Overview

Marci has spent the last 30 years defending major corporations against more than 100 class action challenges in federal and state courts nationwide. She is one of few lawyers in the country to try a nationwide consumer class action to verdict.

In 2015, Marci was elected managing partner of Schiff Hardin, becoming the first woman to hold this top post at the firm. She remains among a handful of female managing partners in big law firms across the United States. Marci is also a strong mentor and champion for diversity in the legal profession. She was a founding member of the firm’s Diversity Committee in the early 2000s.

A proactive leader, Marci is known for developing solutions and delivering service through collaboration. This starts with the team she handpicks for each case she handles, based on each lawyer’s experience and knowledge of the client’s industry and the business and regulatory climates in which they operate.

As national coordinating counsel in complex, high-stakes class actions, Marci regularly consults with local counsel to gain their perspectives on judges, juries, and local practices. This team-based approach enables Marci to create winning strategies that achieve the client’s business goals while controlling costs.

In addition to practicing law, Marci is an active and longtime board member of the Illinois chapter of JDRF, the world’s leading organization funding type 1 diabetes research.

  • Experience

    • Represented multiple major insurance carriers in many class action suits involving auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life accident and health insurance, workers compensation insurance, and business interruption insurance.
    • Served as lead lawyer in Avery v. State Farm, one of the few nationwide insurance class actions ever to go to trial. This nationwide class of millions of State Farm policyholders sued to recover for billions of dollars in damages they claimed to have incurred when State Farm adjusted their auto damage claims by specifying non-OEM parts. In 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the trial court judgment of more than $1 billion and, relying largely on the trial and pre-trial record developed by Marci and her team, decertified the class and directed dismissal of the case with prejudice.
    • Defended many non-OEM parts class actions, as well as class action challenges against the following: use of software to assist in the valuation of general damages, use of total loss valuation software, application of anti-theft device discounts, application of mid-term premiums for newly licensed drivers, and claims of inadequate disclosures on declaration pages.
    • Defended against numerous consumer class action challenges, including the use of third party vendors and databases to evaluate medical bills for medical necessity and reasonableness.
    • Represented several insurers in class action challenges by medical providers or insureds to the reduction of medical bills based on PPO discounts, and successfully secured the dismissal of such cases.
    • Represented insurers in a series of homeowners’ insurance class actions, ranging from challenges to the application of policy limits and totaled home claims, to disputes over the calculation of a general contractor’s overhead and profit, to claims challenging notices of reductions in coverage.
    • Defended workers compensation insurers against class-wide challenges to medical bill review and PPO discounting. Served as counsel to a national reinsurance pool involving hundreds of worker compensation insurers in a dispute over the allocation of responsibility for assigned risk.
    • Negotiated a nationwide class settlement on behalf of an insurer facing nationwide and state class challenges to its life insurance sales practices. Represented an accidental death insurer in challenges to the application of a policy exclusion on behalf of a proposed multi-state class.
    • Successfully defended against a class-wide challenge to a carrier’s adjustment of business interruption claims, twice defeating class certification and securing a decisive victory when the court granted summary judgment on the policy interpretation issue.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1979, cum laude
    • Radcliffe College (now Harvard College), Harvard University, B.A., 1976, cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
      • Insights

        TITLE
        Event

        Mid-Sized Law Firms: Competitive and Innovation Strategies - Looking Back and for the Next Ten Years

        Mid-Sized Law Firms: Start the Revolution in the Middle, Ark Group

        Location:
        Chicago, Ill.
        Event

        Working Women’s Legal Summit

        The Chicago Bar Association

        Location:
        Chicago, Ill.
        Event

        The Art of the Ask (and How to Navigate Difficult Conversations)

        Ark Group’s 12th Annual Women Legal 2019

        Location:
        San Francisco, Calif.
        News Release

        2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.

        News Release

        Super Lawyers Names 39 Schiff Attorneys to 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

        Two partners were recognized among “best of the best” on 2019 Illinois Top Lists

        Event

        Lessons from the Managing Partner

        American Bar Association: The Woman Advocate Committee Regional CLE Program: Raising the Bar

        Location:
        Chicago, Ill.

        Other Publications

        • “Discovery,” in Class Actions (co-author), Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2006 and 2013)
        • The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Outline of Highlights, American Conference Institute’s Second Annual Defense Counsel Summit on Positioning the Class Action Defense for Early Success (Oct. 1, 2008)
        • “Enforcing Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Class Actions: An Uncertain Future,” The Brief (American Bar Association) (Summer 2006)

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Mid-Sized Law Firms: Competitive and Innovation Strategies - Looking Back and for the Next Ten Years,” Mid-Sized Law Firms: Start the Revolution in the Middle, Ark Group, Chicago, Ill. (May 23, 2019)
        • “Working Women’s Legal Summit,” The Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Ill. (Mar. 8, 2019)
        • “The Art of the Ask (and How to Navigate Difficult Conversations),” Ark Group’s 12th Annual Women Legal 2019, San Francisco, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2019)
        • “Lessons from the Managing Partner,” America Bar Association: The Woman Advocate Committee Regional CLE Program: Raising the Bar, Chicago, Ill. (Oct. 11, 2018)
        • “7th Annual Chicago Legal Market Conference,” Sandpiper Partners LLC, Chicago, Ill. (Jun. 27, 2018)
        • “Staying True to You, Unleashing the Power of Authenticity in the Workplace,” National Association of Women Lawyers 2018 Dallas Conference, Dallas, Texas (May 3, 2018)
        • “The Insurer’s Strategy for Defending Class Actions,” DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, New York, N.Y. (Dec. 15, 2011)
        • “Assessing Strategic Venue Considerations Triggered by CAFA and Addressing the Still-Unresolved CAFA Issues Impacting Class Actions Today,” American Conference Institute's Second Annual Defense Counsel Summit on Positioning the Class Action Defense for Early Success, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Oct. 27-28, 2008)
        • “CAFA: Two and a Half Years of Fairness?" The Future of Class Action Litigation in America, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 25, 2007)
        • “Strategic Planning: Defining, Setting, and Achieving Goals,” (panelist) ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Section of Litigation, and Young Lawyers Division and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education (Mar. 31, 2006)
        • “An Overview of The Class Action Reform Act of 2005,” Event: The Future of Class Action Litigation in America, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Washington, D.C. (Nov. 10, 2005)
        • “The Enforceability of Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Class Actions: Will Enforcement Blunt Class Actions or Lead to Classwide Arbitrations?” ABA Seminar: The Future of Class Action Litigation in America, Boston, Mass. (2003)
        • “How to Get Class Certification of an Insurance Coverage Issue,” Representing defendant insurer’s position in mock class certification hearing at TIPS Section, ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, Calif. (1997)
        • “Duty of Insureds to Notify Excess Carriers – Viewpoint of the Self Insured Policyholder,” TIPS Section, ABA Annual Meeting, New York, N.Y. (1993)
        • “Defense Sharing Agreements: Discoverability and Enforceability,” CBA Antitrust Section (Nov. 1990)
      • Citizenship

        Civic and Charitable Memberships

        Marci serves on the board of the Illinois chapter of JDRF, the world’s leading organization funding type 1 diabetes research. In 2011 and 2012, she co-chaired JDRF’s annual One Dream Gala, the largest fundraising event in Illinois for medical causes, raising more than $3 million for diabetes research.

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      Marci Eisenstein Named to 2018 Women of Influence

      The Chicago Business Journal’s 2018 Women of Influence honors female business leaders who stand out both for their business achievements and commitment to serving their community. MORE

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      Managing Partner Marci Eisenstein Named to Crain’s Chicago 2017 Who’s Who

      Managing Partner and Class Action Group Leader Marci Eisenstein has been named to Crain’s Chicago 2017 Who’s Who in Chicago Business. Marci is one of only 24 lawyers recognized on this honorable list chosen by Crain’s editorial staff. MORE