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Paul E. Wojcicki

Shareholder | pwojcicki@smsm.com
Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Paul E. Wojcicki is a Shareholder in the firm's Chicago office and concentrates his practice in two primary areas: civil litigation and business counseling. Mr. Wojcicki serves as Chair of the firm's Warranty Practice Group.

Mr. Wojcicki’s trial and appellate work includes actions involving antitrust, class actions, complex commercial and consumer disputes, insurance coverage disputes, intellectual property, municipal and public official liability, products liability claims, mass-tort/toxic-tort, and warranty and service contract matters. He represents companies large and small across a wide variety of industry sectors in state and federal courts across the country.

Utilizing the knowledge, experience and insight gained over nearly thirty years in the courtroom, Mr. Wojcicki also counsels, guides and advises companies on a variety of topics, placing special emphasis on helping businesses develop, manage, and administer warranty and service contract programs efficiently and in compliance with applicable regulations. For example, Mr. Wojcicki works with companies to ensure regulatory compliance; 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.

Mr. Wojcicki is admitted to practice in three states, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Beyond his client work, Mr. Wojcicki’s professional activities include serving as President of 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.

Mr. Wojcicki is also the General Editor of the LexisNexis Practice Guide: Illinois Personal Injury Litigation, a handbook published annually since 2014 that addresses the ins and outs of Illinois personal injury practice area.

Additionally, Mr. Wojcicki frequently speaks on emerging legal and business topics including litigation strategies and tactics such as the Reptile Theory, risk management, developments in products liability and warranty law, OEM-supplier relationships, service contract administration and regulation, and Rule 702/Daubert standard. And from time-to-time he addresses law students; he particularly enjoys discussing the topic legal writing.

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 (2012-2017)
  • 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 (2005-2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
  • Marquis Who's Who in America

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Global Warranty and Service Contract Association (GWSCA), President (2016-Present), Director (2010-Present), Board Member, Secretary (2012-2016), Conference Chair (2014-2016)
  • 2Civility Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program, Mentor (2015-2016)
  • Appellate Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation and Constitutional Law Committees
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, Associate Member
  • St. Barnabas Parish

Representative Matters

Business Disputes

  • Member of trial team that obtained a $90 million verdict in an antitrust and business tort action on behalf of a motor sports promoter.
  • Procured a verdict in favor of a major motor home manufacturer, including an award of attorney's fees, in a U.C.C. action against the supplier of inferior conveyor line components.
  • Negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement agreements on behalf of a major U.S. truck manufacturer the netted a return to the client that exceeded value of the underlying claims.
  • Negotiated a highly favorable settlement on behalf of a Canadian printing company in a breach of contract action against a printing press manufacturer.
  • Obtained summary judgment for property insurer in an insurance coverage action alleging multi-million dollar water damage and mold claims.
  • Obtained favorable result for major lending corporation in adversary proceedings in the bankruptcy of a national provider of paging services.
  • Obtained favorable result for equipment manufacturer in adversarial preference actions in candy manufacturer's bankruptcy.

Products Liability/Toxic Tort

  • Procured defense verdicts on behalf of automobile, automotive component, household product, industrial equipment, medical equipment, recreational vehicle manufactures in personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage actions.
  • Obtained defense verdicts and summary judgments on behalf of a fluid-sealing device manufacturer in multiple Wisconsin asbestos-related personal injury actions.

Appeals

  • Member of the appellate team that prevailed before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a police office in a case in which the Court first recognized the psychotherapist-patient privilege.
  • Prevailed in appeals in products liability actions brought against a medical device and a heavy duty truck manufacturer that resulted in two of the Seventh Circuit earliest opinions applying the Daubert standard to expert testimony.
  • Prevailed in multiple appeals in breach of warranty actions brought by consumer-plaintiffs.
  • Submitted a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a group of recreational vehicle manufacturers 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.

Warranty

  • Procured a verdict in favor of a recreational vehicle manufacturer, dealer, and lender in a breach of warranty/consumer fraud action that included an award to the lender of $75,000 due under the financing contract.
  • On multiple occasions obtained dismissals or summary judgment for defendants in breach of warranty actions based on new and novel arguments involving matters of statutory construction the proofs necessary to establish prima facie elements of the plaintiff’s case.

Non-Litigation

  • Service contract compliance counsel for a major automobile OEM.
  • Rewrote a major motor vehicle manufacturer’s product warranties and service contracts covering its entire product line.
  • Frequently engaged by automobile, truck and recreational vehicle manufactures and component part suppliers to deliver full- and half-day training to their employees on warranty- and product liability-related topics. 
  • 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

  • Jaffee v. Redmond, 518 U.S. 1 (1996)
  • S. v. Morales, 655 F.3d 608 (7th Cir. 2011)
  • Voelker v. Porsche Cars North America, Inc., 353 F.3d 516 (7th Cir. 2003)
  • 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)
  • Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc., 58 F.3d 341 (7th Cir.1995)
  • Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc., 990 F.2d 342 (7th Cir.1993)
  • Nolan v. Weil-McLain, 233 Ill.2d 416 (2009)
  • Doe v. Calumet City, 161 Ill.2d 374 (1994)
  • Mitsias v. I-Flow Corp., 2011 IL App (1st) 101126
  • White v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, 398 Ill. App. 3d 610 (4th Dist. 2010)
  • Heiden v. DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc., 396 Ill.App.3d 135 (2d Dist. 2009)
  • Berry v. American Standard, Inc., 382 Ill.App.3d 895 (5th Dist. 2008)
  • Nolan v. Weil-McLain, 365 Ill.App.3d 963 (4th Dist. 2006)
  • Razor v. Hyundai Motor America, 349 Ill.App.3d 51 (1st Dist. 2004)
  • Caruso v. M & O Insulation Co., 345 Ill.App.3d 345 (4th Dist. 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)
  • Fatigato v. Village of Olympia Fields, 281 Ill. App.3d 347 (1st Dist.1996)
  • Glaab v. Honeywell Intern., Inc., 56 A.3d 693 (Pa. Sup. Ct. 2012)

News


Speaking Engagements

Upcoming - The Knowledge Group Webinar, "Daubert Motions and Expert Opinions: Trends, Developments and Everything You Need to Know," (November 13, 2017).

Upcoming - The Knowledge Group Webinar, "The Daubert Standards: Identifying Effective Strategies in Defending Daubert Motions," (August 31, 2017).

American Conference Institute 10th Annual Conference on Automotive Product Liability Litigation, "Personal Jurisdiction Challenges Including Discussion and Examination of Key US Supreme Court Cases," Chicago, IL (June 15, 2017).  

Strafford Webinar "Combating Plaintiff Reptilian Tactics in Complex and High-Stakes Litigation," (March 28, 2017).

NRG Energy, Inc Renewable Energy Resource Group, in-house CLE, Scottsdale, AZ (March 7, 2017).

DePaul University College of Law, Guest Speaker, Preparing to Practice Class, "Law Firm Life," Chicago, IL (February 2017).

DePaul University College of Law, Guest Speaker, Preparing to Practice Class, "Legal Writing," Chicago, IL (February 2017).

Recreational Vehicle Industry Association Conference "UCC Warranty Rules, the Value of Forum Selection, and Choice of Law Provisions," Palm Desert, CA (February 8, 2017).

GWSCA Conference Chairman, Chicago, IL (September 21-23, 2016).

DePaul University College of Law, Guest Speaker, Preparing to Practice Class, "On the Job: Some Things You Should Know About Working in a Law Office," Chicago, IL (February 18, 2016).

DePaul University College of Law, Guest Speaker, Preparing to Practice Class, "Legal Writing," Chicago, IL (February 2016).

GWSCA Conference Chairman, Chicago, IL (September 216-18, 2015).

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

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

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

GWSCA Conference Chairman, Chicago, IL (October 6-8, 2014).

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" (2014-2017 Editions).

Make a Federal Case Out of It,” For the Defense (December 2012)

"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

"Default and Default Judgment," chapter in Civil Practice (Illinois): Preparing For Trial (2017).

 "Declaratory Relief," chapter in Civil Practice (Illinois): Preparing For Trial (2009, 2012, 2017).

"Parties to Products Liability Cases," chapter in Products Liability Practice (2003, 2006).

"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).

Down Goes Goliath!” 2006 Illinois Super Lawyers (February 2006).

Education

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

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

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 for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin