Chairman: Michael L O’Donnell
Co-Managing Partner: Carolyn J Fairless, Michael T. Williams
Number of partners: 39
Number of lawyers: 110
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell lawyers have taken more than 1,300 trials, arbitrations, and appeals to verdict, award, or opinion all across the nation, with exceptional results for our clients. Established in 1998, WTO currently numbers 110 lawyers. The firm represents sophisticated clients in high-stakes civil trials, appeals, and related litigation ranging from complex commercial to class actions to multidistrict litigation.
Main Areas of Practice:
-Antitrust & Competition
-Franchise & Distribution
-Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals
-Oil & Gas
-Personal Injury Defense
Antitrust: Beltran et al. v. Noonan et al. (Ongoing):
As lead trial counsel to three defendants (among a group of 15) in a federal $2.1 billion class action, WTO negotiated a favorable settlement one month before trial in this betthe- industry litigation. Plaintiffs brought the case in 2015, alleging collusion to keep au pair wages artificially low. The case has received significant national attention, including in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Final settlement agreement is pending court approval.
Resolved multiple remaining class actions to end 10 years of copycat litigation against Whirlpool involving selfcleaning ovens. WTO achieved nuisance-value, non-class settlements by excluding an opposing expert and defeating class certification in one matter and leveraging those results across the portfolio.
Successfully represented a publicly traded apartment REIT in nationwide litigation alleging intentional torts against a leading short-term rental company. Defendants settled all litigation on the eve of the first trial on terms allowing WTO’s client to control short-term rental activity consistent with its contract and property rights.
FCA v. Spitzer Autoworld Akron (6th Cir. 2018): Following eight years of litigation dating back to the Chrysler bankruptcy in 2010, WTO won a significant victory for FCA in the Sixth Circuit. The court adopted WTO’s argument in full that existing Ohio laws governing the establishment of automobile dealers are not preempted by Section 747 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress in 2010. WTO also defended Chrysler in the underlying arbitration and a related case in the Sixth Circuit.
In re Gadolinium-Based Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2868 (J.P.M.L. 2018)
As lead national trial counsel to GE Healthcare, WTO defeated plaintiffs’ attempt before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to create an MDL involving gadolinium-based contrast agents.