Eric G. Pearson

Senior Counsel

Overview

Eric G. Pearson concentrates in commercial and securities litigation, focusing on accounting, professional-responsibility, and tax-related matters. Eric is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, Appellate, Tax Controversy, and Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practices. He is a certified public accountant.

Before joining the firm, Eric served as a law clerk for Judge Diane S. Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 2007-08.

Representative Cases

  • Represented a law firm in Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. v. Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, 807 F.3d 184 (7th Cir. 2015), a case involving the issuance of Native American gaming revenue bonds. This work included litigating issues related to tribal jurisdiction, exhaustion, sovereign immunity, and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act simultaneously in federal, state, and tribal courts. The matter was tried in state court in a trial to the court (two weeks) before it was settled during a jury trial (scheduled for ten weeks).
  • Represented Evanston Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Markel Corp., in Evanston Insurance Co. v. Guaranty Bank, E.D. Wis., No. 13 cv 707. This dispute involved the interpretation of credit insurance issued to Guaranty Bank on its high-LTV home equity portfolio.
  • Represented Albert Trostel & Sons in Albert Trostel & Sons Co. v. Notz, 679 F.3d 627 (7th Cir. 2012), on an appeal from an appraisal action brought by a dissenting minority shareholder. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of Albert Trostel & Sons.
  • Represented a provider of legal support services in state and agency proceedings before the administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (Division of Banking). The administrator conducted a contested-case hearing (four days) regarding the Department’s ability to regulate lawyers and legal assistants as adjustment-service companies under Wis. Stat. § 218.02.

Other Representative Experience

  • Conducted an internal investigation for a special committee of the board of directors of a NASDAQ issuer amid a challenge to prior shareholder vote. Defending the issuer in connection with an SEC investigation into potential registration-statement violations.
  • Represented a multi-billion dollar financial institution in an internal investigation and subsequent SEC investigation stemming from allegations that the bank had fraudulently overstated the value of its loan portfolio to investors and regulators. This work included cooperating with a shadow audit conducted by the bank’s Big Four auditor.
  • Represented a large wholesaler and distributor in the internal investigation of a multi-million dollar employee fraud. This work included working with forensic accountants, identifying the failure of certain internal controls, reporting to the audit committee and to the company’s Big Four auditor, and cooperating with a federal criminal investigation and prosecution.

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association (Board of Governors)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Appellate Practice Section, board member
  • Wisconsin Appellate Law, co-editor and author (wiappellatelaw.com)
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, member
  • Accountants’ Liability Subcommittee of the Professional Services Liability Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation, member
  • Marquette Law Review, member (2005-06) and editor (2006-07)

Education

Eric is a graduate of Marquette University, with degrees in law (J.D., summa cum laude, 2007) and economics (Honors B.S., summa cum laude, 2005), where he received the Walter M. Froehlich Award for the Outstanding Senior in Economics, and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Nu.

Admissions

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Seventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • State of Wisconsin

Representative Matters

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Served as lead investigative counsel in internal investigation into whistleblower allegations relating to a bank's management of its troubled-asset portfolio. Reported findings to corporation's audit committee, outside auditors, bank regulators, and the SEC.