Education

Emory University School of Law, with Honors (J.D. 2005)
Editor-in-Chief of the Emory Law Journal; William Agnor Scholar
Northwestern University (B.S. 2001)
Hardy Debate Scholar and member of the Northwestern Debate Society

Bar Admissions

Illinois (active)
New York (active)
Washington, D.C. (active)

Eli J. Kay-Oliphant

Partner

Contact:
eli.kay-oliphant@sparacinopllc.com

Eli J. Kay-Oliphant has litigated the most complex of issues for the last fifteen years. He has represented defendants and plaintiffs in state and federal courts throughout the country, as well as in arbitration and mediation.

Mr. Kay-Oliphant’s practice focuses on complicated and “bet the company” contractual matters, commercial fraud, and other business torts.  He has experience with class actions in both state and federal court. He has worked on matters related to the financial services, aviation, energy, health care, technology, and media industries. He has litigated regarding airline preemption, sophisticated financial products such as credit default swaps, Ponzi schemes, and residential mortgage-backed securities, online financial products and transactions, complex software and technology, real estate, and data privacy and security matters.

Mr. Kay-Oliphant has deep expertise in the state and federal courts in Chicago.  He has handled all phases of litigation, from pre-complaint negotiations, to drafting, defending, and attacking complaints at the pleading stage, to managing and litigating discovery disputes, to summary judgment, to settlement, and to trial.  He also has experience with appellate litigation before Federal Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, and recently won an appeal before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for Southwest Airlines.

Before joining Sparacino PLLC, Mr. Kay-Oliphant was a Partner at Massey & Gail LLP. Prior to that, he worked at the the international law firms Latham & Watkins in New York City and O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C., and clerked for the Honorable W. Eugene Davis of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Kay-Oliphant’s representations prior to this firm include:

  • Successful prosecution as first chair a claim regarding violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act by the Illinois Commerce Commission on behalf of an energy company and an Illinois non-profit company. Negotiated a favorable settlement which included payment of clients’ attorneys’ fees.
  • Successfully defended Southwest Airlines as first chair in two different consumer class actions in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 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 Court of Appeals. In the other case, moved to dismiss and won dismissal of all claims with prejudice, and then successfully defended dismissal on appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented an international airline in Illinois state court, defending a consumer class action raising issues of federal preemption under the Airline Deregulation Act, the Federal Aviation Act, and the Montreal Convention.
  • Represented the parents of Seth Rich in their lawsuit alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims, against Fox News and others in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Successfully defended a consumer-interest group as first chair in a complex discovery dispute related to a widely-reported case regarding internet-safety, intellectual property, and piracy issues before the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Southern District of Mississippi.
  • Successfully prosecuted breach-of-contract and conversion claims as first chair on behalf of a major financial institution, 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.
  • Successfully defended breach-of-contract and property tort claims, on behalf of a major financial institution, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Won summary judgment on all claims, ending the lawsuit.
  • Secured an $8M+ arbitration award in favor of 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.