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Early lifeEdit

Picard was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, and is Jewish.[2][3] His parents were Julius Picard, a doctor born in Lauterbourg, France, and Claire Dreyfuss (born in Kaiserslautern, Germany).[4] In August 1938, Julius and Claire Picard immigrated with their children from Mainz in Nazi Germany to the United States.[4][3] They settled in Fall River, where their third son, Irving, was born.[4] Irving's uncle Moritz Cahn was a lawyer in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, who with his wife committed suicide in 1941 to escape deportation to concentration camps.[4]

Education and legal careerEdit

Picard graduated from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree in Economics (1963), from Boston University School of Law with a J.D. degree (1966), and from the New York University School of Law with an LL.M. degree in 1967.[5][6] He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1982.[5] In the 1970s he was variously Assistant General Counsel, Acting Chief Counsel, and Trial Attorney in the Division of Corporate Regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission.[6] He has been in private practice since 1982.[7] He joined BakerHostetler as a partner in 2008.[2]

In 2008, U.S. District Judge Lawrence McKenna appointed Picard trustee of assets seized by the court from Bernard Madoff. Since then, Picard has been centrally involved in the recovery of funds from the Madoff investment scandal.[8] He and his team have been overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s firm in bankruptcy court, and have so far recovered over $13 billion—about 70 percent of approved claims—by suing those who profited from the scheme, whether they knew of the scheme or not.[9] Kathy Bazoian Phelps, a lawyer at Diamond McCarthy, said "That kind of recovery is extraordinary and atypical,” as clawbacks in such schemes range from 5 percent to 30 percent, and many victims don’t get anything.[9] “You don’t take this job if you’re thin-skinned,” he said.[2] Picard has successfully pursued not only investors, but spouses and estates of those who profited, such as the wife of Bernard Madoff (Ruth Madoff), and the estate of the deceased Jeffry Picower and Picower's wife Barbara, with whom he reached a $7.2 billion settlement (the largest civil forfeiture payment in US history).[9][10][11]


  1. ^ "BirthDatabase"
  2. ^ a b c "Meet Irving Picard, the lawyer with the toughest task in the world"
  3. ^ a b Meet Madoff?s match > Detroit Legal News
  4. ^ a b c d Guide to the Julius Picard Family Collection, 1732-1991 AR 3586 / MF 1114
  5. ^ a b "New York State Unified Court System Attorney Directory". Retrieved May 31, 2009.
  6. ^ a b United States Congress. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on the Constitution. "Balancing the Budget: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, First Session, on S.J. Res. 58, Phoenix, Ariz., May 29, 1981"
  7. ^ "Madoff money in the hands of Durfee grad", The Herald News.
  8. ^ Rich, Frank (February 12, 2011). "At Last, Bernie Madoff Gives Back [OpEd]". New York Times.
  9. ^ a b c "Madoff’s Victims Are Close to Getting Their $19 Billion Back"
  10. ^ "Record-Setting Madoff Settlement Announced with Picower Estate"
  11. ^ "$7.2 Billion Picower Settlement: Payday for Madoff Victims"


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