Joanne Zack, Attorney for Authors and Many Others

Joanne Zack, a founding partner of the Boni & Zack law firm and a veteran litigator, passed away recently. She represented the Authors Guild in its seven-year copyright suit against Google for digitizing millions of books. Most recently, she was successful in having the case certified as a class action.

The Google Books lawsuit was hardly Ms. Zack’s only contribution to shaping the future of digital publishing. She also played major roles in the long-running litigation over freelance authors’ articles in electronic databases and in the Random House v. Rosetta Books case, an early landmark pitting authors against their print publishers for ownership of electronic rights. In addition to her copyright work, she also handled complex antitrust, securities, and class-action cases during her three decades at the bar.

A cum laude graduate of Carleton College and of the New York University Law School, also cum laude, Ms. Zack clerked for federal judge Charles Brieant of the Southern District of New York. Known as a forceful advocate for her clients, she had an organized and direct speaking style. Her passing was noted with sadness by those familiar with her work.