Michael Dockterman is a partner at Edwards Wildman. Named by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 10 Winning Litigators in the United States, and described by Chambers & Partners as a lawyer who “can see through the garbage and cut to the chase,” Mr. Dockterman specializes in complex civil and criminal business litigation, securities and derivative litigation, and in advising clients on matters of corporate governance and compliance.
Mr. Dockterman's extensive litigation and trial experience ranges from private commercial matters through disputes with the federal government. He has appeared as principal trial counsel in state and federal courts in over half of the United States, and has tried securities, antitrust, intellectual property, environmental, contract, fraud and product liability cases, as well as a variety of amateur sports disputes, and both federal and state white collar criminal cases. Mr. Dockterman also has represented both corporate and individual interests in grand jury and other government investigations across the country involving government contracting, securities, corporate fraud, antitrust, environmental, and other regulatory matters.
In addition, drawing in part from his experience defending board actions in securities and derivative litigation, Mr. Dockterman has counseled corporations and boards of directors on matters of corporate governance and compliance, including advising board committees on fulfilling their obligations under corporate and securities laws. Working with audit committees, corporate governance committees, and special committees of independent directors in such high-profile matters as Archer Daniels Midland Company and Exide Corporation, Mr. Dockterman has hands-on experience in CEO evaluation, board self-assessment, committee function and structure, and facilitating strategic planning within the roles appropriate to management and board members. He has dealt with institutional investors in both cooperative and adversarial contexts, and has litigated issues of corporate governance in derivative litigation. Mr. Dockterman has represented management, special litigation committees, board members, outside auditors, and others in a broad variety of related securities and governance litigation, including contests for corporate control, the defense of alleged director wrongdoing, alleged misrepresentations in public offerings, alleged accounting malpractice, and other securities claims. He is currently representing boards and executives in matters arising from the new securities requirements concerning executive compensation.
Mr. Dockterman also has extensive experience handling investigations by federal, state, and local authorities. He has led corporate responses to investigations by the Department of Justice (Main Justice), the Antitrust Division, the SEC, the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Postal Service, several U.S. Attorneys offices, the Attorneys General of various states, and numerous municipal authorities. He also has conducted internal investigations for corporate clients involving subjects as diverse as defense contracting, antitrust, accounting, health care, executive misconduct, corporate theft and environmental, and other regulatory matters, and has acted as special counsel to the Bankruptcy Court investigating and then pursuing assets wasted by those responsible for their administration. Much of Mr. Dockterman's grand jury and internal investigative work remains confidential, but some matters have become public. He also has represented lawyers before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and other professionals before the Department of Professional Regulation.
Mr. Dockterman was the lead trial lawyer for Toys “R” Us in its successful litigation with Amazon.com over the Toysrus.com website, Toysrus.com, et al. v. Amazon.com et al., filed in 2004. He repeated that success when the appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision to return the website to Toys “R” Us in 2006 and remanded for a further finding of damages to be awarded for the breach, which Amazon then settled by paying Toys “R” Us $51 million in 2009.
This is only one of several “once in a lifetime” cases Mr. Dockterman has tried to verdict. On four days notice, Mr. Dockterman defended the City of Chicago in an eight week trial in state court challenging the largest public works project in the country, construction of the People-Mover for O'Hare International Airport. The trial vindicated the city's procurement process and disposed of all challenges to the City's award of the contract.
Mr. Dockterman was engaged by directors of Archer-Daniels-Midland Corporation following a raid by the FBI on the company's headquarters. Mr. Dockterman became counsel to the company's newly formed governance committee, defended directors in federal and state court derivative and shareholder actions in Illinois and Delaware. The litigation was resolved by a groundbreaking settlement that ensured governance reforms in the company, affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, and ultimately led Mr. Dockterman to conduct a two-year worldwide audit of the company's legal compliance with the agreement of plaintiffs' counsel, the board, and the courts which approved the settlement of the shareholder claims.
Mr. Dockterman also tried the landmark “Clickety-Clack Track” trade secrets case to a successful jury verdict. At issue was whether two inventors who modified a piece of wooden toy train track under an oral non-disclosure agreement could claim ownership of the trade secret in the face of a patent obtained by the people for whom they had cut the sample so it made noise when a toy train ran over it. The jury sided with the inventors, awarding them a lifetime royalty in the track and all products developed to run on the track. The trial court entered judgment notwithstanding the verdict, but the court of appeals reversed, entered judgment for the inventors and remanded for a finding of further damages and attorney's fees. The court of appeals opinion sets the standard by which trade secrets may be proven under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
Since 2010, Mr. Dockterman has been named in the Best Lawyers in America publication in the fields of Commercial Litigation, Antitrust Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation.
Central and Eastern Europe (CEEMENA)
Defeat of TRO for Toy Product Retailer
A team of the firm's lawyers in Chicago and Los Angeles won a major victory for a toy product retailer in 2012 when the US District Court of the Southern District of California issued an order denying a competitor's request for a temporary restraining order against our client's tablet for kids.
Residential Mortgage-backed Securities Litigation
Edwards Wildman litigators are representing Credit Suisse in Illinois and New York state courts in matters involving the sale of certificates representing residential mortgage-backed securities under various state laws.
Sturm, Ruger Securities Class Action
In action pending in federal court in Connecticut, Edwards Wildman commercial litigation lawyers from Chicago represented long-time client Sturm, Ruger, a leading firearms manufacturer, against consolidated securities class action claims filed on behalf of Sturm, Ruger shareholders.
Toys “R” Us Class Action
Edwards Wildman commercial litigation lawyers in Chicago and Los Angeles represented Toys “R” Us in federal court in California in one of the largest class actions in the nation's history under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act --one involving 9 million transactions, which could potentially lead to a $9 billion exposure.
Nalco Compensation Related Class Action Defense
Our Commercial Litigation lawyers in Chicago represented water treatment company Nalco Company and its directors in multiple class actions challenging the compensation to be paid to Nalco shareholders upon acquisition of the company by Ecolab.
Consumer Class Action Product Liability Defense
Our Product Liability litigation team successfully represented Australian-based Moose Enterprise Pty., in numerous federal actions in various states related to a consumer class action product liability case filed after a Consumer Product Safety Commission recall was initiated on the company's popular toy Aqua Dots.
Defense of Motorola Mobility Related to Google Acquisition
Edwards Wildman commercial litigators in Chicago have been retained as part of the defense team for Motorola Mobility and its directors in lawsuits filed in Illinois in 2011 challenging its acquisition by Google
KeyCorp Special Committee Representation
In 2010, our Commercial Litigation lawyers represented two Special Committees created by the Board of Directors of KeyCorp, a financial services company. In response to shareholder demands and derivative suits concerning executive compensation, two separate sets of derivative cases were resolved. MORE
National Law Journal Regulatory & Compliance Forum
November 19, 2013 event
White Collar Crimes Explored LIVE Webcast
May 2, 2013 event
6th Annual White Collar Crime and Corporate Governance Conference
April 16, 2013 event
Kellogg Executive Education: Women's Director Development Program
November 14-16, 2012 event
Navigant Legal Roundtable Is the Monday Morning Quarterback Right? Derivative Suits and Board Decisions
November 1, 2012 event
Law Bulletin's White Collar Crime and Corporate Governance Conference
April 18, 2012 event
Writing in the New York Law Journal, Michael Dockterman and Ira Greenberg Analyze Risks in Replying to a Subpoena
March 1, 2012
Investigating Aircraft Accidents: Recent Developments from Swiss, European and US Perspectives
March 6, 2013 event
Chambers USA 2014 Recognizes 35 Edwards Wildman Lawyers for Excellence
June 4, 2014
Best Lawyers Recognizes 54 Edwards Wildman Attorneys
October 16, 2013
Edwards Wildman's Michael Dockterman Analyzes Piercing the Corporate Veil in IFLR
September 12, 2013
Chambers USA 2013 Ranks 36 Edwards Wildman Lawyers in 17 Practice Areas
May 28, 2013
Edwards Wildman's Michael Dockterman Examines Why Courts are Making It Harder to Blame the Auditor for Fraud in Compliance Week
March 20, 2013
Edwards Wildman's Michael Dockterman Honored as Client Choice Awards Winner, Reports the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
March 7, 2013
Edwards Wildman's Michael Dockterman Named Top Illinois Litigator by International Law Office and Lexology
February 28, 2013
Edwards Wildman Offers Tribute to Bernard Harrold, a Firm Founder, in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
October 26, 2012
Edwards Wildman's Michael Dockterman Successfully Defends Toys R Us Against Fuhu's Attempted Injunction, Reports American Lawyer
October 24, 2012
Edwards Wildman Successfully Defeats Temporary Restraining Order Against Toys R Us, Reports Law360
October 23, 2012