Christopher J.DeGroff

Partner

Chris has the perspective and tools that allow him to craft creative solutions to the thorny litigation and business problems involved in bet-the-company cases.


More About Chris

Whether developing the architecture for a nationwide class case involving thousands of employment decisions, or organizing an effective plan for addressing scores of single-claimant cases across a portfolio of work, Chris' dynamic and nimble approach to large-scale issues is the foundation of his practice.

As co-chair of the firm's Complex Discrimination Litigation practice group, Chris leads a team composed of some of the country's top class action litigators and subject matter experts. He has a unique perspective on systemic cases, drawing not only on his own deep understanding and experience, but also on the innovation and wisdom of his entire class action team. Chris is also an active member of the Firm’s Air & Rail Specialty Group, assisting clients with the unique employment law aspects affecting these industries, and well as related industries such as shipping, logistics and transportation-based technologies.

Through his 20-plus years of class litigation practice, Chris has partnered with subject matter experts in a wide array of disciplines, including industrial organizational psychologists, labor economists, sociologists, statisticians, jury consultants, crisis-management public relations teams, and a host of other human resources specialists. He understands the strategic anatomy of his opponents and marshals it to his clients' interests. He has successfully resolved dozens of high-stakes cases in jurisdictions around the country.

When it comes to government-initiated litigation, few have as much experience and depth of knowledge as Chris. He has studied the way the government and private class counsel build and execute large-scale litigation campaigns, written extensively on the these subjects, and is regularly quoted in employment-related resources as the authority on these matters. Chris was lead counsel on the country's largest age discrimination case brought by the EEOC, posted trial wins in thorny, multiclaimant sex discrimination/harassment cases, and is go-to counsel for class litigation for employers in virtually every industry across the US.

Chris is also a firm leader in litigation portfolio management, developing custom-made solutions to numerous clients' platform-wide litigation problems. This includes the use of cutting-edge technology and litigation tools to efficiently and effectively address evolving client needs. As one example, Chris and a team of other Seyfarth stakeholders developed a charge tracker system that allows employers to measure and study administrative charge activity and benchmark that against government statistics. This allows Chris' clients to quickly spot key trends and vulnerabilities, and compare those trends to areas of strategic focus, both with the government and private plaintiffs' counsel.

In complex cases and large portfolios of work, managing the sea of electronic data and paper documents that flows through the lifespan of cases can be overwhelming, expensive, and operationally disruptive. Chris has marshaled the talent of various disciplines across the Seyfarth platform, from eDiscovery experts to project management teams, to craft comprehensive programs to "boil the ocean" in a way that is efficient, effective, and legally sound. This creates both strategic advantage, while at the same time managing litigation and transaction costs.

Chris is particularly committed to developing and cultivating talent both within and outside of the Complex Discrimination Litigation practice group to pass along his experience. Chris develops training curriculum, organizes guest speakers, drafts "rapid response" resources, and designs tools to share knowledge with colleagues and develop team members. Chris' passion to partner and share these resources goes beyond Seyfarth; Chris also works with his clients to provide corresponding resources to employers' human resources and in-house legal staff.

  • JD, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • BA, Indiana University
    Chemistry; Criminal Justice
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • US District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • US District Court, District of Colorado
  • US District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • US District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • US District Court, Western District of Michigan