Michael Grunfeld began his legal career in the Fall of 2008, as the financial crisis was unfolding. He has worked on many significant securities class actions, residential mortgage-backed securities cases, and other complex commercial litigation arising out of the financial crisis.
Michael joined Pomerantz as Of Counsel in July 2017 and was elevated to Partner in 2019. He has played a leading role in some of the Firm’s significant class action litigation.
Michael played an integral role in Pomerantz’s ground-breaking litigation against Yahoo! Inc. for Yahoo’s alleged failure to disclose data breaches that occurred in 2014 and 2015 – the two largest data breaches in history at the time. He drafted the plaintiffs’ opposition to defendants’ motion to dismiss. The force of his arguments in that briefing directly led defendants to the negotiating table, ultimately resulting in an $80 million settlement (granted final approval in September 2018) that made history as the first substantial shareholder recovery in a securities fraud class action related to a cybersecurity breach. For years, data breach class actions were typically dismissed early on by courts. For Yahoo to succeed where others had failed, Michael employed rigorous analysis to show how the types of statements that the defendants made related to cybersecurity efforts were actionable under the federal securities laws and how the facts available at the preliminary stages supported a strong inference that the defendants were aware of the data breaches, or of the underlying circumstances that led to them, far earlier than the company disclosed. Commentators have noted the significance of Yahoo in showing that misstatements related to data breaches as severe as those at issue in this action are actionable.
In addition, Michael led Pomerantz’s efforts in In re Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. Securities Litigation, 18-cv-01620 (VM) (S.D.N.Y.), a securities class action arising out of a wide-ranging SEC investigation into the company’s business practices. This matter reached a very favorable result for the class when the Court granted final approval on March 27, 2020 to a $15 million settlement that the parties reached on December 2, 2019. Michael led all aspects of the litigation, from drafting of the amended complaint, letter briefing related to the defendants’ proposed motion to dismiss, mediation, and settlement.
Michael also leads the litigation of in Lerman, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 1:15-cv-7381-SJ-LB (E.D.N.Y.), which is a consumer class action against Apple related to the allegation that the iOS 9 operating system harmed the performance of iPhone 4s devices. Michael has successfully navigated this litigation through the class certification process, where he took and defended many fact and expert depositions, engaged in extensive discovery efforts, and drafted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and related Daubert briefing. Michael achieved a resounding victory when Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. certified the class on October 7, 2020, and, on February 19, 2021, the Second Circuit denied Apple’s petition seeking leave to appeal. The case is now progressing through the merits phase of discovery.
In 2019 Law360 named Michael a Rising Star, an honor awarded to a select few top litigators under 40 years old “whose legal accomplishments transcend their age.” In addition, he was honored in 2018, 2019 and 2020 as a Super Lawyers® Rising Star.
Updated June 2021