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Daniel J. Polatsek

Chicago Office

Dan Polatsek concentrates his practice in corporate litigation, white collar criminal defense and internal investigations. His clients span several different industries including financial services, insurance, banking, health care and commercial lending.

With respect to corporate litigation, Dan has represented corporations and senior executives against claims of fraud, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent transfer and defamation. His representative matters include two multimillion-dollar civil RICO trials on behalf of a nationally recognized research and development company, a multimillion-dollar fraud trial on behalf of a private equity broker, and the defense of the single-largest shareholder in an alleged multibillion-dollar fraudulent transfer action.

With respect to white collar criminal defense matters, Dan has represented large companies, corporate executives, attorneys and other individuals against charges of mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, in addition to other complex crimes. He also regularly represents uncharged companies and individuals through the grand jury investigation process. In addition, Dan conducts internal investigations on behalf of corporate clients on issues including but not limited to conflict of interest schemes, breaches of fiduciary duty and other types of corporate malfeasance.

Dan is frequently a featured speaker and author on conducting internal investigations, preservation of the attorney-client privilege and issues involving electronic discovery. Prior to joining Katten, he served as the judicial law clerk to Justice McBride of the Illinois Court of Appeals for the First District.

Additionally, Dan takes an active role in representing clients in a variety of pro bono matters ranging from felony criminal cases to cases under the Fair Housing Act, such as United States of America and Elie Bitton, et al. v. Peter Altmayer, Case No. 05 C 1239 (N.D. Ill. 2005), in which he counseled the plaintiff in a case of first impression asserting violations under the Fair Housing Act for a neighbor's discriminatory conduct.

Shown below is a selection of Daniel’s engagements.

  • Counsel to plaintiff in three-week federal jury trial involving claims of civil RICO, fraud and civil conspiracy. Jury verdict in favor of plaintiff on all counts resulting in a multimillion-dollar recovery for our client. Gas Technology Inst., et al. v. Amirali Rehmat, et al. No. 05 C 2712 (N.D. Ill.).
  • Counsel to defendants, a research and development company and three senior executives in eight-week federal jury trial involving claims of fraud, civil RICO, RICO conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty. At the conclusion of trial, the trial court dismissed or vacated the civil RICO and fraud claims in favor of all defendants and the jury dismissed the rest of the remaining claims. Cement-Lock, LLC and Richard Mell v. Gas Technology Inst., et al. No. 05 C 0018 (N.D. Ill.).
  • Counsel to plaintiff in four-week arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) involving claims of fraudulent inducement, breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Panel award in favor of plaintiff resulting in a multimillion-dollar award for our client. Galinsky v. Advanced Equities, Inc., Dwight Badger and Keith Daubenspeck, Case No. 10-00048 (2010).
  • Counsel to the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in an alleged multibillion-dollar fraudulent transfer action arising out of the Tribune Company's leveraged buyout transaction. In re Tribune Company Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation, 1:11-md-02296-WHP (S.D.N.Y. 2011).
  • Counsel to manufacturing company's Executive Vice President and General Counsel in ongoing federal grand jury investigation involving potential felony violations of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Counsel to research and development company in internal investigation involving a multimillion-dollar conflict of interest scheme.
  • Counsel to Chief Executive Officer of captive insurance company in ongoing federal grand jury investigation involving the alleged violations of Medicaid and Medicare insurance.
  • Counsel to commodities company in federal grand jury investigation involving alleged felony violations of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Counsel to project management and development company in action against government regulator involving allegations of fraud, unlawful anticompetitive conduct, and violations under the Civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.
  • Counsel to publicly traded third-party administrator of insurance benefits in internal investigation involving a multimillion-dollar fraudulent billing scheme.
  • Counsel to an automotive industry executive of a Fortune 500 company in federal grand jury and SEC investigation involving potential felony violations of securities laws.
  • Counsel to insurance brokerage firm in internal investigation involving a multimillion-dollar conflict of interest scheme.
  • Counsel to hedge fund in internal investigation involving the unlawful procurement of life insurance policies as investment vehicles.
  • Counsel to a retirement and health care trust in class action before the Illinois Supreme Court involving the constitutionality of mandatory contributions to health care benefits.
  • Counsel to lending institution in action against senior executives engaged in the fraudulent manipulation of the financial statements.
  • Counsel to international bank in class action alleging violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice against the bank after substantive briefing before the court. Adams, et al. v. Columbus Lumber Company, LLC, et al. 3:10-cv-00475-TSL -MTP (S.D. Miss. 2010).


Legal 500, 2018
January 1, 2009
Strategic Considerations When Conducting an Internal Investigation, The Corporate Counselor
November 1, 2003
Effectively Managing an Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Materials, The Practical Litigator
April 1, 2003
Enforcement of Foreign Media Judgments in the Aftermath of Gutnick v. Dow Jones, Communications Lawyer
February 1, 2003
Attorney-Client Privilege, Corporate Clients and the Control-Group Test, Illinois Bar Journal
December 1, 2002
Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege: Ex Parte Interviews of Former Corporate Employees, For The Defense
November 1, 2002
The Reporter's Privilege for the Seventh Circuit, The Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press
June 2017
Panel Member | Five Ways to Better Control Discovery Spend | ACC Legal Operations Conference | Chicago, Illinois
February 23, 2017
Panel Member | Controlling Litigation Costs, Bloomberg Law | Chicago, Illinois
March 2016
Presenter | What Happens When E-Discovery Meets Investigations | Inside Counsel Magazine | Webinar
February 2016
Presenter | TAR 2.0 for Smart People: Moving Beyond E-Discovery Review | Legaltech | New York, New York
August 2014
Presenter | Internal Investigations and the Attorney-Client Privilege | Knowledge Congress | Chicago, Illinois
May 1, 2011
Presenter | Employee Malfeasance & Internal Investigations: A Roadmap for Chief Financial Officers | Media Financial Management Association | Atlanta, Georgia
October 1, 2010
Presenter | What HR Executives Need to Know About Conducting an Internal Investigation | ExecSense Webinar | Webinar
June 1, 2010
Speaker | Managing Ethical Issues in Electronic Discovery | Half Moon Seminars, LLC | Chicago, Illinois
January 1, 2010
Speaker | Discovering Occupational Fraud in the Workplace: Its What You Do Next That Counts, | Media Financial Management Association | Chicago, Illinois
May 1, 2007
Speaker | Managing Internal Investigations Involving Employee Fraud | Media Financial Management Association National Conference | Las Vegas, Nevada
April 1, 2007
Electronic Discovery in the Digital Age of Media, Media Financial Management Association | Chicago, Illinois
Daniel J. Polatsek


  • JD, The John Marshall Law School
  • BA, Tulane University

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois


Legal 500
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Alternating Image: Quote praising Dan's Professionalism & Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News & World Report 2016 image

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