Giel SteinGiel Stein Clark Hill
Giel Stein is a Member of 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.
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. 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 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. He also serves on the Chicago Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee and the Seventh Circuit Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 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.
In recognition of his legal work, Giel has received numerous government awards, three United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Excellence in Pro Bono Service Awards, the Winston & Strawn LLP Pro Bono Service Award, a National Institute of Justice Fellowship, the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award, and the American Jurisprudence Award for Legal Writing. Giel holds an "AV Preeminent" Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating for skill and professionalism as reported by other lawyers. He has also been recognized by Leading Lawyers as one of the top five percent of all lawyers licensed to practice in Illinois.
- Directed litigation that forced the complete revision of a dragging shareholder agreement that threatened to eliminate a global private equity firm client’s multi-million-dollar position in a gaming company using a complex transaction that would dilute its shares, ignore its pari passu rights, and eventually oust its executives from the board of directors.
- Served as national steering counsel responsible for coordinating multiple criminal and civil litigations in defense of a publically traded pharmaceutical company founder’s indictment for conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and to commit Honest Services fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, centered on an alleged RICO conspiracy to promote improper prescriptions and insurance reimbursements of a breakthrough cancer pain medication.
- 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.
- Obtained a rare $175,000 verdict as court-appointed first-chair counsel in district court jury trial of a former prisoner’s complaint against a senior Physician Assistant for medical malpractice and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
- Served as first-chair in a multi-witness district court bench trial and settlement process arising from a failed relationship between an inventor and a global chemical company; involving allegations of fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and contested ownership of a patented $1B per year process that slows fruit ripening.
- Coordinated a seven-month internal investigation of the nation’s largest cellular provider to establish its damages 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.
- Headed the trial team and oversaw the internal investigation of the most senior executives’ roles during a successful defense of a government agency in a $6.3 million class action before the EEOC alleging race and gender discrimination in promotion practices.
- 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.
- Successfully defended a government agency as first chair in a multi-witness district court jury trial seeking $700,000 for alleged harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and Privacy Act violations by the two highest regional executives of the agency’s Office of General Counsel.
- Formulated the government’s arguments and worked closely with the DOJ Civil Appeals Division as lead counsel in appeal before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that challenged the propriety of a directed verdict secured during a jury trial of a government agency’s $700,000 liability for alleged harassment, discrimination, and retaliation by the two highest regional executives of the agency’s Office of General Counsel.
- Negotiated as first chair an eve of trial $50,000 settlement of a government agency’s $600,000 liability by reconciling the divergent interests of the agency and the U.S. Attorney’s office before impressing on plaintiff how the agency’s looming jury trial presentation will defeat his allegations that a senior executive failed to accommodate his disabilities and fired him due to discrimination.
- Directed a team of special agents and lawyers in an investigation of widespread (multi-agency) misconduct by the Special Agent in Charge of the agency’s Office of Inspector General and secured a removal order as first chair in a trial before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
- Obtained eve of trial dismissal of an $887,600 claim against a government agency in district court litigation slated for a jury trial of allegations that two senior executives created a hostile work environment that caused their removal from their leadership positions.
- 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.
- 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 two related appeals concerning novel challenges to the government’s authority under the Administrative Procedure Act.