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Adam J. Levitt

Adam operates one of the nation’s leading commercial litigation and product liability practices, having achieved billions in recoveries for his clients.

Contact Information

One of the nation’s leading advocates for plaintiffs in complex multidistrict litigation, commercial litigation, public client litigation, and class action litigation, Adam Levitt has delivered nearly $20 billion in recoveries to individual, business, and public clients in such areas as consumer protection, automotive defects, agricultural products, antitrust issues, and securities litigation.

Adam‘s reputation for successfully challenging corporate behemoths has led to his appointment by State Attorneys General and other public clients in such cases as the largest ongoing environmental contamination case of our time, and the historic litigation arising from Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, where he helped to secure a $16 billion settlement that benefitted car buyers around the world.

Adam has also served as co-lead counsel in three of the largest biotechnology class actions in history: he has secured $1.1 billion in settlements resulting from contamination of the U.S. rice supply with genetically modified seeds; helped to obtain a $550 million settlement on behalf of landowners and landscapers in a class action involving tree and other foliage death and harm caused by an herbicide; and recovered $110 million for farmers who sustained market losses on corn crops from contamination of the U.S. corn supply with genetically modified corn. In addition to securing significant financial relief to his clients, Adam’s work has changed how biotechnology class action cases are litigated in the United States: he is the co-creator of the first model to measure crop contamination damages on a class-wide basis, an approach that is now considered the industry standard and has been employed in every similar case since then

An elected member of the American Law Institute and the Economic Club of Chicago, Adam considers the formation of DiCello Levitt Gutzler in 2017 a vital chapter in his 30+ year career. He and his partners share a foundation of trust, a vision, and a commitment to holding large companies accountable for injuries caused by their products and practices to current and future generations.

Notable Representations

Adam serves as lead or co-lead counsel in:

  • In re Wells Fargo ERISA 401(k) Litigation (D. Minn.)
  • Johnson, et al. v. Ford Motor Co. (Ford Sudden Acceleration) (S.D. W.Va.)
  • In re Navistar Maxxforce Engines, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (N.D. Ill.)
  • In re MyFord Touch Consumer Litigation (N.D. Cal.)
  • In re Porsche Cars North America Inc. Plastic Coolant Tubes Products Liability Litigation (S.D. Ohio)
  • In re Dial Complete Marketing and Sales Litigation (D. N.H.)
  • In re Wesson Oil Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation (C.D. Cal.)
  • Philips v. Ford Motor Co. (Ford EPAS) (N.D. Cal.)
  • In re Imprelis Herbicide, Sales Practice and Products Liability Litigation (E.D. Penn.)
  • In re Genetically Modified Rice Litigation (E.D. Mis.)

He is also a leadership committee member in:

  • In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation (N.D. Cal.) (Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee member)
  • In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation (S.D. N.Y.) (Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee member)
  • In re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Litigation (D. Minn.) (Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee Chair)

Honors

  • 500 Leading Lawyers in the U.S., Lawdragon
  • Burton Award, Finest Law Firm Writer (2017)
  • Litigator of the Week, American Lawyer (2011)
  • Illinois Super Lawyer (2012-present)
  • “AV” rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • 40 Lawyers Under 40, Chicago Lawyer (2000)

Writings and Presentations

Law review articles

  • “The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Price Overhang Damages in Commodity Crop Cases,” 51 Val. U. L. Rev. – (2017) (co-authored with Russell L. Lamb)
  • “Agricultural ‘Market Touching’: Modernizing Trespass to Chattels in Crop Contamination Cases,” 38 U. Haw. L. Rev. 409 (2016) (co-authored with Nicole Negowetti)
  • “CAFA and Federalized Ambiguity: The Case for Discretion in the Unpredictable Class Action,” 120 Yale Law Journal Online 231 (2011)

Other writings

  • “Murky Waters”, TRIAL (May 2020)
  • “A Broken Net: When Consumer Goods Get Hacked”, TRIAL (December 2018)
  • “Curing the Ascertainability Fallacy – The Ninth Circuit Strikes Back,” AAJ Class Action Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2017
  • “March of the Machines – Robotic Vehicles and the Changing Landscape of Motor Vehicle Liability,” TRIAL, Vol. 53, No. 2 (2017)
  • “The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal: What’s Next?,” TRIAL, Vol. 52, No. 2 (2016)
  • “Avoiding the Substantiation Trap in Health Benefit Product Claims,” AAJ Class Action Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2016
  • “Volkswagen Scandal is Perfect Fit for a Damages Class Action,” Portfolio Media (Law360), September 2015
  • “The Ascertainability Fallacy and Its Consequences,” AAJ Class Action Litigation Newsletter, Spring 2015
  • “Fees Obliterate Managed Futures Fund Profits”, Financial Advisor (2014)
  • “Supreme Court to Revisit the Fraud on the Market Presumption of Reliance in Securities Fraud Cases,” AAJ Class Action Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2014
  • “Calculating Damages in Securities Class Actions,” TRIAL, Vol. 49, No. 6. (2013)
  • “The Role and Function of Corporate Representatives at Trial,” The Trial Lawyer, Vol. II, No. IV (2013)
  • “Multidistrict Litigation Practice: The Function and Shifting Focus of the JPML in Class Action and Other ‘Bet the Company’ Litigation,” chapter from Straight from the Top: Case Studies in the World of Litigation (2012)
  • “Sticky Situations in Mass Tort Settlements,” TRIAL, Vol. 48, No. 11 (2012)
  • “Taming the Metadata Beast,” New York Law Journal, May 16, 2008
  • “The Big Business Wish List: Proposed Illinois Supreme Court Rule 225 and the Demolition of Consumer Rights,” The Class Act, 2005
  • “Foreign Investors Serving as Lead Plaintiffs in U.S.-Based Securities Cases,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America (2005)
  • “Proposed Rule 225: A Death Warrant for Class Actions in Illinois,” 93 Illinois Bar Journal 202 (2005)
  • “An Illinois Lawyer’s Guide to Service of Process in Mexico,” 82 Illinois Bar Journal 434 (1994)
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Memberships

  • American Law Institute, elected member
  • Economic Club of Chicago, elected member
  • American Association for Justice, Leaders Forum
  • American Association for Justice, Publications and Legal Affairs Committees
  • American Constitution Society, Board of Advisors, Chicago Chapter
  • Class Action Trial Lawyers, President
  • Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies, Advisory Council
  • Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Advisory Board
  • National Trial Lawyers, Executive Committee

Practice Areas

  • Antitrust Litigation
  • Appellate Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Product Liability Litigation
  • Public Client Litigation
  • Securities and Financial Services Litigation

Education

  • Northwestern University Law School, J.D.
  • Columbia College, Columbia University, A.B., magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
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Mark A. DiCello

Partner  

Greg G. Gutzler

Partner