Areas of Practice
  • The George Washington University School of Law, J.D., 1982
  • University of Oxford, M.Litt., 1979
  • Princeton University, B.A., 1976
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Justice William Brennan Jr., US Supreme Court, 1984-1985
  • Hon. Henry Politz, US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1982-1983
Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Michael Rips

Special Counsel
1114 Avenue of the Americas
New York NY 10036
TEL: +1 212 506 3904
FAX: +1 212 506 3950

Michael Rips is special counsel in Steptoe’s New York office, where he is a member of the Litigation Department.  Mr. Rips, a former clerk to Justice William Brennan on the US Supreme Court and Judge Henry Politz of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, has extensive experience in various areas of appellate and trial litigation, including securities law, intellectual property, criminal law, antitrust, and art law.  

Specifically, Mr. Rips successfully tried one of the largest class action cases involving alleged securities fraud.  His securities litigation matters have also involved internal investigations, arbitrations, and white-collar criminal cases.  Mr. Rips has an outstanding record representing Fortune 500 companies in pre-trial and post-trial legal proceedings, including briefing and arguing dispositive motions and appeals across the country.  Additionally, Mr. Rips has served as a senior supervisory lawyer for Steptoe’s service as national coordinating counsel for a major client's asbestos litigation.

In the areas of art law and litigation, Mr. Rips is sought out by the top artists, museums, and foundations to provide legal representation on matters involving copyright and intellectual property issues.  For example, his esteemed clients include the Dia Art Foundation, the Estate of Dan Flavin, and the artist James Rosenquist, to name a few.  Mr. Rips also writes extensively on the subjects of art law and art theory for The New York Times and other publications, and provides commentary on these topics.

Representative Appellate Victories

  • Estee Lauder Inc. v OneBeacon Ins. Group, LLC, New York Court of Appeals, 2016 NY Slip Op 06012, September 15, 2016 (reversing the Appellate Division, First Department, the New York Court of Appeals held that under the common law, an insurer must “clearly manifest[] an intent to abandon their late-notice defense” and that an insurer does not waive such a defense by failing to include it in a disclaimer letter)
  • Jaffe Spindler Company LLC v. New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Appellate Division, Superior Court of New Jersey, Docket No. A-0, July 8, 2016 (upholding the motion for summary judgment granted below, the Appellate Division held that a contractual "penalty" requires payment as a result of breach and that courts may not look beyond the clear language of a contract to uncover the intent of the parties)
  • Jones v. Attorney General of U.S., 397 Fed.Appx. 831 (3d Cir. Oct 18, 2010) (reversing the Board of Immigration Appeals because the board did not apply the proper level of deference to the decision of alien’s Immigration Judge)
  • Estate of Lois Mancini v. American International Group, Inc., A-3180-08T1 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., Mar 30, 2010) (affirming grant of summary judgment based on appellants’ repeated failure to comply with discovery order and appellants’ failure to demonstrate that “exceptional circumstances” existed in support of their motion to extend discovery)
  • Boccardi Capital Systems, Inc. v. D.E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios, L.L.C., 355 Fed.Appx. 516 (2d Cir. Dec 09, 2009) (affirming dismissal of complaint seeking $68 million for breach of contract in failing to pay appellant his share of profits gained in purchase of stock in casino because confidentiality agreement did not bar respondent’s purchase and sale of stock)
  • Simon v. Republic of Iraq, 529 F.3d 1187 (D.C.Cir. Jun 24, 2008) ­(reversing lower court on grounds that neither § 1083 of the National Defense Authorization Act nor President Bush’s waiver under § 1083(d) thereof deprives the courts of jurisdiction over cases brought by former POWs for the torture they endured in captivity at the hands of the Iraqi regime during the 1990–91 Gulf War)
  • Koulianos v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 962 So.2d 357 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) (affirming dismissal of cases for failure to satisfy Florida’s statute of repose)
  • Kish v. A.W. Chesterton Co., 930 So. 2d 704 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006) ­(affirming lower court’s holding that Florida’s statute of repose bars fraudulent misrepresentation claims regarding actions that allegedly took place over twelve years ago)