Bill Ferranti is a member of the firm’s appellate and critical motions practice. He has authored briefs in major commercial and constitutional cases in a variety of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. And he has argued in two federal courts of appeals, including a case before the Seventh Circuit sitting en banc that resulted in a unanimous decision in favor of his client.
Mr. Ferranti has extensive experience with jurisdictional and procedural issues, including appellate jurisdiction, federal subject matter jurisdiction, and class certification. He also has experience with numerous areas of substantive law. For example, he has handled matters involving the First Amendment, the False Claims Act, the Hatch-Waxman Act and other patent laws, the federal securities laws, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, preemption, maritime law, church property, government contractor immunity, civil contempt, common law agency, and in pari delicto.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Ferranti served as a law clerk for the Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
- Ackerson v. Bean Dredging LLC, 589 F.3d 196 (5th Cir. 2009) (argued); In re Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., 624 F.3d 201 (5th Cir. 2010) (argued) — In a pair of proceedings, successfully defeated multi-billion dollar claims charging essentially the entire Gulf Coast dredging industry—including our client, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company—with responsibility for the devastation of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Plaintiffs’ claims were based on dredging work performed in the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet under contracts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- Bayer Schering Pharma AG v. Barr Labs., 575 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2009), cert. denied (2010) — Successfully represented generic drug manufacturer on appeal from district court ruling that a patent covering the oral contraceptive pill marketed as Yasmin® was invalid due to obviousness. Also successfully opposed petitions for rehearing en banc and certiorari.
- Mikolajczyk v. Ford, 231 Ill.2d 516 (2008) — Successfully represented Ford in the appeal of a $27 million jury award in a strict product liability design defect case. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the verdict and ordered a new trial that would include evidence related to the extremely common design of the model in question, which as not allowed in the initial trial.
- PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011) — Prepared an amicus brief on behalf of two generic drug manufacturers on the winning side in a case involving preemption of state-law failure-to-warn claims against manufacturers of generic drug products whose warnings were, as federal law requires, the same as their FDA-approved name-brand equivalents.
- Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647 (7th Cir. 2007) (en banc) (argued) — Successfully obtained a new trial based on the district court’s failure to recruit counsel for an indigent civil plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. After a 2-1 defeat at the panel stage, the en banc court decided unanimously in our client’s favor.
Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 637 F.3d 783 (7th Cir. 2011) (argued), cert. denied (2012) — Successfully represented the Field Museum of Natural History in an interlocutory appeal arising out of collection proceedings initiated by judgment-creditors of Iran seeking to attach, seize, and sell the Museum’s antiquities. The issues on appeal included appellate jurisdiction and whether a third-party is prohibited from asserting that purportedly sovereign property in its possession is immune from attachment under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
- Texas v. Caremark Inc., 584 F.3d 655 (5th Cir. 2009) (argued); United States v. Caremark Inc., 634 F.3d 808 (5th Cir. 2011) (argued) — Represented Caremark in interlocutory appeals arising from litigation under the federal False Claims Act and similar state laws. In one appeal, taken by a group of States raising a sovereign immunity defense to “counterclaims” asserted by Caremark, the Fifth Circuit agreed that the merits should be addressed by the district court in the first instance. On remand, the district court ruled in Caremark’s favor. In subsequent appeals by the United States and a group of States, the Fifth Circuit affirmed in substantial part decisions granting Caremark partial summary judgment on claims that it violated the state and federal FCAs by allegedly improperly denying reimbursement requests from state Medicaid agencies.
Mr. Ferranti is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, and the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association.
Mr. Ferranti received a B.A. in Religion from Columbia University in 1999. He received a J.D., with high honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 2004, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as articles editor for the University of Chicago Law Review.
Mr. Ferranti is the author of “A Blow to Private Whistleblowers,” The Corporate Counselor, Vol. 21, No. 12 (May 2007) (with Steffen N. Johnson & Andrew C. Nichols); “Interest Group Theory and Untrustworthy Outcomes: A Case Study of the Bonneville Power Administration,” 35 McGeorge L. Rev. 637 (2005); and “The Ex Post Facto Clause and Revised Sentencing Guidelines,” 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1011 (2003).
Speeches and Publications