Sharon A. O'Shaughnessy
Practice Areas
Education
  • J.D., Seton Hall University School of Law, 2012
  • M.A., New York University, 2004
  • B.S., magna cum laude, New York University, 2003
Admissions
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Sharon A. O'Shaughnessy

soshaughnessy@mmlawus.com
C: (917) 538-9223
1185 Avenue of the Americas
21st Floor
New York, NY 10036
T: (212) 880-3990
F: (212) 880-3998

Publications

  • Legal Antiperspirant for Audit Committee Members
    (Co-authored with James K. Goldfarb, Stephen J. Crimmins)
    New York Law Journal (Subscription Required) | (04/18/2016)

    Stephen J. Crimmins, James K. Goldfarb and Sharon A. O'Shaughnessy write: Public company audit committee members might be forgiven for sweating potential SEC scrutiny of late. We examine the SEC's focus on audit committee members as gatekeepers, review three recent enforcement actions to highlight conduct that attracts the staff's attention, and suggest certain safeguards that might help mitigate the chance of an SEC investigation or charge.

  • In the mass tort litigation context, where one plaintiff typically brings similar claims against numerous defendants within a particular industry, the coordination of defense efforts among codefendants can be a very prudent course of action. By banding together to develop a litigation strategy and common defense, competitor companies can pool their knowledge, expertise, and resources to achieve the most beneficial outcome for their respective clients. This practice, however, is fraught with landmines that can have a devastating effect on clients and practitioners alike.

  • On the heels of the Central District of California's related September 2014 decision, Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York, has denied Sirius' motion for summary judgment on Flo & Eddie, Inc.'s class action complaint alleging that Sirius XM Radio (Sirius) committed common law copyright infringement and engaged in unfair competition by publicly performing pre-1972 sound recordings of The Turtles, and by reproducing those recordings in aid of its performances. Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 14, 2014). Absent Sirius convincing the court by December 5, 2014, that there are remaining issues of material fact that would require a trial, Judge McMahon will enter summary judgment in favor of Flo & Eddie as to copyright infringement liability and proceed to an inquest on damages.

  • In April 2014, the media ignited a firestorm of controversy over General Mills' decision to modify its online Privacy Policy and Legal Terms to include a mandatory arbitration provision. The provision required consumers who downloaded or printed coupons, "joined an online community," subscribed to an e-mail newsletter, redeemed a promotion, or participated in any "offering" to forego their right to sue the company in court and instead submit to private, binding arbitration to resolve any disputes with the company. In the face of the outcry over this policy change, the company reversed course and restored its prior legal terms, which contained no mention of arbitration.

  • In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., the Supreme Court delivered a TKO to MGM when it decided, in a 6-3 decision on May 19, 2014, that the equitable defense of laches cannot be invoked as a defense to preclude claims brought within the Copyright Act's three-year statute of limitations for successive acts of copyright infringement. As a result, screenwriter Paula Petrella (Petrella) may continue to pursue more than $1 million in damages for MGM's continued distribution of the classic film Raging Bull. The decision likely sounds the death knell for laches as an affirmative defense in copyright infringement litigation and has the potential to expose Hollywood studios, music labels and media companies to an onslaught of cases brought by copyright holders' heirs and estates seeking a share of profits from classic films, TV shows, music recordings and other creative works that are re-released in various formats.

  • In The Swatch Group Management Services Ltd. v. Bloomberg L.P., 12-2412-cv (2d Cir. Jan. 27, 2014), a Second Circuit panel unanimously decided that Bloomberg L.P. (Bloomberg), the prominent financial news and data reporting service, did not infringe on The Swatch Group Management Services Ltd's (Swatch) copyright in an invitation-only recorded Swatch earnings call, by obtaining a copy of the recording without authorization and making it available to Bloomberg's paying subscribers. Despite the failure of Bloomberg to manifestly transform the recording in any way before publication, the Second Circuit nonetheless held that Bloomberg's use of the recording qualified as fair use under Section 107 of the Copyright Act. The court emphasized that American investors and analysts are entitled to receive newsworthy financial information and that Bloomberg's conduct is protected by the First Amendment.