Barbara S. Jones was a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for 17 years. She presided over a wide range of cases relating to accounting and securities fraud, antitrust, fraud and corruption involving city contracts and federal loan programs, labor racketeering and terrorism, including the 2005 trial of Bernard J. Ebbers, former chief executive of WorldCom. Judge Jones also heard the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard, finding that the companies had violated antitrust laws. She was selected by the National Football League (NFL) to arbitrate the appeal over the discipline given to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was accused of assaulting his fiancé. Judge Jones heard the case in November 2014 and issued a decision granting Rice’s appeal and vacating the suspension on the grounds that he had not lied to or misled the NFL. The decision was widely praised, and sets the stage for the NFL to move forward with developing guidelines for disciplining domestic violence in the league, and will help shape the consistent application of disciplinary actions in future cases.
In 2013, Judge Jones stepped down from the bench to join the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder.