A skilled litigator with more than two decades of experience, Gary has been described as an “outstanding attorney” who has “an ability to drown out the everyday noise of law practice and deliver exceptional and focused work product for all of his clients.” He has handled a broad range of commercial cases for clients such as Groupon, CNA and the Chicago Cubs, including hundreds of matters involving trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, patents and restrictive covenants. Gary also represents Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms and trading companies in cases concerning post-acquisition disputes, alleged securities violations, breaches of contract, breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, privacy violations and consumer class actions. He has first-chaired trials, arbitrations and other evidentiary hearings across the country with great success.
Before its combination with Shook, Gary was managing principal of the litigation boutique Grippo & Elden LLC. He now serves as Chair of Shook’s Business Litigation Section.
Matters Of Note
Commercial Litigation and Post-Closing Disputes
Gary represented an investment fund in a suit against an Indian tribe and related parties arising out of a $50 million gaming bond transaction. In a highly-publicized Seventh Circuit decision, his clients prevailed on jurisdiction and sovereign immunity issues, which enabled the case to proceed in state court rather than tribal court. Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. v. Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, 807 F.3d 184 (7th Cir. 2015). After winning a key liability issue at the first phase of the trial, the case settled favorably.
Gary is currently representing former officers and directors of the Tribune Company in several consolidated actions arising out of the Tribune's 2007 leveraged buy-out.
He is representing a pharmaceutical company in a dispute concerning alleged violations of a supply agreement.
Gary successfully defended IBM in several large breach of contract and fraud cases concerning complex software implementations. Irwin Seating Co. v. IBM, 306 Fed. Appx. 239 (6th Cir. 2009); M. Block & Sons, Inc. v. IBM, 2004 WL 1557631 (N.D. Ill. 2004). He also represented IBM in other matters, including a suit brought by FTD.com related to the design of a website and a suit brought by a subcontractor concerning work on a government computer project that ended in summary judgment in favor of IBM. Business Systems Engineering, Inc. v. IBM, 547 F.3d 882 (7th Cir. 2008).
Gary defended the developer of a wind energy project in a suit by a potential buyer who claimed rights to the project under a letter of intent and a purported oral partnership agreement. After convincing the court to set a jury trial for six weeks after the complaint was filed, the case settled on favorable terms.
Gary also defended a proprietary trading firm and its owners in several lawsuits involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud arising out of the sale of certain business operations. In one such case, he prevailed on summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal. Benson v. TD Options, LLC, 941 N.E.2d 386 (Ill. App. Ct. 2010).
Gary defended a trading firm in litigation and related arbitration against a former member who claimed rights in the firm’s trading platform. His client prevailed in the litigation on a motion for judgment on the pleadings and received a complete defense win in arbitration, including an award of attorneys' fees.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Gary represented the Chicago Cubs in a suit against the owners of buildings across from Wrigley Field who charged admission to watch Cubs games from the rooftops of their facilities. The case involved novel issues of common law misappropriation, copyright preemption and the fair use doctrine. After defeating two dispositive motions, the case settled favorably.
For the Chicago Cubs as well as a variety of other clients, including Groupon, Snap-on and Republic Tobacco, Gary has handled dozens of trademark and copyright cases.
Gary is counsel for a communications platform service which has three patent suits pending in California concerning two-factor authentication and call router technology.
Gary also represented a technology firm in a dispute regarding the ownership of rights in a patent for security software. The case resolved favorably after prevailing on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.
In another case, Gary represented Envestnet in a dispute concerning the ownership of intellectual property rights in a jointly-developed software application. Gary defeated a motion for preliminary injunction and prevailed on a motion to dismiss. Fetter Logic, Inc. v. Envestnet Asset Management, Inc., 2010 WL 55495 (D. Colo. 2010).
Gary also represented a proprietary trading firm in a case concerning the ownership of copyrights and other intellectual property rights in a computer system used to trade options. He first-chaired a two-week trial, which led to a favorable settlement.
Privacy and Data Security
Gary is representing several companies in privacy class actions brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
A financial company retained Gary to investigate and prosecute claims related to a cyberattack on its information systems. Days after retention, we filed suit and obtained a temporary restraining order and order directing the U.S. Marshals Service to seize the defendant's computer equipment. The seized equipment led to a second defendant and a second TRO.
Gary defended the first-ever internet privacy class actions.
Gary also regularly counsels clients on cybersecurity matters and related indemnity and insurance issues.
In addition to the privacy class actions discussed above, Gary is currently representing an automobile manufacturer in a putative class action asserting claims related to allegedly defective paint.
He represented insurance company plaintiffs in a massive class action concerning the workers' compensation reinsurance pool. The case settled for more than $400 million.
Gary defended Sirius in a putative class action arbitration concerning a lifetime subscription program. The case settled favorably before a decision on class certification.
He defended a streaming media company in internet privacy class actions and prevailed on a motion to compel individual, non-class arbitration pursuant to a clickwrap agreement.
Gary also represented a technology company in class actions involving allegations of consumer fraud and successfully enforced a forum clause in a license agreement.
Unfair Competition Cases
Gary has represented clients in more than 100 unfair competition cases in federal and state courts and arbitration forums nationwide. Most of these cases involved claims for breach of post-termination covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty. His clients in this area have included broker dealers, insurance companies, professional services firms and distributors.
Publications And Presentations
Beyond the Basics of Litigation Funding: A 360 Degree Perspective, Legaltech Conference, February 1, 2018.
Biometric Privacy: The Next Frontier of Privacy Liability, Webinar (with Al Saikali, Anna Knight & Patrick Castle).
Panelist, Cross-Border Clashes and Cooperation Among Courts, 15th Annual North American Offshore Alert Conference, Miami, Florida, April 30-May 2, 2017.
Social Media and Attorney Ethical Obligations, June 2015.
The Overlooked Power of Copyright Law, Intellectual Property Law360, July 18, 2013 (with Dan Hinkle).
Best Practices for Brief Writing, Practicing Law Institute, Federal Civil Practice Update 2012 (with Michael Dickler).
Trials -- Preparing and Examining Witnesses, June 12, 2012 (with Claudia Rustad).
Trial Preparation: The Final Pretrial Order, May 3, 2012 (with Claudia Rustad).
Privilege Issues Confronting In-House Counsel, May 7, 2012 (with Lynn Murray).
Trade Dress and Other Intellectual Property - Implications for Landlords, December 3, 2007 (with Lynn Murray).
Protecting Your Products and Packaging, October 18, 2007 (with Lynn Murray).
Emergency Litigation, August 31, 2006.
Enforcing Clickwrap Agreements, National Law Journal March 11, 2002 (with Todd Jacobs).
Note, Balancing the Welfare of Children with the Rights of Parents: Petersen v. Rogers and the Role of Religion in Custody Disputes, 73 N.C.L. Rev. 1271 (1995).