David M. Friebus

Partner

Chicago
T +1.312.416.6234
F +1.312.416.6254

Overview

David Friebus litigates complex commercial matters in courts across the country. He has extensive experience serving as lead counsel in cases involving breach of contract, business torts, trade secrets, and constitutional claims. David also has significant experience representing businesses in international arbitrations and other cross-border disputes.

In addition to his trial work, David is a seasoned appellate advocate. He has authored numerous briefs and argued several cases before federal and state courts of appeal. Clients also value David’s sophisticated legal analysis and strong writing skills in shaping litigation strategy and briefing critical motions.

Previously, David served as a staff law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Select Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Caterpillar Motören GMBH v. Multiner S/A, International Chamber of Commerce. Represented German engine manufacturer in arbitration against a Latin American energy developer for breach of $90 million contract for electric power plant in Brazil. Case settled favorably following enforcement of arbitration award in Brazil.
  • IGT Global Solutions Corp. v. Washington’s Lottery, King County, Washington. Obtained permanent injunction for gaming technology company barring state agency from disclosing client’s trade secrets and other confidential information in response to public records request.
Appellate Litigation
  • National Tractor Parts, Inc. v. Caterpillar Logistics Services Inc., Illinois Appellate Court (Second District). Served as trial and appellate counsel in lawsuit brought by former supplier alleging misappropriation of trade secrets. Obtained summary judgment in favor of client. Briefed and argued appeal affirming judgment.
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Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Caterpillar Motören GMBH v. Multiner S/A, International Chamber of Commerce. Represented German engine manufacturer in arbitration against a Latin American energy developer for breach of $90 million contract for electric power plant in Brazil. Case settled favorably following enforcement of arbitration award in Brazil.
  • IGT Global Solutions Corp. v. Washington’s Lottery, King County, Washington. Obtained permanent injunction for gaming technology company barring state agency from disclosing client’s trade secrets and other confidential information in response to public records request.
  • AccuTech Castings Inc. v. Electro-Motive Diesel Inc., Cook County, Illinois. Defended Caterpillar subsidiary in lawsuit brought by a former supplier alleging breach of a requirements contract. Case settled favorably as a result of litigation strategy that revealed supplier’s misconduct.
  • Robinson Steel Inc. v. Caterpillar Inc., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Defended client in breach of contract action brought by a former steel supplier. Case settled favorably following briefing on summary judgment.
  • Rodolatina Logistica S/A v. Caterpillar Inc., et al. Represent client in disputes venued in Brazil arising out of a global joint venture to distribute commercial trucks.
  • Miller UK v. Caterpillar Inc., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Defended client in post-trial proceedings following two-month jury trial of trade secret claim.
  • TorqTek Design & Manufacturing LLC v. Caterpillar Inc., Charleston County, South Carolina. Represent client in lawsuit brought by a former supplier alleging breach of a requirements contract.
  • vMedex v. Transaction Data Systems Inc., U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Represent pharmacy software services provider in lawsuit alleging breach of an asset purchase agreement.
Appellate Litigation
  • National Tractor Parts, Inc. v. Caterpillar Logistics Services Inc., Illinois Appellate Court (Second District). Served as trial and appellate counsel in lawsuit brought by former supplier alleging misappropriation of trade secrets. Obtained summary judgment in favor of client. Briefed and argued appeal affirming judgment.
  • Proskauer Rose LLP, et al. v. Edelson, NY Supreme Court (Appellate Division). Served as trial and appellate counsel for general counsel of a New York-based global shipping company accused by the company’s former law firm of fraud in connection with $1 billion credit agreements. Case dismissed with prejudice.
  • Gogo LLC v. AirTran Airways, Inc., Illinois Appellate Court (First District). Served as trial and appellate counsel for commercial airline in breach of contract action brought by an inflight internet service provider. Authored a brief successfully opposing interlocutory review by the Illinois Appellate Court of certified question regarding novel application of the Airline Deregulation Act.
  • In re Advocate Health Care. Served as trial and appellate counsel for Illinois’s largest healthcare provider in federal and state court class actions arising out of a data breach involving four million potentially affected patients. Authored a brief successfully opposing review by the Illinois Supreme Court of dismissal of lawsuits.
  • Pavey v. Conley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (pro bono). Briefed and argued an interlocutory appeal involving an issue of first impression regarding the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
Constitutional Litigation
  • RainSoft v. MacFarland, U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Represented manufacturing client in Internet defamation lawsuit.
  • Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Represented State of Illinois in litigation challenging political patronage in government hiring practices. Authored a brief successfully opposing the appointment of a federal monitor for the State of Illinois.
  • Harris v. Quinn, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Lead counsel in the trial court for the State of Illinois in a constitutional challenge to fair share fees for public unions. Case dismissed; affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; reversed by the Supreme Court.

Recognitions and Memberships

Memberships

  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association
  • American Bar Association: Litigation Section
  • International Bar Association

Pro Bono

  • Represented an indigent litigant in two lawsuits involving the denial of medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Case settled favorably.
  • Represented an indigent litigant on appeal of adverse summary judgment ruling on a claim of excessive force in connection with arrest. Judgment reversed and case remanded for trial. Miller v. Gonzalez, 761 F.3d 822 (7th Cir. 2014).
  • Represented an indigent criminal litigant on appeal of sentence for credit card fraud. United States v. Mei, 315 F.3d 788 (7th Cir. 2003).

Prior Positions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: Staff Law Clerk (2003 to 2005)

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2018
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar, 2007
  • Illinois, 2005
  • Wisconsin, 2003

Education

  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 2003, cum laude; Articles Editor, Wisconsin Law Review
  • B.A., St. John’s College, 1995