Sherri Thornton-Pierce is a seasoned trial lawyer, presently focusing her practice on commercial and business litigation, with an emphasis on public agency matters. Sherri has over 20 years of civil trial and appellate experience as a U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney, an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Chicago), and as Associate General Counsel for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago. Sherri’s depth of litigation experience includes the defense of complex civil rights matters, varied public agency program funding and contractual matters, and specialized tort actions.
Over the course of her career, Sherri has tried jury and non-jury cases in federal courts nationwide and has argued appellate cases in various jurisdictions on a variety of issues.
JD, 1985, Howard University School of Law, with high honors
BA, 1982, Rutgers University
Seventh Circuit U.S. District Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Illinois Supreme Court
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Maryland Court of Appeals
Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
National Bar Association
- Member, Development Board
Loyola University School of Law
- Former Adjunct Professor, Appellate Advocacy
Successfully brokered settlement of a potential multi-million dollar investment fraud claim.
Obtained permanent injunctive relief for a limited liability company and 50% member-manager to prevent the co-member from interfering with an ongoing $30 million construction project.
Successfully defended a Fortune 100 company in an arbitration proceeding initiated by a disgruntled third-party sales representative seeking over $1 million for an alleged breach of service contract.
Successfully representated a local political organization in an aldermanic election candidate challenge, resulting in an expedited appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court and decision upholding the constitutionality of a municipal code provision barring convicted felons from running for office.
Ongoing representation of municipal agencies pertaining to M/WBE Program issues.
Ongoing representation of companies in defending against employment discrimination and harassment claims.
Ongoing representation of individuals and business entities in responding to federal investigatory and trial subpoenas.
Federal Trial Court & Appellate Practice
RJB Properties, Inc., 468 F.3d 1005 (7th Cir. 2006) (Minority Business Enterprise-related public contract award dispute)
Lifton v. Board of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 416 F.3d 571 (7th Cir. 2005) (First Amendment & Due Process civil rights claims)
Transit Express, Inc. v. Ettinger, 246 F.3d 1018 (7th Cir. 2001) (federal transit program funding dispute)
Hansen v. Henderson, 233 F.3d 521 (7th Cir. 2000) (disability discrimination)
Constitutional & Specialized Torts Practice
Poulos v. Secretary of Dept. of Health & Human Services, 1994 WL 470622 (claimed vaccine-related onset of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
Ramono v. Secretary of Dept. of Health & Human Services, 1993 WL 472879 (claimed vaccine-related brain injury and onset of developmental disorder)
Sarit v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 796 F.Supp. 55 (D.C. RI)(1992)(drug-related property seizure claim)
Liberty Maritime Corp., et al. v. United States, et al., 1990 WL 238918 (D.D.C. 1990) (defense of $40 million federal sale of commercial oil tankers)
School Law-Related Practice
Successful trial and post-trial representation of the Chicago Public School District to terminate a 29-year-old federal desegregation consent decree and implement post-decree school admissions processes.
Ongoing representation of the Chicago Public School district's implementation of programs under a 25-year-old federal consent decree mandate to integrate schools and provide equitable educational access to English Language Learners.
Ongoing representation with regard to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) issues.
Supervisory counsel to Chicago Public Schools from 2001 to 2006, on broad issues including a variety of federal and state litigation matters; revisions to the district’s Student Assignment & Transfer Policy and M/WBE Program policies; coordination of FOIA responses; and counsel pertaining to “No Child Left Behind” federal legislation issues; English Language Learner Program implementation; and compliance with the federal McKinney-Vinto Homeless Assistance Act.