David J. Zott, P.C. - Partner

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David J. Zott, P.C.

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Chicago
Phone: +1 312-862-2428
Fax: +1 312-862-2200
Overview News Events

Professional Profile

Trial lawyer focusing on complex commercial and class action litigation, with an emphasis on antitrust, energy and bankruptcy litigation.

Representative Matters

Representative Antitrust, Distribution And Franchise Matters

Trial counsel in a broad range of multidistrict antitrust, distribution and franchise suits, including some of the largest and most sophisticated antitrust suits in the U.S. Representative matters include:

In re Plasma-Derivative Protein Therapies Antitrust Litigation, MDL 2109 (N.D. Ill.)

Lead trial counsel for Baxter in putative nationwide class action alleging that Baxter conspired with another manufacturer of plasma-derivative protein therapies and a trade association to restrict the supply and raise the price of those therapies.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Antitrust Litigation

Lead trial counsel for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in a series of putative class action lawsuits filed across the country challenging the structure of the Blue System of health insurance under the antitrust laws. Plaintiffs allege that BCBSA's long-standing licensing strategy of its Blue Cross and Blue Shield Marks in exclusive geographic territories is a per se violation of the antitrust laws. The suits seek to force BCBSA to allow multiple Blue Plan licensees to offer insurance in individual states and also seeks treble damages for alleged overpayments.

In re Motor Vehicles Canadian Export Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1532 (D. Me)

Trial counsel for General Motors in multidistrict antitrust litigation involving over 70 putative class actions in federal and state courts. Plaintiffs allege that major car manufacturers conspired to prevent the import of cheaper Canadian vehicles into the United States and seek $3 billion. In 2008 the First Circuit reversed a nationwide injunctive class and vacated certification of 20 state damages classes. Following six years of discovery and motion practice, General Motors won summary judgment in the federal district court, as well as in Minnesota and Arizona state courts. Remaining state cases are stayed pending settlement.

In re Propane Direct Purchaser and Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1946 (N.D. Ill.)

Trial counsel for BP in this multidistrict antitrust litigation involving 17 putative class actions alleging that BP monopolized the propane trading market. Also defended BP in related actions brought by Oklahoma attorney general. All cases settled on favorable terms.

In re Lease Oil Antitrust Litigation, (MDL 1206) (S.D. Tex.)

Lead trial counsel for BP predecessor, Amoco Production Company, in multidistrict antitrust class action litigation alleging that major oil companies conspired to fix the purchase price of crude oil. Also served as trial counsel for oil industry at evidentiary hearing approving global settlement.

United States v. BP Amoco and ARCO, (N.D. Cal.)

Trial counsel for BP in the FTC's attempt to block $60 billion merger of BP Amoco and ARCO. Settled on eve of preliminary injunction hearing, allowing merger to proceed.

Choice Parts v. General Motors Corp, et al., (N.D. Ill.)

Lead trial counsel for GM in $800 million antitrust conspiracy case alleging that GM conspired with Ford and Chrysler to withhold parts data from plaintiff. Won preliminary injunction hearing. Thereafter, case settled on favorable terms.

FTC Midwest Pricing Investigations

Lead trial counsel for BP in investigations of high gasoline pricing by FTC and Attorneys General of Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri. Investigations concluded without enforcement actions.

Waterfill v. General Motors, (D. Mass.)

Lead trial counsel for GM in putative nationwide class action alleging antitrust, racketeering and fraud claims involving premium sound system installed in luxury vehicles. Case dismissed.

Motorwerks v. BMW

Trial counsel for BMW in arbitration trial brought by franchisee challenging BMW's national distribution system. Arbitration panel rejected all of plaintiff's claims.

Southern Powersports v. Polaris, (D. Min.)

Lead trial counsel for Polaris in franchise termination suit brought by one of its largest dealers. This multidistrict litigation settled on eve of arbitration trial.

Moran v. Ruth's Chris Steak House, (Ill. Cir. Ct.)

Lead trial counsel for Ruth's Chris in defending tort and contract claims brought by largest franchisor. Case settled before trial.

Opyt v. BP Amoco, (N.D. Ill.)

Lead trial counsel for BP Amoco in franchise termination suit. Summary judgment for BP on eve of trial.

Olympic Chevrolet v. General Motors, (N.D. Ill.)

Represented GM in franchisee's suit challenging GM's distribution system. Summary judgment for GM.

Book Chevrolet v. General Motors, (Ky.)

Represented GM in franchisee's suit challenging GM's distribution system. Case dismissed.

Representative Energy, Oil And Gas Matters

In addition to the antitrust energy matters discussed above, trial counsel in variety of multidistrict energy, oil and gas litigation involving all facets of exploration, production and marketing. Representative matters include:

Statoil Gulf of Mexico v. Kerr-McGee, et al. (E.D. La.)

Lead trial counsel for Statoil Gulf of Mexico in its defense of claims brought by Kerr-McGee and private individuals involving the payment of overriding royalties on deepwater oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP Products North America Structural Steel Litigation (N.D. La.; La. D. Ct.)

Lead trial counsel for BP Products in Indiana federal court and Louisiana state court asserting breach of warranty, negligence and fraud claims arising from premature degradation of fireproofing installed on structural steel for BP’s multi-billion dollar modernization of its Whiting, Indiana refinery.

Gas Recall Class Action Litigation

Lead trial counsel for BP Products North America in its defense of class action litigation arising from BP Products' recall of gasoline refined at its Whiting Refinery in Indiana.

United States ex rel. Wright v. BP America, et al., (E.D. Tex.)

Lead trial counsel for BP, ARCO, Amoco Production Co. and Vastar in this federal False Claims Act suit brought on behalf of the United States. Alleges that BP conspired with oil and gas industry to underpay billions of dollars of royalties on natural gas and natural gas liquids since 1986.

Oklahoma Attorney General v. BP America Inc., et al. (W.D. Ok.)

Lead trial counsel for BP America in Oklahoma Attorney General's suits alleging that BP's trading activity in crude oil, gasoline and other refined products violated the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act. Cases settled.

United States ex rel. Johnson v. Amoco Oil Co., (E.D. Tex.)

Lead trial counsel for Amoco in $5 billion False Claims Act suit brought by United States for underpayment of royalties on crude oil. Case settled.

Buser, et al. v. BP American Production Co., (E.D. Ok.)

Lead trial counsel for BP America Production Co. in putative class action alleging that BP's predecessor conspired with other oil companies to underpay royalties on natural gas liquids.

Coll, et al. v. BP America Production Company, et al. (E.D. Tex.)

Lead trial counsel for BP American Production Co. in putatitve class action alleging that BP failed to properly refund severance taxes withheld from royalty and working interest owners.

Gilliam v. BP America Production Company, (S.D. Tex.)

Lead trial counsel for BP America Production Co. in putative class action alleging a conspiracy among Permian Basin producers to underpay crude oil royalties. Preliminary injunction for defendants. Settled on favorable terms during evidentiary class certification hearing.

Olivera v. Amoco Oil Co., (Ill.)

Represented Amoco in successful appeal to Illinois Supreme Court in case alleging false advertising of Amoco's premium motor fuel. Illinois Supreme Court affirmed requirement of actual deception under consumer fraud statute.

Feerer v. Amoco Production Co., (D. N.M.)

Took over as lead trial counsel for BP shortly before trial of class action involving underpayment of royalties on carbon dioxide production in Bravo Dome Unit. Case settled on eve of trial.

Tishel v. BP Amoco, (Ill. Cir. Ct.)

Lead trial counsel for BP Amoco in gasoline pricing consumer fraud case. Case dismissed.

Louisiana Severance Tax Litigation, (La.)

Defended BP in State of Louisiana's suit for underpayment of severance taxes on crude oil. Case settled.

State of Texas v. Amoco Production Co., (Tex. Cir. Ct.); Engwall v Amoco Production, (N.M.); Kershaw v. Amoco Production Co., (Ok.); Wilson v. Amoco Production Co., (La.); Cameron Parish School Board v. Amoco Production Co., (La.), etc.

Lead trial counsel for Amoco in series of state-wide class actions alleging underpayment of royalties on crude oil. In Engwall, served as trial counsel for industry in evidentiary class certification hearing. Denial of class certification paved way for global settlement.

Beachler v. Amoco Oil Co., (C.D. Ill; 7th Cir.)

Lead trial counsel for Amoco in suit to enjoin Amoco's sale of 25 service stations. After winning preliminary injunction trial, argued successful Seventh Circuit appeal.

Wayman v. Amoco Oil Co., (D. Kan.; 10th Cir.)

Represented Amoco in successful defense of gasoline pricing claims brought by service station dealers in Wichita Kansas. Summary judgment for Amoco. Tenth Circuit affirmed.

Abbott v. Amoco Oil Co., (Ill. Cir. Ct.; Ill. App. Ct.)

Represented Amoco in successful defense of gasoline pricing claims brought by over 50 Illinois service station dealers. Case dismissed; Illinois appellate court affirmed.

Ervin v. Amoco Oil Co., (Col)

Represented Amoco in appeal to Colorado Supreme Court of adverse jury verdict involving service station rent. Reversed in part, affirmed in part.

Alberre, et al. v. Amoco Oil Co., (Fla.)

Co-tried arbitration of 45 related gasoline pricing actions against Amoco. Judgment for Amoco on all claims.

Representative Bankruptcy Matters

Lead trial counsel responsible for all litigation and trials in major reorganizations. Trials have included fraudulent conveyance, business valuation, appointment of trustees, and creditor priorities/misconduct.

In re Tronox Inc and Tronox Inc. et al. v. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Kerr-McGee Corporation. (S.D.N.Y.)

Lead trial counsel for Tronox in four-month multibillion dollar trial against Kerr-McGee and Anadarko challenging Kerr-McGee’s spin off of Tronox in 2006 as a fraudulent conveyance. Obtained a historic $14 billion verdict in December 2013. Final judgment will be entered following additional briefing to value Kerr-McGee's bankruptcy claims.

In re Chemtura Corporation (S.D.N.Y.)

Lead trial counsel for Chemtura in complex reorganization and related adversary proceedings involving tort and environmental liabilities. Tried and won valuation trial, leading to successful reorganization.

In re Solutia Inc., (S.D.N.Y.)

Lead trial counsel for Solutia in complex reorganization involving tort and environmental liabilities. Successfully defended Solutia in two-month trial alleging that Solutia's senior management had unlawfully desecuritized $450 million in bonds. Judgment for Solutia on all claims.

In re Tropicana Entertainment, (D. Del.)

Lead trial counsel for debtor Tropicana, a nationwide casino and resort business. Successfully defended Tropicana in trial of trustee motion brought by bondholders. Motion settled during trial without appointment of trustee.

In re Zenith Electronics, (D. Del.; 3d Cir.)

Lead trial counsel for Zenith's reorganization. Tried and won valuation trial and Third Circuit appeal.

In re Harnischfeger Industries, (D. Del)

Lead trial counsel in Harnischfeger's (now Joy Global's) reorganization, including pivotal valuation trial. Won valuation trial, paving way for successful reorganization.

In re Babcock & Wilcox, (E. D. La.)

Co-tried $1 billion fraudulent conveyance trial seeking declaration that transfers to parent were valid and that B&W was solvent. Judgment for client, resulting in successful reorganization.

In re NRG Energy, Inc., (S.D.N.Y.)

Lead trial counsel for NRG in this successful $11 billion reorganization.

Caisse Centrale Des Banques Populaires v. Meridian Hotels, (N.D. Ill.)

Lead trial counsel for principal creditor, a French bank, requesting appointment of trustee. Prevailed at trial; trustee appointed.

In re W.R. Grace, (D. Del.)

Represented W.R. Grace in defending fraudulent transfer claims involving environmental liabilities. Case settled on eve of trial.

In re Jitney Jungle, (D. Del.)

Lead trial counsel for Jitney Jungle's successful reorganization.

In re Williams Communications, (S.D.N.Y.)

Lead trial counsel for owners of $2.5 billion in defaulted bonds, resulting in favorable reorganization.

Other Significant Matters

Lead trial counsel in a variety of other matters involving breach of contract, fraud, patent and construction-related claims including:

The ServiceMaster Company v. Karnes, Slott and Hayes, (Tenn. Ch. Ct.)

Lead trial counsel for ServiceMaster at preliminary and permanent injunction trials to enjoin three top ServiceMaster executives from leading a competing business in violation of non-competes. Court ruled for ServiceMaster, entering nationwide, five-year injunction.

Clarke Bardes v. MCG, (Ill. Cir. Ct.)

Lead trial counsel for Continental Illinois Venture Corporation in suit alleging breach of purchase agreement to sell $60 million business. Case settled on eve of trial.

Mead Johnson v. Crown Cork & Seal.

Lead trial counsel for Crown Cork & Seal in defending distribution claims brought by largest customer. Case settled on eve of arbitration trial.

Yamaha v. Polaris Industries, (D. Minn.)

Lead trial counsel for Polaris in defending Yamaha's patent infringement suit involving 30 patents. Case settled.

Centerline Piping v. General Motors, (Mich.)

Lead trial counsel for GM in construction dispute. Summary judgment for GM on fraud and tort claims. Case settled.

American Demco v. General Motors, (Mich.)

Lead trial counsel for GM in contractor's suit alleging that GM misrepresented environmental conditions at five assembly plants. Judgment for GM on all claims.

R.M. Taylor v. General Motors, (8th Cir.)

Represented GM in Eighth Circuit appeal of $22 million jury verdict for contract abandonment. Eighth Circuit reversed and entered judgment for GM.

Eisenmann v. General Motors, (Del.)

Represented GM in construction suits brought by German contractor on 16 projects in five countries. Case settled.

Wessel v. General Motors, (Cal.)

Represented GM in construction suit involving several West Coast construction projects. Case settled.

Joyce, et al. v. Continental Bank, et al., (Ill. Cir. Ct.)

Co-tried five-week breach of contract and fraud jury trial against Continental Bank. Verdict for banks on fraud counts; for plaintiffs on contract counts. Appellate court reversed in part adverse contract verdict.

Haugen v. Anspacher, (N.D. Ill.)

Co-tried securities fraud trial against securities broker; verdict for plaintiff client.

ARA v. Nedlog, (N.D. Ill.)

Co-tried three-week jury trial. Verdict against client. Case settled on appeal.

PBGC, et al. v. International Harvester, (N.D. Ill.)

Co-tried eight-week trial alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with Harvester's spin off of Wisconsin Steel Company. Split judgment. Case settled on appeal.

Ortiz v. Fairman, et. al., (N.D. Ill.)

Co-tried civil right jury trial on behalf of inmate against Illinois Department of Corrections. Won largest prisoner civil rights verdict to date.


Memberships & Affiliations

American Bar Association, Antitrust Section

Institute for Energy Law

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation


Other Distinctions

David was named “Litigator of the Week,” The Am Law Litigation Daily, December 2013

Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2011-2013) as a top antitrust lawyer; "a wonderful trial lawyer with a fine understanding of complex antitrust matters"; "whether you think you're actually going to trial, or if you just want it settled as favorably as possible, he's good for both"

Listed in The Legal 500 U.S., Litigation (2007, 2010, 2012, 2013) as top antitrust litigator; "bulldog of a litigator, who knows his stuff"


Courts

Supreme Court of Illinois

Supreme Court of Texas

United States Court of Appeals, First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (trial bar)

United States District Court, Central District of Illinois

United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas

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