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John H. Ray, III



John H. Ray, III is the principal of Ray & Counsel, P.C.  He is an experienced Harvard Law School graduate and Harvard Law Review editor with over 20 years of complex business and class action litigation, as well as appellate experience, with special expertise in securities litigation, officer and director liability, closely held corporation sharedholder disputes, First Amendment and intellectual property/media litigation, discrimination and substantial practice in labor and employment class actions.  He served as a law clerk in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and worked in large national law firm environments for over 10 years, at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Jenner & Block LLP.


His complex business litigation experience is extensive. Mr. Ray has defended large corporations against securities class action litigation and other contracts and fraud cases, including in government enforcement and Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour actions, and litigated significant issues representing plaintiffs before the federal courts in Ponzi scheme class action litigation, including in the Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford scandals, and helped lead an associate team in representing Enron CEO Kenneth Lay's post-conviction appellate proceedings.  He has represented whistle-blowers in corporate securities fraud, Sarbanes-Oxley, transfer pricing, and government False Claims Act cases.  He has been the lead attorney in jury trials on complex litigation cases before the state, federal and appellate courts in Illinois, New York and Massachusetts, and in arbitration proceedings.  Mr. Ray has practiced in state and federal courts across a broad spectrum of areas including securities fraud, Medicaid healthcare fraud, intellectual property, antitrust, products liability, and employment law.


Mr. Ray has also represented individual clients in civil rights and discrimination cases, alleging race, sex and disability discrimination before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), as well as in federal courts and in private negotiated settlements.  He has negotiated substantial settlements, for instance in excess of $725,000, for professional clients in discrimination cases.  Among his notable civil rights accomplishments, as an attorney in large law firm practice, Mr. Ray filed appellate briefs on behalf of a death row inmate, whose death sentence was reversed on his ineffective assistance of counsel arguments, in Harris v. State, 947 So.2d 1079 (Ala. Crim. App. 2004).  Mr. Ray also argued before the Seventh Circuit an appeal challenging summary judgment in a civil rights case, and secured reversal, in Brengettcy v. Horton, 423 F.3d 674 (7th Cir. 2005).


Mr. Ray is also a certified mediator, and has mediated a range of private party disputes, including family law disputes and matters.


Mr. Ray is married to his wife, Rikki, and together, they have two sons and a daughter.




Leftwich v. County of Dakota, et al., No. 18-CV-01144 (D. Minn. 2018) — Mr. Ray is prosecuting a Section 1983 wrongful death action against the County of Dakota and the City of Eagan in Minnesota for the failure to provide proper treatment to an inmate with mental health issues that ultimately led to his suicide while in custody of the Dakota County Jail.

Holland v. Thiam, et al., Index No. 154930/2018 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2018) — Mr. Ray prosecuted a complex RICO and fraud action on behalf of investors in mining rights permits against the former Minster of Mines in Guinea, Mahmoud Thiam, for an international bribery and fraud scheme involving mining rights in the country.


Michael Grecco Photography, Inc. v. ValueWalk, LLC et al., No. 16-cv-06171-GHW (S.D.N.Y. 2016), and Michael Grecco Photography, Inc. v. Jukely, Inc., No. 17-CV-00605 (RRM) (E.D.N.Y. 2018) — Mr. Ray defended ValueWalk, LCC and its editor in chief, and Jukely, Inc. against copyright infringement claims, as well as prosecuting affirmative defense of copyright misuse.  These case represent a significant issue for startup websites and small businesses of the scope and applicability of statutory damages for copyright infringement claims, as well as for the manner in which copyright holders may use their copyrights and the enforcement mechanisms to leverage retroactive license payments far in excess of the fair market value of their licenses.

The Commonwealth School, Inc. v. Commonwealth Academy Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-10749-IT (D.Mass. 2016) — Mr. Ray defended Springfield Commonwealth Academy against trademark infringement claims and in breach of contract claims, after having succussfully negotiated a settlement agreement.  Mr. Ray was asked to give the commencement address at the school's inaugural graduation ceremony in 2017.

Wilson v. Prestige Financial Corp., et al., No. 14-L-1019 (Ill. Cir. Ct. 2014) — Mr. Ray won a successful jury verdict in a a whistleblower action, for retaliatory misconduct against a former emlpoyee for reporting alleged employment law and tax violations.



617.645.3000 (p)
312.277.6466 (f)




Harvard Law School, J.D. 2000;
   Notes Editor, Harvard Law Review
University of Minnesota, B.S.B. 1997

   (in corporate finance and equity valuation)




Hon. Ann C. Williams,
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit




New York



U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

U.S. District Court, D. Colo.

U.S. District Court, N.D. Ill.

U.S. District Court, D. Mass.
U.S. District Court, E.D.N.Y.
U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y.

U.S. District Court, E.D. Wisc.
Federal Court of Claims


U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

U.S. District Court, C.D. Cal.

U.S. District Court, D. Minn.

U.S. District Court, W.D. Tenn.

U.S. District Court, S.D. Fla.

U.S. District Court, N.D. Tex.

U.S. District Court, S.D. Tex.

U.S. District Court. D.N.J.





Illinois State Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association, Federal Civil Practice         and Securities Law Committee Member

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