Samuel Mendenhall is a top-ranked lawyer who concentrates his practice in antitrust litigation, class actions defense, and complex commercial litigation. He has consistently been voted by his peers as a Leading Lawyer, an honor given to the top lawyer in the country. Additionally, Mr. Mendenhall has been consistently voted by his peers as an Illinois Super Lawyer, an honor given to the top five percent of lawyers in Illinois. He has tried a number of cases in both state and federal court and is a member of the trial bar of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.
Mr. Mendenhall represents, or has represented, numerous Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies in a variety of litigation across the country. A representative sample is listed below:
- Peery v. CHA and Stubenfield v. CHA. Successfully defended the Chicago Housing Authority in two class actions alleging certain screening policies at mixed-income communities violated the United States Constitution.
- Successfully defended a major computer manufacturer in an antitrust action alleging that it and various co-conspirators participated in a group boycott and concerted refusal to deal arising from a patent litigation matter.
- Successfully defended a major auto manufacturer against a class action alleging various war crimes relating to conduct occurring during World War II.
- Successfully defended a major manufacturer of Greek yogurt in a class action alleging multistate false advertising claims.
- Successfully defended a major computer manufacturer in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of California residents relating to alleged unfair competition practices arising from representations made regarding the battery life of its computers.
- Successfully defended a major computer manufacturer in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Missouri residents relating to alleged unfair competition practices arising from representations made regarding the battery life of its computers.
- Successfully represented a national home improvement chain in a nationwide class action relating to alleged defects in water heaters.
- Successfully represented a national home improvement chain in a nationwide class action relating to alleged false representation made in connection with gas-powered grills.
- Successfully represented a national home improvement chain in a class action brought by California residents relating to alleged defects in its water heaters.
- Successfully represented a major telephone carrier in a class action brought by Illinois residents alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Prior to joining Winston Strawn, Mr. Mendenhall served in the United States Army, where he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas and Camp Red Cloud, Korea. He graduated first in his class at the Fort Gordon Satellite Communications Military Occupational School. During his military career, Mr. Mendenhall was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for his leadership abilities demonstrated during various military exercises in Korea. Prior to leaving the service, he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal for exemplary conduct and discipline demonstrated throughout his career.
Mr. Mendenhall received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1988, where he was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. He received a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1991. He also earned a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago in 2011.
Since 2005, Mr. Mendenhall has been consistently chosen an Illinois Super Lawyer, an honor given to the top five percent of the lawyers in the state. He also has been chosen a Leading Lawyer in 2014-2016, an honor given to the nation s best lawyers. Additionally, he was one of 40 honorees by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company for its 2001 edition of 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch. He is also a recipient of the 2012 Chicago Illini of the Year Award and the 2014 Multicultural Leadership Award from the Illinois Diversity Council.
In 2015, Winston Strawn was named the Chicago Litigation Department of the Year for general litigation by The National Law Journal .
Mr. Mendenhall is chair of the Winston Strawn Foundation and also serves on the firm s Associate Evaluation Committee. He founded the Winston Strawn/Dodge Academy Mentoring and Tutoring Program, which received the 2005 Tutor/Mentor Program of the Year Award from the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend-A-Hand Program. He currently teaches law at Perspectives Charter School through the Constitutional Rights Foundation s Lawyer-in-the-Classroom Program. He also serves on the board of directors of the Just the Beginning Foundation, a pipeline organization that seeks to assist underserved individuals desiring to enter into the legal profession.
Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Mr. Mendenhall as a commissioner for the Chicago Housing Authority. Mr. Mendenhall recently served on the board of directors of the Chicago Bar Foundation, where he was also the Treasurer. He is a past president of the board of visitors of the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr. Mendenhall is the recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Law and also is the recipient of its Outstanding Alumni Award for Community Service.
Other activities include: fellow, Leadership Greater Chicago; past member, The Economic Club of Chicago; past member, Chicago Bar Association s Judicial Evaluation Committee; past member, Board of Directors: Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago; past member, Kids Voting of Illinois; and past member, Lutheran Family Mission; volunteer, Junior Achievement of Chicago; and volunteer, Cub Scouts of America.
In addition to practicing law, Mr. Mendenhall is a licensed ordained minister.