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Paul E. Wojcicki

Shareholder | pwojcicki@smsm.com
Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Paul E. Wojcicki concentrates his practice in two primary areas: litigation and business counseling.

Mr. Wojcicki’s litigation work includes complex commercial and consumer disputes, including class actions, products liability claims, and warranty and service contract actions.  Based in Chicago, he represents companies large and small across a wide variety of industry sectors in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country. He is admitted to practice in three states, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Utilizing the knowledge and insight gained over more than two decades in the courtroom, Mr. Wojcicki also counsels, guides and advises companies on a variety of topics, placing special emphasis on helping businesses manage and administer warranty and service contract programs more efficiently and in compliance with applicable regulations. For example, Mr. Wojcicki works with companies to refine, revise or wholly rewrite their warranty statements and other program documents; educate and train company personnel involved with day-to-day claim-administration and investigation, and navigate regulatory waters that at times can be quite murky.

In addition to client work, Mr. Wojcicki’s professional activities include serving as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Global Warranty and Service Contract Association (gwsca.org) and as a subject matter expert and faculty member for the organization’s educational programs. He also manages www.DrivingValue.com, a warranty and service contract blog, and the Warranty Defense Counsel LinkedIn Group. He served as the General Editor for the 2014 editor of the LexisNexis Practice Guide: Illinois Personal Injury Litigation, an annual handbook that helps young attorneys and solo practitioners learn the ins and outs of the personal injury practice area.

Mr. Wojcicki frequently speaks on emerging legal and business topics including litigation strategies and tactics, risk management, developments in products liability and warranty law, OEM-supplier relationships, and service contract administration and regulation. Internally, Mr. Wojcicki chairs Segal McCambridge’s Appellate and Warranty practice areas.

Honors

  • Recognized as an Illinois Leading Lawyer (a designation limited to less than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community
  • Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers list (no more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2005-2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
  • Selected to Marquis Who's Who in America

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Global Warranty and Service Contract Association (f.k.a. IWCM), Secretary
  • Institute of Warranty Chain Management (IWCM); Board Member, Member of Resources & Research Committee
  • Appellate Lawyers Association
  • Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation and Constitutional Law Committees
  • DRI Insurance Law Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • RVIA, Associate Member
  • St. Barnabas Parish, Finance Board, Basketball Coach

Representative Matters

  • Member of trial team that obtained a $90 million verdict on behalf of a sports promoter in an antitrust and business tort action involving motor sports.
  • Retained as lead counsel by an RV manufacturer in a Michigan products liability action involving multiple fatalities resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Obtained complete defense verdict on behalf of a chassis manufacturer in a breach of warranty action.
  • Obtained not guilty verdict for premier sports car manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary in a products liability action arising out of a fire.
  • Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an RV maker, dealer, and lender in a breach of warranty/consumer fraud action and a judgment for the lender against the plaintiffs for $75,000 due under the financing contract.
  • Obtained a verdict in favor of auto manufacturer in breach of warranty action despite evidence showing double-digit repair visits within first 20,000 miles after purchase.
  • Obtained defense verdict in an action involving breach of warranty, fraud and statutory rescission claims in a matter where plaintiffs claimed the coach leaned and was dangerous to operate.
  • Obtained a verdict in favor of a major motor home manufacturer, including an award of attorney's fees, in a U.C.C. supplier action against the manufacturer of inferior conveyor line components.
  • Obtained defense verdicts for a medical device manufacturer in products liability case that involved two trials (each presented a different defect theory).
  • Obtained multiple defense verdicts on behalf of a fluid-sealing device manufacturer in Wisconsin asbestos-related personal injury trials.
  • Persuaded an appellate court to overturn a $500,000 judgment entered against the client in a products liability case as a sanction for failing to produce a witness at trial.
  • Has on multiple occasions persuaded an appellate court to overturn a verdict for a  consumer-plaintiff in breach of warranty actions.
  • Won an appeal in which the court found that a prima facie showing of fraud was made against a plaintiffs' firm, for its conduct during settlement negotiations, voiding the settlement.
  • Retained by a group of RV manufacturers to prepare and file a friend-of-the-court brief in an appeal involving the proper standard for determining warranty damages.
  • Supervised a pro bono criminal appeal in which the court reversed the client's conviction and awarded a new trial. People v. Billups, 2012 IL App (1st) 081383-B.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a breach of auto warranty action based on the novel argument that reselling of automobile for fair market value prevents plaintiff from proving damages as a matter of law.
  • Obtained dismissal of a breach of warranty action involving a leased automobile based on the novel argument that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act does not apply to leased goods.
  • Obtained summary disposition in a Michigan UCC/Warranty/Magnuson Moss/Consumer Protection Act action on behalf of an automobile company supplier.
  • Obtained summary judgment for property insurer on a multi-million dollar water damage and mold claim.
  • Represented a major lending corporation as litigation counsel in adversary proceedings in the bankruptcy of a national provider of paging services.
  • Represented manufacturer in adversarial preference actions in candy manufacturer's bankruptcy.
  • Obtained multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of plaintiff, over the road truck manufacturer, in breach of contract action with supplier.

Non-Litigation

  • Engaged by motor vehicle manufacturer to assist in drafting a notice to its customers disclosing reported component part failures and offering recommendations to on how to reduce risk of failure.
  • Retained by a major automotive manufacturer to present a full-day seminar to its technical personnel on the role of expert witnesses in warranty and other products liability litigation.
  • Engaged by a major motor vehicle manufacturer to rewrite its warranty and service contract across its product line.
  • Counseled a domestic corporation in the successful resolution of a dispute over the purchase of goods from an Asian manufacturer financed with a letter of credit.

Published Appellate Opinions

White v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, 398 Ill. App. 3d 610, 924 N.E.2d 53 (4th Dist. 2010)

Heiden v. DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc., (2d Dist. 2009)

Voelker v. Porsche Cars North America, Inc., 2003 WL 22030364 (7th Cir.2003)

Valenti v. Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc., 332 Ill. App.3d 969 (1st Dist. 2002)

Lara v. Hyundai Motor America, 331 Ill. App.3d 53 (2nd Dist.2002)

Johnson v. Grossinger Motorcorp, Inc., 324 Ill. App.3d 354 (1st Dist.2001)

Jaffee v. Redmond, 142 F.3d 409 (7th Cir.1998)

Navarro v. Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc., 117 F.3d 1027 (7th Cir. 1997)

Roback v. V.I.P. Transport, Inc., 90 F.3d 1207 (7th Cir.1996)

Fatigato v. Village of Olympia Fields, 281 Ill. App.3d 347 (1st Dist.1996)

Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc., 58 F.3d 341 (7th Cir.1995)

Doe v. Calumet City, 161 Ill.2d 374 (1994)

Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc., 990 F.2d 342 (7th Cir.1993)

News


Speaking Engagements

Warranty Chain Management Conference, "What Customer Service Personnel Should Know About Warranty Law and Service Contract Regulation," Miami, FL (March 10, 2015).

DePaul College of Law Preparing to Practice class, "Writing for Success," Chicago, IL (February 23 and 26, 2015).

DePaul College of Law Preparing to Practice class, "On the Job: Working in a Law Office," Chicago, IL (February 5, 2015).

Listen to Mr. Wojcicki's podcast, "Five Keys to a Successful Warranty Program."

"Big Data - Big Headaches: New and Emerging Legal Liability and Litigation Issues at the Dawn of the Big Data Era," Warranty Chain Management Conference 2014, San Diego, CA (March 12, 2014).

SGS US Warranty Manager Symposium, Chicago, IL, "Enhance Customer Experience with Warranty Operations," (Sept. 10-11, 2013).

ACI's 6th Annual Summit on Defending & Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation, Chicago, IL, "The Battleground Today and in the Near Future for Automotive Class Actions, Including Class Certifications" (June 6, 2013).

2013 AALNC Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, "Daubert Challenges: Court's Current Trends" (April 5, 2013).

2013 Warranty Chain Management Conference, San Diego, CA, "Industry Updates: Global Warranty and Service Contract Association" (March 13, 2013).

ACI's 3rd National Forum on Defending and Managing Trucking Litigation, Atlanta, GA, "Selecting and Retaining Experts and Strategically Preparing Daubert Challenges" (November 30, 2012). View Mr. Wojcicki's presentation.

ACI's 5th Advanced Summit on Defending & Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation, Chicago, IL, "Trial and Jury Strategy: Harnessing the Power of Social Media to Your Advantage When Gearing Up for an Auto Products Liability Trial" (June 27, 2012).

2012 Warranty Chain Management Conference, Orlando, FL, "OEM / Supplier - Optimizing The Relationship," and "Key Factors To A Successful Warranty Program" (March 6-8, 2012).

2010 Warranty Chain Management Conference, Los Angeles, CA, "A Visit to Doc Warranty's Clinic" (March 2-4, 2010).

The International Conference on Warranty Chain Management, Orlando, FL, "Preview of IWCM's W101 - Warranty Fundamentals Course" (March 11, 2009).

HB Litigation Conferences' The FDIC and the New Banking Crisis: Litigation Challenges Past, Present and, Future Conference, Washington, DC, "Professional Liability Litigation: Insurance Coverage Issues" (January 15, 2009). To see a video clip of Mr. Wojcicki speaking at this conference, please click here.

Course Instructor: Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney Experts in Warranty & Other Products Liability Litigation: A Crash Course, Torrance, CA (June 29, 2007).

AIAG's 3rd Annual Early Warning Standards - Warranty Conference, Novi, MI, "Reducing 'Extra-Ordinary' Warranty Costs - A view from the trenches" (May 24, 2007).

International Visitor Leadership Program - Accountability in Government and Business, A Project for Pakistan, Chicago, IL (April 29-May 2, 2007).

The 3rd Annual International Conference on Warranty Chain Management, Tampa, FL, "Who's Responsible? Warranty Litigation Involving Consumer Products Covered Under Multiple Warranties" (March 13-14, 2007).

The 3rd Annual International Conference on Warranty Chain Management, Tampa, FL, "Understanding and Avoiding Consumer Product Warranty Litigation" (March 13-14, 2007).

Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney 2006 "Extended" Warranty Seminar, Chicago, IL, "Experts in Warranty & Other Products Liability Litigation" (September 22, 2006).

Course Instructor: Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney Experts in Warranty & Other Products Liability Litigation: A Crash Course, Elkhart, IN (September 15, 2006).

International Association of Lemon Law Administrators' Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, "A Balanced View on Lemon Law Claims in the Courts" (August 1-3, 2006).

Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney 2005 Lemon Law/Warranty Seminar, "Damages In Breach of Limited Warranty Actions" (October 2005).

Tort Law Update, Defenses (June 2005).

Chicago Bar Association, Constitutional Law Committee, The Constitutionality of Supreme Court Rule 23(e) (February 2004).

Demonstrative Evidence (February 2003).

John Marshall Law School, Negotiations, Guest Lecturer (2000-2003).

Author

General Editor, "LexisNexis Practice Guide: Illinois Personal Injury Litigation" (2015 Edition).

General Editor, "LexisNexis Practice Guide: Illinois Personal Injury Litigation" (2014 Edition).

"A Note On Damages And Disclaimers in Actions for Breach of a 'Repair or Replacement' Warranty" (2005).

"Is The Denial of Precedential Effect for Certain Appellate Courts 'Orders' Constitutional Under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 23," CBA Record (January 2004).

"Attacking Breach of Implied Warranty Claims In Magnuson-Moss Actions Brought in Privity States," RVDefense.com (2001).

"Challenging and Qualifying Expert Witnesses In Motor Vehicle Warranty Litigation" (2001).

"Early Resolution Strategies In Warranty Litigation," RVDefense.com.

Co-Author

"Parties In Products Liability Actions" chapter in IICLE IL Products Liability Practice Practical Handbook, (2003, updated annually).

"Declaratory Judgment Actions" chapter in IICLE IL Civil Practice Handbook (2003, updated annually).

Quoted

"VW's Emissions Warranty Scandal," Warranty Week (October 1, 2015).

"Is It or Isn't It Insurance?," Warranty Week (February 27, 2014).

"Consumer Reports Strikes," Warranty Week (October 3, 2013).

"Warranty Innovations Conference," Warranty Week (September 12, 2013).

"Warranty As a Signal," Warranty Week (March 1, 2012).

"OEM-Supplier Relations," Warranty Week (February 16, 2012).

"Lifetime Warranties," Warranty Week (August 13, 2009).

"RV Extended Warranties," Warranty Week (June 11, 2009).

"Deeper Dive Into Contract Law," Warranty Week (February 21, 2008).

"Warranty & the Law," Warranty Week (March 27, 2007).

"Extended Warranty Panel," Warranty Week (February 28, 2007).

Education

Columbia University in the City of New York, B.A. (English), 1986

DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1989

Admissions

  • Illinois, 1989
  • Michigan, 1999
  • Wisconsin, 2007
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin