It is a truth universally acknowledged that no matter where she shows up, Heidi Dalenberg is fully equipped to do battle. When Heidi takes on a case, her clients reap the benefit of her considerable knowledge, experience and intense personal investment, as well as her ready sense of humor. She is tenacious in investigating her clients’ cases and creative in her development of strategies carefully designed to protect their business interests.
She has defended clients in class actions and other complex civil litigation involving claims ranging from federal and state antitrust and RICO cases to matters of consumer fraud, product liability, and alleged civil rights violations. She has invested more than two decades working with the ACLU of Illinois as part of a team that took on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, winning and now enforcing a hard-won consent decree against the State for providing inadequate care to children in Illinois’ foster care system. In short, she’s not afraid of a fight.
And make no mistake, Heidi keeps herding cats – literally - when she gets home. There, the battle of wits continues with Mojo and Tallulah, two fiendish felines who believe that the human race was created for their pleasure and amusement. Anyone who assumes that Heidi is easily intimidated is making a mistake.
- Heidi has successfully represented a major insurer in many asserted class actions challenging claim payment and claim handling practices under various theories, including breach of contract, statutory fraud, and unjust enrichment. Each of these actions sought certification of statewide classes and demanded multi-million-dollar recoveries.
- Heidi assisted in defending a juvenile products manufacturer in a series of asserted class suits alleging a product defect. She developed a strategy that resulted in summary judgment for the manufacturer and denial of class certification in the first case to progress to class consideration, which ultimately led to quick resolution of the remaining cases through nominal individual settlements with the named plaintiffs.
- For more than 20 years, Heidi has served as cooperating counsel with the Illinois ACLU to represent the plaintiff class of children who sued the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for provision of inadequate care and other violations of their rights. Though the consent decree was entered in the case decades ago, active enforcements proceedings are ongoing.
- Heidi recently assisted a small business in defending an asserted class action for TCPA violations, which posed the potential for ruinous damages. Heidi assisted in developing an unusual defense based on the plaintiff’s counsel’s apparent conflict of interest, and the case was promptly dropped.
- Heidi provides ongoing counsel and advice for a significant client for a class of tort litigation pending in a hostile forum. In that role, she has assisted with developing the client’s defense strategy in such matters both pre- and post-litigation.
- Heidi’s experience in evidentiary proceedings includes trial of a design defect construction claim brought by a municipal authority, defense at trial in a case involving alleged theft of trade secrets, defense of a multi-million-dollar breach of contract action, and defense of clients at evidentiary proceedings on the question of class certification.
EducationLoyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1989, Student Articles Editor, Loyola University Chicago Law Journal
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 1983
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
American Bar Association
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Lawyers for Civil Justice
Honors & Awards
Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2017‐2019)
Chicago's Notable Women Lawyers, Crain’s Chicago Business (2018)
Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2013-2018)
Edwin A. Rothschild Civil Liberties Award, ACLU of Illinois (2009)