Robert J.A. Zito

Robert J.A. Zito

Robert J.A. Zito

Retired Partner
Chair, Financial Institutions Regulatory and Enforcement

2 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005
212-238-8768, Fax: 212-732-3232
zito@clm.comDownload Vcard

Practice Description

Robert J.A. Zito has practiced law for over three decades, handling a variety of business, corporate and securities disputes in courts around the country. Mr. Zito formerly served as Chair of the firm's Financial Institutions Regulatory and Enforcement Practice Group.

Mr. Zito is a full-time professor of Business Law at Marist College, School of Management and remains available for consulting engagements as Senior Counsel to Carter Ledyard.

Mr. Zito has acted as counsel and trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies, private business clients, and high profile and high net worth individuals. His practice focused on disputes and general counseling in the areas of business, corporate and securities transactions, securities violations, SEC and SRO enforcement, shareholder rights, director, officer and partner fiduciary duties, corporate governance, company valuations and unfair competition, in a variety of forums, such as arbitration tribunals, state or federal courts and in private negotiations and in both civil and criminal contexts.

Mr. Zito has extensive trial experience. He acted as lead trial counsel in U.S. v. Christopher Finazzo, in which the jury found that the defendant, while convicted, did not intend to deprive his employer of any money in connection with his nondisclosure of a related-party transaction on all 15 wire/mail fraud counts, a critical finding. Also, Mr. Zito is the only defense attorney in the United States to have tried to verdict a securities class action brought under Section 14 of the Securities Exchange Act, in the wake of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Mr. Zito has also served as Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of a public company and is active in counseling clients in the area of governance, fiduciary duties and internal controls and investigations.

Mr. Zito is the Canon (Title IV) Church Attorney for the Episcopal Diocese of New York and is one of the few canon lawyers who has prosecuted a clergyperson for misconduct before an Ecclesiastical tribunal. In 2015, he received the Servant of Justice Award from the Episcopal Diocese of New York.


  • 1983 New York
  • 1983 U.S. District Courts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • 1984 U.S. Tax Court
  • 1988 U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • 1988 U.S. Supreme Court
  • 1991 U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • 2000 U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • 2005 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan


  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section)
  • New York State Bar Association (Professionalism and Securities Regulation Committees)
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Federal Bar Council
  • Alumni Admissions Committee for New York City and Westchester County for Tulane University (Chairman, 1984-1986)


  • New York Guard, JAG (1991-2001), Lieutenant Colonel (retired)


  • Brooklyn Federal Bancorp, Inc.
  • Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank
  • BFS Bancorp.
  • MHC, BFS REIT, Inc.
  • The Holland Lodge Foundation, Inc.
  • The Union Chapel in the Grove, Inc.
  • Soldiers, Sailors, Marines & Airman Club, Inc.

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