Rebecca Weinstein Bacon
Rebecca Weinstein Bacon is a trial lawyer in our Chicago office. She has a broad practice with a focus on pharmaceutical products liability, antitrust, consumer class actions, and commercial disputes for Fortune 50 companies. Rebecca tried one of the only consumer class action cases to go to trial, which resulted in a defense verdict for Whirlpool. Rebecca excels at identifying, assessing and implementing legal strategy in line with her clients' core business objectives. She regularly facilitates teams of lawyers in different firms to work together on complex cases. Rebecca's skills and experience enable her to try cases but she has the business sophistication to know when and how to obtain settlement. Rebecca's clients include Bayer and DuPont, for whom she is a relationship manager.
Rebecca's recent representations include the WeightSmart litigation for Bayer, where she led a team that defeated class certification at the district court for all but one state in which certification was sought, she obtained appellate review of the one certified state class, and argued before the Third Circuit. The Third Circuit reversed the class certification decision and remanded to the district court. The plaintiffs petitioned rehearing en banc, but in a 9-4 opinion, the Third Circuit denied the request for rehearing. She also handled a commercial dispute for DuPont that resulted in a recovery for DuPont worth tens of millions of dollars. Rebecca has represented pharmaceutical companies in their most important mass torts, where she has played a variety of key roles including serving on trial teams for bellwether cases.
Rebecca teaches and speaks on trial skills, high tech trial techniques, social media issues and electronic discovery; her views on the use of alternative fees in high-stakes litigation have been featured in the ABA journal.
Rebecca, who is a graduate of Columbia University Law School where she was a Kent and Stone Scholar, joined our firm in 1999.
In re: Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation (U.S. District Court, N.D. Ohio) Trial counsel, along with Phil Beck and Eric Olson, in bellwether consumer class action trial of plaintiffs’ claims of design defect and breach of implied warranty. After three and a half week jury trial, jury deliberated less than two hours before returning complete defense verdict.
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In re Drywall MDL (E.D. Pa.)
Rebecca leads a team defending a drywall manufacturer against Sherman Act price fixing claims related to its drywall business. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by conspiring to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize prices for gypsum drywall. This multidistrict litigation matter was consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Chicago Loop Parking vs. The City of Chicago (2012)
Rebecca headed the defense of a $200 million breach of contract claim brought by a Morgan Stanley entity related to its lease of the City’s downtown parking garages. While liability was conceded prior to trial, Rebecca tried the case to three arbitrators and succeeded in reducing damages from more than $200 million sought to $58 million. This case is currently being appealed in state court. The case involved complex causation and damages issues.
In re: Trasylol Litigation
National counsel for Bayer in products liability cases in state and federal court involving Trasylol, a drug used during coronary bypass surgery. Rebecca took and defended key depositions, including expert depositions that led to their Daubert exclusion.
National counsel for Bayer in consumer fraud class action lawsuits relating to OneADay® vitamins. Successfully defeated nationwide class certification motion under New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The District Court later certified a Florida-only class. The Third Circuit took the 23(f) appeal and reversed and remanded the District Court based on Bayer’s argument that the class was not ascertainable. The plaintiffs petitioned rehearing en banc, but in a 9-4 opinion, the Third Circuit denied the request for rehearing.
In re Teflon® Product Liability Litigation
National counsel for DuPont in more than 20 class action lawsuits related to Teflon®-coated cookware. Successfully defeated class certification motion. Court denied plaintiffs leave for appeal. Cases voluntarily dismissed with prejudice.
National counsel for Bayer in products liability litigation related to the anti-cholesterol drug Baycol®. Cases pending throughout the country were consolidated in federal court in Minnesota.
Haltom v. Bayer Corp.
Trial counsel for Bayer in products liability case involving Baycol. Plaintiff sought $560 million in actual and punitive damages. After a one-month jury trial in state court in Corpus Christi, Texas, the jury returned a verdict for Bayer on all issues.
DuPont v. Cardinal Healthcare 200, Inc.
Represented DuPont in breach of contract and promissory estoppel case relating to DuPont’s business that makes fabric for surgical drapes and gowns. Case settled favorably just before trial.
Hoover v. BISSELL Inc.
Represented BISSELL Inc. in patent infringement and trade dress suit brought by Hoover involving a nozzle configuration for vacuums. Case settled favorably.
B.J. Services v. Halliburton Energy Services
Represented Halliburton in patent infringement case related to methods for fracturing subterranean formations to stimulate oil and gas recovery. Hired to try case ninety days before trial. After month-long jury trial, jury found for B.J. Services and awarded less than 25% of damages sought.
Guidant Corp. v. Boston Scientific Corp.
Represented Guidant in contract dispute involving drug-eluting coronary stent technology.
Residential Funding Corp. (GMAC) v. DeGeorge Financial Corp.
Represented Residential Funding in jury trial in lender liability case involving an agreement to purchase home construction loans. Jury returned a verdict for Residential Funding on all issues and awarded Residential Funding $96 million in damages. Case listed as one of the Top Plaintiffs’ Verdicts for 2001 by The National Law Journal.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., et al. v. Scour, Inc.
Defended Scour against copyright infringement suit brought by members of The Recording Industry of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Music Publishers Association.
Precor, Inc. v. Life Fitness
Represented Brunswick Corp. subsidiary in jury trial relating to exercise treadmill patent and unfair competition dispute. Jury verdict for Precor. Federal Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part.
BISSELL v. Oreck
Represented BISSELL in multiple patent and trade dress infringement and unfair competition actions. Cases settled favorably.
Hubbell Steel v. Dun & Bradstreet; Gibraltar Steel v. Dun & Bradstreet
Represented Dun & Bradstreet in actions for tort and breach of contract relating to Dun & Bradstreet’s reporting services. Case settled favorably.
University of Chicago v. Chou
Defended University of Chicago in suit claiming that a researcher was wrongfully denied credit as co-inventor of herpes vaccine. Case dismissed by federal district court in Chicago. Briefed and argued appeal to Federal Circuit. Case reversed in part and remanded in part. Case settled favorably.
Speaking Engagements, Presentations and Publications
Client Expectations and How To Assess Value – IADC/FDCC Joint Law Firm Management Conference (Chicago, IL May 2013)
Spinning a Yarn: Trial Theme, Selection, and Persuasion in Jury Trials. - - DRI Products Liability Conference (National Harbor, MD April 2013)
Showdown: Products Masters Demonstrate Their Closing Styles (Jury Consultant and Mock Jurors Evaluated Ms. Bacon and two other attorneys perform closing arguments) - DRI Products Liability Conference (National Harbor, MD April 2013)
Analyzing Products Liability Trends Outside the U.S. – Coordinating Litigation Efforts Across International Jurisdictions - 17th Annual DRI Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference (December 2012)
Class Certification Trends and Motions to Dismiss Class Allegations - Second Annual LSI Conference on Litigating Class Actions (Chicago, IL, December 2012)
International Discovery: Understanding and Dealing with Foreign Discovery Requirements - ALI ABA Webinar (November 2012)
Tech Savvy Jurors in a High Tech World: Strategies for Addressing Juror Misconduct - 20th Annual IADC Meeting, Asheville, NC (July 2012)
How the Explosion of Social Media, Cloud Computing and New Forms of DTC Marketing are Changing the Products Liability Playing Field - 15th Anniversary Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference (December 2011)
Featured in “Facing The Alternative: How Does A Flat Fee System Really Work?” in the ABA Journal (March 1, 2011)
Social Media: The Impact on Pharma – upcoming Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference of the American Conference Institute (New York, NY December 2010)
Handling Trial Themes in Difficult Cases – Women in Products Liability Conference (Chicago, IL 2009)
Disappearing Act: When a dot-com fails, creditors may find they have few legal protections if insiders try to loot the company's virtual assets, The Daily Deal, June 6, 2000 (with J.B. Heaton, Ph.D.)
Personal Jurisdiction and the Internet, New York Law Journal, July 20, 1998 (with Dale M. Cendali)
Business on the Web: Personal Jurisdiction and the Internet, The Multimedia and Web Strategist, July and August, 1998 (with Dale M. Cendali)