Gary A. Isaac

Product Liability & Mass Torts, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Pro Bono


Gary Isaac is an experienced litigator and corporate advisor with extensive experience in mass tort, product liability, securities fraud and other complex litigation. He regularly advises and advocates on behalf of clients in product liability and mass tort litigation at the trial and appellate level regarding important strategic issues, including post-Daimler personal jurisdiction issues. Gary also devotes significant time to pro bono matters involving human rights issues, including the landmark Guantanamo detainee litigation.

Gary has substantial experience in nationwide litigation overseeing the efforts of regional and local counsel in pretrial discovery, motion practice and trial preparation, and in evaluating settlement alternatives. Gary’s recent experience includes representation of a chemical manufacturer in its litigation involving the manufacture and sale of certain PFAS chemicals. Gary has also represented Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc. in connection with product liability suits in multiple federal and state courts involving the Infuse® spinal fusion device and claimed off-label promotion of the device. Gary was also a member of the Mayer Brown team that acted as national counsel for Medtronic, Inc. in In re: Medtronic, Inc., Sprint Fidelis Leads Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1905), coordinating the defense of personal injury and economic damages claims, including numerous putative class actions, brought in federal and state courts. Gary has helped develop the overall legal strategy and defenses in the PFAS, Sprint Fidelis and Infuse® litigation, and in that capacity has been directly involved in briefing personal jurisdiction issues in numerous cases. He has played a similar role in coordinating and overseeing motion practice and appellate work—with a recent emphasis on personal jurisdiction issues—for Union Carbide Corporation in national asbestos litigation, and in coordinating summary judgment and jury instruction strategy for The Dow Chemical Company in national silicone implant litigation.

Gary has applied his extensive experience in product liability and mass tort litigation and commercial disputes to advise clients on potential liability exposures in connection with formal and informal due diligence conducted for various corporate transactions. He has also advised clients on common law and contractual indemnity issues.

Beginning in 2003, Gary has played an active role in the Guantanamo detainee and other post-9/11 litigation, both in the US Supreme Court and in the lower courts. He has co-authored amicus briefs in the Supreme Court in numerous post-9/11 cases, including two amicus briefs in the Supreme Court in Rasul v. Bush and two amicus briefs in Boumediene v. Bush, in which the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a 2006 law that attempted to strip the courts of jurisdiction to hear the detainees’ cases. Gary also helped plan and coordinate the overall amicus effort in Boumediene, which included the filing of some 20 amicus briefs by a wide array of individuals and organizations. In fall 2008, Gary co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of former federal judges and former senior Justice Department officials in support of the successful cert. petition in Al Marri v. Pucciarelli. In April 2006, the Center For Constitutional Rights, which has spearheaded the Guantanamo litigation, honored Gary with its 2006 President’s Award in recognition of his work. Gary is a frequent public speaker on the issues raised by the Guantanamo litigation.

Gary has practiced law at Mayer Brown since 1986.


  • Columbia University, BA, summa cum laude
  • Yale Law School, JD


  • Illinois
  • Connecticut


  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


  • English

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Advisory Board, Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, 2012 to date
  • US Board of Advisors, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), 2006 - 2017
  • Board of Directors, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, 2007-2009
  • Board of Directors, TimeLine Theatre Company, Chicago, 2006-2009
  • Board of Governors, Chicago Council of Lawyers, 1995–1996
  • Board of Directors, Pro Bono Advocates, 1989–1991