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Eric J. Wilson

Shareholder
Madison
608.284.2603608.284.2603
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  • Biography
  • Representative Experience
  • Admissions, Activities & Honors
  • News, Updates & Presentations
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Eric Wilson is a shareholder in the Litigation Practice Group, and a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations, International Trade, and Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice Groups. An experienced litigator and trial lawyer, Eric’s practice focuses on complex and sensitive matters where clients demand an attorney with the judgment and knowledge to achieve a favorable outcome – regardless of whether that result occurs outside or inside the courtroom.

As a former government prosecutor, Eric has particular experience in matters where clients need a lawyer to advocate on their behalf to government regulators. In this capacity, Eric has headed corporate internal investigations in numerous different areas, such as alleged export violations, customs seizures, insider trading, and employee misconduct. Eric and the other members of the Godfrey & Kahn white collar team also help clients interact with law enforcement as part of responding to data breaches or other cybersecurity issues.

Eric is the leader of the international trade team at Godfrey & Kahn. In that capacity, he regularly advises clients regarding export and import compliance matters. He assists companies with questions about internal policies and procedures for a variety of export and import issues, such as "deemed exports," product classification, and technical assistance agreements. Eric often helps firm clients with their registration and licensing questions under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations ("ITAR"). Eric also helps businesses who wish to expand into foreign markets, but need help navigating the tricky waters in complying with laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

As a member of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice Group, Eric frequently assists clients with antitrust enforcement matters before the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the various state attorneys general. Eric was lead trial counsel for the State of Idaho in the St. Luke’s federal antitrust litigation, a seminal case involving the interplay between the Affordable Care Act and the antitrust laws. Eric also has argued two antitrust cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Given his background and experience, Eric also represents individuals and businesses suspected of, or charged with, criminal wrongdoing. Prior to joining Godfrey & Kahn, Eric worked for almost a decade as a prosecutor – first as a federal prosecutor in Chicago and then as a state prosecutor in Wisconsin. At the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Eric had dual responsibilities as a criminal prosecutor and chief antitrust attorney for the State of Wisconsin. Eric started his career in the litigation practice at Jenner & Block in Chicago.

Representative Experience

Lead trial counsel for the State of Idaho in antitrust case filed in federal court by the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Idaho against St. Luke’s Health System; district court ultimately awarded full divestiture, the remedy sought by the FTC and the State of Idaho.

Conducted internal investigation of whistleblower complaint alleging accounting improprieties by President and Chief Operating Officer of public company.

Persuaded en banc panel of United States Court of Appeals to reverse client’s criminal conviction for mortgage fraud.

Investigated alleged malpractice by outside law firm for municipality, resulting in multi-figure settlement.

Represented target of criminal antitrust investigation by the United States Department of Justice and, with the assistance of co-counsel, persuaded the government to decline the filing of any charges.

Acted as counsel to the Fee Committee in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case, and as counsel to the Fee Examiner in the General Motors bankruptcy case.  In both cases, reviewed fees and expenses charged by retained professionals. Filed reports with the Court recommending disallowance of fees and expenses when not in compliance with applicable statutes, rules and guidelines.

Represented Northwest Airlines in its merger with Delta Air Lines, communicating with state attorneys general offices throughout the country regarding state-specific concerns relative to the merger.

Represented target in the BP oil spill investigation by the United States Department of Justice and United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Represented Wisconsin manufacturer in submitting successful commodity jurisdiction request to the United States Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, and defending against corresponding seizure of goods by United States Customs and Border Protection.

Represented Wisconsin company in cooperating with FBI investigation of potential illegal activity by company customer.

Conducted internal investigation of alleged insider trading by senior executives of public company.

United States v. Michael Kozlowski, No. 08 CR 160 (W.D. Wis.)
Represented criminal defendant in jury trial in federal district court, in case involving the alleged falsification of records within the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Transportation. In post trial motions, the Court granted the defendant's motion for a new trial, which ultimately resulted in dismissal of all charges.

Eichenseer et al. v. Madison-Dane County Tavern League, 2008 WI 38, 748 NW2d 154.
While a state prosecutor, Eric argued this price-fixing antitrust case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court as an amicus. The Court agreed with the position advocated by Eric and defendants, and affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the case.

Meyers et al. v. Bayer AG et al., 2007 WI 99, 735 N.W.2d 448.
While a state prosecutor, Eric argued this antitrust case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court as an amicus. The Court agreed with Eric's position regarding the proper scope of the Wisconsin antitrust statute, and cited his arguments in its written decision.

Olstad et al. v. Microsoft Corporation, 2005 WI 121, 700 N.W.2d 139.
While a state prosecutor, Eric argued this antitrust case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court as an amicus. The Court agreed with Eric's principal position that the Wisconsin antitrust statute should not be limited to activity occurring solely within the borders of the State of Wisconsin.

State of Wisconsin v. Wilk, 06 CF 29 (Sauk County Circuit Court)
While a state prosecutor, Eric was one of the lead trial lawyers in this "cold" homicide case from the 1990s. After a lengthy trial involving numerous witness and extensive expert testimony, the jury returned a guilty verdict, and the judge ultimately imposed the maximum prison sentence allowed by law.

United States v. Lim, 57 Fed. Appx. 701 (7th Cir. 2003)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and was one of the lead trial lawyers in this complex $3 million bank fraud case. Eric also successfully argued the case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

United States v. Tadros, 310 F.3d 999 (7th Cir. 2002)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric was one of the lead trial lawyers in this complex insurance fraud case involving multiple insurance companies as victims, and successfully argued the case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

United States v. Jackson, 310 F.3d 554 (7th Cir. 2002)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and was one of the lead trial lawyers in this federal assault case, and successfully argued an evidentiary issue about the elements of the offense before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

United States v. Turner, 301 F.3d 541 (7th Cir. 2002)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and prosecuted this insurance fraud case, and successfully argued an issue of first impression before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals relating to the constitutionality of the federal statute prohibiting embezzlement from insurance companies.

United States v. Burks, 30 Fed. Appx. 612 (7th Cir. 2002)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and prosecuted this social security fraud case, and ultimately prevailed on a challenge to the defendant's sentence before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

United States v. Payne, 01 CR 975 (N.D. Ill.)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and prosecuted this bankruptcy fraud case.

United States v. Duran, 01 CR 757 (N.D. Ill.)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric was the lead trial lawyer in this multi-defendant narcotics case resulting from a Title III wiretap investigation.

United States v. Lobue, 01 CR 684 (N.D. Ill.)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and prosecuted this multi-victim fraud case involving investments on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

United States v. Bell, 01 CR 669 (N.D. Ill.)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and prosecuted this $13 million fraud case involving numerous victims who invested in a hedge fund on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

United States v. Razo, 21 Fed. Appx. 460 (7th Cir. 2001)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric prevailed before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on this appeal involving sentencing issues.

United States v. Thibodeaux, 19 Fed. Appx. 409 (7th Cir. 2001)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric was one of the lead trial lawyers in this tax evasion case, and successfully argued the case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

United States v. Lowe, 00 CR 545 (N.D. Ill.)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric investigated and prosecuted this case involving the attempted murder of a DEA agent.

United States v. Lawal, 231 F.3d 1045 (7th Cir. 2000)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric was one of the lead trial lawyers on this narcotics case, and successfully argued before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals a novel issue regarding a defendant's rights under the Vienna Convention. The decision is one of the most frequently cited cases regarding the appropriate remedy for a violation of this international treaty.

United States v. Walton, 217 F.3d 443 (7th Cir. 2000)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric successfully argued this bank theft conspiracy case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

United States v. Aldaco, 201 F.3d 979 (7th Cir. 2000)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric successfully argued this case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on evidentiary and jury instruction issues.

United States v. Johnson, 99 CR 785 (N.D. Ill.)
While a federal prosecutor, Eric was the lead trial lawyer in this social security fraud case.

Admitted To Practice

Illinois

Wisconsin

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States Court of International Trade
United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

Activities

Volunteer, Interfaith Hospitality Network
Volunteer, Boy Scouts of America

Honors

Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star (Antitrust and White Collar Crime, 2015 - 2016)
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2016)

News & Publications

Education

Juris Doctor, Harvard Law School, 1994, cum laude

Master’s Degree, Harvard University,1994, Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Bachelor of Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990, Mechanical Engineering, with high honors

Madison
One East Main Street
Suite 500
P.O. Box 2719
Madison, WI
53701-2719
608.284.2603608.284.2603
608.257.0609608.257.0609
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Jackie Lysne
608.284.2647608.284.2647
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