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  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
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Paul E. Dengel

Partner

Paul Dengel is the leader of the firm’s Financial Markets and Products Group. He concentrates on regulatory issues involving the securities and derivatives markets, including regulatory enforcement matters and related civil litigation arising out of alleged breaches of regulatory obligations. Mr. Dengel has handled enforcement and other administrative matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the National Futures Association, and the disciplinary bodies of financial exchanges.

Mr. Dengel also is a commercial litigator, with a particular focus on commercial disputes involving the sale of goods or services. He has handled and tried major cases in federal and state court and before administrative boards and arbitration panels.

Experience

Securities and futures matters that Mr. Dengel has handled include:

  • Defended a U.S. trading firm and its European affiliates against a federal class action alleging manipulation of the market for NYMEX energy futures contracts. Action still pending.
  • Defended a securities exchange in a $300 million federal securities fraud class action regarding the disclosure of the risks of unusual market operation during periods of market volatility. Obtained partial summary judgment and settled the remainder of the case.
  • Defended a futures commission merchant in a federal class action brought by hundreds of foreign nationals alleged commodities fraud in the handling of their accounts. Obtained dismissal of all counts.
  • Defended a public company in a federal class action under SEC Rule 10b-5, alleging that the company fraudulently concealed material information that misleadingly inflated the company's stock price. Obtained dismissal on all counts.
  • Defended a securities exchange in a $100 million securities fraud claim under SEC Rule 10b-5. Obtained dismissal with prejudice.
  • Tried two one-week CFTC reparations cases on behalf a futures commission merchant charged with vicarious liability for fraudulent activities in connection with operation of a commodities investment group. Obtained defense judgment on all counts.
  • Defended a securities exchange in a $2 million federal action alleging violations of SEC Rule 10b-5. Case was settled for nominal amount.
  • Tried a CFTC reparations case on behalf of a futures commission merchant charged with fraudulent handling and improper liquidation of a customer account. Obtained defense judgment on all counts.
  • Tried an NFA arbitration on behalf of a futures commission merchant charged with improperly liquidating a customer account. Obtained a defense judgment on all counts.
  • Tried Chicago Board of Trade arbitration on behalf of a commercial bank who challenged whether its commodity futures order had been properly handled by its executing broker. Obtained an award in favor of the client for the great majority of its claim.

Significant securities and commodity futures enforcement investigations and actions that Mr. Dengel has handled include:

  • SEC enforcement actions brought against securities exchange alleging failure adequately to enforce certain rules and failure to act pursuant to properly approved rules. Matter was successfully settled.
  • CFTC enforcement action brought against U.S trading company and European affiliates alleging market manipulation and false statement. Matter was successfully settled without any finding of violations.
  • SEC enforcement action brought against securities exchange alleging inadequate surveillance and enforcement of exchange rules. Matter was successfully settled.
  • CFTC enforcement action brought against futures commission merchant for alleged failure properly to segregate customer accounts. Case was successfully settled.
  • Represented brokers under SEC investigation for late trading and involvement in allegedly improper market timing. No enforcement charges were brought.
  • Represented broker in connection with SEC examination of alleged preferential allocation of favorable customer trades. No enforcement charges were brought.
  • Represented utility in connection with CFTC investigation concerning alleged dissemination of false gas storage information. No enforcement charges were brought.
  • Represented commodity futures broker in connection with NFA investigation concerning alleged misleading customer solicitation. Procedures were improved and no enforcement charges were brought.

Other significant trials and evidentiary hearings that Mr. Dengel has handled include:

  • Three-week jury trial in federal court defending manufacturer of spray finishing system against breach of contract claims for which plaintiff sought a multi-million dollar recovery.
  • One-week jury trial in federal court defending police officers against claims of use of excessive force.
  • Four-week jury trial in Illinois state court defending criminal charges of solicitation to commit murder.
  • Three-day AAA arbitration representing commercial software customer against software developer alleging breach of contract.
  • Two-week bench trial in federal court representing aircraft engine lessor against lessee regarding condition of aircraft engine upon conclusion of lease.
  • Four-week AAA arbitration representing utility complaining about quality of coal delivered under fixed price contract.
  • Four-week jury trial defending utility that suspended deliveries under fixed price coal contract.

Publications

Contract Law handbook, Chapters: "Contract Formation under Article 2 of the UCC," and "Problems in Contract Formation," Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE)

Pro Bono Activities

Mr. Dengel is one of the firm's two Pro Bono Partners and is responsible for leading the firm's pro bono efforts. He was one of the founders of the storefront legal clinic that the firm has operated since 1979 in conjunction with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, and he has handled pro bono cases through the clinic for more than 34 years.

In heading the team representing a Death Row inmate, Mr. Dengel obtained the exoneration of the client on the ground that he was actually innocent of the murder charges for which he had been sentenced to death.

Awards and Honors

Leading Lawyer - Commercial Litigation, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network
AV Rated — Martindale-Hubbell

Education

University of Virginia School of Law(J.D., 1979)Order of the Coif
Princeton University(A.B., 1976)

Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
Section of Litigation

Chicago Bar Association
Chicago Council of Lawyers