Alan Nicgorski is an accomplished litigator with experience in all areas of commercial litigation, including patent, trademark and copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, antitrust, breach of fiduciary duty, labor and employment issues, energy law, business torts and contracts. Mr. Nicgorski also counsels corporate and individual clients in transactions involving licensing and competition-related issues. Prior to joining S&R, Mr. Nicgorski was an associate in the commercial litigation group of Jenner & Block LLP. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Kenneth F. Ripple of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit during the 1997-1998 term.

Cases in Point

  • Secured a summary judgment ruling on behalf of a private equity and venture capital firm in a matter in which the plaintiff sought more than $400,000 in damages amid allegations that our client tortiously interfered with his severance agreement.
  • Defended a petroleum company in a suit asserting claims for negligence, nuisance, trespass, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages arising out of alleged oil contamination in a rural town.
  • Secured two summary judgment rulings on $750,000 damages claim on behalf of a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company. Argued appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, resulting in affirmance of these rulings.
  • Secured dismissal of action alleging copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract on behalf of a Georgia-based chain of dog kennels.
  • Represented a leading manufacturer of fire protection equipment in a patent infringement lawsuit related to defibrillator cabinets and negotiated a settlement consistent with the client's business objectives after obtaining a favorable Markman ruling.
  • Represented a leading packaging company in a patent infringement lawsuit related to the use of slider-zipper technology in form, fill and seal processes.
  • Represented an Illinois-based, independent retail electric supplier in all of its litigation matters, including actions involving breach of contract, trademark infringement, commercial disparagement and employment issues.
  • Defended employees who left a software consulting company against an action alleging breach of fiduciary duties, breach of non-competition agreements, and trade secret misappropriation and negotiated a settlement consistent with clients' business objectives.
  • Obtained judgment of "no coverage" in favor of insurer in case involving claim in excess of $10 million.
  • Obtained settlement consistent with client's business objectives in action against former employee and competitor for breach of fiduciary duty and trade secret misappropriation.
  • Successfully defended trademark rights of a famous Chicago restaurant.
  • Represented an agricultural company in a lawsuit alleging its marketing practices for genetically altered seeds violated antitrust laws.
  • Defended a cable television pioneer in a $100 million breach of fiduciary duty case brought by limited partnership groups. Successfully obtained a directed verdict on punitive damages claim. Partial jury award in plaintiff's favor overturned on appeal.
  • Represented key executives at a leading provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for companies in an $800 million lawsuit alleging they misappropriated trade secrets and breached their fiduciary duties and contractual obligations to their former employer.
  • Worked on a lawsuit seeking over $100 million in damages based on allegations of price collusion among producers of corrugated packaging.

Selected Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • "Beware of Scanner Patent Troll" (June 2013), Co-author.
  • "Employees exceeding authorized access? The trends in interpreting the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act," Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet. (February 8, 2013), Author.
  • "A More Flexible Test For Analyzing Noncompetition Agreements Under Illinois Law" (May 2012), Author.
  • "Protecting Trade Secrets in Federal Court," Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section Intellectual Property committee meeting (December 1, 2010), Presenter.
  • "2008 Developments in Illinois Employment Discrimination Law," published in the Employment issue of the Andrews Litigation Reporter (November 18, 2008), Co-author.
  • Model Jury Instructions: Copyright, Trademark and Trade Dress Litigation, published by the ABA Section of Litigation (May 2008), Contributing author.
  • "The Continuing Saga of Civil Forfeiture: the 'War on Drugs' and the Constitution," Northwestern University Law Review (Vol. 91, 1996).

Admissions, Affiliations and Honors

  • Trial Bar: Northern District of Illinois
  • Federal Bars: Seventh Circuit, Northern District of Illinois and U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • State Bar: Illinois
  • American Bar Association
  • Notre Dame Club of Chicago, Member
  • Selected by peers and colleagues as an Illinois "Super Lawyer" in the area of intellectual property litigation
  • Named one of "40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch" in 2009 by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company
  • AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 peer review rating in Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory


  • Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • Juris Doctor, with honors, 1997
    • Order of the Coif
    • Coordinating Articles Editor, Northwestern University Law Review
    • Dean's List
    • Finalist, Best Brief Award, Julius Miner Moot Court Competition
  • University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.
    • Bachelor of Arts, with honors, 1994
Alan W. Nicgorski
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  • Tel: (312) 580-2035