Photo of Eric L. Samore

Eric L. Samore

Partner

Education

University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., Order of the Coif

University of Wisconsin, B.S., high honors

Admissions

Illinois

Eric’s mission is to prevent the class action procedure from abuse and misuse. The class action procedure was never intended to alter or enlarge substantive legal rights. He has defended more than 200 class action claims in more than twenty different jurisdictions. He is a founding partner of SmithAmundsen and chair of the Class Action Practice Group. Eric has defended putative class claims alleging a wide range of legal theories, including Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Illinois Biometric Information Act (BIPA), false advertising, release of personal data, mass tort, fiduciary duty breach, and employment.

Eric secured a significant victory in an opinion authored by Judge Posner in the Seventh Circuit, raising the bar that plaintiffs’ counsel must clear in order to satisfy the adequacy requirement for class certification (Creative Montessori Learning Centers v. Ashford Gear, 662 F.3d 913 (7th Cir. 2011). He co-tried a class action to jury verdict and defense judgment in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He is entrusted by global companies to defend them from their class action exposure, which on occasion exceeds $1 billion.

Despite his commitment to the law, Eric’s greatest passion and pride springs from his wife Betsy and their four sons: Bill, a patent lawyer with a degree in electrical engineering; Wes, a pathology resident at Massachusetts General Hospital; Ted, a biomedical and software engineer; and, Ricky, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Department of Statistics.

View Case List here.

Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© in Mass Tort/Class Action Litigation: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© in Commercial Litigation: 2018, 2019
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers list: 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in class action/mass tort defense law

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: Illinois State Bar; Defense Research Institute (DRI), DRI Class Action SLG Committee, DRI Food and Law Subcommittee; ACA International
  • Previous: Member, University of Wisconsin Law Review; Clerk, Honorable Allen Hartman of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District

Court Admissions: United States Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois; U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois; U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan; U.S District Court, Eastern District of Missouri; U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin; and, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Pro Hac Vice Admissions: Arizona, Maricopa County; U.S. District Court, Central District of California; U.S. District Court, District of Colorado; U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut; U.S. District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Florida: Lee County, Lake County; Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals; Cherokee County, Georgia; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana; Indiana: Marion County, Lake County; U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts; Missouri, St. Louis County; U.S District Court, Western District of North Carolina; U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska; U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico; U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; U.S District Court, Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio;  U.S. District Court, Northern District West Virginia; Wisconsin: Milwaukee County, Portage County; Washington DC; and US District Court, Eastern District of Washington.

Experience

  • Achieved a significant victory from the Seventh Circuit vacating class certification. In the opinion, written by Judge Posner, the Seventh Circuit raised the bar that class counsel must clear in order to satisfy the adequacy prong for class certification. To secure this significant result, the class action team took an unconventional approach by raising only the issue of adequacy of class counsel in our brief. 
  • Persuaded Eleventh Circuit that the statute of limitations for class allegations was not tolled by the previous lawsuit against the same defendant and same legal theory.

TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

  • Devised unconventional strategy in 2010 of filing the first petition before the FCC seeking relief from the Solicited Fax Rule, which culminated in the DC Circuit Court holding that the Rule was invalid.
  • Defeated class certification in case involving more than 1 million prerecorded calls, on grounds that many absent class members lacked injury under Spokeo.
  • Successfully achieved an appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court, which held – for the first time – that a defendant who hired the fax broadcaster was not liable as a matter of law for violations of the TCPA, because the fax broadcaster exceeded its authority. 

ILLINOIS BIOMETRICS PRIVACY ACT (BIPA)

  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of defendants in BIPA suit after filing motion to strike damages clause based on contractual limitation.

FALSE ADVERTISING

  • Defeated class alleging that a subsidiary of an international food manufacturer misrepresented its snack bar as “all natural” when the bar contained an ingredient previously found by the FDA to be synthetic.
  • Induced plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss client, a manufacturer of softball bat components, shortly after filing motion to dismiss claim for consumer fraud.

DATA BREACH/PRIVACY

  • Won ruling from Seventh Circuit affirming dismissal of lawsuit against a national testing agency in which plaintiffs alleged claims on behalf of a putative class of 16 million persons that their personal identifiable information had been sold without authorization.
  • Retained to defend hospital from class action arising from data breach involving protected personal information and HIPAA.

MASS TORT

  • Retained to represent universities in NCAA concussion MDL alleging defendants concealed dangers associated with playing college football.
  • Defeated class certification on grounds that individual fact questions predominated in a mass tort lawsuit that filed by 100 residents who sued the private operator of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY

  • Obtained dismissal of a putative investor class alleging breach of fiduciary duty, based on prohibitions in the Securities Litigation and Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA).

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT

  • Defended employer from class action alleging improper background checks of thousands of employees or applicants in violation of FCRA.

News & Press Releases

Presentations & Events

  • Class Action Defense
    Chicago, IL; Client Presentation, November 2, 2018
  • Class Action Forecast
    Oakbrook, IL; Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, June 22, 2017
  • Top Ten Strategies for Reducing Defense Fees & Defeating Class Actions
    Bethesda, MD; Client Presentation, May 10, 2017