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Eric B. Wolff

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Senior Counsel

Eric B. Wolff is senior counsel with the firm’s Product Liability practice.  Eric began his legal career as a law clerk for William A. Fletcher on the Ninth Circuit, followed by clerking for Stephen F. Williams on the D.C. Circuit and Justice Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.  He joins Perkins Coie from The Boeing Company, where he most recently served as a vice president and assistant general counsel for labor, employment, and benefits issues, and before that as a chief counsel for general litigation.  While in his litigation position at Boeing, Eric successfully argued cases in the Ninth Circuit and the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of the company.  Listen to the oral argument in Tides v. Boeing, (No. 10-35238, 9th Cir., 2011), an appeal about whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower protections apply when employees have unauthorized contact with the media. 

Prior to joining Boeing in 2009, Eric was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the lead appellate lawyer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana.  He argued numerous cases in the Ninth Circuit and handled multiple trials in federal district court in Montana.  Eric was a frequent instructor on brief writing and oral argument at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC.  He has also taught administrative law and natural resources law at George Mason University and Pepperdine University. 

Eric earned his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and his B.A. in Philosophy and Writing from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN).

Eric recently successfully argued City of Livonia Employees’ Retirement System v. Boeing (No. 12-899, 7th Cir. 2013), an appeal involving a high-profile securities fraud class action in which a district court found that the Robbins Geller law firm misrepresented critical facts about a confidential source in order to survive a motion to dismiss.  See “Boeing Beats the Trial Bar: A Chicago judge issues the year’s biggest plaintiff smackdown,” Wall St. J., March 19, 2011.  The case involves the 2009 announcement of a delay in the first flight of Boeing’s cutting-edge 787 Dreamliner. Listen to the oral argument. The court of appeals found that plaintiffs’ counsel had made “confident assurances in their complaints about a confidential source . . . even though none of the lawyers had spoken to the source,” and accused plaintiffs’ counsel of “ostrich tactics” for failing to inquire with their source. The court also recognized that plaintiffs’ counsel had engaged in similar misconduct in other cases, holding that “[r]ecidivism is relevant in assessing sanctions” on remand.  See City of Livonia Employees’ Retirement System v. The Boeing Company, Nos. 12-1899 and 12-2009, --- F.3d ---- (7th Cir. March 26, 2013).  Read the opinion.

Eric recently successfully argued Fortaner v. Boeing (No. 11-55951, 9th Cir., 2012), an appeal about whether lawsuits filed in the United States concerning the August 2008 crash of a Spanish airliner in Spain should proceed in the United States or be dismissed under the doctrine of forum non conveniens because Spain was the proper forum. Listen to the oral argument.

Related Employment

  • Boeing, Puget Sound, WA, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, 2012; Chief Counsel, 2009 - 2012
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana, Assistant U.S. Attorney, 2005 - 2009
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Washington, D.C., Partner, 2004 - 2005, Associate, 2001 - 2005

Clerkships

  • Hon. Justice Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Hon. Stephen F. Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Hon. William A. Fletcher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Education

  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law, (Boalt Hall), JD, 1998
  • Concordia College, B.A., Philosophy; Writing, 1995

Bar Admissions

  • Washington

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court