J. ELI WADE-SCOTT is a Partner at Edelson PC where he leads the firm’s Class Action practice group.
Eli has repeatedly been appointed class counsel in cases pressing novel questions of law, and has negotiated record-breaking settlements in privacy cases. Eli has also been frequently appointed to represent states and cities to handle high-profile litigation, including by the District of Columbia against JUUL, Inc. in litigation arising from the youth vaping epidemic, by the State of New Mexico to prosecute Google’s violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and as a Special Assistant State’s Attorney for Illinois and the District of Columbia in litigation against Facebook arising from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
- Lead counsel on behalf of Rohingya refugee community seeking $150 billion against Facebook for fueling genocide in Myanmar by prioritizing hate speech on the platform. Doe v. Meta Platforms, Inc., 2022-cv-00051 (N.D. Cal.).
- Successfully represented ACLU and other public interest organizations as lead outside counsel in a lawsuit against Clearview, Inc., resulting in consent decree. The consent decree permanently enjoins Clearview from selling access to its massive database of facial vectors to any private person or company, as well as prohibits Clearview from sales to any entity within Illinois for five years, including government agencies or police departments. American Civil Liberties Union v. Clearview AI, Inc., No. 20 CH 4353 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.). The settlement has been called a “milestone for civil rights.”
- Representing District of Columbia in action seeking $1.7 billion in civil penalties against Facebook arising from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Appointed Special Assistant State’s Attorney in similar case brought on behalf of the People of the State of Illinois. In the latter action, argued successful motion to remand posing from MDL for State’s Attorney, on motion posing novel questions of Article III jurisdiction. In re Facebook, Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litig., No. 18-cv-06486, 2019 WL 348893 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 29, 2019).
- Lead counsel in more than a dozen of the first cases filed under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). Appointed class counsel in first-ever case against a biometric timeclock vendor, and secured the largest-ever settlement against a vendor. See Kusinski v. ADP LLC, No. 2017-CH-12364 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.). In BIPA actions brought against employers, negotiated the highest cash relief per-person ever obtained in privacy cases—exceeding $1,000 per person—and distributed using novel method of direct checks to the class. E.g., Lloyd v. Xanitos, Inc., 2018 CH 15351 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.); Barnes v. Aryzta LLC, 2017 CH 11312 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.), Cornejo v. Amcor LLC, 18-cv-7018 (N.D. Ill.); Fluker v. Glanbia Performance Nutrition LLC, 2017 CH 12993 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.). Obtained adversarial class certification in one of the first determinations in a consumer case after Facebook. Morris v. Wow Bao, 2017-CH-12029 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.). In all, secured nearly $100 million in settlements to Illinois employees and consumers under the law to date.
- Representing dozens of families against ADT over massive loophole in its flagship “smart home” security system that allowed an employee to surreptitiously spy on families—including children—in their most intimate moments at home for more than seven years without detection.
- Representing the District of Columbia in enforcement action against JUUL for alleged deceptive marketing leading to a youth vaping epidemic. District of Columbia v. JUUL Labs, Inc., 2019 CA 007795 B (D.C. Sup. Ct.).
- Successfully represented the State of New Mexico in action against Google for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. State of New Mexico, ex rel. Hector Balderas, Attorney General for the State of New Mexico v. Google LLC, 20-cv-00143 (D.N.M.).
- Secured temporary restraining order and civil contempt against hospital purchasers who sought closure of Westlake Hospital—a community hospital serving Melrose Park, Illinois—in what has been called “one of the most complicated hospital closure disputes in the state’s history.” Village of Melrose Park v. Pipeline Health Sys. LLC, et al., No. 19-CH-03041 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.). Successfully resolved the case on behalf of the Village of Melrose Park, and the hospital will be preserved under new ownership.
- Successfully represented the City of Chicago and Cook County State’s Attorney against Uber Technologies for 2014 and 2016 data breaches. City of Chicago and People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Kimberly M. Foxx, State’s Attorney of Cook County, Illinois v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 17-CH-15594 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty, Ill.).
- Recognized as a Rising Star of the Plaintiffs Bar by The National Law Journal, 2022-2023.
- Covered in the “They’ve Got Next” series, profiling Five Fresh Faces to Know in Privacy and Cybersecurity.
- Recognized as an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers, 2019-2022
- Awarded an Equal Justice America Fellowship in 2012 and Vorenberg Equal Justice Summer Fellowship in 2013 to fund public interest positions.
- Awarded a Skadden Fellowship by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, 2014.
- Panelist, “The Day After Tomorrow: What’s Next for U.S. Consumer Privacy?”, IAPP Privacy. Security. Risk (October 13, 2022).
- Panelist, “Big Data Consumer Class Actions: A Problem in Need of a Solution or a Solution in Need of a Problem?“, ABA Regional Symposium on Class Actions and Mass Torts (June 17, 2022).
- Presenter, “The Remote Courtroom in the Time of COVID”, Illinois State Bar Association & Illinois Judges’ Association (December 11, 2020).
- Presenter, “Standing, Statutory Violations, and “Intangible Harm””: The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and Beyond, Celesq (May 5, 2019).
- Guest Lecturer in the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law’s Clinic Practice: Civil Litigation Course, 2015 and 2016.
Before joining Edelson PC, Eli served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer of the Northern District of Illinois. Eli has also worked as a Skadden Fellow at Legal Aid Chicago, Cook County’s federally-funded legal aid provider. There, Eli represented low-income tenants in affirmative litigation against their landlords to remedy dangerous housing conditions.
Eli received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an Executive Editor on the Harvard Law and Policy Review and a research assistant to Professor Vicki C. Jackson.