Commissioners

Michael F. Armstrong, Chair

Michael F. Armstrong is a partner at McLaughlin & Stern LLP, where he focuses on complex civil litigation, white-collar criminal and regulatory matters, and internal corporate investigations. Mr. Armstrong has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York where he was Chief of the Securities Fraud Unit, Chief Counsel to the “Knapp Commission,” which investigated allegations of police corruption in the New York City Police Department, and District Attorney for Queens County, New York. He also has served as Counsel to the New York Urban League and Advisor to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo regarding the investigation of allegations of political influence in the State Police. Mr. Armstrong earned his LLB from Harvard Law School and his BA from Yale University.

Kathy Hirata Chin

Kathy Hirata Chin is a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, where she is the senior litigation partner in the firm’s healthcare/not-for-profit practice group. Ms. Chin served as a Commissioner on the New York City Planning Commission from 1995 to 2001. She has also served on the Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Eastern District of New York, on Governor Mario M. Cuomo's Judicial Screening Committee for the First Judicial Department, on the Gender Bias Committee of the Second Circuit Task Force regarding Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness, and on Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye’s Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections. She is currently a member of the Attorney Emeritus Advisory Council and of the Commercial Division Advisory Council, appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. Ms. Chin earned her JD from Columbia University School of Law.

Deborah E. Landis

Deborah E. Landis is a consultant who provides investigative assistance and litigation support to other attorneys. She focuses primarily on white-collar criminal and regulatory matters. Ms. Landis served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for more than twenty years, investigating and prosecuting cases involving police corruption, perjury, narcotics trafficking, racketeering, money-laundering, tax fraud, and other fraud on the government As Chief of the General Crimes Unit and as Senior Litigation Counsel, she also had responsibility for supervising and teaching other prosecutors. During 2000, Ms. Landis served the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., acting a an Associate Deputy Attorney General and as DOJ's Special Counsel for Health Care Fraud. Ms. Landis received many awards for her work as a prosecutor, including the Henry L. Stimson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to the Office of the United States Attorney, which was awarded by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (1999), and the Attorney General's John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation (2000). Ms. Landis has also taught Trial Advocacy at the Harvard Law School for many years. Ms. Landis earned her JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

James D. Zirin

James D. Zirin is Senior Counsel at Sidley Austin LLP. He has been a trial lawyer for over 40 years, handling a wide variety of white-collar criminal and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Zirin is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He is also a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a trustee of New York Law School, a member of the advisory board of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, a former director and member of the executive committee of the Legal Aid Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a past vice president and trustee of the Federal Bar Council. Mr. Zirin is the host of the critically acclaimed cable TV talk show "Conversations in the Digital Age" and author of the best selling book "The Mother Court--Tales of Cases That Mattered in America's Greatest Trial Court". Mr. Zirin earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School.