Overview

A highly experienced litigator, Paula Morency has tried complex, high-stakes commercial cases successfully before juries, judges and arbitrators across the country. She has also resolved hundreds of complicated claims in mediation. She is determined to achieve successful outcomes that meet her clients’ business and legal goals.

The head of the firm’s Franchise and Distribution Client Service Team, Paula concentrates her practice on litigation and arbitration of commercial disputes, including consumer class actions, franchise and distribution suits, antitrust claims, vicarious liability and data privacy disputes.

Paula is "unbelievably good" according to client sources in the 2020 Chambers USA guide. She is "able to grasp issues quickly and use good judgment in resolving disputes."

Paula teaches trial advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law and is a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

  • Experience

    • Paula has successfully represented franchisors, manufacturers, and national consumer products companies across the country. Her clients have prevailed both before trial and in the courtroom.
    • In trials and arbitration proceedings, Paula and her teams have defeated multimillion dollar damage claims. Those victories have been consistently affirmed on appeal.
    • In pre-trial victories, Paula has obtained the dismissal of several nationwide class actions, and has succeeded in compelling arbitration, on an individual basis, of claims brought on behalf of a class.
    • In other cases, her work has led to summary judgment victories, including judgments in favor of franchisors and manufacturers on contract, statutory and antitrust claims, consumer suits, and catastrophic personal injury claims.
    • Paula has successfully defended and resolved hundreds of disputes in mediation as well, including consumer class and mass tort actions, and franchisee and distributor disputes.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.
    • Princeton University, A.B., magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

        Professional Memberships

        Paula has been active in national and local bar associations. She has served on the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on Franchising, co-chaired its annual program, and served on its Litigation and Dispute Resolution Steering Committee, Publications Committee, and the Editorial Board for the Franchise Lawyer. In addition, she served twice on the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

        Teaching Appointments

        • Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (1988 – present)
        • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law (1996-present) Trial Advocacy
      • Insights

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        News Release

        Five Practice Areas and 19 Attorneys Ranked by Chambers USA 2020 Guide

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that five practice areas have been ranked in Chambers USA 2020 guide, up one from 2019 with a first-time ranking for Energy & Natural Resources.

        News Release

        Eighty-Eight Attorneys Named to 2020 Leading Lawyers

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that 88 attorneys have been named to the 2020 Leading Lawyers list.

        News Release

        Thirty-Two Attorneys Named to 2020 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

        We are pleased to announce that 32 Schiff Hardin attorneys have been recognized on the 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

        News Release

        2020 Best Lawyers in America Lists Recognizes 63 Attorneys, Three “Lawyers of the Year”

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that 63 attorneys have been included in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, with three attorneys also being named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2019 Ranks 23 Attorneys, Four Practice Areas

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that four practice areas and 23 attorneys have been recognized in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        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

        News Release

        61 Schiff Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America List and Six Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year”

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 61 attorneys have been included in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as six who were named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2018 Recognizes Four Practice Areas and 22 Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that four practice areas and 22 attorneys have been recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        News Release

        Partner Paula Morency Named a BTI Client Service All-Star MVP

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that Partner Paula Morency has been recognized as a two-year BTI Client Service All-Star MVP for providing superior, consistent client service.

        Speeches & Presentations

        Paula has been a frequent speaker and author on such topics as class actions, arbitration, consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices act claims, franchising, trial advocacy, expert witnesses, mediation, and antitrust topics. Her most recent papers and presentations include:

        • “Consumer Privacy Challenges for Distribution Systems,” ABA Antitrust Law, Distribution and Franchising Section, Teleconference (Jan. 31, 2018)
        • “Private Justice through Arbitration,” ABA Forum on Franchising, Miami (Oct. 2016 scheduled presentation)
        • “What to Do When the Class Action Arrives,” DRI Retail and Hospitality Seminar, Chicago (2016)
        • “Race, Sex, and Bad Behavior: Tackling Tough Topics in Jury Selection,” panel presentation at ABA Women of the Section of Litigation (2015)
      • Citizenship

        Civic and Charitable Memberships

        • Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, Board of Directors, Executive Committee and former Board Chair (1993-2019)
        • Princeton AlumniCorps, Board of Directors (2010-2016)