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Francis A. “Frank” Citera is a nationally-recognized trial lawyer representing clients in product liability, toxic torts, class actions, and other complex litigation matters in federal and state courts. Frank is co-chair of the firm’s Product Liability and Mass Torts Litigation Practice and co-chair of the Chicago Litigation Practice. An experienced architect of litigation strategies, Frank defends companies in various industries and business sectors, including retailers such as Albertson’s and Claire’s Stores, and technology and electronics companies like Qualcomm, Sony Electronics, and UL Solutions. He has achieved success in defeating class certification, disputing alleged claims in court, and obtaining summary judgments and outright dismissals prior to trial.

Frank is recognized in Chambers USA for Product Liability & Mass Torts (USA – Nationwide) and Litigation: General Commercial (Illinois), where he has been described by clients as being “a gifted litigator but, more than that, he's a thoughtful adviser who protects the interests of his client beyond the scope of any particular lawsuit.” The Legal 500 United States described him as “a seasoned lawyer who can solve almost any issue” and who is “tenacious, thoughtful, and intelligent.” Recently, Frank was named an “Ally of the Year” as part of the Corporate Counsel 2023 Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards and was included on the Crain’s Chicago Business 2023 list of Notable Litigators and Trial Attorneys. Recognized as a thought leader in the area of toxic torts, he serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law teaching toxic torts to the next generation of lawyers.

Frank also advises clients on risk management, crisis management and communications, and product safety matters and has appeared before federal and state agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board.


  • Products liability
  • Class actions
  • Mass torts
  • Environmental
  • Civil practice
  • Appellate



  • Representing Albertsons Companies Inc. and United Natural Foods, Inc. in the National Prescription Opiate litigation pending in the Northern District of Ohio and in various state court actions pending throughout the United States.
  • Represented ADM in a wrongful death action. Citera and his team won a hard-fought motion to transfer venue based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, which affirmed the trial court’s order transferring venue.
  • Counseling a major retailer on asbestos and talc issues.
  • Represented UL LLC in an action where the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted a motion to dismiss for lack of standing and failure to state a claim. Plaintiff appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which affirmed the initial ruling of the Southern District of Florida.
  • Represented Sears, Roebuck and Co. both before the Supreme Court of Mississippi and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In Learmonth v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., the Fifth Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of Mississippi’s $1 million statutory cap on noneconomic damages.
  • Represented Sears, Roebuck and Co. in an argument before the Supreme Court of Illinois. In Townsend v. Sears Roebuck and Co., plaintiffs sought to apply Illinois law to the issues of liability and damages in an action involving an allegedly defectively-designed riding lawn tractor. The Court reviewed the choice-of-law analysis and concluded that the law of Michigan governed plaintiff’s claims.
  • Represented Combined Insurance Company (Combined) in a putative class action asserting various claims in connection with an alleged “data breach” with respect to certain personally identifiable information. Plaintiff’s class certification motion was denied and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied Plaintiff’s petition for leave to appeal the order denying class certification. In November 2017, the District Court ruled in favor of Combined, granting the company’s motion for summary judgment.
  • Secured a dismissal for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in a putative class action alleging violations of equal protection and CTA fare policies as well as unjust enrichment. Ultimately, the Court found that plaintiff did not have standing to bring claims in her own name when the alleged violations related to her children. Most notably, the court stated that fare policies are not laws for the purpose of equal protection, and there was no evidence of unequal treatment. The trial court’s ruling was affirmed on appeal.
  • Representing Energizer Holdings, Inc. in a putative class action asserting breach of the implied warranty of merchantability and other claims arising under the CLRA, UCL, and FAL. Plaintiffs allege defendants’ advertisements omitted essential facts regarding their liquid-based vehicle air freshener products. 
  • Represented Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (“Samsung”) in a putative consumer class action alleging that the rear camera lens covers on various models of Samsung smartphones spontaneously shatter without external impact or force. GT won a partial motion to dismiss in Kessler v. Samsung, pending in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which asserted breach of warranty and unjust enrichment claims.
  • Represented Champion Petfoods USA in a series of putative class actions alleging its pet food brands were tainted with mercury, lead and arsenic.
  • Represented Sears, Roebuck and Co. in a series of putative class actions pending in state and federal courts alleging that Sears deceptively marketed and labeled its proprietary line of Craftsman tools as “Made in USA” when, in fact, some of these tools contained significant foreign components.
    • In Santamarina v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., plaintiffs alleged violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Law and sought to certify a class consisting of: “All persons who purchased, in the state of California…any Craftsman branded tool or product where any unit or part thereof was entirely or substantially made, manufactured or produced outside of the United States.” The Los Angeles Superior Court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and the decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal of the State of California.
    • In In re Sears, Roebuck and Co. Tools Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, the court denied plaintiff’s motion to certify a class of Florida consumers for claims under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and Florida’s unjust enrichment common law for the fourth time. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed plaintiff's appeals.
    • In Baumann v. Sears Roebuck and Company, the Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed the dismissal of two putative class actions seeking compensatory and injunctive relief with respect to the plaintiffs’ purchase of various Craftsman brand tools.
  • Represented Sears Roebuck and Co. in three consolidated class actions alleging that Sears’ transmittals of the plaintiffs’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, and encrypted credit card information violated their privacy rights and the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. The trial court granted Sears’ motion for summary judgment on all of the class’s claims.
  • Represented Albertsons Safeway in a class action alleging the grocer filled prescriptions with generic drugs that are not therapeutically equivalent to the brand prescription, Concerta. The judge dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint and entered judgment in favor of the defendants, noting the plaintiff did not prove that the generic drug failed to act in the same matter as Concerta or that it was not a safe and effective treatment for ADHD.
  • Serve as national counsel for two manufacturers in a series of class action lawsuits that have been filed against manufacturers, suppliers, vendors and lessors of wireless handheld telephones, those who provide wireless services for such devices, and two trade associations. Plaintiffs allege that radiofrequency energy emitted by wireless telephones can cause cancer.
  • Representation of a defense contractor in multiple high-profile mass toxic-tort actions in which plaintiffs allege that emissions from its manufacturing facility contaminated nearby properties and potentially exposed persons near the facility. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, medical monitoring, and monetary damages. In one of these actions, the Court entered judgment in favor of our client after excluding Plaintiff’s general causation expert.
  • Represented a global chemicals distributor in two actions that were pending in the Central District of California. Plaintiffs, two water utilities whose water supplies are derived from municipal wells, alleged that their drinking water supplies were contaminated with hexavalent chromium manufactured and distributed by multiple suppliers, including our client. Plaintiffs brought claims for nuisance, trespass and utility tampering. Chief Judge Mueller dismissed plaintiffs’ claims concluding, for example, that plaintiffs’ complaints were not sufficient to establish a nuisance. Following Chief Mueller’s order, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims against the supplier defendants.
  • Served as counsel for an industrial client in two trials arising from the Lower Fox River and Green Bay Superfund site:
    • United States v. P.H. Glatfelter Co. et al., represented defendant on claims of the government for a mandatory injunction to implement the remedy for the Lower Fox River and Green Bay Superfund site and for recovery of costs and natural resource damages. Significantly, the Seventh Circuit held that the permanent injunction entered by the district court was improper and must be vacated. This action makes clear that CERCLA cannot be used by the EPA to evade legal requirements for permanent injunctive relief. 
    • NCR Corp. V. Geo. A. Whiting Paper Co., represented defendant and counterclaim plaintiff in Superfund allocation case for the Lower Fox River and Green Bay Superfund site tried February 2012. 
  • Represented a large defense contractor in an action brought by 45 plaintiffs, who alleged property damage and personal injuries as a result of their exposure to BTEX contamination in both soil and groundwater in Wedron, Illinois. The trial court concluded that plaintiffs’ expert’s opinions were based solely on his assumption that groundwater conditions changed over time (and therefore groundwater flow changed over time). The court found that this was insufficient grounds on which to base an expert opinion and granted our motion to exclude the expert’s testimony. Without the benefit of expert testimony to support plaintiffs’ argument that our client was a cause of the contamination in Wedron, Plaintiffs were unable to sustain their burden of proof as to causation. As such, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of our client.
  • Adjunct Professor, Toxic Torts, University of Miami School of Law
  • Case Study Evaluation Panel Member, Consumer Product Safety Professional Certification Program, Emerson Leadership Institute, Saint Louis University Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business

Recognition & Leadership

  • Winner, Corporate Counsel Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards, “Ally of the Year,” 2023
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2017 and 2021-2023
    • Band 2, Product Liability, 2020-2022
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, 2009, 2011-2023
    • Environment: Litigation, 2014-2023
    • Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action - Toxic Tort - Defense, 2018-2023
    • Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Consumer Products (Including Tobacco), 2011-2014, 2018-2023
    • Dispute Resolution, General Commercial Disputes, 2020
    • Supreme Court and Appellate, 2009, 2017
  • Listed, Crain's Chicago Business, “Notable Litigators & Trial Attorneys,” 2023
  • Listed, Benchmark Litigation, “Litigation Star,” 2023-2024
  • Selected, Thomson Reuters, “Stand-Out Lawyer – Independently Rated Lawyers,” 2022
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2024
    • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, 2023-2024
    • Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2008-2023
  • Listed, Who’s Who Legal: Product Liability Defense, 2021-2023
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005-2024
  • Listed, Leading Lawyers Network, 2005-2024
  • Team Member, a Law360 “Environmental Practice Group of the Year,” 2022
  • Listed, Acritas Stars™ Independently Rated Lawyers, “Star Lawyers,” 2018-2021
  • Team Member, a Law360 “Product Liability Practice Group of the Year,” 2011 and 2021-2022
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” Tier 1 Ranking, “Mass Torts/Class Actions – Defendants,” 2021
  • Team Member, The American Lawyer’s “Products Liability Litigation Department of the Year,” 2018
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, “Law Firm of the Year,” Environmental Law, 2016
  • Recipient, Alumni Achievement Award, University of Miami School of Law, October 2014
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Director, Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, 2014-Present
  • Rabiej Litigation Law Center
    • Member, Advisory Council
    • Member, Guidelines for MDL Maturity Criteria Project
  • Case Study Evaluation Panel Member, Consumer Product Safety Professional Certification Program, Emerson Leadership Institute, Saint Louis University Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Former Chair, Class Litigation Committee
    • Former Member, Nominating Committee
  • International Bar Association
    • Member, Litigation Committee
    • Member, Consumer Litigation Committee
    • Member, Negligence and Damages Committee
  • Member, American Apparel and Footwear Association, Product Safety Council
  • Member, American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Committee on Class Actions
  • Member, Appellate Lawyers Association
  • Member, City Club of Chicago
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO)
  • Member, Justinian Society
  • Chair, National Advisory Committee, University of Miami School of Law Alumni Association
  • Member, University of Miami School of Law Dean’s Advisory Council
  • Past Member, Northern District of Illinois Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Program Advisory Committee
  • Past Member, Board of Editors, Fen-Phen Litigation Strategist
  • Past Member, Board of Editors, Silica Legal News Report
  • Past Member, Board of Editors, Class Action Law & Strategy


  • J.D., cum laude, University of Miami School of Law, 1983
    • Student Research/Writing Editor, University of Miami Law Review
    • Moot Court
  • B.A., English, Columbia University, 1980
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois