Paula J. Morency
A highly experienced litigator, Paula Morency has tried complex, high-stakes commercial cases successfully before juries, judges and arbitrators across the country. She has also resolved hundreds of complicated claims in mediation. She is determined to achieve successful outcomes that meet her clients’ business and legal goals.
The co-chair of the firm’s Franchise and Distribution Client Service Team, Paula concentrates her practice on litigation and arbitration of commercial disputes, including consumer class actions, franchise and distribution suits, antitrust claims, vicarious liability and data privacy disputes.
Paula is "unbelievably good" according to client sources in the 2020 Chambers USA guide. She is "able to grasp issues quickly and use good judgment in resolving disputes."
Paula teaches trial advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law and is a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
- Paula has successfully represented franchisors, manufacturers, and national consumer products companies across the country. Her clients have prevailed both before trial and in the courtroom.
- In trials and arbitration proceedings, Paula and her teams have defeated multimillion dollar damage claims. Those victories have been consistently affirmed on appeal.
- In pre-trial victories, Paula has obtained the dismissal of several nationwide class actions, and has succeeded in compelling arbitration, on an individual basis, of claims brought on behalf of a class.
- In other cases, her work has led to summary judgment victories, including judgments in favor of franchisors and manufacturers on contract, statutory and antitrust claims, consumer suits, and catastrophic personal injury claims.
- Paula has successfully defended and resolved hundreds of disputes in mediation as well, including consumer class and mass tort actions, and franchisee and distributor disputes.
Boards, Memberships & Certifications
Paula has been active in national and local bar associations. She has served on the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on Franchising, co-chaired its annual program, and served on its Litigation and Dispute Resolution Steering Committee, Publications Committee, and the Editorial Board for the Franchise Lawyer. In addition, she served twice on the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, Board of Directors, Executive Committee and former Board Chair (1993-2019)
- Princeton AlumniCorps, Board of Directors (2010-2016)
- Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (1988 – present)
- Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law (1996-present) Trial Advocacy
Publications, Presentations & Recognitions
Paula has been a frequent speaker and author on such topics as class actions, arbitration, consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices act claims, franchising, trial advocacy, expert witnesses, mediation, and antitrust topics. Her most recent papers and presentations include:
- “Big Tech Trial Juror Study,” American Bar Association, Webinar (May 18, 2021)
- “Consumer Privacy Challenges for Distribution Systems,” ABA Antitrust Law, Distribution and Franchising Section, Teleconference (Jan. 31, 2018)
- “Private Justice through Arbitration,” ABA Forum on Franchising, Miami (Oct. 2016 scheduled presentation)
- “What to Do When the Class Action Arrives,” DRI Retail and Hospitality Seminar, Chicago (2016)
- “Race, Sex, and Bad Behavior: Tackling Tough Topics in Jury Selection,” panel presentation at ABA Women of the Section of Litigation (November 3, 2016)
- Client Service All-Star, BTI Consulting Group (2017-2022)
- The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers (2021-2023)
- Chambers USA – Franchising, Nationwide (2007-2021)
- Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2006-2009, 2011-2021)
- Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2006-2021)
- America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators (2020)
- Who’s Who Legal – Franchise, Law Business Research (2007-2008, 2012-2016, 2019)
- Lawyer of the Year – Chicago – Franchise Law, Best Lawyers in America (2015, 2018)
- Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 1991)
Bar & Court Admissions
- Illinois Bar
- US Supreme Court
- US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
- US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
- US District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- US District Court, Northern District of Indiana
- US District Court, Central District of Illinois
- US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- US District Court, Western District of Michigan
- US District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
University of Virginia School of Law, JDPrinceton University, AB, magna cum laude