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Howard A. Pollack

Of Counsel
  • Biography
  • Representative Experience
  • Admissions, Activities & Honors
  • Updates, News & Presentations
  • Education

Howard Pollack, formerly senior partner and team leader of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, is now of counsel to the firm. In that role he continues to advise clients and other attorneys at the firm on complex litigation matters, primarily involving securities, corporate governance, and merger litigation and other financial class actions. He has represented clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies, and has represented corporations and independent directors of corporations conducting internal investigations.

Howard is an author and frequent lecturer on federal jurisdiction, civil procedure, complex litigation and trial practice, and has also served as an instructor on civil trial practice for the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Howard was president of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association. He served on the Seventh Circuit Civil Jury Instructions Committee and on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Advisory Committee on Circuit Rules. He also served on the Advisory Committee on Rules and Practices for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Representative Experience

Securities, Derivative and Corporate Governance Litigation:

City of Sterling Heights Police & Retirement System v. Kohl’s Corporation, et al. (S.D.N.Y. 2013, E.D. Wis. 2013-present). Defending putative class action for securities fraud, which was filed in S.D.N.Y. but transferred on clients’ motion to E.D. Wis. Defendants’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint granted in July 2017.

DataKey Partners v. Permira, et al. (Renaissance Learning Shareholder and Derivative Litigation) (W.D. Wis. and Wood Co. Cir. Ct., Wis. Sup. Ct. 2011-2014). Defended Renaissance Learning and its outside directors in state and federal court class and derivative actions against the company, its directors, and the acquiring company to enjoin the proposed merger because of alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by the directors. The federal court denied the preliminary injunction motion, and the two federal cases were dismissed. The state court granted defendants' dismissal motion. The court of appeals partially reversed the trial court, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted our clients’ petition for review, and reversed the court of appeals, therefore reinstating the dismissal of the case.

TomoTherapy Shareholder Litigation (Dane Co. Cir. Ct. 2011). Defended the acquiring company Accuray in consolidated putative shareholder class actions seeking to enjoin Accuray's acquisition of TomoTherapy. Case against Accuray was voluntarily dismissed and court granted a dismissal motion against the TomoTherapy defendants.

Ladish Shareholder Litigation (E.D. Wis. and Milw. Co. Cir. Ct., 2011). Defended Allegheny Technologies in state and federal class actions challenging Allegheny's acquisition of Ladish Co. Federal court granted Allegheny's motion to dismiss, and subsequently granted the Ladish defendants' dismissal motion, which was upheld on appeal. Allegheny was voluntarily dismissed from the state court action. State court denied preliminary injunction motion.

Marshall & Ilsley Corp. Shareholder Litigation (E.D. Wis. and Milw. Co. Cir. Ct., 2010-2012). Defending Marshall & Ilsley ("M&I") and its directors in state and federal court shareholder class actions against them and Bank of Montreal ("BMO") in state and federal court that sought to enjoin BMO's acquisition of M&I. Case settled after merger.

Bucyrus Shareholder Litigation (Milw. Co. Cir. Ct. 2010-2011; E.D. Wis. 2011-2014). Wisconsin counsel for Caterpillar in shareholder actions against Caterpillar and Bucyrus Corp and its directors challenging Caterpillar's acquisition of Bucyrus Inc. Caterpillar removed the state actions under the Class Action Fairness Act, and the federal court denied plaintiffs' remand motion. The court also denied plaintiffs' motion to enjoin the merger and subsequently granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss.

Buttonwood Tree Value Partners v. A.O. Smith, et al. (Milw. Co. Cir. Ct., 2008-2011). Defended A.O. Smith Corporation in purported class action by shareholders of Smith Investment Company to enjoin proposed merger of Smith Investment Company and A.O. Smith Corporation. Following the merger, defended Smith Investment Company in the later settled damage action.

Market Street v. Midwest Air Group, Inc., et al. (E.D. Wis. 2007-2009) and Garrett v. Midwest Air Group, Inc., et al. (Milwaukee Co. Cir. Ct., 2006). Defended putative class actions claiming breach of fiduciary duty against company and its directors in connection with a hostile takeover offer. The state case was voluntarily dismissed, and federal case was involuntarily dismissed. The court denied federal plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees to allegedly aiding a subsequent purchase of Midwest and in doing so rejected the application of the common benefit doctrine in Wisconsin.

Merge Technologies Inc. Derivative and Securities Litigation (Milwaukee Co. Cir. Ct., 2007-2008) and (E.D. Wis. 2006-2008). Defended former CEO and CFO of company in state court derivative action for breach of fiduciary duty against company and directors and former officers. Defended former CEO and CFO in class action in federal court for alleged violation in securities laws. Both cases settled.

Lewis v. Straka, et al. (C.D. Ill. 2005, E.D. Wis. 2005-2008). Defended former CFO in securities class action against CIB Marine Bancshares, Inc., its directors and several officers for securities fraud and for indirect, control person liability. Motion to transfer case from Central Illinois to the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted. Motion to dismiss securities fraud claim against client and all but one of the individual defendants granted. Case settled.

Irani v. Oshkosh B'Gosh Inc., et al. (Winnebago Co. Cir. Ct., 2005). Defended putative class action claiming breach of fiduciary duty against company and its directors in connection with an agreement to sell the company. Case dismissed.

Shopko Shareholders Litigation (Brown Co. Cir. Ct., 2005-2006). Defended consolidated putative class action against company and its directors claiming breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the sale of the company. Plaintiff's motion to enjoin the sale was denied, and case was dismissed.

SEC v. Heartland Advisors, Inc. et al. (E.D. Wis. 2003-2007). Defended client who SEC claimed was alleged "tipee" of an insider of corporate defendant. Client dismissed on motion for summary judgment.

Strong Mutual Fund Litigation (various federal and state courts, 2003-2010). Defended advisor and fund manager of the Strong mutual fund family in the series of putative class actions and derivative suits arising out of the alleged "market timing" of the funds. Federal cases transferred to the District of Maryland for pretrial coordination. Cases settled.

ShopKo Securities Litigation (E.D. Wis. 2001-2004). Defended consolidated, putative class actions for securities fraud. Motion to dismiss granted in part, denied in part. Case settled.

Coats v. Viaticals of America, et al. (Superior Ct., San Bernadino Co., California 2002). Defended successor to bank charged with securities fraud under California state law in connection with others' sales of viatical settlement contracts. Client dismissed on demurrer.

Cumulus Media Securities Litigation (E.D. Wis. 2000-2001). Defended 11 class actions against Cumulus and its officers arising from Cumulus' earnings restatement. Cases settled.

Kohler Co. Securities and Dissenters' Rights Action (E.D. Wis. 1998-2000, Cir. Ct. Sheboygan Co. 1998-2000). Represented a mutual fund in a federal court breach of fiduciary duty suit arising out of a squeeze-out merger; and represented 101 dissenters (including two mutual funds and several investment trusts) in related state court appraisal actions. Cases settled.

Value Merchants Securities Litigation (E.D. Wis. 1992-1994). Defended Value Merchants, Inc., in class action for securities fraud brought against it and two of its executive officers. Case dismissed.

Care Network Securities Litigation (E.D. Wis. 1993-94). Defended the holding company for a hospital alleged to be a "controlling party" in a class action securities suit against Care Network, its directors, and several hospitals who were members of the Care Network health-maintenance organization. Case settled.

Best Power Technology Derivative Litigation (Cir. Ct. Juneau Co., Wis. 1992-1993). Represented two minority directors (one of whom was the former president) of Best Power Technology, Inc. in connection with the derivative action brought against the corporation by 16 minority shareholders, including the two minority directors. Retained after defendants counterclaimed against client directors. Case settled on day of trial.

Capital Milwaukee-Capital Investments, Inc. (E.D. Wis. 1989). Represented largest shareholders of Capital Investors in litigation related to their cash tender offer for a majority of Capital Investors' stock. Settled following Capital Investors arranging third-party purchase of clients' stock.

Kademian v. Ladish Co. (E.D. Wis. and 7th Cir., 1984-86). Wisconsin counsel for several former vice presidents of Ladish Co. who sued Ladish and Armco for securities and proxy fraud in connection with Armco's purchase of Ladish. Suit settled prior to trial on a confidential basis.

American Medical Buildings Securities Litigation (E.D. Wis. 1984). Defended American Medical Buildings in class action for securities fraud against it and its former president and directors. Settlement upon class certification.

Stroh Brewing Co.-Schlitz Brewery Co. (W.D. Wis., 7th Cir., Wis. Sec. Comm. 1983). Wisconsin counsel for Stroh in litigation with Schlitz and administrative proceedings before the Wisconsin Securities Commissioner relating to Stroh's cash tender offer for Schlitz stock. Settled following Schlitz board's agreement to takeover.

Wisconsin Real Estate Investment Trust v. Weinstein (E.D. Wis., 7th Cir. 1980-84). Represented former trust advisor in suit brought against advisor and former trustees and officers of WREIT following a proxy fight by which control of WREIT passed to insurgents. Following trial, appeal, remand and appeal, advisor prevailed on most of its counterclaims, defeated all but part of one of WREIT's eight claims, and was awarded its full attorney fees against WREIT.

APL-Pabst Brewing Co. (E.D. Wis., Wis. Sec. Comm. 1978). Wisconsin counsel for APL in unsuccessful exchange offer for Pabst stock.

Trade Practice, Unfair Competition, Antitrust, and Intellectual Property:

Inemann v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. (W.D. Wis. 2014-present). Defending putative class action for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Defendant’s motions to dismiss or transfer based on improper venue and its motion to compel arbitration are pending.

Checking Account Overdraft Litigation (S.D. Fla. 2010-2013). Defended M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank (now known as BMO Harris Bank) in a class action challenging the bank's practices for sequencing daily debit card transactions for the purpose of calculating overdraft fees. The Judicial Panel for Multi District Litigation transferred the suit to the Southern District of Florida for pretrial coordination with more than 50 other lawsuits against other banks. The court denied the Bank’s motion to compel arbitration. Case settled while appeal of the arbitration motion was pending before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lawnmower Horsepower Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation (E.D. Wis. 2008-2010). Appointed liaison counsel for defendants lawnmower engine manufacturers, lawnmower manufacturers, and retailers sued in more than 65 separate class action lawsuits that the Judicial Panel for Multi District Litigation transferred to the Eastern District of Wisconsin for pretrial coordination. The lawsuits, which ultimately settled, challenged the horsepower rating appearing on the defendants' lawnmower engines.

Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation (D. Kansas. 2007-2008). Defended one of more than 100 national and regional petroleum retailers sued for not temperature-adjusting petroleum products sold at retail. Judicial Panel for Multi District Litigation transferred the cases to District of Kansas for pretrial coordination. Client dismissed by stipulation.

Renata v. U.S. Bancorp (E.D. Wis. 2007). Defended punitive class action complaining for various reasons about bank charges for converting currency in international bank transfers. Motion to compel arbitration granted.

Russell v. Wisconsin Auto Title Loans, et al. (Milwaukee Co. Cir. Ct.; 2004-2006). Defended Continental Car Club in putative class action for violation of the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Case stayed pending appeal in another case and then voluntarily dismissed.

DeBraska v. City of Milwaukee, et al. (Milwaukee Co. Cir. Ct. 2001-2002). Defended Merck & Co. and Merck-Medco, Inc. in putative class action alleging several claims, including for violation of Wisconsin antitrust law. Case voluntarily dismissed.

National Cheese Exchange Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Wis. 1996-1997; Dane Co. Cir. Ct. 1999-2002). Wisconsin counsel for Borden in defending two antitrust suits involving alleged price fixing. Federal suit voluntarily dismissed when class certification denied. State suit dismissed on summary judgment; affirmed by Wisconsin Court of Appeals; affirmed by divided Wisconsin Supreme Court; petition for writ of certiorari to U.S. Supreme Court denied.

Thermal Fax Paper Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Wis. 1996-2001; Milw. Cir. Ct. 1996-2000). Defended Oji Paper Co., Ltd., Kanzaki Specialty Paper, Inc. and Honshu Paper Co. in three lawsuits brought by direct purchasers alleging price fixing under federal antitrust law. Defended the same companies in an antitrust suit brought by ultimate consumers under state antitrust law. In state suit, class certification denied and summary judgment granted; dismissal affirmed on appeal. Federal suit settled.

NFL Properties, Inc. and Green Bay Packers Football Club, Inc. v. Prostyle, Inc. and Tanner (E.D. Wis. 1996-2000). Represented Packers in pending trademark infringement litigation. Jury verdict for clients. Case settled on appeal.

Master Lock Co. v. Hampton Products (E.D. Wis. 1996-1998). Wisconsin counsel for Master Lock in suit alleging mislabeling of country of origin of padlocks. Lawsuit settled.

James River Corporation of Virginia v. Hallmark Cards, Incorporated (E.D. Wis. 1994-1997). Defended patent infringement suit. Suit settled.

Kelley Co. v. Overhead Door Company (E.D. Wis. 1992-1996). Defended patent infringement suit involving competing truck restraints. Lawsuit settled.

George Fischer Co. v. Adolf Hottinger Maschinenbau GmbH (E.D. Mich., 6th Cir. 1993-1995). Defended antitrust suit involving patent license. Case dismissed pending arbitration before the Zurich Chamber of Commerce. Assisted in defense of antitrust/patent misuse counterclaims in arbitration.

Baker v. M&I Mortgage Corp., (Cook Co., Ill. Cir. Ct. 1992-1993). Defended class action against mortgage servicer for alleged escrow violation. Case settled.

Wagner v. John Glasspiegel Co. (E.D. Wis. 1989-91). Defended unfair competition and copyright infringement suit brought by a competitor. Judgment for client following trial.

Kames v. Kohler & Campbell, Inc. (E.D. Wis. 1980-81). Defended manufacturer of pianos in antitrust and unfair trade practices suit brought by piano retailer. Obtained a partial summary judgment dismissing most claims and then directed verdict dismissing remainder.

State of Wisconsin v. Milwaukee Video, Inc. (Cir. Ct., Brown Co., Wis. 1975) and Videosonics, Inc. v. Matsushita Electric Corp. of America (E.D. Wis. 1975-77). Defended three dealers of closed circuit broadcast equipment in a criminal antitrust action and in a civil antitrust action brought by a competitor. Criminal action settled for a fine. Most of the civil action was dismissed by partial summary judgment, with the remainder dismissed following trial.

Mike's Auto, Inc. v. Conoco, Inc. (Brown Co. Cir. Ct., 1986). Represented one of several major oil company defendants in suit by retailer alleging below cost sales and pricing conspiracy in violation of Wisconsin trade practices law. Dismissed prior to trial.

Fort Howard Paper Co. v. Monsanto (E.D. Wis. 1977). Part of team representing plaintiff in suit involving patent licensing for papermaking process. Suit settled.

Dealership and Franchise Law:

Heat & Power Products, Inc. v. Camus Ltd. (E.D. Wis. 2007-2008). Defended claim that termination of plaintiff violated the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law. Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction denied, and case dismissed.

Manpower Inc., et al. v. Mason, et al. (E.D. Wis. 2005-06). Represented Manpower in its action to terminate a franchisee for violation of the parties' franchise agreement, and in defense of the franchisee's counterclaim. Following two rounds of cross-motions for preliminary injunctive relief, the court enjoined the franchisee from operating as Manpower in its Central Ohio location, and the suit settled shortly thereafter.

Snapple Distributor Termination Litigation (E.D. Wis. and various Wis. Cir. Cts., 1992-1994). Defended Snapple Beverage Company and its representatives in several suits filed in 1992 when Snapple terminated several of its Wisconsin distributors. Suits sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and damages under the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law and other legal theories. No preliminary injunctions granted. Two cases settled afterwards. Others dismissed.

Deutchland Enterprises Inc. v. Burger King, Inc., (7th Cir. 1990-92). Substitute counsel for appellant dealer on appeal of summary judgment in case under Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law.

Van's Supply, Inc. v. Echo, Inc. (W.D. Wis. 1989). Defended manufacturer of outdoor power equipment in suit brought under Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law. Following transfer of venue, obtained settlement terminating the plaintiff as a dealer.

Aida Engineering, Inc. v. Red Stag, Inc. (E.D. Wis. 1986-87). Represented machine manufacturer in declaratory action under Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law to terminate the defendant. Obtained summary judgment allowing termination.

Lulling v. Barnaby's Family Inns, Inc. (E.D. Wis. 1980). Defended franchisor in six consolidated actions brought by its Wisconsin franchisees alleging violation of Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law. Judgment following trial for franchisor.

Other Complex Litigation:

Schmidt v. Bassett Furniture Industries, et. al. (E.D. Wis. 2008-2010). Defended Bassett Furniture in purported class action by customers of its former dealer in connection with the dealer's liquidation sale. Case settled.

Mader v. JSI Industries, Inc. (Winnebago Co. Cir. Ct., 2004-2005). Defended action for breach of warranties brought by a putative class of purchasers of forage silo unloaders. Amended complaint dismissed.

Flavel v. Svedala Industries, Inc. (E.D. Wis. 1994-1995). Successor co-counsel defending class action age discrimination suit brought by private plaintiffs and EEOC. First trial ended in hung jury. Case settled following hung jury.

Longview Fibre Co. v. Jacobus Co. (Milw. Co. Cir. Ct. 1992-93). Defended suit alleging fraud and environmental damage. Case settled following partial directed verdict for client.

Varohl v. AMRTAC, (7th Cir. 1990). Invited by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to file amicus curiae brief in enbanc rehearing in case involving issue of appellate jurisdiction.

U.S. v. Continental Grain Co. (W.D. Wis. 1988-89). Defended government action alleging grain company converted grain pledged to the Farmer Home Administration. Obtained dismissal on summary judgment.

Board of School Directors of the City of Milwaukee v. State of Wisconsin, (E.D. Wis. 1984-87). Part of team representing Milwaukee Public Schools in metropolitan desegregation suit. Legal counsel to settlement team, which negotiated compromise desegregation plan during trial.

E.R. Squibb & Sons, Inc. v. Collins, (U.S. Sup. Ct. 1983). Special counsel for respondent before U.S. Supreme Court, successfully opposing petition for certiorari to review a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that established a new standard of causation in DES cases in Wisconsin.

Schapiro v. Steingart, (Milw. Co. Cir. Ct., Ct. App., Wis. Sup. Ct. 1985-90). Defended title company in suit alleging fraudulent conveyancing to avoid divorce division of property. Summary judgment for client appealed. Client awarded attorneys fees.

First Bank (N.A.) v. Mission Hills Investors, (Milw. Co. Cir. Ct., Ct. App., Wis. Sup. Ct. 1979-83). Represented plaintiff in contested action with two other financial institutions over title to subdivision. Judgment for client after four week trial affirmed on appeal.

Starrett Housing Co. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, (E.D. Wis. 1980). Represented plaintiff in attachment of stock owned by defendants that was held by local brokerage firm following the defendants seizure of a real state complex the plaintiff had developed in Teheran. Preliminary attachment granted, but dissolved when President Carter seized Iranian assets in U.S.

Armstrong v. Board of School Directors of City of Milwaukee, (E.D. Wis., 7th Cir., U.S. Sup. Ct. 1976-80). Part of team representing the plaintiff class in suit to desegregate the Milwaukee Public School System. Case settled following successful trial and appeal. Desegregation plan affirmed on appeal following challenge by NAACP.

Continental Grain Co. v. Harbach (N.D. Ill. 1975), Continental Grain Co. v. Brown (W.D. Wis. 1976), Continental Grain Co. v. Martin (5th Cir., U.S. Sup. Ct. 1976-77), and Nelson v. Union Equity Co-op (Tex. Sup. Ct. 1977). Represented Continental Grain Co. in developing and implementing strategy upholding the enforceability under the Uniform Commercial Code of oral forward contracts made by farmer-growers.

Martin v. Continental Grain Co., (5th Cir., U.S. Sup. Ct. 1976-77). Special counsel for Continental Grain Co. in successfully upholding judgment before Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and successfully opposing petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Admitted To Practice

Wisconsin - 1973

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

Professional Associations

American Bar Association
Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association
Milwaukee Bar Association
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Bar Association
State Bar of Wisconsin
Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association


Seventh Circuit Bar Association, President 1989-1990, Vice President 1987-1989, Board of Governors (Member and  Ex Officio Member) 1983-present

Seventh Circuit Civil Jury Instructions Committee, 2001-2014 (appointee of Chief Judge Flaum)

Advisory Committee on Circuit Rules for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 1988-90 (appointee of Chief Judge Bauer)

Advisory Committee on Rules and Practices for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1982-87 (appointee of Chief Judge Reynolds; reappointed by Chief Judge Warren) (Chair, Subcommittee on Civil Rules Revision 1982-84)

Special Seventh Circuit Judicial Council Subcommittee to Address Gender Bias in Bench/Bar Relations, 1994-1999 (appointee of Chief Judge Posner)

Special Committee to Evaluate the Seventh Circuit Judicial Conference, 1978 (appointee of Chief Judge Fairchild)

Seventh Circuit Judicial Conference Planning Committees: 1990 Milwaukee Conference (Co-Chair with Judge Terence Evans), 1982 Milwaukee Conference (Program Chair), 1983 Chicago Conference (Program Chair)

Board of Trustees, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 2001-2004

Wisconsin Law Alumni Association, President 1986-1987, Vice President 1985-1986, Director 1983-1989

Board of Visitors, University of Wisconsin Law School, Chair 1980-1981, Vice Chair 1979-1980, Member 1977-1983

Corporate Practice Institute, Director 1988-1991


Listed in Best Lawyers® (Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Banking & Finance Litigation, Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation, Securities Litigation) 2001 - present

Recognized as Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Bet-the-Company Litigation 2012; Litigation - Mergers & Acquisitions, 2017; Litigation - Securities, 2018

Recognized as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer in Business Litigation (2005 - 2015)

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®


Juris Doctor, University of Wisconsin Law School, 1973, with honors

Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Economics and Political Science, cum laude

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