Eric's practice focuses on high-stakes litigation. He represents clients in complex business, commercial, product liability and tort matters throughout the country, particularly in trials and arbitration. His experience also includes appeals, mass torts and class action proceedings.
Eric has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries, including the information technology, healthcare, alarm protection, finance/lending, computer software, medical device and automotive sectors, among many others.
Unfair Competition - Trial Counsel. Eric was a member of two trial teams that prosecuted Lanham Act and common-law unfair competition claims against alarm services providers that compete with Shook client ADT. ADT alleged that the defendants engaged in deceptive practices with ADT’s customers across the country that often resulted in customers switching from ADT to the defendants based on false or misleading pretenses. Eric examined over a dozen customer and third-party trial witnesses, helped depose and present numerous company and expert witnesses and led the teams’ fact development. Both cases proceeded on rapid trial schedules and were resolved within nine months of Shook’s engagement. In total, Shook obtained $13 million in recoveries for the client (S.D. Fla.).
Confidential JAMS Arbitration. Eric second-chaired the prosecution of a breach-of-contract and declaratory judgment action following the $1.3 billion sale of a global healthcare technology business unit. In addition to presenting evidence and argument during the seven-day hearing, Eric managed all aspects of the case workup, including numerous depositions and the production and review of large volumes of documents and electronically stored information on an expedited schedule. The case ultimately resulted in an eight-figure recovery for the client (California).
Automotive Product Liability Litigation. Eric represented a multinational engineering and electronics company in litigation stemming from a single-vehicle multirollover accident. The plaintiff alleged a defect in the occupant restraint controller caused the airbags not to deploy. The case resolved on a confidential basis following mediation where detailed scientific and reconstruction evidence was presented that the client’s product performed appropriately and that the plaintiff’s alleged injuries were caused by failure to wear a seat belt (D. Colo.).
Class Action - Trial Counsel. Eric was a member of a trial team retained to defend a national nursing home chain in a case involving allegations of chronic understaffing. The class, which had been certified prior to Shook's engagement, claimed damages in excess of $100 million. Eric assisted in the development of various fact and expert evidence, and also drafted several key motions regarding class and jurisdictional issues. The case resolved before trial while several case-dispositive motions were still pending (Arkansas).
Commercial Litigation. Eric represented the former chief executive officer of one of California’s largest prefabricated building component manufacturers in a $20 million litigation stemming from the alleged breach of a guaranty agreement securing a commercial loan. After asserting third-party claims against the principal obligor and several co-guarantors for exoneration and contribution, as well as counterclaims against the plaintiff and defending the claims against motions to dismiss, the case settled for a fraction of the amount originally sought against the client (Colorado).
Trade Secret and Non-Competition Litigation. Eric obtained a preliminary injunction against three former employees of a leading national credit restoration business prohibiting the former employees from engaging in competitive business or disclosing the client's trade secrets contrary to their employment agreements. Eric presented the client's CEO as the primary witness at the injunction hearing and drafted the successful motion papers. The injunction resulted in a confidential settlement in favor of the client (Colorado).
Product Liability Litigation. Eric supported the trial team in the defense of design defect, failure to warn and punitive damages claims against a pipe-component manufacturer, resulting in a complete defense verdict (New Jersey).
Multidistrict Litigation. Eric served as national coordinating counsel for dispositive motions in a consolidated pelvic mesh MDL. He led a team of attorneys in identifying and briefing summary judgment issues for approximately 150 initial cases. The legal issues included statutes of limitation, negligence, all theories of product liability, breach of warranty, loss of consortium and punitive damages under more than 40 states’ laws, as well as Daubert challenges to various expert witnesses. In re Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Product Liability Litig. (S.D. W. Va.).
Confidential Arbitration. Eric was a member of a trial team that defended a Fortune 500 client in a complex commercial dispute involving claims of lost revenue and lost business value exceeding $240 million. Eric assisted in the presentation of numerous witnesses at a two-week hearing, drafted pre- and post-arbitration briefs involving several issues of first impression and assisted with all aspects of discovery, including marshalling millions of pages of electronically stored information (North Dakota).
Confidential Mediation. Eric helped to resolve contract and consumer protection claims in a business dispute involving alleged losses of more than $30 million. Eric developed factual evidence and drafted mediation briefing leading to a favorable pre-suit resolution (South Carolina).
Medical Device Litigation. Eric helped obtain summary judgement for a leading medical device manufacturer in a case alleging various product defects related to a surgical stapler used in a gastric bypass revision surgery (Minnesota).
Automotive and Commercial Vehicle Litigation. Eric supported the trial team in a case involving allegations that faulty brakes were responsible for a school bus crash where plaintiffs sought to recover in excess of $50 million in economic damages. Following an eight-week trial, the jury returned a full defense verdict. Gleason v. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Sys. (Missouri).
White-Collar Criminal Defense. As court-appointed counsel under the Criminal Justice Act, Eric defended a client against a 72-count federal indictment for conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing fraudulent tax returns in excess of $95 million. Eric’s client pled guilty to two counts of the indictment and the remaining 70 counts were dismissed. Eric argued at the sentencing hearing for acceptance of a downward departure based primarily on the discrepancy between the actual and attempted loss resulting from the scheme. The judge imposed a sentence of less than half of the time originally sought by the government and below the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines range. U.S. v. Poynter, II (W.D. Mo.).
Common Drafting Errors That Create Litigation Risk, Association of Corporate Counsel Fall Frenzy, Denver, Colorado, October 4, 2018.
Working with Experts under the Amended Federal Rules, Tort Academy, Kansas City, Missouri, December 5, 2013.