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James D. Dasso

James D. Dasso

Foley & Lardner LLP

Chicago, IL, USA


James D. Dasso is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and chair of the Chicago Office Litigation Department. Mr. Dasso is a trial lawyer with over a quarter century of experience in presenting complex scientific, technical and business cases to judges, juries and arbitration panels around the United States. He has appeared in lawsuits and arbitrations pending in nineteen different states from Alaska to Florida and California to New York, as well as in the District of Columbia.

Mr. Dasso focuses his practice on business disputes, including breach of contract, fraud, business tort and disputes relating to business acquisitions, such as post-acquisition working capital, purchase price and earnout cases; product liability and food and drug contamination claims; intellectual property lawsuits involving patent, trademark, copyright and licensing issues; and class actions. Much of his practice involves large, often multi-party litigation, which requires the use of computerized document discovery and management systems and multi-media case presentation technologies.

Mr. Dasso has been recognized by his fellow lawyers. He is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one half of one percent of American lawyers. He was selected for inclusion in the 2005, 2007, 2009-13 Illinois Super Lawyers® lists.* He is a member of the American Bar Association, including its Sections on Litigation and Intellectual Property Law and its Trial Evidence Committee, the Seventh Circuit Bar Association and the Practicing Law Institute.

Mr. Dasso teaches trial advocacy as an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and through The National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Prior to becoming chair of the Chicago Office Litigation Department, he served as the lead litigation training partner for that office. He also previously served as co-chair of the firm's nationwide Appellate Practice.

He has substantial experience with trials before juries and judges, and with evidentiary hearings before arbitration panels. This experience includes:

  • Recovering more than $8 million in a two-and-a-half week jury trial in the Northern District of Illinois on breach of contract claims relating to a sale of business and associated claims of food contamination (before trial, he convinced the court to grant summary judgment on fraud counterclaims seeking in excess of $40 million).
  • Obtaining a nearly $5 million decision after a five-day arbitration over claims after the sale of a division of a corporation.
  • Preventing any recovery after a month-long trial in the Northern District of Illinois and appeal to the Seventh Circuit in a breach of contract and fiduciary duty case brought against a prominent financial institution seeking more than $20 million.
  • Significantly limiting a client’s liability during a three-week jury trial on an employment discrimination class action, allowing for a favorable settlement on appeal.
  • Obtaining a seven-figure recovery after week-long trial of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claim and related settlement against his client's former business partner.

Mr. Dasso graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1986. He was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as the executive editor of the Michigan Law Review. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon with a double major in mathematics and economics in three years. Before joining Foley, he clerked for the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and was elected a partner at Phelan, Cahill & Quinlan (formerly Phelan, Pope & John).

Mr. Dasso is member of the State Bar of Illinois, and has been admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar), the Western District of Michigan, the Southern District of Indiana, the District of Maryland and the Central District of Illinois. He belongs to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Federal Circuits.

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.

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