JOHN N. GALLO is a partner at the firm, the head of the Litigation group in the firm’s Chicago office, and global co-chair of the firm’s White Collar practice group. He is a trial lawyer and a former federal prosecutor in Chicago. His practice includes conducting internal investigations for institutions, representing criminal defendants and grand-jury targets, and representing parties in complex civil litigation.
Most recently, John was lead trial counsel in a three-month bench trial in federal court in Chicago where he represented the former officers of the Emerald Casino in a matter brought by the bankruptcy estate of the casino. As publicly disclosed, he also represented Governor Scott K. Walker in connection with an investigation conducted by the District Attorney in Milwaukee County. He also has represented various board committees of public companies tasked with directing internal investigations or the company’s response to government investigations.
John has represented institutional clients in circumstances where the client discovered actual or alleged internal wrongdoing, and led and conducted confidential internal investigations intended to provide the institutional client with information relevant to the discharge of the its duties. In particular, he has been responsible for leading internal investigations on behalf of institutional clients in the insurance brokerage, airline, university, health care, environmental, accounting, regulated industry, law, luxury hotel, and high-technology areas. In addition, John has represented a series of clients in grand jury investigations and/or pending criminal matters. He also routinely prosecutes civil cases on behalf of institutional clients seeking redress for having been victimized by fraud. In addition, he has been engaged to represent institutions and individuals that have been the subject of FCPA/anti-corruption investigations.
Finally, since September 2000, John has served as Trial Counsel to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board (JIB). The JIB is the sole disciplinary entity to inquire into allegations of misconduct or physical or mental incapacity of Illinois judicial officers. In his capacity as Trial Counsel, John is responsible for investigating misconduct complaints against jurists and prosecuting cases on behalf of the JIB before the Illinois Courts Commission.
United States Attorney’s Office (1989-96)
Before joining the firm, specifically from 1989 to 1996, John served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. In 1994, the United States Attorney promoted him to Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. In 1993 and 1995, he received the Special Achievement Award from the United States Department of Justice. He also received formal commendations from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Customs Service in connection with successful prosecutions he conducted with the assistance of those agencies.
From 1994 until his departure from the office in 1996, John was the lead prosecutor in the public-corruption investigation commonly known as “Operation Silver Shovel.” That investigation has resulted in the criminal conviction of six aldermen from the Chicago City Council and multiple other public officials for offenses relating to official misconduct. Moreover, John was responsible for the criminal conviction of six police officers of the Chicago Heights Police Department. Specifically, he was the lead prosecutor in the ten-week trial of former Chicago Heights Deputy Chief Sam Mangialardi, whom a jury found guilty of racketeering, extortion, drug conspiracy, and other offenses. Moreover, he successfully tried a two-week police-corruption trial against two former detectives charged with distributing cocaine to the local drug kingpin.
While in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was one of the lawyers responsible for the prosecution and conviction of ten executives charged in connection with a series of bank frauds and kickback schemes relating to the First National Bank of Chicago. Among those convicted were former Building Corporation President Jeffrey Tassani and former Bank Vice President Robert Olson. In addition, while an Assistant United States Attorney, he was responsible for the successful prosecution of two company executives charged with defrauding the United States Department of Defense in connection with the government’s procurement of periscopes for use on battle tanks. He also was involved in cases involving complex money-laundering schemes; real estate fraud; and violations of the federal securities laws.
Trial and Appellate Experience
John has tried twenty-four federal jury trials, and has argued multiple cases in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
John has an extensive pro bono practice, which includes the representation of indigent criminal defendants in both federal and state court. For example, John succeeded in persuading the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court to overturn the conviction of a pro bono client accused of a 1978 murder, and a federal court to order a new trial for an Indiana inmate on death row. He presently is in charge of the firm’s Capital Litigation Project, and personally represents two Alabama inmates on death row.
John served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ann C. Williams of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1986 until 1988.
John was the author of “The Corporate Criminal Defendant’s Illusory Right to Trial: A Proposal for Reform” in The Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Policy, Vol. XXVII Issue No. 2 (2014). He was also the author of “Effective Law-Enforcement Techniques for Reducing Crime,” which was published in The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 88, No. 4 (Summer 1998), a Northwestern University School of Law publication. The article was part of a volume devoted to the question of why crime is decreasing. John was also the author of “Recent Developments in Crimes Relating to Financial Institutions,” which was published in International Legal Strategy, V. IX, No. 3.
Teaching and Lecturing
Since 2002, John has served as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School, where he teaches a course entitled “Federal Criminal Practice.” He also has lectured at various industry events, including national meetings of forensic accountants, health-care professionals, and university attorneys.
John was a member of the Class of 2001-02 of Leadership Greater Chicago, an organization committed to creating diverse partnerships to the present and future leaders of Chicago. He also served on the Board of Directors of Horizons for Youth from 2006-12.
John has appeared as a legal commentator on the ABC news program “20/20,” the CBS news program “Public Eye,” and the PBS program “Chicago Tonight.” He is recommended in Chambers USA 2012-2014 for Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations. The Best Lawyers in America has recognized John as a “Best Lawyer” in Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White-Collar in its 2006-2015 editions.