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Giel Stein

fax +1 312.985.5979

Giel Stein is a trial lawyer who represents his clients before federal and district courts, federal administrative bodies, federal panel arbitrators, and in state courts in addition to appellate courts.

Giel has a track record of successfully leading internal investigations and securing favorable outcomes in complex private and public sector matters. Clients call upon Giel for his excellent legal writing, oral advocacy, and consensus-building skills complemented by his credentialed mediation abilities, honed as a mediator for the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Center for Conflict Resolution, and the Federal Executive Board.

Working in the public sector for seven years prior to joining Clark Hill, Giel was Senior Counsel and Special Assistant United States Attorney with the Social Security Administration providing 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. He also has experience with cases before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Office of Federal Operations.


J.D., Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2001
Ph.D., Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 2000
M.A., The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1995
B.A., The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1994


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

“AV Preeminent” Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Named a Leading Lawyer in Chicago by Leading Lawyers℠ (2017-2024)


Federal Bar Association

Illinois State Bar

Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee

U.S. District Court, Northern District of IL, Trial Bar

Illinois Supreme Court Appointment, Hearing Board of The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission

Seventh Circuit Bar Association, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Northwestern Law School, Adjunct Faculty Member (Trial Advocacy and Civil Discovery)

University of Illinois, Adjunct Faculty Member (Advanced Trial Advocacy and Professional Responsibility)

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan
  • 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.