Charles E. Harris, II, is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution group. His litigation practice focuses on a range of matters of paramount importance to the business community, including class actions, contract and real estate-related disputes, technology-related disputes, administrative actions, and privacy and cybersecurity. For instance, Charles has successfully defended individual and class action suits arising under the TCPA, AIPA, FCRA, FDCPA and state consumer protection statutes and defended data breach lawsuits. He has also defended clients in administrative actions before agencies such as the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Revenue. Charles has also handled many First Amendment cases alleging defamation and other privacy torts, and as a registered patent attorney, he has litigated IP disputes. Charles has prepared matters for trial, tried cases to completion, and represented clients on appeal in both federal and state courts.
In addition to being an accomplished litigator, Charles has significant experience in all areas of arbitration. He has represented clients engaged in domestic and international arbitration before many administrators, including the AAA, ICDR, ICC and IFTA. He has also litigated dozens of actions to enforce arbitration agreements. And, in doing so, Charles has faced many threshold questions of arbitrability, such as whether the court or an arbitrator decides if an arbitration agreement permits class arbitration. In addition, Charles acts as a commercial and consumer arbitrator for the AAA. He has presided over arbitrations ranging from complex computer software integration disputes to disputes regarding the control of a business entity.
Charles is also a trusted counselor for clients in several areas. As for privacy, Charles has assisted insurance companies, higher education institutions, service providers, and healthcare organizations in complying with the HIPAA and its implementing regulations, and responding to data breach incidents. Notably, Charles passed the Certified HIPAA Privacy Security (CHPSE) exam. Charles also counsels clients on creating and sustaining arbitration programs, complying with the TCPA, VPPA and Section 230 of the CDA, and avoiding First Amendment and privacy issues. Charles is also a thought leader in his areas of practice, and he has published extensively on subjects such as class-action defense, arbitration agreements, and First Amendment-related issues.
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Charles clerked for the late Judge David D. Dowd Jr., of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He received a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a MS in Biology, summa cum laude, from North Carolina Central University, and his JD, summa cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Charles has received a number of accolades for his leadership and legal experience, including Super Lawyers naming him to its “Illinois Rising Stars” list from 2013 to 2017, The Network Journal honoring him with its “40 Under Forty” Achievement Award, and the Illinois Diversity Council Multicultural Leadership Award.
- Munguia v. State of Illinois. Represented the Regional Transportation Authority of northeastern Illinois in a Title VI class action discrimination lawsuit brought by minority riders of the Chicago Transit Authority.
- Gunartt v. Rent-A-Center. Served as lead counsel in successfully representing the nation’s largest rent-to-own company in an action seeking to invalidate the company’s consumer arbitration clause.
- LaCost v. Roddy, Leahy, Guill & Zima. Served as lead counsel representing 10 defendants, including a 50-year-old soccer club, in a much publicized action alleging defamation and other business torts.
- Billingnetwork v. LOGITBIT. Served as lead co-counsel for a software company in a patent infringement matter alleging that the company’s enterprise software infringes a patent covering a billing system.
- Franklin Park O’Hare v. Digital Realty Trust. Represented Digital in real estate litigation regarding the completion of a state-of-the-art data center and the removal of a holdover tenant.
- Mamé v. Gardner Denver. Represented Gardner Denver in international arbitration regarding the alleged breach of a supply contract for metal forging used in fracking equipment.
- Legal Helpers v. Council of Better Business Bureaus. Served as lead counsel for the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern District of Illinois in successfully defending them against claims of defamation and other torts related to the Chicago Bureau’s rating of Legal Helpers.
- Cleveland-Cliffs v. ArcelorMittal. Represented ArcelorMittal in separate arbitrations, both of which concerned the sale and purchase of iron ore pellets.
- Dorinco Reinsurance Co. v. Swiss Reinsurance Co. Represented Dorinco Reinsurance Company in two international arbitrations relating to the provision of insurance coverage for damages caused at several Dow Chemical facilities in Louisiana by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
- In re TD Ameritrade Accountholder Litig. Represented TD Ameritrade in a class action brought by its accountholders who alleged that they had been damaged by a data security breach.
- In re Global Crossing Ltd. Securities Litig. Defended Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in a securities fraud class action brought by investors in Global Crossing who claimed that the corporation made false statements to them.
- CME Group v. Chicago Board Options Exchange. Represented the Chicago Board of Trade in a declaratory judgment action concerning the rights of “exercise right holders” in the merger between the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the CME Group.
- iPCS Wireless v. Sprint Nextel Corp. Represented iPCS in a dispute concerning Sprint’s failure to provide iPCS with third-generation wireless technology.
- State of Illinois v. Deborah Taylor. Won the acquittal after trial of a woman in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division, who was charged with murdering a friend of hers 10 years prior to being charged with the crime.
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, JD, summa cum laude
Associate and Managing Editor, Cleveland State Law Review
North Carolina Central University, MS in Biology, summa cum laude
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BS
- US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- US Patent and Trademark Office
- County Commissioner, Cook County Commission on Human Rights (2013-present)
- Board Member, Victory Gardens Theater (2014-present)
- Board Member, Heartland Human Care Services (2012-present)
- Board Member, Chicago Committee on Large Law Firms (2013-present)
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated (1993-present)