J. Erik Connolly Photo

J. Erik Connolly

Partner
Executive Committee Member; Vice Chair, Litigation Practice Group; Co-Chair, Securities Litigation Practice Group
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Erik has been litigating complex, high-profile cases his entire career. His first trial was a valuation dispute over the largest retail building in the country. His most recent trial was the largest defamation case in U.S. history. In between, Erik represented plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of “bet the company” cases across the country. He and his team have a track record of success in these all- important disputes.

As lead and co-lead counsel, Erik has had success for clients at every stage of litigation. He has obtained dismissal of multibillion-dollar class actions, defeated class certification and won summary judgment in precedent-setting decisions, prevailed in marathon-length trials, and preserved trial court wins on appeal. Some of his matters include:

  • Represented a Fortune 100 technology company against a breach of contract claim seeking nine-figure damages. Negotiated a business resolution of the dispute on the eve of trial after successfully barring the opposing party’s expert and limiting testimony of key fact witness.
  • Represented a beef producer in a defamation case against ABC News seeking over $6 billion in damages. Secured a confidential settlement after four weeks of trial testimony that was characterized by the press and industry leaders as vindicating the producer.
  • Represented a manufacturer of cable set-tops in securities fraud litigation seeking over $2 billion in damages. Secured summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer with a precedent-setting decision that was affirmed by the 11th Circuit.
  • Represented a “Big Four” accounting firm in auditor liability litigation seeking over $3 billion in damages. Secured a directed verdict in favor of the accounting firm following 103 days of trial testimony and argument.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 technology company in securities fraud litigation seeking over $20 billion in damages. Prevailed on a motion to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.
  • Represented a Fortune 50 financial institution in class action alleging manipulation of the multibillion-dollar Treasury market. Successfully narrowed the claims with motions to dismiss and summary judgment and then defeated class certification following two years of fact and expert discovery.
  • Represented a technology company in tort claims seeking nine-figure damages from a supplier due to product defects. Secured a confidential settlement after defeating three successive motions to dismiss.
  • Represented a Fortune 50 financial institution in a multimillion-dollar contract and tort dispute. Secured summary judgment after two years of discovery in a precedent-setting decision that was affirmed by the 7th Circuit.

Inside the courtroom, Erik represents both individuals and companies in a variety of commercial matters, including defamation, disparagement, tortious interference, fraud, negligence, breach of contract, securities fraud, insider trading, breach of fiduciary duty, auditor liability and product liability.

Outside the courtroom, Erik serves as a trusted advisor to clients from Fortune 50 companies to family-owned businesses. Clients frequently seek his input on engaging with the media, conducting internal investigations, interacting with regulators and government agencies, and negotiating with customers and suppliers.

  • EDUCATION

    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, 1999, J.D.
    • Northwestern University, 1996, B.A., History and Political Science
      • with honors
  • BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS, LICENSES, CERTIFICATES

    • Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including Trial Bar
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • MEMBERSHIPS, ASSOCIATIONS, OTHER ACTIVITIES

    • Member, American Bar Association
    • Member, Illinois Bar Association
    • Member, Chicago Bar Association