Mr. Wigdor as one of the best Employment Trial Lawyers in America. The American Academy of Trial Attorneys, a national organization of premier attorneys, has recognized Mr. Wigdor as one of the Premier 100 trial attorneys for New York, and he has been honored with a lifetime membership from the Top American Lawyers. Mr. Wigdor has been honored with a Fellowship of the Litigation Counsel of America, in recognition of his outstanding reputation and extensive litigation experience. Mr. Wigdor was selected as a Blue Ribbon Panelist for Super Lawyers in the employment litigation / labor and employment field after receiving one of the highest point totals in the Super Lawyers rankings. Mr. Wigdor has also received an AV rating from Martindale‐ Hubbell, indicating that his peers rank him as one of the preeminent lawyers in the labor and employment field. Avvo, a well‐respected lawyer‐rating agency, has given Mr. Wigdor its highest rating of 10.0 (“Superb”). Mr. Wigdor also served as a member of the Law360 Employment Law Editorial Advisory Board.
Mr. Wigdor received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, cum laude; a Master’s Degree from Oxford University in England; and his Juris Doctor from Catholic University School of Law in Washington, D.C., graduating in the top of his class. Mr. Wigdor was a senior staff member on the Catholic University Law Review and an editor of the Oxford International Review. While at Oxford, Mr. Wigdor received a coveted “Full‐Blue” and was a member of the Vincent’s Club.
Admitted to Practice
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2003
- Her Majesty’s Courts of England & Wales, 2001
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2000
- Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2000
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2000
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, 2003
- District of Columbia, 1995
- Pennsylvania, 1994
- New York, 1994
- New York State Bar Association
- Suffolk County Bar Association
- Federal Bar Council
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Mr. Wigdor is an active and philanthropic member of the Forest Hills community, where he served on the legal committee of the Forest Hills Gardens Association, and is a proud sponsor of the New York Pops summer series at Forest Hills Stadium. Mr. Wigdor had the privilege of managing several basketball teams in the Forest Hills Little League, in addition to coaching a basketball team at the Forest Hills YMCA and Forest Hills Community House. He is a former member of the Governing Committee of the Oxonian Society, a non‐profit organization dedicated to bringing heads of state to address its members, and was also a member of both the Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt Inns of Court, wherein he worked together with other selected lawyers and state and federal judges in the analysis of current legal issues. Mr. Wigdor travelled to Kenya with other lawyers from the Firm, to educate Kenyan Wildlife Service Officers on evidence preservation and testifying in court. Mr. Wigdor is also an active member of the Westside Tennis Club at Forest Hills and a member of the International Tennis Club of the U.S.A.
Mr. Wigdor has been awarded the Alumnus of the Year in 2007 and 2014 from St Cross College, Oxford. Due to his continued support of Oxford, St Cross College, a library has been named after Mr. Wigdor and his wife – the Douglas and Catherine Wigdor Library Garden Room. Mr. Wigdor is a member of the New York Eliot Society Membership Committee, and a volunteer for the Leading Together Campaign for Washington University. Mr. Wigdor has also endowed a scholarship for an Arts & Sciences student at Washington University and has recently endowed a cycling studio in the student Recreational Center.