Education & Honors

Northwestern University School of Law, 2001, J.D., cum laude

Order of the Coif

Associate Editor, Northwestern University Law Review

Arlyn Miner Book Award

Amherst College, 1994, B.A., cum laude

Bar admissions

Illinois 

Professional activities and community service

Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law, High Tech Trial Techniques

Chicago Run, Board Member

Common Ground Foundation, Board Member (2014-16)

Brian C. Swanson

Chicago Office
Courthouse Place
54 West Hubbard Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60654
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Professional Practice

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, 2001-Present, Partner (since 2007)

Litigation and trial experience in complex commercial cases involving breach of contract, patent infringement, trade secrets, mass tort, and consumer class action.

Cases tried or otherwise taken to judgment

Gillette v. ShaveLogic (Mass. State Court)
Trial counsel for ShaveLogic and individually-named defendants, who were accused of misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information from Gillette.  ShaveLogic filed counterclaims for tortious interference, asserting that Gillette brought its claims not to protect any proprietary interests, but to interfere with ShaveLogic’s business relationships.  Court granted ShaveLogic’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing all of Gillette’s claims with prejudice, and denied Gillette’s motion for summary judgment on ShaveLogic’s counterclaims.

Read the WSJ article here.

Read the Law360 article here.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Texas Roadhouse (D. Mass.)
Trial counsel for landmark pattern or practice age discrimination claim brought by EEOC against national restaurant chain. After three-week jury trial in January 2017, case ended in a mistrial because jury was deadlocked after deliberating for one week. Law360 coverage here. Case settled very favorably before retrial.

Clark Material Handling Co. v. Toyota Material Handling USA, Inc. (W.D.N.C.)
Lead trial counsel for plaintiff Clark Material Handling in tortious interference case relating to forklift distributorship.  Following two week jury trial, jury returned a verdict in client’s favor.  District Court awarded treble damages and attorneys’ fees, resulting in an award in excess of $10 million.  Case settled while appeal was pending.

The FairPoint Communications, Inc. Litigation Trust v. Verizon Communications, Inc. (W.D.N.C.)
Trial counsel for Verizon in $2 billion fraudulent conveyance action brought by a litigation trust.  Case settled following two-week bench trial.

Erricos v. Stryker Corp. (S.D.N.Y. and Kalamazoo County, MI)
Counsel for Stryker in breach of contract action stemming from Stryker's acquisition of SpineCore, Inc., a developer of artificial spinal discs. Plaintiffs alleged approximately $250 million in damages.  Won summary judgment in client’s favor, after which case settled favorably.

Agrigenetics, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International (S.D. Ind.)
Trial counsel for Pioneer in breach of contract action relating to Pioneer’s distribution of seed containing the Herculex® trait.  Case settled during trial.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Bayer, et al. (N.D. Cal.)
Trial counsel for Bayer entities in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty suit in the Northern District of California. Onyx claimed entitlement to profits from regorafenib, Bayer's newest potential anti-cancer drug.  Case settled in second week of jury trial.

Friel v. Federal Signal (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
Trial counsel for Federal Signal in case brought by firefighters who alleged that they had suffered noise-induced hearing loss from exposure to sirens.  Obtained jury verdict in favor of Federal Signal.

Honeywell International, Inc. v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation (D. Del.)
Trial counsel for United Technologies’ Hamilton Sundstrand division in patent infringement matter involving patents on methods for controlling surge in auxiliary power units used on large commercial airplanes.  Bartlit Beck hired to try case relating to Festo issue after case remanded to trial court.  Won complete defense judgment and reversal of prior $46.5 million jury verdict.  Affirmed by Federal Circuit and cert. denied by U.S. Supreme Court.  Read more: Honeywell $46.58 Million Jury Verdict Overturned

Grays Harbor Adventist Church v. Carrier Corp. (and related cases) (W.D. Wash., W.D. Wisc., E.D. Mich.)
Represented Carrier Corporation in series of consumer fraud class actions alleging design defect in high-efficiency condensing furnaces.  Obtained summary judgment and denial of class certification in favor of Carrier Corp. in Wisconsin.  Cases settled following ruling.

Honeywell International, Inc. v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation (D. Del.)
Counsel in successful defense of United Technologies’ Hamilton Sundstrand division in a patent infringement trial.  Honeywell alleged that Hamilton Sundstrand infringed a patent relating to the starting of an Auxiliary Power Unit for an airplane.  Honeywell sought $135 million in damages (including interest and treble damages).  Jury verdict in client’s favor, finding that Hamilton Sundstrand did not infringe Honeywell’s patent and that the patent was invalid.

CytoLogix v. Ventana Medical Systems (D. Mass.)
Counsel for Ventana Medical Systems in case asserting patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims relating to technology for automating “slide staining” procedures used in pathology laboratories for the diagnosis of disease.  Jury verdict for Ventana on trade secret claims, and for CytoLogix on patent claims.

Other representative cases

IGT v. Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. (D. Nev.)
Lead trial counsel for IGT (with my partner Adam Mortara) in 32-patent litigation relating to Aristocrat’s infringement of IGT’s patents on gaming inventions.  Case settled.

Monsanto v. DuPont Pioneer (E.D. Mo.) 
Trial counsel for DuPont Pioneer in patent infringement case relating to seed sampling technology.  Case settled.

Ironworkers District Council of Philadelphia v. Andreotti et al. (Del. Ch.) 
Represent current and former DuPont and Pioneer officers and employees in shareholder derivative action.  Won motion to dismiss in the Chancery Court, which was affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court.

Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. SunGard (N.D. Ill. 2013-present)
Trial counsel for SunGard in patent infringement actions involving patents relating to electronic trading systems.  Cases pending.

Hill-Rom Services, Inc., et al. v. Stryker Corp. and Stryker Sales Corp. (W.D. Wisc.)
Represent Stryker in patent infringement suit over technology relating to networks used on hospital beds.

Pioneer Hi-Bred v. Monsanto (S.D. Iowa)
Lead trial counsel (along with my partner Adam Mortara) for Pioneer in patent infringement suit, and related inter partes review proceedings, against Monsanto relating to corn seed production techniques. Case settled.

Swift Transportation Co. v. Ernst & Young (Ariz. State Court)
Represented Ernst & Young in accounting malpractice action stemming from merger between Swift Transportation Company and M.S. Carriers, Inc.

Seroquel® Litigation
Represented defendant AstraZeneca in various cases alleging personal injuries by users of Seroquel®. Involved in state court cases in Missouri and Delaware.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International v. DeKalb Genetics Corp. (S.D. Iowa)
Pioneer Hi-Bred International v. Asgrow Seed Company (S.D. Iowa)
Pioneer Hi-Bred International v. Holden’s Foundation Seeds, Inc. (S.D. Iowa)
Pioneer Hi-Bred International v. Syngenta Seeds, Inc. (S.D. Iowa)
Advanta U.S.A., Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International (W.D. Wisc.)
Represented Pioneer Hi-Bred International in a series of lawsuits to protect Pioneer proprietary rights in its seed genetics. 

Vioxx® Litigation
Represented Merck in mass tort litigation resulting from withdrawal of Vioxx®.  Involved in state court cases in Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International v. Agrigenetics et al. (S.D. Iowa)
Represented Pioneer Hi-Bred International in a contract action against Agrigenetics relating to a collaboration between the parties to develop Bt corn and other Bt products.  Case settled on favorable terms. 

Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation v. Honeywell International, Inc. (D. Ariz.)
Represented United Technologies’ Hamilton Sundstrand division in patent infringement matters involving patents on methods for starting and controlling surge in auxiliary power units used on large commercial airplanes.  Case settled.

Elbex v. Tyco International (D. N.J.)
Represented Tyco in patent infringement and tortious interference case.  The parties settled the patent claim.  The Court dismissed the tortious interference claims against Tyco.

Schwartz v. QUALCOMM  (Colo. state court)
Represented QUALCOMM in action brought by 87 former employees alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with unvested stock options.  Obtained dismissal or summary judgment as to 81 plaintiffs.  Remaining plaintiffs settled before or during trial.

University of Chicago v. Chou (N.D. Ill.)
Represented University of Chicago in suit claiming that a researcher was wrongfully denied credit as co-inventor of herpes vaccine.  Case settled.

3Com Corp. v Cambia Networks (Ill. state court)
Represented 3Com against Cambia Networks in trade secrets misappropriation and breach of contract case involving wireless technology.  Case settled.

Big Wins