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About Judge Homer

Hon. David R. Homer, retired, is Of Counsel to Carter Conboy.  Judge Homer focuses his practice on federal and state civil and criminal litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution services, including mediation and arbitration. 

Why Judge Homer

Judge Homer began his career in 1975 as a trial attorney for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. where he participated in the prosecution and convictions of several high profile cases involving the Central Intelligence Agency.   

In 1979, Judge Homer began a sixteen-year career with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York. From 1979-1983, he served as Assistant United States Attorney; from 1983–1992 he was Attorney-in-Charge of the Albany office; and from 1992–1995, Judge Homer was Chief of the Criminal Division. 

In December 1995, Judge Homer was appointed United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York.  In 2010, he was named Chief United States Magistrate Judge where he served until his retirement from the bench in September 2012.  During his career as a Magistrate, Judge Homer presided over countless federal trials and settlements and was known for his neutral and fair approach to cases before him.  

Qualifications

Affiliations

  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mediator
  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), Mediator
  • New York State Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section
  • Federal Court Bar Association, Northern District of New York
  • Federal Magistrate Judges Association
  • Capital District Trial Lawyers Association, past
  • Albany County Bar Association, past

Noteworthy

Northern District of New York, United States Magistrate Judge, Significant Trials:

  • E.C. v. McGinn, Smith & Co.: In 2010, the S.E.C. brought a civil action against an Albany-based financial services firm alleging securities fraud. The S.E.C. moved for a preliminary injunction to seize and freeze the assets of the firm and its principals leading to extensive evidentiary hearings and motion practice over what assets were subject to seizure, whether frozen assets could be released for attorneys’ fees and living expenses, sanctions, and the like.  See, e.g., 752 F. Supp. 2d 194 (N.D.N.Y. 2010) (granting preliminary injunction), modified, 752 F. Supp. 2d 220 (N.D.N.Y. 2011), aff’d, 432 Fed.Appx. 10 (2d Cir. 2011)
  • Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab: Class action brought by twenty-eight former employees alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). A verdict was returned in favor of twenty-six plaintiffs after a three-month trial. See generally, 185 F. Supp. 2d 193 (N.D.N.Y. 2002). Following extensive appeals, the verdict was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and then reversed upon remand by the Supreme Court, and the reversal was in turn reversed by the Supreme Court.  See, 381 F.3d 56 (2d Cir. 2004) (affirming verdict); 544 U.S. 957 (2005) (reversing and remanding to Second Circuit); 461 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 2006) (reversing verdict); 532 U.S. 1162 (2008) (reversing and remanding Second Circuit reversal).  During these appeals, nine of the twenty-six prevailing plaintiffs settled their claims.  After a remand to the district court by the Second Circuit, another round of appeals, and a final remand to the district court for retrial, the remaining seventeen defendants settled their claims in December 2010.  See 305 Fed.Appx. 748 (2d Cir. Jan. 7, 2009)
  • Pickreign v. Bulman: A former union member brought an action against the union pension fund to recover benefits alleging that the pension fund had wrongfully calculated the dates of his membership and the amount to which he was entitled.  After a non-jury trial, a decision was rendered in favor of the pension fund and the decision was affirmed on appeal.  See, 2008WL 3455447 (N.D.N.Y. June 12, 2008), aff’d, 337 Fed.Appx. 18 (2d Cir. July 13, 2009)
  • Bean v. CSX Transp.: Railroad employee brought an action alleging that the negligence of his employer cause his career-ending back injury. After a one-week trial, the jury found in favor of the employee and awarded him approximately $1 million. The railroad’s post-trial motions were denied and the decision and verdict were affirmed on appeal. See, 289 F. Supp. 2d 277 (N.D.N.Y. 2003), aff’d, 111 Fed.Appx. 636 (2d Cir. 2004)
  • Arbor Hill concerned Citizens Neighborhood Ass’n v. County of Albany: A community organization brought an action under the Voting Rights Act challenging a county’s redistricting plan for the county legislature on grounds that it did not adequately represent the interests of minority voters.  After an evidentiary hearing, it was recommended that a new redistricting plan be ordered, which was adopted by the district court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals.  See, e.g., 281 F. Supp. 2d 436 (N.D.N.Y. 2003)

Northern District of New York, United States Magistrate Judge, Significant Settlements:

  • Simpson v. New York State Department of Civil Services: In 2004, a class of approximately 4,000 African American state civil service employees commenced an action alleging discrimination against the state alleging discrimination in the civil service promotional examinations. After multiple settlement conferences, the case was settled in 2011 for a total payment of $45 million.
  • Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab: After a three-month trial and years of appellate litigation over the verdict, the case as to seventeen prevailing class members in an age discrimination case was ultimately settled after a series of conferences for approximately $3.5 million.
  • Fleischman v. Albany Med. Ctr.: A class action was brought by a nurses’ union against five Albany-area hospitals alleging wage-fixing.  Four hospitals reached settlements at early stages, but the fifth settled only after extensive settlement discussions.  See generally, 728 F. Supp. 2d 130 (N.D.N.Y. 2010)
  • Varuzza by Zarillo v. Bulk Materials, Inc.: Claims for catastrophic injuries to an infant plaintiff arising from an automobile accident resulted in a settlement after multiple conferences. See generally, 169 F.R.D. 254 (N.D.N.Y. 1996)

United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, Significant Cases:

  • United States v. McDonough: Prosecution brought against the chairman of a county political party under the Racketeer and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for obtaining kickbacks from municipal entities for insurance contracts.  The defendant was convicted after a month-long trial and the conviction was affirmed on appeal.  56 F.3d 381 (2d Cir. 1995)
  • United States v. Villegas: Thirteen Colombian nationals were charged with importing into the United States over one ton of cocaine embedded in charcoal briquettes and extracting the cocaine from the charcoal in chemical processing at a farm in Little Falls, New York. All thirteen defendants were convicted and the convictions were all affirmed on appeal.  The case established a precedent for the authority of law enforcement officials to conduct surreptitious searches pursuant to warrants for which delayed notice to the subjects of the searches was authorized to preserve ongoing investigations.  See, 899 F.2d 1324 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 991 (1990)
  • United States v. Yong Bing-Gong: Employees and their associates of a Kingston restaurant owner were charged with kidnaping the owner’s wife for ransom. The wife was never found and was believed murdered.  Eight individuals were charged and six were found guilty after a ten-week trial.  Three were sentenced to life imprisonment.  The convictions and sentences were all affirmed on appeal.  See, 594 F. Supp. 248 (N.D.N.Y. 1984), aff’d, 788 F.2d 4 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 818 (1986)

United States Department of Justice, Significant Trials:

  • United States v. Boyce: The employee of a CIA contractor in Southern California and his friend were charged with selling classified information obtained from secret surveillance satellites to the Soviet Union at its embassy in Mexico City. The two were each convicted after separate trials in Los Angeles, each was sentenced to life imprisonment, and the convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal.  See generally, 594 F.2d 1246 (9th), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 855 (1979); see also, The Falcon and the Snowman (a book about the case published in 1980 and a film of the same title released in 1985)
  • United States v. Truong Dinh Hung: An employee of the United States Information Agency (USIA) and a Vietnamese national were charged with stealing classified information and delivering it to North Vietnamese officials during negotiations to end the Vietnam War.  Both defendants were found guilty after a one-month trial in the Eastern District of Virginia and their convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal.  See, 629 F.2d 908 (4th 1980)
  • United States v. Kampiles: A former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was charged with selling an operations manual for a United States surveillance satellite to the Soviet Union at its embassy in Athens, Greece.  After a two-week trial in the Northern District of Indiana, the defendant was found guilty and the conviction was affirmed on appeal.  See, 609 F.2d 1233 (7th 1979)

Education

  • J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, cum laude (1975)
  • B.A., Brown University, Political Science (1969)

Admissions

  • State of New York (1976)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1978)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1979)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York (1979)

Leadership

Speaking

  • Speaker: “Mediation Practice”, Albany County Bar Association, Albany (April, 2017)
  • Speaker: “Best Practices from the Federal and Appellate Benches”, Carter Conboy Continuing Legal Education (June, 2015)
  • Speaker: “Settlement Conference Issues and Strategies – What Works and What Doesn’t”, Carter Conboy Continuing Legal Education (June, 2013)
  • Speaker: “Highs and Lows of Arbitration and Mediation”, Capital District Trial Lawyers Association, Albany (April, 2013)