Helen Davis Chaitman

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hchaitman@bplegal.com
Professional Experience

Helen Davis Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator with a diverse trial practice in the areas of lender liability, bankruptcy, bank fraud, RICO, professional malpractice, trusts and estates, and white collar defense. In 1995, Ms. Chaitman was named one of the nation's top ten litigators by the National Law Journal for a jury verdict she obtained in an accountants' malpractice case. Ms. Chaitman is the author of The Law of Lender Liability (Warren, Gorham & Lamont 1990) which is periodically updated and, since 1987, has authored the monthly newsletter, The Lender Liability Law Report, published by A. S. Pratt. Since early 2009, Ms. Chaitman has been an outspoken advocate for investors in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. She has lobbied in Congress for statutory changes to assure Madoff investors of the protections of the Securities Investor Protection Act.

Ms. Chaitman has been recognized for her effective advocacy and tireless efforts on behalf of clients. In a July 2011 decision, Superior Court Judge Estela De La Cruz praised Ms. Chaitman’s performance as lead attorney in a high-profile, contentious real estate development dispute, writing that

"Ms. Chaitman...addressed all of the issues fluidly and flawlessly.” Norwood-JEB LLC v. North River Mews Associates, LLC, BER-L-1449-06 (N.J. Superior Court, Bergen County Law Division).

With respect to Ms. Chaitman's representation of Madoff victims, Diana Henriques, the New York Times reporter and author of Wizard of Lies wrote:

"[Chaitman] was a tireless and fiercely tenacious advocate for her clients. …in all her legal battles she had a talent for powerful, persuasive language—inside and outside the courtroom."

After confronting Ms. Chaitman as an adversary in the bankruptcy of his publishing company, Stein & Day, Sol Stein wrote an exposé of the bankruptcy process titled A FEAST FOR LAWYER, Inside Chapter 11: An Exposé (1989) in which he described Ms. Chaitman as follows, at 264:

“Attorney Chaitman, a commercial litigator who knows bankruptcy law, is an expert's expert in the field of lender liability.  The business manager who hasn't the time to dig into the arsenal of technical material she's edited would do well to find a copy of her fifty-eight page monograph, The Ten Commandments for Avoiding Lender Liability, the November 1, 1988, version being the eighth edition of this priceless document.  Ms. Chaitman's monograph seems directed to banks, telling them what to watch out for in the field of lender liability.  Yet for the CEO who wants bargaining power to keep an aggressive bank in line, it is full of ideas.  I wish I had come across it a year or two earlier. It is a first-rate primer of a legal revolution against the practices of some banks, and that ‘some’ includes a few of the biggest banks in America.”

Ms. Chaitman practices regularly in New York and New Jersey and has been admitted to practice pro hac vice in numerous jurisdictions throughout the United States.

Bar Admissions
  • New York
  • New Jersey
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
Education
  • Rutgers University School of Law, J.D.
  • Bryn Mawr College, A.B.