University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., Order of the Coif
University of Wisconsin, B.S., high honors
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 defends 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 defends putative class claims alleging a range of legal theories, including Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Illinois Biometric Information Act (BIPA), inadequate Covid-19 precautions, release of personal data, 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 is entrusted by global companies to defend them from their class action exposure, which on occasion exceeds $1 billion. He is currently representing more than 20 Universities in the NCAA football concussion MDL.
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 neuropathologist who completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital; Ted, a coding engineer for Snapchat; Ricky, a graduate of University of Chicago, Department of Statistics, and two grandchildren.
- 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, 2020, 2021
- Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© in Commercial Litigation: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
- Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers list: 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- 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.
- 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.
- Retained to represent a franchisee in a putative class action alleging inadequate COVID-19 precautions.
ILLINOIS BIOMETRICS PRIVACY ACT (BIPA)
- Obtained voluntary dismissal of defendants in BIPA suit after filing motion to strike damages clause based on contractual limitation.
- 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.
- 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.
- Retained to defend a technology company in a lawsuit in Arkansas federal court arising out of the alleged breach of personal data of plaintiffs and absent class members who applied online for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
- Retained to represent more than 15 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
- Law360, May 14, 2019
- Cirque Du Soleil Wins TCPA Decert, After China Agritech – Law 360 Article Mentions Eric Samore, Molly Arranz, Ronald Balfour and Albert BowerLaw 360, August 3, 2018
- Law360, January 16, 2018
- Citing Spokeo, Judge Blocks TCPA Class Against Pet Insurer - Law360 Mentions Eric Samore, Molly Arranz, John OchoaLaw360, August 17, 2017
- Supreme Court Won't Hear TCPA Timeliness Appeal - Law360 Article Mentions Eric Samore and Michael ResisLaw360, March 8, 2016
- Students Not Hurt By Sold Test Info, 7th Circ. Says - Law360 Article Mentions Eric Samore and Michael ResisLaw360, November 19, 2015
- Earlier Suit Didn't Pause Clock For TCPA Suit, 11th Circ. Says - Law360 Article Mentions Eric SamoreLaw360, August 3, 2015
- Ill. Appeals Court Nixes Class Cert. In Spam Fax Suit - Law360 Mentions Eric SamoreLaw360, September 3, 2013
- Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Significant Victory in Uesco Industries v. Poolman of WisconsinAugust 19, 2013
- Alleged Atty Misdeeds Derail Junk Fax Class In 7th Circ. – Law360 Mentions Eric SamoreLaw360, November 22, 2011
- COVID-19 and University Closures - What Institutions Can Expect as Students File Class Actions Against ThemThe Defense Research Institution's Commercial Litigation Committee Newsletter, June 2, 2020
Presentations & Events
- Class Action DefenseChicago, IL; Client Presentation, November 2, 2018
- Class Action ForecastOakbrook, IL; Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, June 22, 2017
- Top Ten Strategies for Reducing Defense Fees & Defeating Class ActionsBethesda, MD; Client Presentation, May 10, 2017