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Jack Samet

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Jack Samet
Photo of Jack Samet sitting at his deskJack Samet.jpg Jack Samet.jpg
Jack Samet
Born (1940-08-06) August 6, 1940 (age 83)
New York, New York
🏫 Education
💼 Occupation
  • Actor
📆 Years active  1961–present
🥚 TwitterTwitter=
label65 = 👍 Facebook

Jack Samet (born August 6, 1940) is an American retired lawyer, actor, and comedian.

Early life and education[edit]

Samet was raised in Forest Hills, Queens, New York by William and Tillie Samet.[1] His father served as president of Samet & Wells, Inc., a toy manufacturer.[2] Samet studied at Forest Hills High School in Queens, New York. He was elected Vice-President of the  student government of Forest Hills High School and was also elected Vice-President of the New York City high school student government council which was composed of delegates representing 173,000 high school students city wide.[3] The graduating class of 1957 selected Samet as Most Outstanding Personality, Class Diplomat and Class Comedian.[4] [5]

Samet enrolled for his bachelor's degree at Columbia University's Columbia College in 1957. The day after the first Kennedy-Nixon debate, Samet's perspective was written up in the New York Mirror.[6] He placed 3rd in the national extemporaneous speaking contest held at the Harvard Invitation Debate Tournament.[7] He was awarded the gold George William Curtis Medal by Columbia for excellence in oratory.[8] He was also the president of the Senior Society of Nacoms and was awarded a Carnegie Fellowship for study in Britain of the British Labor Party and German Rearmament.[9] Samet graduated magna cum laude in 1961 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.[1][10]

In 1964, Samet graduated from Harvard Law School with his Juris Doctor in law.[2] While at Harvard, he was selected by David Susskind's nationally syndicated television program "Open End" to debate against travelling Cambridge University debaters in October 1961.[11][12] He was also elected president of the Harvard Law School Dormitory Council.[13]


Samet was a partner at the Buchalter, Nemer, Fields and Younger Law Firm (now, “Buchalter”), from 1982 to 1994 where he was chairman of the litigation department and a member of the board of directors.[14] In 1994 he left the Buchalter firm and joined Baker Hostetler, where he was Chairman of the Los Angeles litigation group, partner in charge of the Los Angeles office and a member the firm’s national governing committee, the Policy Committee.[15] In a jury trial against the Securities and Exchange Commission he represented an employee of a printing company accused of insider trading with tips gleaned from pre-publication access to issues of Business Week Magazine.[16][14] He was recognized as a notable lawyer and his opinions and views were often sought for publication in the Los Angeles Daily Journal on subjects like expert testimony in evidence, trial practice experience and strategies, and the appointment of Judge Richard Paez to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.[17][18][19]

In 1972, Samet authored a journal article titled "The Concept of Fungibility In Securities Law" in The Business Lawyer, a journal published by the American Bar Association.[20]

Holmes v. Securities Investor Protection Corp. (“SIPC”)[edit]

In November, 1991, Samet argued and won, in a unanimous ruling by the United States Supreme Court, the case of Holmes v.  SIPC. SIPC brought suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”)  alleging it was entitled to recover treble damages for alleged securities fraud by the defendants that was in violation of RICO and directly injured the plaintiff. The damage SIPC complained of was the money it had paid, under its statutory duty as an insurer, to customers of broker dealers  who did not themselves purchase the allegedly manipulated securities but suffered losses when the  brokers with which the customers had accounts purchased the allegedly manipulated securities for themselves  and were  unable to pay customers’ claims. Samet argued both: (a) that SIPC, who did not themselves purchase the allegedly manipulated securities had no “standing” to sue; and (b) the alleged conspirators’ conduct did not proximately cause the plaintiff’s damage which was purely contingent on the broker-dealers’ conduct in managing its own affairs, including its decision to purchase the allegedly manipulated securities for its own account, which together rendered it unable to pay customer claims. The Court, in three separate opinions, ruled unanimously that the conduct of defendants, even it occurred as alleged, did not proximately cause the damage suffered by SIPC.[21][22][23][24]

Samet also conducted the arguments in the lower courts, where he prevailed before the Central District Court of California[25] and lost before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.[26][27]

Dominelli Ponzi scheme case[edit]

Samet served as trial counsel in the late 1980s for local San Diego attorneys who served as legal counsel for Ponzi scheme promoter J. David Dominelli.[28] The Ponzi scheme involved over $200,000,000. More than 200 separate lawsuits were filed by defrauded investors to pursue civil claims against a national and local law firm, a national accounting firm, an insurance broker, and others whom investors claimed aided and abetted Dominelli's fraud. Six claims of plaintiffs over 70 years of age were selected for an expedited trial. Prior to the commencement of trial, the national law firm settled all investor claims for $40,000,000 and the accounting firm paid $10,000,000. The local law firm and its partner, represented by Samet, were the only defendants that proceeded to trial.[29] The investors claimed the lawyers aided and abetted Dominelli's scheme while Samet argued the defendants had no knowledge of the fraud and were themselves victims of it.[30] The trial was the focus of much public attention[31] and moved at a slow pace.[32] The trial was conducted before a judge, without a jury. After approximately six months of trial, the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. It was later discovered the judge, Judge James A. Malkus, had been bribed by one of the plaintiffs' counsel.[33] Malkus was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison in June 2000.[34]

Comedy and film[edit]

After retiring as an attorney, Samet studied at Playhouse West and Beverly Hills Playhouse under Burt Reynolds.[35] He has credited appearance in five films, including Cinema Salvation and James Franco's Good Time Max.

Samet also made several appearances at Los Angeles Comedy Store and Hollywood Improv.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Samet was engaged in 1966 and married in 1967 to Helen Ray.[2][1] Helen Ray Samet died of ovarian cancer in 2012.[36] He and Helen Ray had one son, Peter Lawrence Samet, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Nicole. Samet is now partnered with Beverly Grabell.[36]

Samet is a member and leader in the lifelong learning society, The PLATO Society of Los Angeles.[36] He served as a member of the board of directors and served in several executive capacities including ombudsman and, most recently, president for the 2020–21 term.[37][38]


Year Title Role
2006 It's Another Beautiful Day Henry
2007 Good Time Max Rabbi
2009 Second Sight (short) Client 1
2010 Cinema Salvation Greg's Lawyer
2010 The Bold and the Beautiful Beachwalker


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Helen Ray Wed To Jack Samet, 7 Attend Bride". The New York Times. New York, New York. February 13, 1967. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Miss Helen Ray Is Future Bride of Jack I Samet". The New York Times. New York, New York. December 4, 1966. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  3. "Samet Elected City G.O. Veep". Forest Hills High School Beacon. April 1956.
  4. "Biography-Jack Samet, Leader of Young Judea". The Bulletin, Richmond Hill Jewish Center. December 19, 1959.
  5. Bernikow, Louise (April 1957). "Have You Met? Jack Samet". Forest Hills High School Beacon.
  6. "Debating Experts Split, Toss-Up for Winner". New York Daily Mirror. New York, New York. September 27, 1960.
  7. "Samet Wins Third Place in Tourney". The Columbia Daily Spectator. New York, New York. February 8, 1961. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  8. "Samet Wins Curtis Medal". The Columbia Daily Spectator. New York, New York. May 9, 1961. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  9. Michael Mukasey (February 5, 1960). "Curzan, Samet, Shapiro Given Fellowship Aid". The Columbia Spectator. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  10. "Forty Six Seniors Elected Phi Beta Kappa Members". The Columbia Daily Spectator. New York, New York. May 2, 1961. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  11. ""Better Red Than Dead"". San Francisco Examiner. December 12, 1961. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  12. "Three for Tonight on TV". New York Times. October 22, 1961.
  13. "Dorm Council Committee Formed". Harvard Law Record. Cambridge, Massachusetts. October 3, 1963. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Represented Jack I. Samet as a partner to Baker & Hostetler". 16 June 2011.
  15. Dewey, Katrina M. (October 24, 1994). "Last 'Big' Litigator Leaves". Los Angeles Daily Journal. p. 4.
  16. Shaw, Daniel A (May 17, 1990). "Printer, Broker Found Liable in Insider Trading Case". Los Angeles Daily Journal.
  17. Dewey, Katrina M. (November 13, 1989). "Economic Experts Evaluate Evidence". Los Angeles Daily Journal, Section III, Law Business, p. 1.
  18. "Paez Opinions Praised as Well Reasoned". Los Angeles Daily Journal. June 1, 1994.
  19. Anderson, Jeffrey (July 9, 1999). "Court Tested Busy Litigation Group Combines Old School Trial Lawyers With New School Litigators Looking to Follow in Their Footsteps". Los Angeles Daily Journal.
  20. Samet, Jack (January 1, 1972). "The Concept of Fungibility in Securities Law". The Business Lawyer. 27 (2): 282–289. JSTOR 40685335. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  21. "ROBERT G. HOLMES, Petitioner, v. SECURITIES" (PDF).
  22. Rueben, Richard (November 12, 1991). "Justices Asked to OK Wider Civil Rico Use". Los Angeles Daily Journal.
  23. Zinnia Finn (Spring 2020). "Westwood's Hidden Learning Haven". Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  24. "Holmes v. Securities Investor Protection Corporation". Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  25. "Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Vigman, 587 F. Supp. 1358 (C.D. Cal. 1984)". Justia Law. Retrieved 2022-03-30.
  26. "Securities Investor Protection Corp v. Vigman, 908 F.2d 1461 | Casetext Search + Citator". Retrieved 2022-03-30.
  27. Goldberg, Dick (August 6, 1990). "Court Broadens Scope of RICO in Stock Frauds". Los Angeles Daily Journal.
  28. Yoshihashi, Pauline (July 20, 1985). "J. David Lawyers Under Fire". The New York Times. New York, New York. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  29. Flynn, Pat (July 1, 1986). "Dominelli's accuser is accused". The San Diego Union. San Diego, California. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  30. Repard, Pauline (June 20, 1986). "Wile's Circuit's Attorney Goes on the Offense". San Diego Daily Transcript.
  31. Ritter, Bill (September 30, 1986). "Trial on J. David Draws Big Crowd". Los Angeles Times.
  32. Flynn, Pat (July 31, 1986). "Dominelli trial is slower than expected". The San Diego Union. San Diego, California.
  33. Bauder, Don (September 8, 2005). "She's No Dumbbell". San Diego Reader.
  34. Perry, Tony (June 13, 2000). "2 Former San Diego Judges, Lawyer Get Prison Terms". Los Angeles Times.
  35. 35.0 35.1
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Zinnia Finn (Spring 2020). "Westwood's Hidden Learning Haven". Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  37. "Governance".
  38. "The PLATO Society of Los Angeles Announces Its New Leadership for Fiscal Year 2019-2020". September 15, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2021.

External links[edit]

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