Eric G. Pearson is a business litigator who has successfully represented businesses and individuals in complex disputes. Eric has tried cases before judges, juries, and various administrative bodies. Eric is also a certified public accountant, and he uses that experience to present what are often complex commercial or accounting concepts in a clear and concise manner.
Eric is a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, Tax Controversy, Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations, and Appellate Practices. His experience spans post-merger disputes, federal and state tax controversies, professional-malpractice cases, investigations of accounting irregularities, and cases with complex damages issues.
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. He is currently president of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association.
- Represented the publicly traded downstream subsidiary of a large mutual insurance company in EMC Insurance Group, Inc. v. Shepard, 960 N.W.2d 661 (Iowa 2021), an appraisal action brought by the largest minority shareholder. The Polk County District Court and the Iowa Supreme Court held that the minority shareholder failed to perfect his appraisal rights as a beneficial shareholder.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a special committee of the board of directors of a NASDAQ issuer amid a challenge to a shareholder vote. Defended the issuer in connection with an SEC investigation into potential registration-statement violations.
- Represented a multibillion-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.
- 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 10 weeks).
- 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.
- Conducted an internal investigation concerning revenue recognition for an equipment manufacturer and its publicly traded parent. This work included cooperating with the company’s Big Four auditor.
- 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.
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association (President)
- State Bar of Wisconsin, Appellate Practice Section, immediate past chair
- Wisconsin Appellate Law, co-editor and author (wiappellatelaw.com)
- Wisconsin Institute of CPAs, member
- Professional Liability Litigation Committee of the ABA’s Section of Litigation, member
- Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, member
- Marquette Law Review, member (2005-06) and editor (2006-07)
Presentations and Publications
- Co-editor, Audit Committee Deskbook, Practicing Law Institute (2023)
- Author, “Accounting and Auditing Liability Issues in Wisconsin,” ABA 50 State Survey of Accounting and Auditing Liability Issues (2021)
- Co-author, Tax chapter in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (5th ed. 2022)