Samantha Lerner is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, concentrating her practice in complex commercial litigation and patent litigation. Samantha has over a decade of experience litigating complex commercial cases for Fortune 500 companies. She has represented clients in a variety of industries including, pharmaceutical, financial services, healthcare, and insurance, and has litigated breach of contract, trade secret theft, RICO, and fraud cases.
Samantha has also represented clients in patent cases in courts across the country involving medical devices and instruments, telephone and computer technology, and pharmaceuticals.
Honors and Awards
Samantha was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
In 2015, Winston & Strawn was named the “Chicago Litigation Department of the Year” for general litigation by The National Law Journal.
Samantha currently serves as co-chair of the Chicago office chapter of Winston’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), for which Winston & Strawn won the award for “Outstanding Firm in Advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion” at the 2017 Chambers USA Women in Law Awards.
Samantha is a member of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women.
Samantha serves on Winston’s Associate Evaluation Committee, Assignments Committee, and is a mentor in Winston’s mentoring program. Having spent her entire career at Winston, Samantha is deeply committed to the firm, its strategic vision, and the promotion, advancement, and retention of its talented attorneys.
Samantha's pro bono and non-profit work includes assisting with habeas corpus appeals before the Seventh Circuit and participating in the Wills for Heroes Foundation to provide essential legal documents free of charge to first responders.
Further, through the National Immigrant Justice Center, Samantha provides pro bono representation to individuals seeking to apply for or renew their status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act.
Samantha graduated in 2003 from Stanford University with a B.A. in International Relations with Honors in Humanities. She spent the fall of 2001 writing her thesis at Oxford University. Ms. Lerner received her J.D., cum laude, in 2007 from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an editor on the Journal of Law Reform.
Most recently, Samantha was part of a significant trial victory in a billion-dollar bet-the-company case for an innovator in long term care pharmacy technology. Following a month-long trial, a jury in the Eastern District of Texas rendered its verdict in less than a day, finding against the Plaintiff and for Winston’s clients on Plaintiff’s claims for trade secret misappropriation, fraud, and infringement of four patents.
Samantha was part of the Winston team that prevailed on behalf of a major health care company in the retrial of an employment case that had previously resulted in a widely reported $25.7 million verdict (while handled by other counsel.) At the time, the verdict was one of the largest employment verdicts in Ohio history and was among the top 100 verdicts in the nation in 2002. Winston took over the case in 2006 and obtained two mistrials before trying it for a third time. The jury rendered an eight to zero verdict in our client’s favor after an eight-day trial.
Samantha has also successfully represented one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. in a multi-district litigation defending against antitrust and various state law claims, won an arbitration on behalf of a global healthcare corporation on a complex breach of contract matter, procured the return of stolen trade secrets for large branded pharmaceutical companies and financial institutions, and defended a global healthcare corporation in a class action concerning the sale of enteral feeding and nutrition products.
Most recently in her patent litigation practice, Samantha successfully defended a large financial institution against a patent infringement suit related to its mobile banking technology. After winning a favorable claim construction ruling and motions to strike plaintiff’s post-claim construction infringement theories, plaintiff agreed to a stipulated dismissal of the case and final judgment in favor of Winston’s client.
Samantha was also part of the Winston team that obtained an important trial victory for a major generic pharmaceutical company against a branded pharmaceutical company in which the court found that the generic version of the brand drug Axiron® did not infringe one of three asserted patents and that the remaining two asserted patents were invalid. This ruling was upheld by the Federal Circuit. Her additional trial experience in the patent realm includes cases involving patents relating to the drugs Emend® IV, Lidoderm®, Temodar®, and Nasacort AQ®.
Accolade 08/20/20Winston & Strawn Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021
Media Mention 02/27/20Winston Recognized on Law360’s List of Go-To Firms for Patent Suit Targets
Accolade 01/30/20Winston Named as IAM Patent Litigation Firm of the Year
Pro Bono In Action 10/31/19Chicago Staffs Annual Clinic to Assist Immigrant Crime Victims
Sponsorship 09/25/19Winston & Strawn Sponsors ChIPs 2019 Global Summit
Accolade 08/15/19Winston & Strawn Lawyers Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020
Accolade 04/09/19Winston & Strawn Wins Two Managing IP Americas Awards 2019
Newsletter 11/01/18Pro Bono Reporter – Fall 2018
Accolade 08/15/18101 Winston Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019
New Development 05/31/18Illinois Becomes 37th State to Ratify Equal Rights Amendment
Sponsorship 03/14/18Winston Hosts Reception and Screening of Equal Means Equal
Accolade 02/08/18Winston & Strawn Named Trial Group of the Year by Law360
New Development 09/15/17Winston Dispenses Cure for Bet-the-Company Patent Suit with Huge Jury Verdict
New Development 08/22/16Winston Scores Big Win for “Low T” Generic Drug
Newsletter 08/12/16Diversity: 2015 Year in Review
New Development 12/01/15Winston Promotes 11 Attorneys to Partner
Newsletter 07/31/14Diversity: 2013 Year in Review