GERARD D. KELLY concentrates his practice on commercial and regulatory litigation and disputes, at both the trial and appellate levels, including class actions, injunctive and other emergency proceedings, and real estate, contract, antitrust, business tort, insurance, securities, fiduciary and trust and estate matters. Gerard has substantial experience serving as lead trial and appellate counsel for Sidley’s clients in actions filed in courts and before other tribunals across the country. His practice also includes arbitration proceedings and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
The scope of Gerard’s experience is reflected in his recent representative matters on which he has served as lead counsel, including:
- Masonite Corp. v. Belt Building Partnership and Belt Building Partnership v. Masonite Corp. (N. Dak. District Court 2015), a dispute between a tenant and landlord regarding a major manufacturing facility. Sidley’s client, the tenant, first prevailed in an expedited trial seeking its eviction and then won summary judgment for specific performance of a purchase option for the facility.
- Alpert v. Cuesta Title Company (San Luis Obispo, Cal., Superior Court 2013), a bellwether jury trial for eight coordinated cases brought by approximately 500 plaintiffs/investors who lost over $75 million in an alleged Ponzi scheme. The scheme was run by a loan broker and a real estate developer, both of whom pled guilty to criminal charges. Sidley’s clients were alleged to have been negligent in connection with, participated in, or aided and abetted the scheme. After a nine-week trial, the jury rejected every one of plaintiffs’ claims and returned a defense verdict on all counts.
- Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Thomas (N.D. Ga. 2012) and related Florida state court actions filed by Sidley’s client against a defaulting real estate developer and guarantor involving enforcement of loan guaranties, foreclosures on commercial properties, and defense of “lender liability” counterclaims. Sidley’s client obtained a $100 million consent judgment in federal court and judgments of foreclosure in the Florida state courts and reached a settlement agreement with the defendant.
- Independent Trust Corp. v. Stewart Information Services Corp. (7th Cir. 2012), affirming dismissal, on statute of limitations grounds, of a $41 million case filed by court-appointed receiver raising escrow fraud, conspiracy and other claims. The Seventh Circuit agreed with Sidley’s client that the Illinois doctrine of adverse domination did not toll the receiver’s claims.
- Gerard serves as national class action coordinating counsel for Stewart Title Guaranty Company and its affiliates. In that role, he has led Sidley’s successful defense of its clients in defeating class certification and emergency injunctive relief or obtaining favorable rulings on the merits in putative class actions filed in federal and state courts in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas and negotiated settlements of class actions in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington and other jurisdictions.
Gerard has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation in 2013 through 2019. He joined the firm in 1986 and has been a partner since 1994.