People: William F. Dugan, Partner

Photo of William F. Dugan, Partner

William F. Dugan

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5933
Fax: (312) 460-7933
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William F. Dugan is a partner in Seyfarth Shaw’s Labor & Employment Department. His practice focuses on representing management in complex litigation in federal and state courts and other tribunals throughout the United States. Mr. Dugan is the Chair of the Firm’s Financial Services Employment Arbitration Practice Group; a member of the Complex Discrimination Practice Group; and a member of the National Trial Team. Super Lawyers has repeatedly recognized Mr. Dugan for superior employment litigation defense.

Complex Litigation Defense

Mr. Dugan has defended a wide range of employers in numerous class and collective actions. Among his various class and collective actions, Mr. Dugan has successfully defended a race pay and promotion class action against a significant not-for-profit; the largest gender pay and promotion class arbitration in the nation; Title III class litigation involving hundreds of stores for a major retailer; and class actions involving independent insurance agents nationwide. Mr. Dugan also routinely litigates against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, defending clients against high-profile systemic cases, including recent outright dismissal of the EEOC’s largest gender pay and promotion case in the country. Mr. Dugan has also sued the EEOC, claiming certain EEOC actions were arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional.

Trial Experience

When trial arrives, employers turn to Mr. Dugan for their defense. Mr. Dugan has tried cases in numerous forums, from federal and state court to several administrative agencies. His experience includes a complete defense verdict in a FINRA arbitration where actual damages exceeded $50,000,000; a multi-plaintiff race discrimination and harassment lawsuit litigated for nine weeks to verdict before a Detroit, Michigan jury; a multi-plaintiff sex harassment and retaliation lawsuit litigated to verdict before a Chicago, Illinois jury; a breach of contract lawsuit litigated to verdict before an Ann Arbor, Michigan jury; the first sexual orientation lawsuit tried to verdict in Illinois; and an unfair labor practice hearing wherein nearly one hundred unfair labor practice charges were litigated to verdict over forty-eight hearing days in Syracuse, New York. When prudent, Mr. Dugan has also been able to resolve cases favorably prior to trial as evidenced by him resolving a contentious nine plaintiff matter on very favorable terms in Circuit Court, St. Clair County, Illinois, recognized by the American Tort Reform Association as one of the five “Judicial Hellholes” in the nation. Mr. Dugan is an integral member of the National Trial Team, a group of Seyfarth attorneys from various practice groups dedicated to providing clients the best possible resources and solutions when trial beckons.

Financial Services Employment Arbitration

Mr. Dugan routinely represents clients in the financial industry, and leads the firm’s Financial Services Employment Arbitration Practice Group. Mr. Dugan has strategically forced various plaintiffs to litigate their actions before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), especially in high-profile matters best litigated before a FINRA panel rather than a jury. Mr. Dugan has achieved successful results before FINRA for some of the leading international financial institutions. Recently, Mr. Dugan achieved a complete defense verdict in a case where the claimant sought significant eight figures in actual damages, resulting in the client’s General Counsel declaring after trial that “[he had] never met a better lawyer” than Mr. Dugan.

William F. Dugan is a partner in Seyfarth Shaw’s Labor & Employment Department. His practice focuses on representing management in complex litigation in federal and state courts and other tribunals throughout the United States. Mr. Dugan is the Chair of the Firm’s Financial Services Employment Arbitration Practice Group; a member of the Complex Discrimination Practice Group; and a member of the National Trial Team. Super Lawyers has repeatedly recognized Mr. Dugan for superior employment litigation defense.

Complex Litigation Defense

Mr. Dugan has defended a wide range of employers in numerous class and collective actions. Among his various class and collective actions, Mr. Dugan has successfully defended a race pay and promotion class action against a significant not-for-profit; the largest gender pay and promotion class arbitration in the nation; Title III class litigation involving hundreds of stores for a major retailer; and class actions involving independent insurance agents nationwide. Mr. Dugan also routinely litigates against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, defending clients against high-profile systemic cases, including recent outright dismissal of the EEOC’s largest gender pay and promotion case in the country. Mr. Dugan has also sued the EEOC, claiming certain EEOC actions were arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional.

Trial Experience

When trial arrives, employers turn to Mr. Dugan for their defense. Mr. Dugan has tried cases in numerous forums, from federal and state court to several administrative agencies. His experience includes a complete defense verdict in a FINRA arbitration where actual damages exceeded $50,000,000; a multi-plaintiff race discrimination and harassment lawsuit litigated for nine weeks to verdict before a Detroit, Michigan jury; a multi-plaintiff sex harassment and retaliation lawsuit litigated to verdict before a Chicago, Illinois jury; a breach of contract lawsuit litigated to verdict before an Ann Arbor, Michigan jury; the first sexual orientation lawsuit tried to verdict in Illinois; and an unfair labor practice hearing wherein nearly one hundred unfair labor practice charges were litigated to verdict over forty-eight hearing days in Syracuse, New York. When prudent, Mr. Dugan has also been able to resolve cases favorably prior to trial as evidenced by him resolving a contentious nine plaintiff matter on very favorable terms in Circuit Court, St. Clair County, Illinois, recognized by the American Tort Reform Association as one of the five “Judicial Hellholes” in the nation. Mr. Dugan is an integral member of the National Trial Team, a group of Seyfarth attorneys from various practice groups dedicated to providing clients the best possible resources and solutions when trial beckons.

Financial Services Employment Arbitration

Mr. Dugan routinely represents clients in the financial industry, and leads the firm’s Financial Services Employment Arbitration Practice Group. Mr. Dugan has strategically forced various plaintiffs to litigate their actions before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), especially in high-profile matters best litigated before a FINRA panel rather than a jury. Mr. Dugan has achieved successful results before FINRA for some of the leading international financial institutions. Recently, Mr. Dugan achieved a complete defense verdict in a case where the claimant sought significant eight figures in actual damages, resulting in the client’s General Counsel declaring after trial that “[he had] never met a better lawyer” than Mr. Dugan.

Education

  • J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School (1995)
    cum laude
  • B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1992)

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • New York

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and the District of Columbia Circuits
  • Illinois Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • Numerous United States District Courts
     

Representative Engagements

Representative Complex Litigation and Trial Matters

  • Avila, et al  v. NOW Health Group, Inc., et al., (Fair Credit Reporting Act class action)
  • Betts, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (multi-plaintiff race discrimination and harassment suit tried to verdict over nine weeks)
  • Butler, et al. v. American Cable & Telephone, LLC, (FLSA, IWPCA and multiple separate class and collective claims)
  • Case New Holland, Inc., et al. v. EEOC, et al. (complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief as a result of EEOC’s arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional actions)
  • Castelan, et al. v. Pete’s Fresh Market (multi-plaintiff sex harassment, national origin, and retaliation suit)
  • Cobbs, et al. v. Mid City Salon Resources, LLC, (multi-plaintiff sex harassment and retaliation suit tried to verdict)
  • Copp, et al. v. American Enterprise Services Co., et al. (defeated class certification in breach of contract and Fair Credit Reporting Act suit)
  • Curry, et al. v. Chateau Del Mar, et al., (multi-plaintiff sex harassment/retaliation/intentional infliction of emotional distress/assault and battery suit)
  • DeCarlo, et al. v. The TJX Companies, Inc., et al., (multi-plaintiff sex and race discrimination/ wrongful discharge/intentional infliction of emotional distress/respondeat superior/defamation suit)
  • Duke, et al. v. Staples The Office Superstore, LLC, et al., (multi-plaintiff assault/battery/negligent hiring/negligent retention suit)
  • EEOC v. Area Temps, Inc., (pattern and practice race/national origin/sex/age discrimination and retaliation suit)
  • EEOC v. Cardiac Science Corporation, (EEOC challenge of severance agreement used in reduction-in-force)
  • EEOC v. Chateau Del Mar, Inc., Hickory Hills Country Club, Inc., (pattern and practice sex/race discrimination, harassment and retaliation suit)
  • EEOC v. Chicago City Skating, LLC (pattern and practice race and sex discrimination claim) 
  • EEOC v. “ABC” Company, (Director’s nationwide investigation regarding age discrimination concerning numerous terms and conditions of employment)
  • EEOC v. Federal Cleaning Contractors, Inc., (pattern and practice sex discrimination and harassment suit)
  • EEOC v. Kelly Services, Inc., (failure to accommodate religious discrimination suit)
  • EEOC v. Local 120 United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, (pattern and practice race discrimination suit) 
  • EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc., et al., (pattern and practice race discrimination suit)
  • EEOC v. Outback Steakhouse of Florida, Inc., et al., (pattern and practice sex discrimination suit)
  • EEOC v. Rose Packing Company, (disability discrimination claim)
  • EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., (pattern and practice sex discrimination suit)
  • EEOC v. YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, (disability discrimination suit)
  • Hawkins, et al. v. Groot Industries, Inc., et al., (race/harassment/retaliation class action)
  • Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., (Title VII and EPA class and collective action with over 20,000 putative class members for alleged gender discrimination in pay and promotions)
  • Jones, et al. v. Y-USA, et al. (nationwide class action for alleged race discrimination in pay, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment)
  • Landis Plastics, Inc. and United Steel Workers of America AFL-CIO, CLC, (trial counsel in hearing involving approximately one-hundred unfair labor practice charges over forty-eight trial days)
  • Levock v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (breach of contract suit tried to verdict)
  • Molina, et al. v. Roskam Baking Company and Forge Industrial Staffing, (Fair Credit Reporting Act class action)
  • Park Ohio, EEOC (defended 19 discrimination charges alleging race, national origin, retaliation, and disability arising from mass termination)
  • Rangel v. Commonwealth Hospitality (wage hour class and collective action under federal and state law)
  • Robles, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (nationwide Title III class action)
  • Ross, et al. v. Cox Auto Trader, Inc., et al., (Fair Credit Reporting Act class action)
  • Rios, et al. v. Groot Industries, Inc., et al., (race/national origin/harassment/retaliation class action)
  • Ruess, et al. v. Quill Corporation, et al., (multi-plaintiff reckless and intentional infliction of emotional distress/defamation/appropriation of likeness/negligent supervision suit)
  • Scott, et al. v. United States of America, Inc. (nationwide race discrimination class claim)
  • The Dow Chemical Company and International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 564, (trial counsel in multi-grievant discharge hearing)
  • Trantham v. American Cable & Telephone, Inc., (FLSA collective action)
  • U.S. Tsubaki, EEOC (won early dismissal of 51 age discrimination charges stemming from a workplace strike by union employees)
  • White, et al. v. Abbott Ambulance of Illinois, Inc., (multi-plaintiff Minimum Wage Act/retaliatory discharge suit)
  • Williams-Lancaster, et al. v. Pods Enterprises, Inc., (multi-plaintiff race/sex/national origin/color discrimination and retaliation/equal pay lawsuit)
  • Wilson, et al. v. GAF Building Materials Corporation, (multi-plaintiff race discrimination/retaliation suit)
  • Winston Brands, Inc. (defended 42 discrimination charges alleging race and national origin arising from mass termination)
  • Yuan v. GETCO Securities, LLC, (multi-million dollar suit tried to complete defense verdict)

Representative Defense of Arbitration and Administrative Claims

  • Alvarez v. JPMorgan Chase, (multi-claim FINRA suit)
  • Clark v. Vanguard Rental USA, Inc. d/b/a National Car Rental, (trial counsel in hearing before the Illinois Human Rights Commission)
  • Ingels v. DWS Scudder Distributors, Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, et al., (trial counsel in FINRA defamation/bad faith suit tried to verdict)
  • Klinker v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, (multi-claim FINRA suit)
  • Kross v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, (FINRA breach of contract/denial of benefits and stock/wrongful termination suit)
  • McNeal v. UBS AG, (multi-claim gender discrimination suit involving an investment banker)
  • Pedersen v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, et al., (FINRA negligence/innocent misrepresentation/fraud/false representations/failure to disclose facts (silent fraud)/bad faith promise/promissory estoppel/breach of contract/tortious interference with contract or expectancy suit)
  • Rangel v. JPMorgan Chase, (multi-claim FINRA suit)
  • Schrimpf v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, (FINRA age/denial of benefits suit)
  • Sprout v. Carle Foundation Hospital, (trial counsel in first sexual orientation suit brought in Illinois and tried to verdict)
  • Struber v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, (FINRA denial of benefits/fraud/wrongful termination suit)
  • Tierney v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, (FINRA negligent misrepresentation/fraud/breach of contract suit)
  • Vandusen v. JPMorgan Chase, (trial counsel in FINRA defamation and wrongful termination suit tried to verdict)
  • Yuan v. GETCO Securities, LLC, (trial counsel in multi-million dollar FINRA suit tried to verdict)

Representative Reported Decisions

  • Betts v. Costco Wholesale, Corporation, (award of $1 in attorney’s fees in multi-plaintiff suit post-trial)
  • Books, Jr. v. City of Normal, et al., (summary judgment granted in disability discrimination suit)
  • Byker v. Sequent Computer Systems, Inc., (summary judgment granted on breach of contract, quantum merit, Illinois Wage Payment & Collection Act, Illinois Sales Representative Act, retaliatory discharge, and tortious interference with contract suit)
  • EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., (denial of EEOC’s motion to include punitive damages in stage 1 of litigation)
  • EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc., (dismissal of EEOC’s largest pay and promotion case in the nation)
  • Fons v. American Commercial Lines, Inc., (motion to transfer venue granted)
  • Giddens v. Steak and Ale of Illinois, Inc., et al., (summary judgment granted in favor of corporate and individual defendants on various state and federal claims)
  • Gittings v. Tredegar Corporation, et al,. (summary judgment granted in ADA, ADEA, ERISA and retaliation suit)
  • Greviskes v. Universities Research Association, Inc., (affirmed district court award to employer of $54,613.50 in fees as sanction for plaintiff's unscrupulous conduct and $14,435.95 in taxable costs; affirmed dismissal of case; court ordered employee to show cause why appellate attorneys’ fees and costs should not be imposed)
  • Greviskes v. Universities Research Association, Inc., (motion to dismiss granted and attorneys' fees awarded as sanction for plaintiff's unscrupulous conduct)
  • Hart v. Forge Industrial Staffing, Inc. (summary judgment granted in gender, race and retaliation suit)
  • Hawkins, et al. v. Groot Industries, Inc., et al., (denial of plaintiffs’ motion for class certification)
  • Hawkins, et al. v. Groot Industries, Inc., et al., (summary judgment granted against two named plaintiffs in class action alleging multiple discrimination claims, and harassment and retaliation)
  • Hawkins, et al. v. Groot Industries, Inc., et al., (denial of reassignment of later filed class action with earlier filed class action)
  • In re:  Greyhound Exposition Services, Inc., (no breach of contract where employer did not provide carpenter with certain work opportunities)
  • Jaglieski v. Hilton Chicago, (summary judgment granted in case alleging multiple bases of discrimination)
  • Jock, et. al. v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (court vacated arbitration award permitting private Title VIII and EPA class/collective action of with over 20,000 putative class members)
  • Kneibert v. Thompson Newspapers, Michigan, Inc., (summary judgment affirmed in age discrimination and retaliation suit)
  • Kotwica v. Rose Packing Company, (summary judgment affirmed in disability discrimination suit)
  • Lancaster – Williams, et al. v. POPS Enterprises, Inc., (summary judgment granted against four plaintiffs in race discrimination suit)
  • Lindsey v. Concord Buying Group d/b/a A.J. Wright, (denial of plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel)
  • Lindsey v. Concord Buying Group d/b/a A.J. Wright, (summary judgment granted in race discrimination suit)
  • McGowan v. Palmer House Hilton, (summary judgment granted in sexual harassment suit)
  • Milloul v. Knight Capital Group, Inc., et al. (motion to compel arbitration granted)
  • Myart v. Doubletree Hotels, Corp., (summary judgment granted in retaliation suit and also upholding effectiveness of sexual harassment investigation)
  • Nelson v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, (motion to dismiss granted as to breach of contract and promissory estoppel claims; motion to strike granted as to jury demand and demand for compensatory damages concerning ERISA claims)
  • Nelson v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, (summary judgment granted in ERISA/FMLA/breach of contract/age/disability suit)
  • Smith v. TJX Companies (summary judgment granted as to plaintiff’s claims for punitive damages)
  • Thompson, et al. v. GES Exposition Services, Inc., (summary judgment granted in six plaintiff discrimination, harassment and retaliation suit)
  • Viette v. Hospitality Staffing, Inc. (summary judgment granted because the claims were the property of the plaintiff’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate)
  • Weber v. Universities Research Association, (summary judgment granted in sex discrimination and retaliation suit).
  • Weber v. Universities Research Association, (affirmed district court grant of summary judgment)
  • Wilson v. Palmer House Hilton, (summary judgment granted in racial harassment, discrimination, constructive discharge and retaliation suit)
  • Yuan v. GETCO Securities, LLC, (motion to compel arbitration granted)
  • Zhivanovich v. Unisys Corporation, (summary judgment granted in multiple count discrimination and retaliation suit)