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Godfrey, Richard
Direct Tel: +1 312 705 7463
Chicago
Tel: +1 312 705 7400 Fax: +1 312 705 7401

Mr. Godfrey, a litigation partner in the Chicago office of Quinn Emanuel, has been described as an “an exceptional trial lawyer” and “stellar example of outside counsel,” having an “extraordinary, encyclopedic knowledge of the law,” “who relishes the challenge and can be counted on to deliver a first-rate product every time.” (Chambers 2017, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2023)   “The classy stalwart … has excelled at representing corporations at the trial and appellate level in all types of complex cases,” (Lawdragon 500 Hall of Fame, 2017), including in some of the nation’s largest, most high-profile litigation matters.  In addition, Mr. Godfrey routinely advises senior management and corporate Boards regarding litigation strategy, including crisis and risk management.  His “undeniably wide-ranging practice” (Chambers 2006, 2023) includes defending against class actions and individual suits involving mass torts, antitrust and trade regulation, contracts, consumer fraud, fraud and false advertising, discrimination and employment discrimination, ERISA, environmental, franchise and distribution, insurance, products liability, trade secrets, tax and others. As was reported in Chambers’ 2020, and 2021 and 2023 reviews:  Mr. Godfrey “is highly strategic and has vast experience;” “he is second to none on high-level strategy” and “[t]here’s nothing he hasn’t seen--he’s an avid litigator.”

At Quinn Emanuel, Mr. Godfrey serves as Chair of the Complex Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) practice group.  Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel, Mr. Godfrey served as a litigation member of Kirkland &Ellis LLP’s Global Management Executive Committee from 1999 through 2015, having reached his maximum term limit.   

In addition to his practice, Mr. Godfrey is a Trustee of various cultural and educational institutions, including Boston University, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Newberry Library and The American Air Museum in Britain, among others. Mr. Godfrey also serves as Chancellor for The Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.

  • A Leading Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Revival Chiropractic, No. SC22-735 (Florida Supreme Court April 25, 2024) (Represented insurance company on appeal to answer a certified question of the 11th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals arising out of an adverse judgment in a putative class action lawsuit interpreting Florida’s Personal Injury Protection statute; Florida Supreme Court ruled in client’s favor, and 11th Circuit on May 24, 2024 entered Order reversing adverse judgment against client; 11th Circuit’s Mandate issued June 24, 2024; see also Revival Chiropractic LLC v. A Leading Property Casualty Insurance Company, 2022 WL 1799759 (11th Cir., June 2, 2022) (11th Circuit granted client’s motion to certify question of state statutory interpretation to Florida Supreme Court)
  • Christopher Burke, Chapter 7 Trustee for Bankruptcy Estate v. Americredit Financial Services, Inc., d/b/a GM Financial, No. 20-50651 ((Bankr. D. Nevada, March 18, 2024) (Represented GM Financial in putative nationwide class action; Court granted GM Financial’s Motion to Dismiss for lack of Article III standing and on the merits with prejudice; no appeal taken)
  • Americredit Financial Services, Inc. d/b/a GM Financial v. Nicole Bell, No. 15SL-AC24506-01 (St. Louis Cir. Ct., Missouri), appeal pending, No. ED 112095 (Missouri Ct. Appeals, Eastern District) (Retained to represent GM Financial after class was certified and adverse summary judgment opinion issued regarding alleged claims of UCC violations; post-opinion motions granted in part and denied in part); GM Financial appealed and Plaintiff has cross-appealed; matter currently being briefed, with oral argument set for August 13, 2024)
  • MDL 2543: In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Lead outside counsel representing GM in the thousands of individual plaintiff product liability claims and the more than 100 consolidated class actions arising out of the millions of vehicles recalled during 2014 for various safety defects. The litigation has involved claims by more than 7,000 personal injury and death claimants, the economic loss claims of over 15 million vehicle owners or lessees, and claims implicating the Bankruptcy Court’s Sale Order in the Old GM bankruptcy proceedings (S.D.N.Y.). After ten years of litigation, all but a handful of claims have been resolved, either on summary judgment, at trial, or by settlement. The most recent opinions of significance include:
    • MDL 2543: In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation (S.D.N.Y. December 8, 2022) (Court’s Order granting summary judgment in GM’s favor in the last remaining case of the MDL: “In light of that development, there is no longer a reason to keep these [MDL] proceedings open.”)
    • MDL 2543: In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation (S.D.N.Y. May 19, 2021) (Court’s Order Relating to the allocation of Economic Loss Counsel’s fees and expenses under Settlement Agreement)
    • MDL 2543: In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, 2020 WL 7480323 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 18, 2020) (Final Approval Order of nationwide class settlement for millions of vehicles and putative class members for the remaining economic loss claims in the MDL, and Opinion overruling objections; no appeals taken)
    • In re Motors Liquidation Co. (Pillars), 957 F.3d 357 (2d Cir. 2020) (Court ruled for GM, holding it was not bound by the inadvertent inclusion of language from an outdated non-operative sale agreement)
    • MDL 2543: In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 27 and May 4, 2020) (Preliminary Approval Order of nationwide class settlement for millions of vehicles and putative class members for the remaining economic loss claims in the MDL)
    • MDL 2543: In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, 407 F. Supp. 3d 212 (S.D.N.Y. 2019); In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, 427 F. Supp. 3d 374 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (Court granted GM summary judgment on plaintiffs’ claims involving scores of billions of dollars in economic loss damages)
    • In re Motors Liquidation Co., 943 F.3d 125 (2d Cir. 2019) (Court ruled for GM, holding that it was not liable for punitive damages as the successor of Old GM)
    • In re Motors Liquidation Co. (Reichwaldt), 792 F. App’x 28 (2d Cir. 2019) (Court ruled for GM, holding it was not liable for punitive damages under a 2009 Sale Agreement approved in Old GM’s Bankruptcy, and also that plaintiff’s claims are barred by res judicata doctrine)
  • Raul Siqueiros v. General Motors LLC, No. 16-cv-07244-EMC (N.D. Cal. 2022) (Retained after classes certified to serve as trial  counsel for GM in jury trial of three certified state classes of consumers alleging oil consumption defect in certain 2011-2014 SUVs and trucks; adverse jury verdict against GM on Oct. 4, 2022.  GM’s post-trial motions denied June 8, 2023 and November 2, 2023; plaintiffs’ motions for attorneys fees’ and entry of judgment pending)
  • Dennis Speerly, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 2:19-cv-11044 (E.D. Mich.) (Represent GM in putative class action alleging transmission defects in certain GM vehicles; class certification motion granted on March 20, 2023; GM’s Rule 23(f) Petition granted by the 6th Circuit on October 23, 2023; 6th Circuit appeal pending, No. 23-1940, and oral argument set for July 25, 2024)
  • Barnes v. Allsup Employment Services, LLC., No. 21-cv-211121 (S.D. Fla., July 1, 2022) (Represent Allsup Employment in putative class action alleging violations of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act); Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification)
  • Johannessohn v. Polaris Indust. Inc., 450 F. Supp. 3d 931 (D. Minn. 2020), aff’d, 9 F.4th 981 (8th Cir. 2021) (Represented Polaris in putative multi-state class action arising out of a recall of certain All-Terrain Vehicles; plaintiffs’ motion for class certification denied in the district court; 8th Circuit affirmed class certification denial, ruling in favor of client Polaris)
  • In re Polaris, Inc., 967 N.W.2d 397 (Minn. 2021) (Appellate counsel for Polaris in matter regarding whether an internal investigation report was attorney client privileged in whole or only in part)
  • In re Polaris Mktg., Sales Practices, & Prod. Liab. Litig., 364 F. Supp. 3d 976 (D. Minn. 2019) (“Polaris Mktg. I”), and In re Polaris Mktg., Sales Practices, & Prod. Liab. Litig., 2020 WL 919259 (D. Minn. Feb. 26, 2020) (“Polaris Mktg. II”), aff’d, 9 F.4th 793 (8th Cir. 2021) (Represented Polaris in putative multi-state class action alleging product liability claims for alleged thermal heat and fire hazards in certain Polaris vehicles. The District Court granted Polaris’s motion to dismiss many of the plaintiffs for lack of Article III standing given that the alleged product defects had not been alleged to have manifested in their vehicles. On appeal, the 8th Circuit ruled in favor of Polaris, affirming the District Court’s decision)
  • Guzman v. Polaris Indust. Inc., 2021 WL 2021454 (C.D. Cal. 2021), reversed, 49 F.4th 1308 (9th Cir. 2022), petition for rehearing denied, Nov. 9, 2022. (Represent Polaris in putative California class action involving certain Polaris vehicles); class certification granted and Rule 23(f) Petition of Polaris denied; matter is pending with tentative trial date set for February 2025.
  • United Methodist Church Mediation (D.C. July 2019–January 2020) (Working with mediator Ken Feinberg and partner Wendy Bloom on a pro bono basis, assisted Mr. Feinberg in reaching a proposed resolution of differing viewpoints within the United Methodist Church regarding the full participation of LGBTQ persons in the Church)
  • Keene v. CNA Holdings LLC, 870 S.E.2d 156 (S.C. 2021; 3-2 decision), petition for rehearing denied (S.C. April 5, 2022) (Represented CNA (Celanese) on appeal from adverse jury verdict finding asbestos plaintiff’s tort claims were not barred by the Worker’s Compensation Law of South Carolina; the South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the judgment against CNA)
  • Berry v. City Of Chicago, 133 N.E.3d 1201 (Ill. App. Ct. 2019), appeal allowed 132 N.E.3d 284 (Ill. 2019), and Court of Appeals’ decision reversed, 2020 IL 124999 (Ill. Sept. 24, 2020) (Represented City of Chicago in putative class action alleging impermissible lead levels in the City’s water system; case dismissed in favor of client, but Illinois Court of Appeals reversed. Subsequently, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals, and dismissed all claims against client as a matter of law)
  • Hatchett v. Henry Schein, Inc., 2020 WL 733834 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 13, 2020) (Represented Henry Schein in antitrust class action price fixing case; District Court dismissed claims with prejudice for lack of antitrust standing; plaintiffs did not appeal); see also representation of Henry Schein in other antitrust cases: IQ Dental Supply, Inc. v. Henry Schein, Inc., 924 F.3d 57 (2d Cir. 2019); Marion Healthcare, LLC v. Becton Dickinson & Co., 952 F.3d 832 (7th Cir. 2020) (Client Henry Schein voluntarily dropped from litigation by plaintiffs after 7th Circuit ruled); In re Dental Supplies Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:16-CV-00696 (E.D.N.Y. 2019); and Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer and White Sales, Inc., 586 U.S. ___, 139 S. Ct. 524 (2019)
  • U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Windstream Servs., LLC, 2019 WL 948120 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 15, 2019) (Lead trial counsel for Windstream in case alleging that Windstream had breached a bond indenture covenant; after bench trial, Court ruled against Windstream, finding breach of the bond covenant and that Windstream had not cured the default)
  • Hossfeld v. A Leading Property Casualty & Insurance Company, No. 19-CV-03492 (N.D. Ill. 2021) (Represented insurance company in putative consumer class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act; client eventually dismissed from lawsuit)
  • MDL 2179: In re Deepwater Horizon (E.D. La.): Represented BP (2010 to 2015) in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill casualty, described by the 5th Circuit as “epic” and of “gargantuan size and extraordinary complexity.” 819 F.3d 190, 197. In this regard:
    • Godfrey tried the first Deepwater trial starting in May 2010, less than a month after the accident and completed in April 2011: In re United States Coast Guard - Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Joint Investigation into the Deepwater Horizon Casualty. This was the federal government’s administrative investigation and trial into the causes of the casualty.
    • Provided strategic litigation counseling to senior management and the Board.
  • Hurt v. Shell Oil Co. and Celanese, No. 17-CV-0315 (E.D. Ark. July 6, 2018) (Represented Celanese in alleged class action in which plaintiff sought multi-state (24 state) class certification for allegedly defective piping used in residential plumbing. After oral argument on defendants’ motion to dismiss, the District Court ruled for Celanese and Shell, dismissing case with prejudice; no appeal taken)
  • Kinseth v. Weil-McLain, 913 N.W.2d 55 (Iowa 2018) (Represented Weil-McLain on appeal of adverse jury verdict in asbestos exposure case; Iowa Supreme Court reversed and ruled in favor of client)
  • A Leading Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Orthopedic Specialists, 212 So.3d 973 (Fla. 2017), motion for rehearing denied (Mar. 27, 2017) (Represented insurance company in cases regarding whether its personal injury protection policies complied with Florida statute; Florida Supreme Court ruled as a matter of law in favor of client, reversing lower courts’ adverse judgments)
  • Foster v. L-3 Communications EOTech, Inc., 6:15-CV-03519 (W.D. Mo. 2017) (Represented manufacturer of military and consumer rifle accessories in a consolidated product liability class action involving allegedly defective holographic weapons sights; matter was resolved in a nationwide class settlement approved in July 2017)
  • City of Neodesha v. BP Corp. N. Am., Inc.: Represented BP party defendants on appeal of adverse judgement in environmental contamination lawsuit involving damages and injunctive remediation relief of nearly $500 million. On appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court reversed the adverse liability judgment against client BP, and directed entry of judgment for BP party defendants. 287 P.3d 214 (Kan. 2012). See discussion of Mr. Godfrey’s Kansas Supreme Court argument in the book “Poisoned Legacy,” by journalist Mike Magner (2011) at page 379.
    • On remand, the District Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for new trial and plaintiffs appealed. The Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed, finding again for the BP party defendants on all issues.) See 334 P.3d 830 (Kan. Ct. App. 2014), rehearing denied October 7, 2015.
    • Subsequent to the Appellate Courts’ rulings in BP’s favor, the City of Neodesha in 2014 filed more than 1,600 new cases against BP in its municipal court, claiming violations of municipal ordinances that it had just enacted. The City Ordinances carried mandatory minimal penalties amounting to at least $750 million. BP removed the actions to Federal Court, which denied the City’s motion to remand after an evidentiary hearing. See City of Neodesha v. BP Corp. N. Am., Inc., 176 F. Supp. 3d 1233 (D. Kan. 2016)
    • Subsequent to the denial of the City’s motion to remand, BP filed counterclaims challenging the City’s new Ordinances, alleging the more than 1,600 lawsuits unlawfully targeted BP to penalize it for successfully having defended against the City’s original environmental contamination complaint. Confronted with these counterclaims, the City of Neodesha in December 2017 entered into a Consent Decree, in which the Court permanently enjoined the City from bringing future litigation against BP regarding the City’s environmental contamination claims. Upon entry of the Consent Decree, the litigation ended, with BP paying nothing.
  • Romero v. A Leading Property and Casualty Insurance Company (E.D. Pa. 2001-2019): Lead outside counsel representing insurance company defendant for 18 years in one of the largest age discrimination cases ever brought, involving a putative class of thousands of former insurance agents and a separate lawsuit by the EEOC challenging the validity of a Release on grounds that the insurance company allegedly had retaliated against terminated employee agents. The most significant opinions during the 18 years of litigation include:
    • Plaintiff's class certification motion denied, 52 F. Supp. 3d. 715 (E.D. Pa. 2014)
    • Summary judgement denial opinion, 1 F. Supp. 3d. 319 (E.D. Pa. 2014)
    • Summary judgment granted to insurance company client against the EEOC’s claims, 3 F. Supp. 3d 313 (E.D. Pa. 2014), affirmed, 778 F.3d 444 (3d Cir. 2015)
    • Lead trial counsel in ERISA bench trial; District Court found no pension plan cutback liability against company for all but potentially two of the 118 named plaintiffs, whose total alleged damages were de minimis, assuming they could have survived further motion practice, 2017 WL 1508879 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 27, 2017)
    • Lead trial counsel for insurance company in combined bellwether jury trial and bench trial resulting in split verdicts over the validity of Releases given by terminated agents to insurance company (E.D. Pa. 2015), and 158 F. Supp. 3d. 369 (E.D. Pa. 2016)
    • Partial summary judgement granted for insurance company client on ADEA disparate impact claim, and ERISA section 510 claim, 251 F. Supp. 3d. 867 (E.D. Pa. 2017)
    • Case finally settled in 2018 and 2019 on an individual plaintiff basis.
  • The Marley-Wylain Company v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 2016 WL 1254038 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2016) (Represented Marley-Wylain on application for peremptory writ of mandate; writ granted in favor of client Marley-Wylain regarding law applicable in upcoming personal injury jury trial arising out of alleged exposure to asbestos)
  • Jacobs v. Yellow Cab Affiliation, Inc., 73 N.E.3d 1220 (Ill. App. Ct. 2017) (Represented Yellow Cab on appeal from adverse $26 million jury verdict in a personal injury action; Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against client)
  • Plaintiff A v. Corporate Defendant (N.D. Ill. 2017) (Appointed by Court to represent plaintiff (pro bono) in sex discrimination and retaliation employment case; matter settled)
  • Fisher v. Univ. Of Texas at Austin, 570 U.S. 297 (2013) (Filed amicus brief on behalf of The American Jewish Committee in support of the University of Texas’s admissions policy and to urge that constitutional parameters to race-conscious admissions policies not be altered.) See 2012 WL 3418839 (Aug. 13, 2012). Following oral arguments held October 2012, the Supreme Court vacated the 5th Circuit’s decision and remanded. See 570 U.S. 297 (2013). Applying more exacting scrutiny, the 5th Circuit reaffirmed in July 2014, see 758 F.3d 633 (5th Cir. 2014). Certiorari was again granted by the Supreme Court on June 29, 2015. See 576 U.S. 1054 (2015). Filed second amicus brief on behalf of the American Jewish Committee on November 2, 2015. See 2015 WL 6690036 (Nov. 2, 2015)
  • Nettles, et al. v. A Leading Property and Casualty Insurance Company, No. 02-CH-14426 (Circuit Court Cook County, July 6, 2010) (Lead trial counsel for an insurance company in certified class action trial alleging violations of Illinois and Washington state wage and hours laws with respect to its adjusters. After bench trial, Court ruled for insurance company client finding no liability; appellate court affirmed judgment for the company; see 980 N.E.2d 103 (Ill. App. Ct. 2012). Nettles’ subsequent Petition for Leave to Appeal denied, see 981 N.E.2d 998 (Ill. 2012)
  • J. Dep't of Envtl. Prot. v. Occidental Chemical Corp., et al., No. EXL-L-9868-05, (N.J. Super. Ct.) (Represented foreign oil company defendants in alleged environmental contamination case)
  • Puffer v. A Leading Property and Casualty Insurance Company, 675 F.3d 709 (7th Cir. 2012). See also 614 F. Supp. 2d 905 (N.D. Ill. 2009); 255 F.R.D. 450, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3533, 2009 WL 136097 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 15, 2009); Rule 23 (f) petitions denied twice (7th Cir. Mar. 25 and Dec. 21, 2009); 614 F. Supp. 2d 905 (N.D. Ill. 2009) (Represented an insurance company in putative gender discrimination class action; plaintiff's motions for class certification denied)
  • M. v. Briseno, 949 N.E.2d 779 (Ill. App. Ct. 2011) (Represented female student J.M. (pro bono) on appeal in case involving two University of Chicago Law School students and the Illinois Civil No Contact Order Act; appeals court reversed lower court judgment, ruling in favor of client J.M.)
  • United States v. Individual Defendant, 618 F.3d 619 (7th Cir. 2010) (Represented individual defendant as appointed counsel (pro bono) on appeal of defendant’s criminal conviction for (i) an alleged conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and for (ii) allegedly filing a false tax return. On appeal, the Court ruled in defendant-client’s favor, vacated defendant’s conviction, and remanded for a new trial on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct)
  • Siegel v. Shell Oil Co., et al., 612 F.3d 932 (7th Cir. 2010), petition for rehearing denied (7th Cir. July 30, 2010); 656 F. Supp. 2d 825 (N.D. Ill. 2009); 2009 WL 449073 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 23, 2009); 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72314 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 23, 2008) (class certification denied); 480 F. Supp. 2d 1034 (N.D. Ill. 2007) (Represented BP in putative consumer class action challenging gasoline pricing)
  • BP Amoco Chem. Co. v. Flint Hills Res., LLC, 697 F. Supp. 2d 1001 (N.D. Ill. 2010); 615 F. Supp. 2d 765 (N.D. Ill. 2009); 2009 WL 1033373 (N.D. Ill. April 17, 2009); 600 F. Supp. 2d 976 (N.D. Ill. 2009); 500 F. Supp. 2d 957 (N.D. Ill. 2007); 489 F. Supp. 2d 853 (N.D. Ill. 2007); 2006 WL 2505691 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 25, 2006) (Represented BP Amoco as lead trial counsel in a jury trial alleging breach of contract and fraud arising out of the sale of a chemical plant; jury returned split verdict after trial lasting over 9 weeks; case subsequently settled)
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Gill, 221 S.W.3d 841 (Tex. App. 2007), reversed in favor of Exxon Mobil, 299 S.W.3d 124 (Tex. 2009), petition for rehearing denied (Jan. 15, 2010) (Represented ExxonMobil in putative statewide class action alleging breach of contract and fraudulent concealment over gasoline pricing)
  • In re General Growth Properties, Inc., 409 B.R. 43 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2009) (Represented General Growth project-level debtors as lead trial counsel in challenge to Chapter 11 filings; bench trial opinion in favor of clients)
  • Autry Petroleum Co. v. BP Products N. Am., Inc., 2008 WL 360628 (M.D. Ga. Feb. 8, 2008), motion for reconsideration denied, 2008 WL 693800 (M.D. Ga., Mar. 12, 2008), aff’d, 334 F. App’x 982 (11th Cir. 2009), petition for rehearing by Autry denied (November 25, 2009) (Represented BP in putative nationwide class action brought by jobbers alleging violations of the UCC and breach of contract over gasoline prices)
  • MDL 1532: In re New Motor Vehicles Canadian Exp. Antitrust Litig., 632 F. Supp. 2d 42 (D. Me. 2009) (Summary judgment ruling in favor of defendants in multidistrict litigation antitrust case); 2009 WL 861485 (D. Me. Mar. 26, 2009). See also 522 F.3d 6 (1st Cir. 2008), motion for rehearing denied (1st Cir. May 2008) (Court of Appeals reversed lower court’s class certification decision, ruling in favor of client General Motors and other auto manufacturer defendants); 533 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2008), and other opinions reported at: 307 F. Supp. 2d 136 (D. Me. 2004); 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10240 (D. Me. Mar. 10, 2006); 235 F.R.D. 127 (D. Me. 2006); 236 F.R.D. 53 (D. Me. 2006); 466 F. Supp. 2d 364 (D. Me. 2006); 241 F.R.D. 77 (D. Me. 2007); 243 F.R.D. 17 (D. Me. 2007); 244 F.R.D. 70 (D. Me. 2007); 2008 WL 583548 (D. Me. Jan. 29, 2008); 2008 WL 1924993 (D. Me. Apr. 29, 2008); 2009 WL 861485 (D. Me. Mar. 26, 2009); 609 F. Supp. 2d 104 (D. Me. 2009) (Represented General Motors in putative class action alleging antitrust conspiracy)
  • Nolan v. Weil-McLain, 910 N.E.2d 549 (Ill. App. Ct. 2009), petition for rehearing denied (June 11, 2009), and reversing, 851 N.E.2d 281 (Ill. App. Ct. 2006) (Appellate counsel for Weil-McLain; Illinois Supreme Court ruled in client’s favor and reversed lower court’s entry of adverse jury verdict and judgment in an asbestos case, and also set aside what was known as the “Lipke” rule)
  • Flagler Auto., Inc., v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 582 F. Supp. 2d 367 (E.D.N.Y. 2008), 67 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 1 (Callaghan), appeal dismissed (2d Cir. Feb. 2009) (Represented ExxonMobil in putative nationwide class action alleging violations of the UCC and breach of contract with respect to gasoline pricing)
  • Daniel v. Aon Corp., 973 N.E.2d 1084 (Ill. App. Ct. 2008), petition for rehearing denied (Represented the Aon parties in putative class action involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, constructive trust, and claimed violations of consumer fraud statutes); see also related cases arising out of New York Attorney General Spitzer’s investigation of the insurance brokerage industry in MDL 1663: In re Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2818 (D.N.J. Jan. 14, 2008); 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74711 (D.N.J. Oct. 5, 2007); 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73220 (D.N.J. Sept. 28, 2007); 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65037 & 64767 (D.N.J. Aug. 31, 2007); 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47659 (D.N.J. June 29, 2007); 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40729 (D.N.J. June 5, 2007); 2007 WL 1062980 (D.N.J. Apr. 5, 2007); 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17019 (D.N.J. Mar. 3, 2009); 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63633, 2008 WL 3887616 (D.N.J. Aug. 20, 2008); 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17754 & 17755 (D.N.J. Feb. 17, 2009)
  • UAW v. General Motors Corp., 235 F.R.D. 383 (E.D. Mich. 2006); 2006 WL 891151 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 31, 2006), aff’d , 497 F.3d 615 (6th Cir. 2007) (Represented GM in class action case involving retiree health care benefits; class settlement resulted in restructuring of union retiree health care benefits); see also Int’l Union v. General Motors Corp., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92590 (E.D. Mich. July 31, 2008); 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16767 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 5, 2008)
  • MDL 1510: Daewoo Motor Am., Inc. v. Gen. Motors Corp., 315 B.R. 148 (M.D. Fla. 2004), aff’d , 459 F.3d 1249 (11th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1362 (2007) (Represented GM in litigation arising out of the sale of Korean automobile manufacturer’s assets)
  • Boston University School of Law
    (J.D., magna cum laude)
    • Boston University Law Review:
      • Note & Case Editor
    • 1998 – “Silver Shingle Alumni Award” for “Distinguished Service to the Law School
    • 2006–2008 – Annual Fund Chairman for the Law School
    • 2010-2019 — Chair of the Law School Campaign, Vice Chair of The Campaign for Boston   University
  • Augustana College
    (B.A., magna cum laude, History and Political Science)
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • The State Bar of Illinois
  • United States District Court:
    • Northern District of Illinois
    • Central District of Illinois
    • Northern District of Indiana
    • Eastern District of Michigan
    • Western District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • First Circuit
    • Second Circuit
    • Third Circuit
    • Fourth Circuit
    • Fifth Circuit
    • Sixth Circuit
    • Seventh Circuit
    • Eighth Circuit
    • Ninth Circuit
  • United States Tax Court
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP:
    • Partner, 1985-2023
  • BTI Client Service All-Stars, (2006, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2023, 2024)
  • The AmLaw Litigation Daily Litigator of the Week (2020, 2016)
  • Chambers USA Band 1, Litigation: General Commercial: Illinois (2011–2024)
  • Chambers USA Band 1, Product Liability: Automobile: Nationwide (2023, 2024)
  • Chambers USA Band 1, Product Liability: Consumer Class Actions: Nationwide (2021–2022)
  • Benchmark Litigation Litigation Stars (2024)
  • Benchmark Litigation National: General Commercial (2008–2023)
  • Benchmark Litigation Illinois (2008–2023)
  • "Lawyer Of The Year" Awards, The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Antitrust (2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Litigation - Antitrust in Chicago (2022)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers® Litigation: Antitrust (2011–2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers® Bet-the-Company Litigation (2015–2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers® Commercial Litigation (2006, 2010–2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers® Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2022–2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers® Litigation: Environmental (2011)The Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers® Litigation: Labor & Employment (2011)
  • Lawdragon Hall of Fame (The Power Brokers: 2017)
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America: Complex Litigation (2023-2024)
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2008–2009, 2014–2016, 2022)
  • Lawdragon Guide to World-Class Lawyers (2005–2007 and 2010–2013)
  • Legal 500 U.S. Hall of Fame: General Commercial Disputes (2020–2024)
  • Legal 500 Hall of Fame: Industry Focus: Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas (2020–2022)
  • Legal 500 Hall of Fame: Industry Focus: Energy Litigation: Conventional Power (2020)
  • Legal 500 Named to “Inaugural Hall of Fame” for Energy: Litigation (2017)
  • Legal 500 Listed as a “Leading Lawyer” in the areas of General Commercial Disputes (2015–2019) and Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas (2011–2019)
  • Legal 500 Industry Focus: Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas (2010–2022)
  • Legal 500 Industry Focus: Environment: Litigation (2011–2012, 2016–2019)
  • Legal 500 General Commercial Disputes (2015–2022)
  • Legal 500 Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Toxic Tort - Defense (2012–2017, 2020–2021, 2024)
  • Legal 500 Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Automotive/Transport (2018–2020, 2022)
  • Legal 500 Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Consumer Products (2017–2020)
  • Legal 500 Industry Focus: Transport (2017)Legal 500 Supreme Court and Appellate (2011, 2022)
  • Legal 500 Antitrust (2010)
  • Leading Lawyers Civil Appellate Law, Commercial Litigation(2003–2024)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Illinois (2006, 2008)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers Business Litigation, Appellate(2005–2023)
  • Marquis, “Who’s Who in American Law” (2018)
  • Marquis Who’s Who, Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award (2017–2018)
  • Irish Legal 100 (2018–2023)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Commercial Litigation, AV Preeminent 5/5 Rating (2000–2024)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Judicial Edition, AV Preeminent Attorney (2024)
  • PLC Which Lawyer? Illinois: Dispute Resolution (2011–2012)
  • Pillars of Justice Award, Appleseed Foundation (2013)
  • Profiled in “People, Places, and Precedents,” Boston University School of Law (2022)
  • 10 for Ten: Ten Attorneys Who Raised the Bar Over the Last Decade, Law Bulletin Publishing Company (2010)
  • Member, Warren E. Burger Society, National Center for State Courts (Williamsburg, VA) (Inducted 2008)
  • Law360 Product Liability MVP (2018,2020)
  • Law360: “Trial Pros: Kirkland & Ellis’ Richard Godfrey” (2016)
  • Law360 Practice Group of the Year — Class Action (2011, 2012, 2014)
  • Duke Law: Future of Multidistrict Litigation Conference, May 2-3, 2013: Panel 3: Selection of Counsel (held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, outside of DC)
  • Duke Law: Class-Action Settlement Conference, July 23-24, 2015: Panel 5: Class-Action Objectors (held at the Crystal City Marriott Hotel, outside of DC)
  • The Public Interest Law Project, Lewis and Clark Law School, February 16, 2016: Panel 2: Defending High Profile Class Actions (held in Portland, Oregon)
  • “Women Lawyers in the Courtroom” Symposium, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, April 21, 2016: Panel Participant: Getting Real World Trial Experience: Tips From Experienced Trial Lawyers
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association Annual Meeting, May 2, 2017: Panel Participant: “Class Action Settlements and Fairness”
  • Baylor Law School L.L.M. in Litigation Management, November 13, 2019, “Considerations of Strategy & Tactics in Multi-Forum Litigation”
  • Baylor Law Executive L.L.M. National Advisory Panel, January 29, 2021
  • Baylor Law Executive L.L.M. National Advisory Panel, January 21, 2022
  • Baylor Law School L.L.M. in Litigation Management, June 7, 2023, “Considerations of Strategy & Tactics in Multi-Forum Litigation”
  • Baylor MDL Judicial Summit (Aspen, Col.), June 18-19, 2023 (Speaker, Panel 4:  Key Activity following an MDL Assignment)
  • Texas Tech MDL Judicial Summit (Aspen, Col.), June 2-5, 2024 (Moderator, Panel 10:  Daubert:  The Current Gatekeeping Landscape)
  • Lewis and Clark Law School, April 8, 2024: Guest lecturer along with Professors Robert Klonoff and Brian Fitzpatrick to discuss Litigating Complex MDLs and Class Actions   
  • Co-author, with Catherine L. Fitzpatrick and R. Chris Heck of a chapter in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts Third Edition, (Robert L. Haig ed.) (Thomson/West 2011); also co-author with Catherine L. Fitzpatrick and R. Chris Heck of the same chapter in the Fourth Edition, (Robert L. Haig ed.) (Thomson West 2017) and in the Fifth Edition, (Robert L. Haig ed.) (Thomson West 2021)
  • Trustee, Augustana College (Rock Island, IL: 1996–2003, 2005–2012, 2015–2023)
  • Trustee, Boston University (2007–2021, re-elected to Board in September 2022); also currently Chair, Boston University School of Law Dean’s Advisory Board, and formerly (i) Chair of the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees, and (ii) Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustee’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
  • Life Trustee, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Trustee, The Newberry Library, and Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee
  • Chancellor, The Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • Member of The Commercial Club of Chicago; former Member of the Civic Committee (2007–2021)
  • Member of the American, Illinois, Chicago, 5th and 7th Circuit Bar Associations; Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
  • Fellow, The American Bar Foundation
  • Member, The National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Member, Chicago Inn of Court
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Trustee, The American Air Museum in Britain
  • Member, Baylor Law Executive L.L.M. National Advisory Panel
  • Former Trustee of the American Friends of the Churchill Museum (War Cabinet Rooms, London); former Director of The Churchill Center
  • Former Director, The Appleseed Foundation (Washington, D.C.)
  • Former Director, National Center For State Courts (Williamsburg, Va.)
  • Former Director, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Member, Board of Governors, The Mid-America Club (Ill.)