Anne Nardacci – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

One of the oldest judicial vacancies in the country is on the Northern District of New York, open for approximately six years. After the two prior presidents failed to fill this seat, President Biden is taking a shot with Anne Nardacci.

Background

The 45-year-old Anne M. Nardacci got her Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University in 1998 and, after a year on the staff of Congressman Michael McNulty, went on to earn her J.D. from Cornell Law School in 2002. After law school, Nardacci spent three years at the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom.

In 2005, Nardacci joined the Albany office of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, where she still works.

History of the Seat

Nardacci has been nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. This seat opened on January 1, 2016, when Judge Gary Sharpe moved to senior status. While the seat opened with a year left in the Obama Administration, the Administration never extended a nominee for the vacancy and it was carried over into the Trump Administration. In October 2018, upon the recommendation of two Republican Congressmen in New York, Lee Zeldin and John Faso, President Trump nominated New York Judge Thomas Marcelle for the vacancy. Marcelle had also been nominated for a federal judgeship by President George W. Bush but was blocked by Senator Charles Schumer. Robert Gavin, Marcelle Seen in Line for Federal Judgeship, Houston Chronicle, May 4, 2018, https://www.chron.com/local/article/Marcelle-seen-in-line-for-federal-judgeship-12889507.php. This time around, Marcelle was blocked by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand over his record on abortion, and Marcelle withdrew his nomination in August 2019. Robert Gavin and Mike Goodwin, Gillibrand Blocks Area Judge’s Nomination, Albany Times Union, Aug. 30, 2019, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/albany-times-union/20190830/281535112661040. On August 12, 2020, McAllister was nominated in a second try to fill this seat. His nomination was also not processed before the end of the Trump Administration.

In November 2021, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recommended Nardacci to fill this seat on the Northern District of New York. See Marco Poggio, Schumer Puts Forward Boies Schiller Partner for NY Court, Law360, Nov. 15, 2021. Nardacci was nominated on April 27, 2022.

Legal Experience

Nardacci has spent her entire career in private practice, starting at Skadden Arps, and then working at Boies Schiller in Albany. At Boies, Nardacci works primarily in antitrust litigation, both in defending companies, and on the affirmative side, working as outside counsel in state investigations and enforcement actions.

The notable cases that Nardacci participated in include antitrust litigation over cathode ray tubes in the Northern District of California. See In re Cathode Ray Tube Antritrust Litig. (N.D. Cal.) In another notable case, Nardacci represented AngioDynamics, a medical device manufacturer, in a suit alleging anticompetitive behavior by C.R. Bard, a rival company. See Caitlin Stefanik, AngioDynamics Lawsuit Alleges C.R. Bard is Violating Antitrust Laws, Harming Competition and Limiting Access, Financial Buzz, May 31, 2017. An attempt by C.R. Bard to dismiss the lawsuit for failure to state a claim was denied by Judge Brenda Sannes. See AngioDynamics, Inc. v. C.R. Bard, Inc., 1:17-cv-00598 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 8, 2018) (J. Sannes).

Additionally, Nardacci represented a debtor in a class action lawsuit regarding whether the discharge provisions of the Bankruptcy Code conflict with the Federal Arbitration Act. See Vince Sullivan, High Court Won’t Hear Bank’s Bid to Arbitrate Ch. 7 Debt, Law360, Mar. 8, 2021. The suit ended in a Second Circuit judgment in the debtor’s favor and a denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court. See id.

Political Activity

Nardacci has been a frequent political donor, having given to the Presidential campaigns of Obama and Biden, as well as the Senate campaign of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Overall Assessment

As a commercial and antitrust litigator, Nardacci has attracted little controversy over her career. Barring the unexpected, she should see a comfortable confirmation before the end of the year.