Overview

Ann MacDonald is a partner in Schiff Hardin’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group and is based in Chicago. She litigates high value, high stakes cases in courts across the United States.

Ann regularly counsels and represents clients at the forefront of their industries, including energy, hospitality, sports, entertainment, and technology. She is adept at helping her clients navigate complicated disputes and find solutions, whether through litigation or alternate dispute resolution.

Ann also has experience representing clients in governmental and internal investigations, and responding to third-party subpoenas and information requests.

  • Experience

    Energy

    • Trial counsel for independent power producer in dispute regarding performance of coal transportation agreement.
    • Pre-litigation counsel in dispute resolution proceedings involving renewable energy facilities, including counseling regarding state approval process and strategy for government and community engagement.
    • Trial counsel for transmission only public utility in federal court litigation on admiralty claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(h) and claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) to obtain reimbursement for environmental response costs and property damage arising from destruction of two submarine electric power circuits.
    • Trial counsel for independent power producer in defense of a citizens’ suit alleging violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and other federal and state regulations governing opacity and particulate matter emissions from coal fired power plant.
    • Trial counsel for a commodities trading firm in connection with alleged breach of master rail car lease for transportation of Bakken crude oil.
    • Trial counsel for independent power producer in dispute arising in connection with alleged breach of electric power plant engine maintenance agreement and warranty claims for defective engine components.

    Hospitality and Franchise

    • Trial counsel for hospitality client in multi-party antitrust lawsuits involving claims under the Sherman Act.
    • Trial counsel for hospitality client on claims of negligence and for punitive damages.
    • Successful defense of a franchisor in injunction proceedings related to site termination.
    • Successful defense of a timeshare company in consumer class actions alleging statutory violations and common law claims.
    • Won summary judgment for a franchisor in a breach of license agreement case related to site termination.

    Sports and Entertainment

    • Pre-litigation counsel for claim against professional athlete arising out of personal services contract.
    • Obtained a verdict after a two-week jury trial of $8.9 million in favor Michael Jordan against Safeway and Dominick's for the unauthorized use of his identity in an ad published in a Sports Illustrated commemorative issue celebrating Michael Jordan's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
    • Successful prosecution of claims by Michael Jordan against Supervalu and Jewel food stores for the unauthorized use of his identity in an ad published in a Sports Illustrated commemorative issue celebrating Michael Jordan's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
    • Successful prosecution of claims against Samsung for the unauthorized use of Pele’s identity in a look-alike ad published in The New York Times and other national publications.
    • Successful prosecution of claims against Fox Broadcasting Company for the unauthorized use of Muhammad Ali’s identity in a promotional video broadcast during the pregame show before the Super Bowl.
    • Won summary judgment for Warner Bros. on its claims for infringement of its copyrights in The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and the Tom and Jerry cartoons.
    • Successful defense in an evidentiary hearing of a motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the release of Warner Bros.’ movie The Hangover Part II based on a claim of copyright infringement by the tattooist who created Mike Tyson’s facial tattoo.

    Other significant litigation experience

    • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of alleged consumer class action against retail chain alleging unfair business practices with regard to warranty program.
    • Team member for successful resolution of client’s claim for damage to seed and herbicide business caused by defendant’s GMO contamination, after the court dismissed the defendant’s $850 million counterclaim.
    • Successful defense of trust company in lawsuit seeking reimbursement for alleged breach of fiduciary duty and mismanagement of trust funds.
    • Successful defense of a transportation company in tort lawsuits alleging serious and permanent physical injuries.
    • Successful defense of product manufacturers in numerous tort lawsuits alleging personal injuries.

     

  • Credentials

    Education

    • Washington University School of Law, J.D., 2008, cum laude
      Global Studies Law Review, Executive Notes Editor
      Dean's List
      First Year Legal Research and Writing, Teaching Assistant
      Women's Law Caucus, Public Service Chair (2006-2007)
    • Colby College, B.A., English and French, 2005, magna cum laude
    • Swarthmore College - Grenoble - France, Study Abroad Program, 2003

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • Missouri
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

        Professional Memberships

        • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, Information Committee Member
        • Chicago Council of Lawyers, Board of Governors & Executive Committee Member
        • DRI, Retail and Hospitality Committee, Vice-Chair; Steering Committee
          • DRI Retail and Hospitality Seminar, Program Chair, Orlando, Fla. (May 6-8, 2020)
          • DRI Retail and Hospitality Seminar, Program Vice-Chair, Orlando, Fla. (May 8-10, 2019)
          • DRI Retail and Hospitality Seminar, Marketing Chair, Chicago, IL (May 5-6, 2016)
      • Insights

        TITLE
        News Release

        Emerging Lawyers Network Lists Seven Schiff Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been named to the 2020 Emerging Lawyers Network, which comprises attorneys who have demonstrated themselves to be professional, ethical, and experienced at an early stage in their legal career.

        News Release

        Emerging Lawyers Lists 14 Schiff Attorneys in Illinois

        Fourteen Schiff Hardin attorneys have been named to the 2019 Emerging Lawyers Network.

        Event
        News Release

        Schiff Advised Altaris on $1.1 Billion Take-Private Acquisition of Analogic

        Schiff Hardin LLP served as legal counsel to Altaris Capital Partners in connection with an Altaris affiliate’s acquisition of Analogic Corporation for approximately $1.1 billion.

        Article
        News Release

        18 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2018 Emerging Lawyers List

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 18 of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the 2018 Emerging Lawyers Network.

        News Release

        Nineteen Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named Emerging Lawyers

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 19 of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the 2017 Emerging Lawyers Network.

        Article

        Schiff Hardin Secures $2.6M Win for Warner Bros.

        The Eighth Circuit affirmed a $2.57 million damages award and permanent injunction in favor of Warner Bros., protecting its copyrights and trademarks in The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, and Tom & Jerry cartoons.

        News Release

        22 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Emerging Lawyers Network

        The list comprises those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

        Publications

        • “The 7 Step Guide To Tackling Tough Topics In Jury Selection,” publication for ABA Women of the Section of Litigation (2015)
        • "Discovery," published in Class Actions (co-author), Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2013)

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “You Want To Inspect What? How Businesses Are Balancing Privacy, Service & Security After The Recent Mass Shootings,” American Bar Association Webinar, Forum on Franchising (Jan. 19, 2019)
        • “What’s New in Retail Litigation,” DRI Annual Meeting, San Francisco, Calif. (Oct. 19, 2018)
        • “The Most Common Post-Relationship Disputes,” ABA 41st Annual Forum on Franchising, Nashville, Tenn. (Oct. 10, 2018)
        • “Cain v. Abel, Dealing with Sibling Rivalries in Family Owned Businesses,” American Bar Association Webinar (Apr. 19, 2016)
        • “Race, Sex, and Bad Behavior: Tackling Tough Topics in Jury Selection,” presentation at ABA Women of the Section of Litigation (2015)
        • “Class vs. Collective Actions: A Distinction With A Difference,” presentation at DRI Retail and Hospitality Seminar (2015)
        • “Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now? The Complexity of Removal,” presentation at ABA Women of the Section of Litigation (2014)
      • Citizenship

        Pro Bono Activities

        Ann is committed to providing legal representation to individuals and organizations that cannot afford to hire legal assistance, and she is very active in pro bono matters. In February 2015, she tried a Section 1983 civil rights case to verdict in the Central District of Illinois and regularly accepts court appointments for indigent civil rights plaintiffs. She has argued before the Georgia Supreme Court while representing a death row inmate in Georgia and assists with various family and housing law matters through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.

        Civic and Charitable Memberships

        • Special Olympics Illinois, Leaders Council
      image description

      Schiff Hardin secures $2.6M win for Warner Bros.

      The Eighth Circuit affirmed a $2.57 million damages award and permanent injunction in favor of Warner Bros., protecting its copyrights and trademarks in The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, and Tom & Jerry cartoons. MORE

      image description

      Schiff Hardin secures $8.9 million verdict in favor of Michael Jordan

      On August 21, 2015 a federal court jury in Chicago returned a verdict of $8.9 million in favor of client Michael Jordan and against Safeway and Dominick's for the unauthorized use of his identity in an advertisement. Lead attorney Fred Sperling discussed the case in an interview on WGN Radio 720 AM. More