JOEL S. FELDMAN is a partner in Sidley Austin's Chicago office, where he serves as a Global Coordinator for the Financial Services/Consumer Class Action Practice Team, a group of over 40 litigators nationwide.
Mr. Feldman has served as lead defense counsel in over 85 class actions venued in over 30 federal and state courts throughout the United States. These class actions have covered ERISA benefit plans, health benefits and health coverage, annuities, service warranties and other consumer claims.
Mr. Feldman has won, through motion practice, a series of precedent setting class actions wherein many other similarly situated defendants had settled, often for large sums of money. Most recently, he served as lead counsel in winning the only complete class certification denial (Rowe v. Bankers, N.D. Ill., March 29, 2012) and only complete summary judgment victory (Kennedy v. Jackson National, N.D. Cal.) amid the myriad of senior citizen annuity class actions, wherein many other defendants had settled. He has also served as lead counsel in the only ERISA revenue sharing class actions wherein courts have denied class certification (Ruppert v. Principal, S.D. Iowa) and granted summary judgment at the trial court and appellate levels (Leimkuehler v. American United Life, 7th Circuit affirmance April 16, 2013). He served as lead counsel in the first summary judgment victory among the many retained asset class actions (Rabin v. MONY, S.D. N.Y), and won the denial of class certification in a cost of insurance class action (Gregurek v. United of Omaha, C.D. Cal.). Mr. Feldman also served as lead counsel in In re Industrial Life Insurance Litigation, MDL No. 1371 (E.D. La.), where the court denied class certification after almost all other defendants had settled.
In addition to motion practice victories, Mr. Feldman successfully tried a securities fraud class action to a jury verdict, named by the National Law Journal as one of the top ten trials of the year.
Mr. Feldman co-chaired from 1998-2009 the PLI National Class Action Conference in New York. Mr. Feldman has authored numerous class action articles, including:
- "Wal-Mart's Lasting Rule 23(b)(3) Impact: Establishing Strict Evidentiary and Burden of Proof Standards for Class Certification," BNA Class Action Litigation Report, v. 13 at 1270 (November, 2012).
- "Evolving Use of Experts in Class Certification Proceedings," BNA Class Action Litigation Report, v. 12 at 569 (June, 2011).
- "Evidentiary & Burden of Proof Standards for Class Certification," BNA Class Action Litigation Report, v. 11 at 536 (June, 2010).
Mr. Feldman is a 1974 graduate of Oberlin College and a 1979 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as Case and Note Editor for the Georgetown Law Journal. Upon graduation, Mr. Feldman clerked for the Honorable Thomas Aquinas Flannery, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.