Clients count on us to handle their most pressing challenges, and we deliver — achieving success in the courtroom and in the boardroom.


Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila’s signature talent, discipline and creativity make a winning difference. Here’s just a sample of some of the most recent results we delivered for our clients:

Class Action

  • In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, won reversal of a class-certification ruling and direction that the trial court dismiss the case against our client, a Fortune 50 company. The far-reaching consequences of this decision were evident in the six amicus briefs filed by competitors across the insurance industry. 
  • Defeated series of asserted nationwide Medicare Secondary Payer Act class actions against leading insurer.
  • Won affirmance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit of an order dismissing a putative class action complaint against a major airline challenging a cancellation-fee policy.
  • Won affirmance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit of an order dismissing a putative nationwide class action against a major airline (and its competitors) for alleged violations of Civil RICO based on the assessment of foreign tourism taxes. 
  • Negotiated and accomplished several class settlements under terms favorable to our clients, while standing ready to try those matters.

Product Liability, Environmental, and Mass Torts

  • In a case of national importance to toxic tort litigation, won in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit a decision excluding the cancer causation opinion of the plaintiff’s expert as “junk science,” affirming the jury verdict for our client.
  • Won summary judgment in Harris County, Texas, shortly before trial in a catastrophic personal injury case stemming from a railcar incident. 
  • Won a jury verdict in Missouri state court for a prominent manufacturing company in a complex product liability case after just a single day of jury deliberations. 
  • Won a verdict on all counts and successfully defended our Fortune 100 client against claims of negligence and product liability. 
  • Won affirmance by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit of a trial court order rejecting a new “negligent product liability” theory based on our client’s patent license to the owner and operator of the manufacturing plant where the plaintiff was allegedly injured.
  • Achieved a hard-won reversal from the Illinois Supreme Court in a toxic tort case on behalf of a Fortune 500 manufacturing company.  

White Collar Criminal Defense

  • On the eve of trial, won dismissal of federal bank fraud charges against a bank executive and Small Business Administration loan specialist. 
  • Won dismissal of federal fraud charges against a world-renowned research scientist after mistrial in a federal jury trial. 
  • Persuaded the government to dismiss the indictment, in its entirety, of an individual charged with criminal insider trading.
  • Convinced Department of Justice to decline charges against companies and individuals in civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations.
  • Obtained a sentence of time served for a client charged with crimes from an indictment that was decades old.
  • Discretely and effectively represented dozens of entities and individuals under investigation for various federal criminal charges including public corruption, insider trading, and wire fraud.

Internal and Government Investigations 

  • Assisted numerous public and private companies in assessing allegations of financial fraud at the highest levels of their organizations. Advised clients on decisions about whether to voluntarily report wrongdoing by high-level executives.
  • Conducted multiple internal investigations for global pharmaceutical manufacturer to resolve allegations of potential violations of federal law, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute.  
  • Conducted internal investigation for global asset management company in relation to a Department of Justice investigation.
  • Represented global asset management company before the United States Securities Exchange Commission related to an investigation concerning securities fraud.
  • Represented an officer of global cryptocurrency exchange in an investigation being conducted by the United States Department of Justice, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and a state Attorney General’s office.

Compliance and Corporate Governance

  • Conducted multiple global anti-bribery/anti-corruption compliance assessments for private and public companies subject to government investigations.
  • Crafted and delivered compliance training on a wide range of topics including anti-bribery/anti-corruption, security awareness, and general ethics and compliance.
  • Designed compliance programs for newly formed entities, including in the technology, nonprofit, and cannabis industries.
  • Drafted core governance documents for organizations in a wide range of industries.

Intellectual Property

  • Won a motion to dismiss a complaint filed by a patent troll against our health care software company client that not only scuttled the lawsuit but invalidated the complainant’s patents; then argued this case on appeal to the Federal Circuit, where the judge affirmed both the lower court’s dismissal and finding that complainant’s patents were invalid and unenforceable. 
  • Won an order in the Federal Circuit that invalidated the plaintiff’s patent because it claimed an abstract idea and dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit against our client.
  • Forced a copycat product off the market after filing copyright case for a top-three worldwide bottle manufacturer.

Commercial Disputes and Litigation

  • Won summary judgment in a breach-of-contract case of great strategic importance to our Fortune 50 client overcoming “home court advantage” with judges, “little guy” appeal to a potential jury, adverse authority, and multiple amicus briefs filed in support of the plaintiff, and avoiding a trial and protecting our client from similar claims in the future.
  • Won summary judgment in a personal injury case against a transportation-industry client, delivering an important strategic victory. 
  • Won a decision from the Ninth Circuit affirming summary judgment in a significant commercial litigation dispute.


  • Won a decision in the Seventh Circuit affirming the dismissal of an antitrust challenge to the NCAA’s “year-in-residence” rule, and holding that the year-in-residence requirement is an eligibility rule meant to preserve the amateur character or college athletics and is therefore presumptively pro-competitive. 
  • Successfully tried to a jury a conspiracy in restraint of trade claim where the alleged conspirators had numerous conversations about a possible joint venture to share geographic areas.
  • Successfully defended, against many different antitrust challenges in District Courts and courts of Appeals, the NCAA’s eligibility rules for participation in intercollegiate athletics.
  • Defeated certification of an antitrust damages class in NDCA on grounds that individual issues predominated.

Business Transactions


  • A multimillion-dollar construction loan, syndicated for a multifamily property in Minnesota.
  • A multimillion-dollar construction loan for a multifamily property in Illinois.
  • An eight-figure revolving line of credit for the acquisition of properties throughout the U.S

Mergers and Acquisitions / Venture Capital

  • Represented a venture capital fund in a multimillion-dollar common stock investment in a sustainable packaging company.
  • Represented a public company buyer in an eight-figure asset acquisition of a commercial real estate brokerage and asset management company.
  • Represented a buyer in the multimillion-dollar equity purchase of a cigar bar and liquor distillery.


  • Won settlement resulting in dismissal of a federal Title IX suit on behalf of large, private university in case involving the discipline of a student found to have violated the university’s sexual harassment policy. 
  • Served as lead investigator in Title IX investigation for matter; conducted over 60 witness interviews and prepared final investigation reports and recommendations which were adopted by the university president. 
  • Won dismissal of Title IX claims against university in suit brought by former student.
  • Regularly advise colleges and universities as well as primary and secondary institutions on Title IX, Title VI, and ADA compliance matters.

Animal Law

  • Obtained a dismissal of an action challenging a California law that provides humane confinement standards in the Southern District of California, and in a second action challenging the same law in the Central District of California.
  • In the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, achieved both a reversal of a trial court order and an opinion directing the federal government to promulgate rules and regulations to ensure nationwide protection of birds not bred for use in research, and compelling adherence to the Animal Welfare Act, after the federal agency’s sixteen-year refusal to protect birds.
  • Ensured that lifesaving services could be provided to California’s companion animals when we succeeded in obtaining “essential service” and “essential worker” status for animal care facilities, animal control officers, and veterinarians in California.
  • In the Northern District of California, stopped the U.S. Forest Service from sending wild horses to slaughter for human consumption in Canada and Mexico.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

  • Counseled nationwide childcare provider through data breach, including coordinating multistate notification, interfacing with regulators, seeking insurance coverage, and advising on litigation and regulatory risks following a breach of sensitive financial data caused by employee error.
  • Represented client in investigating and responding to cyberbreach of client’s eCommerce vendor’s credit card processing systems, resulting in exposure of customer financial and other data, including advising on regulatory and notice obligations.
  • Assisted client with responding to ransomware attack on vendor’s systems, resulting in potential disclosure of confidential client information, including obtaining insurance coverage, retaining technical consultant, and seeking indemnification from vendor.
  • Counseled food service client regarding customer data collection and adoption of privacy policies for web and application-based services.
  • Conducted a cybersecurity tabletop exercise for the legal department and senior engineers of a major manufacturer.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

  • Secured dismissal of multiple lawsuits against former pioneering founder of cryptocurrency exchange alleging fraud, conversion, and breach of contract.
  • Defended cryptocurrency exchange executive in claims brought by the New York Attorney General resulting in a favorable resolution.
  • Represented Chief Compliance Officer in investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Department of Justice related to stablecoin offerings.

Pro Bono

Beyond the outstanding results we receive for our paying clients, we continue to live out our values through extensive pro bono and community service work. Our philosophy in taking on these cases is informed by our profound respect for the rule of law and the vital importance of having a justice system that is truly just for all who engage with it. To that end, our attorneys have secured certificates of innocence for wrongly convicted individuals and supported Freedom of Information requests to promote government transparency around rules and procedures.