Mr. Bricker has served as lead counsel in strategic cases in a variety of substantive areas, such as intellectual property, mass torts, fiduciary duty, antitrust, trade secret, securities and corporate control, corporate governance, accountant’s liability, mergers and acquisitions, and others. These matters have often involved internal investigations, complex regulatory issues and parallel criminal proceedings. On behalf of plaintiffs, Mr. Bricker has tried four different cases to judgments between $44 million and $105 million. As defense counsel, he has defeated significant class action and multi-plaintiff claims involving alleged accounting malpractice, securities fraud, consumer fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, violations of ERISA, defective products, RICO violations, breach of contract and other business torts.
During his career, Mr. Bricker has had a significant role in numerous trials of public significance, including representing MCI in its landmark antitrust cases against AT&T, and the subsequent judicial and regulatory proceedings leading to the break-up of the Bell System and the creation of a competitive telecommunications marketplace.
Recent examples of matters in which Mr. Bricker has served as lead counsel include:
Mr. Bricker has received widespread recognition for creating and implementing novel mechanisms for resolving complex commercial disputes. In one matter involving various patent infringements, trade secret and other cross claims between Fortune 500 manufacturing competitors, Mr. Bricker designed a process that combined limited litigation in federal court with “baseball” type arbitration. The National Law Journal hailed the design as “an outstanding example of the parties ability to tailor a complex conflict management program to their specific needs.” In a dispute arising from a failed merger of two public companies, Mr. Bricker created a novel mid-case jury polling system using a single agreed upon instruction and pre-determined settlement values based on the outcome of the poll. Michigan Lawyers Weekly characterized this approach as “an excellent example of lawyers creativity actually adding some momentum to settlement discussions.” Mr. Bricker has tailored equally novel mechanisms for mediations, arbitrations and other types of proceedings.
Mr. Bricker has been called upon numerous times in his career to substitute in for, or support, longstanding litigation counsel in the late stages of a matter, either to lead a trial team or help resolve a dispute. For example, six weeks before commencement of a jury trial in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin involving patents relating to uninterruptable power supply technology, the plaintiff (a Fortune 200 manufacturing company) asked Mr. Bricker to take the lead in presenting plaintiff’s case to the jury. The matter settled shortly before closing argument, with payments to the firm’s client of over $40 million. The defendant company has since retained the firm as its own counsel. More recently, Mr. Bricker was asked to replace existing defense counsel in a consumer fraud class action filed in federal court in New Jersey after the court had certified a class, notice had been sent to over 750,000 class members, and the court had denied summary judgment. The case involved the adequacy of insurance and environmental related disclosures made by a national equipment rental company, and potential damages of over $600 million. Mr. Bricker developed and implemented a strategy that led to a highly favorable settlement, approved by the court and without objectors. Last year, in a consumer class action, Mr. Bricker was asked to take over from other law firms while post-judgment proceedings were underway in the trial court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals both vacated a Nevada federal district court judge’s order granting summary judgment on liability and awarding plaintiffs $65 million in damages and attorneys’ fees, and directed that judgment be entered in favor of Mr. Bricker’s client.
While at SPX, Mr. Bricker had overall responsibility for the company’s governance, public reporting, litigation and risk management, compliance, merger and acquisition, labor and employment, ERISA and other legal functions. Among other things, his tenure included: restructuring the company’s legal organization to comport with SPX’s new business segment structure; successful resolution of contested proxy and shareholder derivative claims; the implementation of revised insider trading and ethics policies and other worldwide compliance initiatives; the acquisition and sale of operating businesses and product lines in the United States, China and Germany; negotiating complex, multi-year purchase and supply agreements; and the completion of various financing activities, including a 10b5-l company share repurchase program and global $1.6 billion senior credit facility.
At Pali Capital, Mr. Bricker led the company’s legal team in handling internal investigations, significant regulatory matters involving FINRA, the Financial Service Authority in Great Britain, litigation, compliance, corporate, tax and human resources matters. Mr. Bricker also has provided counsel to the company’s Board of Directors and Senior Executive Committee on governance issues and fiduciary duties.
Throughout his career, Mr. Bricker has devoted substantial effort to representing those without access or the ability to afford legal services. The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation recognized Mr. Bricker as one of the outstanding trial lawyers in the United States for his precedent-setting work on behalf of migrant farm workers. The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law recognized his efforts at redressing housing discrimination directed at persons with disabilities. Columbia Law School in New York and Loyola Law School in New Orleans recognized his representation of the displaced residents of public housing in New Orleans. Mr. Bricker is the recipient of the Florida Bar’s Pro Bono award for his efforts on behalf of the underserved and underprivileged, and Advancement Project’s “Delivering Impact” award.
Mr. Bricker is an honors graduate of Lake Forest College, where he received the Senior Prize in Economics, the Solly Hartzo Prize in Politics, the Letterman’s Award for Scholarship, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society. In 1977, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois honored Mr. Bricker with its Order of Lincoln Medallion, the State’s highest award for individual achievement.
Mr. Bricker received his J.D. in 1980 from the Washington University School of Law. While in law school, Mr. Bricker served as Articles Editor of the Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law. He also received first place in the national Wiley Ruttledge Moot Court Competition and was awarded the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award.
Based on client interviews, Chambers & Partners USA named Mr. Bricker one of the leading lawyers in the United States for commercial litigation. Chambers Global identified Mr. Bricker as one of the “world’s leading lawyers for business.” He has been selected as an Illinois “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics magazine.
Mr. Bricker is a member of the bars of Illinois, Florida, the District of Columbia, the United States Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts. He has served on a variety of bar committees and authored numerous articles on litigation and business law topics.
Mr. Bricker has taught trial practice classes at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the University of Chicago Law School and other programs. He has been a presenter at numerous professional conferences, including the ABA Annual Meeting, Northwestern University Law School’s General Counsel Roundtable, Corporate Legal Times Annual Superconference, the Illinois CPA Society and PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Leadership Forum, among others. Mr. Bricker has published numerous articles in legal journals on topics ranging from the strategic use of arbitration clauses, to the development and future of material adverse change clauses in business contracts, to a sensible approach for corporate advancement of legal fees to executives defending charges of misconduct.
Mr. Bricker currently serves on the Executive Advisory Committee of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, on the Board of Directors of the Hubbard Street Dance Company, and as the Development Chair of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Since 2016, Mr. Bricker has served as President of the Board of Trustees of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois.