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Hon. Steven M. Gold (Ret.)

Hon. Steven M. Gold (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Class Action and Mass Tort
Employment Law
Federal Law
Governmental Public Agency
Health Care
Intellectual Property
Life Sciences
Personal Injury Torts
Pharmaceuticals Mass Torts
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Steven M. Gold (Ret.) served for 28 years as a United States magistrate judge for the Eastern District of New York, including nine years as the court’s chief magistrate judge. During his nearly three decades as a federal magistrate judge, Judge Gold presided over thousands of settlement conferences, pretrial proceedings, evidentiary hearings and jury and bench trials. Matters handled by Judge Gold include antitrust litigation; intellectual property disputes, including patent claims; copyright and trademark disputes; employment discrimination cases; civil rights actions; fraud claims; consumer class actions; products liability claims; and a wide variety of commercial disputes.

Judge Gold has also had significant experience settling complex pharma, health care and life sciences matters. In an antitrust case brought by four large groups of retail pharmacies against several major pharmaceutical companies, he helped three groups of plaintiffs resolve their disputes and issued a summary judgment decision, affirmed by the Second Circuit, with respect to the fourth group. In other cases where he conducted a series of settlement conferences, he helped resolve a number of lawsuits brought by a manufacturer of diabetes test strips against several retailers accused of selling counterfeits, an action brought by residents of an adult home who claimed they were subjected to unnecessary medical procedures to generate revenue for the home and a case in which hospital patients alleged that a hospital failed to accommodate the needs of patients with hearing deficits. 

Throughout his career, Judge Gold has used ADR techniques and strategies to help address issues involving the criminal justice system. Over the course of dozens of mediation sessions, he helped the City of New York and advocates for a class of students involved in the criminal justice system, including a sub-class of students with disabilities, agree to a consent decree governing, among other things, the provision of services to students in custodial settings and their transition to public schools once released. He also served as one of the two judges presiding over a special alternative-to-incarceration program, commonly referred to as a drug court, since its inception in 2012.

Judge Gold has served as a member and the Eastern District co-chair of the Joint Committee on Local Rules for the Southern and Eastern districts of New York, as well as a member and co-chair of the Rules Committee of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, which comments on proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence on behalf of magistrate judges throughout the country. He has also served for many years as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School, where he has taught courses on trial advocacy and evidence.

Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Gold was an assistant U.S. attorney and Criminal Division deputy chief for the Eastern District of New York. He also served as general counsel to the New York City Department of Investigation, where he oversaw the department’s lawyers, directly supervised some of its most complex and sensitive investigations and served as the liaison to the city’s two U.S. attorney’s offices and five district attorneys.

Representative Matters

  • Antitrust
      • Oversaw a multi-district litigation, where three large retail pharmacy chains and a large number of standalone pharmacies asserted that major manufacturers of pharmaceuticals violated the Sherman and Robinson-Patman acts, presided over settlement conferences that led to resolution of all of the claims of the pharmacy chains and the Sherman Act claims of the standalone pharmacies, and then issued a decision, affirmed on appeal, on summary judgment with respect to the Robinson-Patman claims of the standalone pharmacies
      • Presided over extensive pretrial proceedings in multi-district litigation brought by purchasers of widely used antibiotic who claimed that agreements reached between patent-holding brand-name manufacturer and generic manufacturer of drug violated federal and state antitrust laws
  • Civil Rights
      • Working in tandem with a pro bono neutral, supervised settlement of claims by hearing-impaired patients and their family members alleging that defendant hospital failed to reasonably accommodate their disabilities
      • Presided over several settlement conferences in a case brought by 11 adult home residents with cognitive deficits who claimed that home’s owner, hospital and medical providers subjected them to medically unnecessary prostate surgeries to generate reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance companies; claims of all plaintiffs were settled with appointments of guardians and establishment of supplemental needs trusts
      • After issuing extensive report addressing motion for preliminary injunction, presided over a series of settlement conferences, many with subject matter experts present, that resulted in a consent decree addressing how the New York City Department of Education (DOE) provides services to students, including students with disabilities, who are charged as juvenile offenders or juvenile delinquents, and how the DOE transitions those students to community schools when they have completed their involvement with the criminal justice system
      • Presided over multiple mediation sessions over several years successfully resolving numerous issues arising pursuant to a consent decree governing New York City DOE’s provision of services to students with disabilities
      • Presided over series of settlement conferences in case where owner/operator of low-income housing development challenged amount of subsidies provided by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HUD claimed mismanagement; settlement terms included transfer of ownership and management to a new not-for-profit entity
      • Conducted four weeks of hearings and issued two reports recommending, respectively, injunctive relief and damages in case where it was determined that village violated False Claims Act and committed fraud when it misused funds allocated by HUD to help low-income families purchase homes.
      • In case challenging a HUD program pursuant to which Federal Housing Administration mortgages in default could be sold to a private lender, presided over pretrial proceedings and issued extensive report on motions to dismiss
      • Presided over settlement conferences that led to a change in HPD policies that, as claimed in the lawsuit, could result in survivors of domestic violence losing their right to remain in subsidized housing, particularly where the lease is held in the name of an evicted abusive partner
      • Presided over settlement conference that led to resolution of Fair Housing Act discrimination claims brought by low-income tenants in below-market housing set aside by owner-operator of luxury development in return for tax incentives
  • Commercial
      • Presided over pretrial proceedings and settlement conferences that resolved claims by public pay phone operator that New York City violated the federal Telecommunications Act by failing to fairly and properly allocate permits to install pay telephones at sidewalk locations
      • Oversaw pretrial proceedings in case where plaintiffs claimed they were fraudulently induced to invest in cryptocurrency business; wrote report, ultimately adopted, recommending award of damages
      • Presided over extensive pretrial proceedings and issued report, ultimately adopted, recommending award of damages where plaintiffs alleged defendants perpetrated fraudulent investment scheme
      • After presiding over extensive pretrial proceedings, mediated a settlement in a case where purchasers of business alleged prior owners committed fraud
      • Conducted settlement conferences that resolved claim for loss of property stolen from safety deposit box stored in bank’s vault
  • Election Law
      • Issued decision holding that provision of New York State Election Law imposing limits on eligibility to witness nominating petition signatures violated the First Amendment
  • Employment Law
    • Discrimination
      • Presided over jury trial of employee alleging employment discrimination and malicious prosecution after employer disciplined gay female employee for conduct plaintiff claimed would not have resulted in discipline if committed by a heterosexual male
      • Conducted settlement conference that resolved claims of discrimination and tortious interference brought by retailer after supplier of critical products terminated retailer’s account
      • Conducted settlement conference that led to entry of consent decree resolving claims of race-based discrimination brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against furniture leasing company
      • Presided over settlement conference that resolved claims of gender discrimination brought by clinical sales specialist against pharmaceutical company
      • Oversaw pretrial proceedings in disability discrimination case brought by medical resident against teaching hospital
      • Conducted settlement conference that resolved passengers’ claims of race-based discrimination by airline employees in connection with treatment during flight
      Wage and Hour
      • Presided over class action lawsuit seeking recovery of unpaid prevailing wages for labor performed on various public works projects; case involved state law questions of first impression certified by Second Circuit to New York Court of Appeals
      • Managed pretrial proceedings and reviewed class action settlement of claims by “pre-employment associates” for unpaid minimum and overtime wages
      • Presided over extensive pretrial proceedings and held settlement conferences that resolved overtime claims of delivery truck drivers and assistants who alleged they were misclassified as independent contractors
      • Presided over bench trial of ERISA claim of alter ego liability for contributions owed to union benefit funds pursuant to collective bargaining agreement
  • Fraud
      • Presided over jury trial of RICO claims brought by owner of several properties against attorney, claiming that lawyer and others fraudulently induced him into financing arrangements that stripped him of his equity in the properties
      • Conducted hearing and issued report recommending a calculation of nearly $6 million in damages in connection with fraudulent scheme to overstate the paid circulation of certain newspapers
  • Insurance
      • Conducted settlement conference that resolved both declaratory judgment action and underlying state court tort action arising from construction accident
  • Intellectual Property
    • Patent
      • Presided over pretrial proceedings and monthlong jury trial brought by holder of patent for method of making shape-memory alloy who alleged infringement by manufacturer of eyeglass frames; issued extensive opinions deciding post-trial motions
      • Oversaw pretrial proceedings and issued decision on summary judgment motion in case where plaintiff alleged Microsoft infringed patented method of encrypting information known as public key/private key cryptography
      • Presided over pretrial proceedings, including claim construction hearing, and issued several rulings, including report recommending constructions of various claim terms, in case involving patent for a system of processing data connected to various types of prepaid and loyalty swipe cards
      • Oversaw pretrial proceedings, recommended constructions of various claim terms and conducted settlement conference that ultimately resolved lawsuit alleging that patent claiming interlocking feature of child-proof cap was infringed
      Trademark/Trade Dress
      • Conducted damages trial and issued decision in case where plaintiff alleged defendant sold counterfeit version of plaintiff’s premium hoisin sauce
      • Conducted settlement conferences that resolved large number of related cases alleging distribution of counterfeit diabetes test strips; managed pretrial proceedings and issued reports in the small number of cases that did not settle
      • Presided over jury trial where plaintiff charged defendants with distributing counterfeit versions of trademarked fragrances
      • Issued reports recommending disposition of preliminary injunction and summary judgment motions in case claiming that design of defendant’s office chair infringed plaintiff’s patent and trade dress
      • Conducted settlement conference that resolved trademark and trade dress infringement claims with respect to labels and promotional materials for line of beverages
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
      • Conducted settlement conference that resolved claims brought by defaulting mortgagor against mortgagee for breach of contract and under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
      • Presided over extensive pretrial proceedings and conducted multiple settlement conferences that resolved claims against multiple defendants alleging fraud, malpractice and various statutory violations in connection with home equity conversion mortgage.
  • Personal Injury Torts
    • Products Liability
      • Conducted settlement conference that resolved claims by homeowner of elevated levels of formaldehyde after extensive renovations of brownstone building
      • Presided over extensive pretrial proceedings and conducted settlement conference that resolved claim of burns caused by allegedly defective cell phone battery
      • Conducted settlement conference in consumer class action claiming that wipes, although advertised as such, were in fact not flushable
      • Oversaw pretrial proceedings and issued several orders in related cases brought by health insurers claiming that tobacco companies concealed the elevated risk of contracting pulmonary disease faced by smokers who are regularly exposed to asbestos
      • In case challenging accuracy of claimed health benefits of dietary supplement, recommended rejection of one proposed class settlement and held fairness hearing and approved class settlement proposed by different plaintiffs
      Wrongful Death
      • Conducted series of settlement conferences that resolved claims brought by estates of several individuals murdered by police officers who, while employed by the New York City Police Department, were hired by organized crime figure to commit or assist in “mob hits”
      • Managed extensive pretrial proceedings and conducted settlement conference in case involving individual who died when struck by a moving train while on subway platform
      • Conducted settlement conference that resolved claim for wrongful death arising from shooting by off-duty police officer after traffic incident
  • Securities
      • Issued report on motion to dismiss securities fraud action where shareholder plaintiffs claimed defendant overstated likelihood of successful business expansion
      • Issued report on motion to dismiss putative class action alleging material omissions in prospectus regarding level of risk involved in investing in particular derivative security
      • Presided over class action settlement of common law claims challenging method of determining price of shares in real estate investment trust, issued decision preliminarily approving class action settlement and ruled on objections raised at fairness hearing

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Trustee, Federal Bar Council, 2023–present
  • Member, Panel of Mediators for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), 2021–present
  • Member, Panel of Arbitrators for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), 2021–present
  • Member, Joint Committee on Local Rules, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1996–present
    • Eastern District Chair, 1999–2020
  • Member, Rules Committee, Federal Magistrate Judges Association, 2014–2020
    • Co-Chair, 2016–2018
  • Member, Eastern District Civil Litigation Advisory Group, 2007–present
  • Adjunct Professor, Brooklyn Law School, 1996–2018

Background and Education

  • United States Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of New York, 1993–2021
    • Chief Magistrate Judge, 2007–2016
  • General Counsel, New York City Department of Investigation, 1990–1993
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, 1985–1990
    • Deputy Chief, Criminal Division, 1989–1990
  • Associate; Orans, Elsen & Lupert; 1981–1985
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Herbert F. Murray, United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, 1980–1981
  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1980
    • Student Director, Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, Danbury Prison Project
    • Member, Board of Directors, Yale Legal Services Corp.
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Wesleyan University, 1977 
    • Phi Beta Kappa


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