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Giel Stein



130 E. Randolph St.
Suite 3900
Chicago, IL 60601
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Fax: 312.985.5979
J.D., Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2001
Ph.D., Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 2000
M.A., The University of Chicago, 1995
B.A., The University of Chicago, 1994
State Bar Licenses
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit

Giel Stein


Giel Stein is a Member in the Litigation Practice Group of Clark Hill’s Chicago office.  Giel is a trial lawyer.  As a former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney he has tried cases before federal district courts, federal administrative bodies (the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Operations), federal panel arbitrators, and in state courts. Giel has also argued matters in state and federal appellate courts. He has a track record of successfully leading internal investigations and securing favorable outcomes in complex private and public sector matters.  Giel has excellent legal writing, oral advocacy, and consensus building skills complemented by credentialed mediation abilities, honed as a mediator for the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Center for Conflict Resolution, and the Federal Executive Board.  These have earned Giel various court-appointed litigation responsibilities and the confidence of numerous general counsel, attorney colleagues, and senior executives.

Before he joined Clark Hill, Giel served for seven years as Senior Counsel and Special Assistant United States Attorney with the Social Security Administration.  During his time in the public sector, Giel provided a full range of litigation, client advice, and alternative dispute resolution services that saved the government millions of dollars.  He successfully represented the government in a class action aimed at its headquarters operations and defended the Administration’s General Counsel in another unique matter, among others.  Giel’s skill secured the trust of different U.S. Attorney’s offices and the Department of Justice, resulting in his appointment to first-chair roles in jury trials and appeals.  Giel worked regularly with various government agencies as he guided them through internal investigations and all aspects of pre-trial strategy development, discovery, motion practice, witness preparation, trial, and settlement negotiations.

Giel spent the first eight years of his career as a Litigation Associate at Winston & Strawn LLP.  While in private practice, Giel represented a wide range of corporate clients and their executives in matters involving white-collar crime, trade secrets, product liability, and insurance.  He also defended indigent persons’ civil rights by court appointment, conducted corporate internal investigations, and tried cases before state and federal courts.

Giel holds an Illinois Supreme Court appointment to the Hearing Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.  Giel is an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern Law School, where he teaches Trial Advocacy and Civil Discovery, and the University of Illinois, where he teaches Advanced Trial Advocacy and Professional Responsibility.  Giel also teaches Deposition Skills at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Giel has received an "AV Preeminent" Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for skill and professionalism as reported by other lawyers.

Notable Representations

  • Headed the trial team and oversaw the internal investigation of the allegations, all aspects of discovery, the most senior government executives’ roles in the case, and the competing experts’ statistical analyses of the accused practices during successful defense of the government in a $6.3 million class action before the EEOC concerning unlawful promotion and awards practices.
  • Successfully defended the government as first chair in a multi-witness district court jury trial seeking $700,000 for alleged unlawful behavior by high level regional executives of the Administration’s Office of General Counsel. 
  • Formulated the government’s arguments and worked closely with the Department of Justice Civil Appeals Division as lead counsel in two appeals before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that challenged the propriety of a directed verdict and a later dismissal for want of damages arising from a successful jury trial of the government’s $700,000 liability for alleged unlawful behavior by high level regional executives of the Administration’s Office of General Counsel. 
  • Negotiated as first chair an eve of trial $50,000 settlement of the government’s $600,000 liability by reconciling the divergent interests of two government agencies before impressing on plaintiff how the government’s looming jury trial presentation will defeat his allegations that a senior executive engaged in unlawful behavior. 
  • Directed a team of special agents and lawyers in an investigation of widespread (multi-agency) misconduct by the Special Agent in Charge of an Office of Inspector General and secured the offender’s removal from service as first chair in a trial before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
  • Obtained eve of trial dismissal of an $887,600 claim against the government in district court litigation slated for a jury trial of allegations that two senior executives engaged in abuse of power and other unlawful behaviors that caused their removal from their leadership positions.
  • Performed all parts of a multi-witness district court jury trial as court-appointed first chair in a federal civil rights trial of a prisoner’s allegations of corrupt practices and abuse of power by a warden and other detention facility officials, resulting in receipt of the Northern District of Illinois Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award.
  • Cross examined and directed the testimony of several witnesses, including that of a nationally renowned mental health expert, and gave closing argument as first chair in a state court pro bono jury trial team’s representation of a plaintiff’s challenge to his involuntary confinement based on faulty medical diagnoses and due process violations.
  • Co-lead defense counsel in a $1.2 million enforcement action by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services against a nursing home whose residents committed a murder; handled all aspects of the extensive pre-trial internal investigation, discovery, witness preparation, and trial exams, as well as two related appeals to the Seventh Circuit concerning novel challenges to the government’s authority under the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • Conducted the three month-long internal investigation of a Fortune 500 company’s CEO to determine if cause existed to terminate his employment for mismanagement of product lines and breach of fiduciary duties; presented the investigation’s findings to the board of directors and helped it leverage the results to secure the CEO’s resignation.
  • Coordinated a seven month-long discovery investigation of the nation’s largest cellular provider to establish what damages it suffered from a competitor’s theft and misuse of prototype pre-market technology; interviewed and briefed senior client executives and engineering experts and managed all aspects of a massive data collection drive using an outside document management firm.
  • Directed a team of attorneys in a nation-wide internal investigation of the country’s fourth largest insurance provider to ascertain its multi-million dollar liability for collusion to stifle competition through contingent commission practices; recommended and implemented changes in company-wide revenue generation practices and participated in structuring a unique settlement that terminated numerous state prosecutions and protected the client’s future operations.
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award
Winston & Strawn LLP Pro Bono Service Award
Northwestern Law School Law Review Associate Editor
National Institute of Justice Fellowship
American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award
American Jurisprudence Award for Legal Writing
Illinois State Bar
Chicago Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
U.S. District Court, Northern District of IL, Trial Bar
Practice Areas