Eli J. Kay-Oliphant

PARTNER

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Massey & Gail LLP
50 East Washington Street
Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60602

Office: 312.283.1590
Direct: 312.379.0468
Fax: 312.379.0467

Eli Kay-Oliphant has over fifteen years of experience as a complex commercial litigator.  He has represented defendants and plaintiffs in state and federal courts throughout the country, as well as in arbitrations and mediations.

Eli’s practice focuses on complicated and “bet the company” contractual matters, commercial fraud, and other business torts. Eli has worked on matters related to the financial services, aviation, energy, health care, technology, and media industries. He has experience with sophisticated financial products such as credit default swaps, Ponzi schemes, and residential mortgage-backed securities, online financial products and transactions, complex software and technology, and data privacy and security.

Eli also has experience with appellate litigation before the Federal Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has successfully argued before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to defend a settlement he negotiated, on behalf of Southwest Airlines, of a class action.  And he represented Southwest Airlines again before the Seventh Circuit, and won affirmance of his win before the trial court, where he had won dismissal of another class action at the pleading stage.

Before joining Massey & Gail, Eli clerked for the Honorable W. Eugene Davis of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was an associate at the international law firms O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. and Latham & Watkins in New York City. Eli graduated from Emory University School of Law, with Honors, where he was a William Agnor Scholar and Editor-in-Chief of the Emory Law Journal. He graduated from Northwestern University, where he was a Hardy Debate Scholar and member of the Northwestern Debate Society.

  • Emory University School of Law, J.D., with Honors, 2005
  • Northwestern University, B.A., 2001
  • The Honorable W. Eugene Davis, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Editor-in-Chief, Emory Law Journal
  • Agnor Scholar, Emory University School of Law
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Trial Techniques, Emory Law School
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Contract Law, Emory Law School
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Corporate Practice, Emory Law School
  • Hardy Debate Scholar, Northwestern University
  • “Breakdown on State Street: The Future of Business Method Patents,” ABA Section on Litigation, IP Litigation Committee Newsletter (Winter 2008) (with Mark Davies)
  • “Considering Race in American Immigration Jurisprudence,” 54 Emory Law Journal 681 (2005)
  • Chicago Debates – Governing Board Member (2016–present)
  • National Association for Urban Debate Leagues – New York City Co-Chair, Young Professional Leaders Board (2010–2013)
  • Art Institute of Chicago – Member of Evening Associates Board of Directors (2016–2020)
  • Successfully prosecuted, as first chair, on behalf of an energy company and an Illinois non-profit company, a claim regarding violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act by the Illinois Commerce Commission.  Negotiated a favorable settlement which included payment of clients’ attorneys’ fees.
  • Successfully defended, as first chair, Southwest Airlines in two different consumer class actions in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and on appeal before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In one case, negotiated a favorable settlement as between Southwest, the class, and objectors, and then successfully defended the settlement on appeal to the Seventh Circuit. In the other case, won dismissal of all claims at the pleading stage, with prejudice, and then won affirmance on appeal to the Seventh Circuit.
  • Represented the parents of Seth Rich in their lawsuit against Fox News and others in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Successfully defended, as first chair, a consumer-interest group, in a complex discovery dispute in the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Southern District of Mississippi, related to a widely-reported case regarding internet-safety, intellectual property, and piracy issues.
  • Prosecuted, as first chair on behalf of a major financial institution, breach-of-contract and conversion claims in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Achieved a favorable settlement on the eve of trial after winning summary judgment on defendant’s liability.
  • Secured an $8MM+ arbitration award in favor a private equity firm in its breach-of-contract claim with regard to the sale of a healthcare company.
  • Represented an exclusive distributor in bet-the-company litigation against its sole manufacturer in both Illinois state court and in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of New York. Achieved a favorable settlement for the client.