Todd joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon in 2015 after practicing for more than two decades at Chicago commercial litigation boutique Grippo & Elden LLC. He was a member of Grippo’s Executive Committee and its Managing Principal from 2006 to 2014.
Todd represents commercial clients nationwide in complex disputes. These matters include some of the largest lawsuits in the United States in the areas of class action defense, antitrust, securities and shareholder derivative actions, commercial contracts, mass tort insurance coverage and a variety of intellectual property matters. Many cases involve allegations of fraud, tortious conduct, bad faith or breach of fiduciary duty and often relate to distressed financial situations or contested Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Among the clients who have turned to Todd to handle some of their most significant disputes are: Amazon.com, CNA, EMC2, Fireman’s Fund, Groupon, IBM, RealNetworks, and Resolute Management. Client comments in Todd’s Martindale-Hubbell evaluation describe him as “a first-class lawyer and person,” and an “outstanding strategist” who is also “comfortable in the court room.”
Todd has tried cases to judgment in California, Florida, Illinois and New York and has been a member of the Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar for 20 years. He also has broad appellate experience, having briefed dozens of appeals nationwide and presented oral argument in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits as well as before state appellate courts in California, Illinois, Ohio and Washington State.
Todd currently serves on the U.S. Advisory Board for the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies at Loyola University Chicago, a non-partisan independent academic center established to explore competition law and its impact on society.
Matters Of Note
Counsel to Nissan North America in putative nationwide class action alleging concealment of design defects in Altima and Maxima vehicles. Case dismissed with prejudice on jurisdictional grounds and for failure to state a claim. DeMaria v. Nissan North America, Inc., 2016 WL 374145 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 1, 2016).
Co-lead counsel for CNA in the seminal Ninth Circuit decision establishing insurer standing to object to Chapter 11 reorganization plans in mass tort bankruptcies. In re Thorpe Insulation Co., 677 F.3d 869 (9th Cir. 2012).
Lead counsel for Groupon in a variety of matters, including shareholder derivative actions, consumer class actions, intellectual property matters and commercial contract actions.
Lead counsel for Amazon.com, DIRECTV and RealNetworks in a U.S. Supreme Court appeal concerning enforcement of arbitration provisions banning class actions. The Supreme Court recently upheld the legality of such provisions (see description of RealNetworks' privacy cases immediately below).
National coordinating counsel for streaming media pioneer RealNetworks in multidistrict privacy class-action litigation relating to RealPlayer and RealJukebox software. Lieschke v. RealNetworks, Inc., 2000 WL 198424 (N.D. Ill. 2000); In re RealNetworks, Inc. Privacy Litigation, 2000 WL 631341 (N.D. Ill. 2000); RealNetworks, Inc. v. Superior Court in and for the County of Orange, 2001 WL 1527492 (Cal. Ct. App. 2001) (sixteen nationwide putative class actions dismissed and claims ordered into individual, non-class arbitrations).
Lead counsel for IBM in disputes relating to implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and related software. Irwin Seating Co. v. IBM, 2009 WL 32711 (6th Cir. 2009) (affirming grant of summary judgment to IBM on all claims); Business Systems Engineering v. IBM, 547 F.3d 882 (7th Cir. 2008) (affirming grant of summary judgment to IBM on all claims); 249 F.R.D. 313 (awarding costs); M. Block & Sons, Inc. v. IBM, 2004 WL 1557631 (N.D. Ill. 2004) (dismissing fraud, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and warranty claims).
Lead counsel for RealNetworks in defense of consumer class actions relating to the RealOne online subscription service. Koresko v. RealNetworks, Inc., 291 F. Supp. 2d 1157 (E.D. Cal. 2003) (dismissing case pursuant to End-User License Agreement forum selection clause).
Counsel for Amazon.com in defense of patent infringement claims relating to online personalization technologies. Pinpoint, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 347 F. Supp. 2d 579 (N.D. Ill. 2004) (Posner, J. sitting by designation) (case dismissed for lack of standing); 369 F. Supp. 2d 995 (N.D. Ill. 2005) (subsequently filed case dismissed with prejudice following favorable claim construction).
Trial counsel for CNA in New York state court class action litigation (four-month bench trial) pertaining to alleged unaggregated "non-products" exposure for asbestos bodily injury claims. Continental Casualty Co. v. Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau, et al., 871 N.Y.S.2d 48 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008) (Phase I) (no coverage for class claims). Todd subsequently represented CNA as lead counsel in two California state court cases and one Los Angeles-based bankruptcy proceeding presenting similar issues. Employers Reinsurance Co. v. Superior Court, 161 Cal. App. 4th 906 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008).
Trial counsel for Fireman’s Fund in bankruptcy court litigation seeking coverage for asbestos bodily injury and asbestos property damage claims. Celotex Corp. v. AIU Ins. Co., 216 B.R. 867 and 222 B.R. 644 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1998) (defense judgment on late-notice grounds); 251 B.R. 163 (awarding costs). The judgment in Fireman's Fund's favor was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. In re Celotex Corp., 299 Fed. Appx. 850 (11th Cir. July 7, 2008). In related contribution litigation, Todd successfully represented Fireman's Fund in its efforts to recover millions of dollars in defense costs from a nondefending primary insurer. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., 2011 WL 1303148 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 31, 2011).
Publications and Presentations
Spotlight on Personal and General Jurisdiction Trends in Class Action Practice, American Conference Institute, June 9-10, 2016.
Co-Chair, Perrin Chicago Class Action Litigation Conference, May 17, 2016.
Challenges to Ascertainability and ‘Fail-Safe’ Classes and Challenges to Article III Standing and the Issue of Absent Class Member Injury, presentations at Challenges to Class Membership seminar, Chicago Bar Association, May 14, 2015.
Co-Chair, Perrin Chicago Class Action Litigation Conference, May 6-7, 2015.
Legal Ethics and Social Media (presentation to in-house counsel), May 18, 2014.
Co-Chair, LSI-Chicago Litigating Class Actions Conference, December 9-10, 2013.
The Shifting Landscape of Class Litigation: Consumer Class Actions in a Post-Concepcion World, Chicago Bar Association, May 14, 2013.
Co-Chair, LSI-Chicago Litigating Class Actions Conference, December 6-7, 2012.
Emerging Insurance Issues, Perrin New York Conference, January 24, 2011.
Practical Advice for Handling Civil Appeals (in-house presentations), April 29, 2010 and June 20, 2012.
Motions Practice in State and Federal Court (in-house presentation), July 12, 2007.
Co-author, Enforcing Clickwrap Agreements, National Law Journal, March 11, 2002 (with Gary M. Miller).