Eli Schlam’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation, primarily matters involving legal malpractice, professional responsibility, and breach of fiduciary duty.  He has defended several major international law firms as well as other professional service companies against allegations of malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty.  Eli also handles a wide range of other civil litigation including, consumer class actions, contract litigation, employment litigation, real estate litigation, and patent litigation.  As a senior associate, Eli manages and leads both plaintiff and defense-side civil litigation in federal and state courts.  Eli has experience with all aspects of litigation, including motions practice, discovery, and trial.  While not the most glamorous parts of litigation, Eli particularly enjoys preparing witnesses for depositions, managing e-discovery, and handling evidentiary issues. 

Eli also has an active pro bono practice.  Like his civil litigation practice, his pro bono practice has involved a number of different subject matters including: handling a parole revocation hearing, representing tenants in landlord-tenant disputes, obtaining a restraining order for the victim of a sexual assault, and suing an employer for wage-and-hour violations (for which Eli was recognized by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee with an Outstanding Achievement Award).  In addition to his pro bono representation of clients, Eli also leads the firm’s partnership with Dunbar High School through which Eli and other associates help teach a Street Law class and coach the students in the Street Law mock trial competition.  Eli also serves as a city-wide co-chair for the Generous Associates Campaign for D.C. Legal Aid and leads the firm’s Campaign efforts.

Eli received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the mock trial team.  He then attended the London School of Economics and Political Science from which he received a Master’s degree in Nationalism and Ethnicity Studies.  Eli received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.  While in law school, Eli was a student attorney with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau for two years.  In that role he was lead counsel representing low-income clients in domestic and housing matters, including at bench and jury trials.  In 2009, Eli was co-counsel in an eviction jury trial in Boston Housing Court on behalf of a tenant against a foreclosing bank that resulting in a significant jury award for the tenant.  Eli also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Richard Clifton of the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Representative Experience

Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Eli’s experience includes:

  • Defended law firms in malpractice suits including ones alleging negligent advice about antidumping duties, negligent litigation advice concerning the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligence in handling discovery, conflict of interest in corporate transactions, negligence in handling UCC filings, and negligent tax advice
  • Successfully defended a leading global professional services company in an $80 million ERISA breach of fiduciary duty case alleging negligent investment advice
  • Plaintiff’s counsel for a major international investment bank in actions against the indenture trustee and collateral agent of a failed commercial paper facility sponsored by the largest independent mortgage originator in the United States.  The client ultimately recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from lawsuits, the bankruptcy estate and settlements with numerous potential defendants
  • Defended company in putative consumer class action related to company’s auto-renewal practices
  • Represented former CEO of major consulting firm in an action by the Liquidating Trustee seeking $2 billion in damages for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and duties of loyalty.  Case settled for pennies on the dollar
  • Represented major food company in putative consumer class actions alleging false advertising and deceptive practices related to slack-fill
  • Represented technology companies in patent infringement cases



Government Service

Law Clerk, Judge Richard R. Clifton, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2010-2011

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