Christiane M. McKnight focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation at the trial and appellate court levels. Her experience includes litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants on a broad range of high-stakes contract disputes, trade secret and fiduciary duty matters, and issues arising under the U.S. Constitution, the Communications Act, the Federal Arbitration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. Christiane has participated in the defense of putative class action litigation by enforcing agreements to arbitrate, and assisted in representing major national telecommunications carriers, cable companies and trade associations in notice-and-comment rulemaking proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), as well as in appellate litigation seeking review of various agency orders.
Before joining Kaufman & Company, Christiane clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and practiced for several years as a litigation associate at a well-regarded law firm in Washington, D.C. Christiane obtained her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago, and graduated cum laude from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. While in law school, she was an Associate Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review, as well as Co-Chair of the Julius H. Miner Moot Court Problem Committee. She is admitted to practice in Illinois, New York, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Christiane has handled cases from pre-suit investigation through post-trial, and on appeal. In particular, she has experience developing case strategy; analyzing complex factual and legal issues; drafting motions, briefs and pleadings; taking depositions and interviewing fact witnesses; in all aspects of discovery; and in trial preparation. While at Kaufman & Company, she participated on the litigation teams in the following representative matters:
• Member of litigation and trial team that, after successfully obtaining a highly unusual order directing defendants to turn over their personal computers and electronic devices for forensic examination, as well as a preliminary injunctive relief prohibiting defendants from utilizing the company’s trade secrets, confidential and proprietary information to compete, engaged in seven-week bench trial on behalf of closely-held New Jersey corporation and its Italian majority shareholder prosecuting claims of breach of fiduciary duty and theft of trade secrets and confidential information, and defending against third-party claims, including an oppressed minority shareholder claim. The court found in favor of the client on several claims, including theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duty and the duty of loyalty, and aiding and abetting breach. The court also awarded adverse inferences and attorneys’ fees to our client upon concluding that the defendants intentionally spoliated material evidence, as well as attorneys’ fees for one defendant’s actions in violation of a Court Order.
• Member of litigation team representing a manufacturer in one of the first cases filed in the United States under the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), in which we obtained broad injunctive relief in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois to halt sales of the competitive product and escrow any ill-gotten profits, and ultimately achieved a favorable settlement following Court-ordered mediation.
• Member of mediation team representing a private equity fund in the successful pre-suit resolution of claims of breaches of representations and warranties and indemnification under the terms of an agreement governing the sale of one of its portfolio companies, thereby securing the release of funds held in escrow.
Before joining Kaufman & Company, Ms. McKnight:
• Represented a major defense contractor in the highest-dollar litigation ever brought at that time before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, which involved 15 complex consolidated claims ultimately resolved in a settlement favorable to our client.
• Represented a major cable company in the successful appeal of the FCC’s first “net neutrality” decision.
• Represented major broadcast trade association in its challenge to the FCC’s elimination of its “viewability rules” before the D.C. Circuit.
• Defended a major wireless telecommunications carrier in putative class action antitrust litigation in the S.D.N.Y. by securing order compelling arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act.
• Represented amici curiae, a group of distinguished law professors, in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant before the U.S. Supreme Court.
• Represented amici curiae, a group of distinguished professors of political science and economics, in Ninth Circuit appeal regarding the admissibility of “soft” science expert testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 702.
• Association of the Bar of the City of New York
• New York State Bar Association