Johanna Spellman represents clients in multi-plaintiff and class action litigation as well as in complex commercial litigation.

Ms. Spellman represents clients on high-profile matters in state and federal court, including:

  • Class actions
  • Mass torts
  • Commercial litigation

She regularly serves clients in the retail and consumer products sector, and has litigated putative class action claims related to:

  • Toxic torts
  • Product liability
  • Complex commercial matters

Ms. Spellman has experience in all aspects of complex cases, including fact and expert discovery, motions practice (including dispositive motions), and trial. She particularly excels in early case strategy and written advocacy.

She also maintains an active pro bono practice, handling asylum, custody, education, and police misconduct related matters.

Ms. Spellman clerked for Judge Richard D. Cudahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. While attending Yale Law School, she was a member of the Yale Law Journal and an executive editor of the Yale Journal on Regulation.

Ms. Spellman’s experience includes representing:

Class Actions

  • A major university in a putative class action brought by students seeking tuition refunds after transition to remote instruction due to COVID-19 pandemic; matter pending
  • A natural gas company in Texas in a putative class action alleging claims of overbilling during the February 2021 severe winter storm; matter pending
  • A major global automobile manufacturer in putative class action litigation alleging RICO and other claims stemming from the alleged maintenance of undisclosed emissions “defeat devices”; matter pending
  • A nutritional supplement manufacturer in defending false advertising claims brought on behalf of putative nationwide and California classes; matter settled on favorable terms
  • A dispersant manufacturer in putative class action and other litigation arising out of Gulf of Mexico 2010 oil spill; obtained summary judgment
  • An athletic association in:
    • Multi-district putative class action litigation related to incidence of concussions in college sports; settled medical monitoring class claims favorably
    • More than 400 putative class actions consolidated into multi-district litigation related to concussive and sub-concussive hits in college football; plaintiffs seek damages for alleged bodily injuries; matter pending

Mass Torts

  • A national pipeline company in defending toxic tort claims of approximately 400 plaintiffs relating to a gasoline pipeline release; plaintiffs alleged personal injuries, emotional distress and diminution of property value as a result of the contamination of well water in the area; matter settled favorably
  • A national pipeline company in defending environmental claims brought by State authorities following gasoline pipeline release

Commercial Litigation

  • An energy trading company as plaintiff in a trial alleging a breach of contract claim involving a crude-by-rail facility in Houston, Texas; matter settled favorably after plaintiff presented its case
  • A Canadian dairy company in a breach of contract case; matter settled favorably
  • A medical waste services company in litigation related to alleged overbilling; matter pending

Bar Qualification

  • Illinois

Education

  • JD, Yale Law School, 2007
  • BA, Harvard University, 2001
    magna cum laude