E. King Poor, Partner


King Poor chairs Quarles & Brady's appellate practice group as well as practicing business and commercial litigation in the trial courts. He has appeared before the United States Supreme Court three times and has authored two petitions for certiorari granted by the Supreme Court.

Mr. Poor has represented clients in more than 100 appeals, including those involving arbitration, class action defense, commercial litigation, creditors rights and bankruptcy, employment, environmental claims, real estate disputes, school law, trusts and estates, and government regulatory matters. He has presented oral arguments before United States Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits, the Supreme Courts of Illinois and Delaware, and the Illinois Appellate Court.

He has also represented a wide range of organizations in appellate courts in amicus briefs. In addition, he has authored numerous articles on appellate practice. And for over 25 years, he has represented inmates in federal and state prisons in pro bono appeals. Representative cases include:


  • NECA-IBEW Rockford Union v. A&A Drug Co., 736 F.3d 1054 (7th Cir. 2013) (affirms dismissal against client, ruling that plaintiff ratified unsigned contract requiring arbitration).


  • Kontrick v. Ryan, 540 U.S. 443 (2004) (Court settles nationwide split over bankruptcy deadlines).
  • In re Transwest, 801 F.3d 1161 (9th Cir. 2015) (in 2-to-1 decision, court rules that appeal of bankruptcy appeal not equitably moot).

Business Disputes

  • Smurfit Newsprint v. Southeast Paper, 368 F. 3d 944 (7th Cir. 2004) (court reverses in favor of client, holding that state insurance law does not apply to contractual indemnity involving the sale of a paper mill).
  • Abrams v. Unity Mutual, 237 F. 3d 862 (7th Cir. 2001) (Statute of Frauds barred unjust enrichment action against client related to insurance sales program).

Class Action Defense

  • Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schools, 688 F.3d 481 (7th Cir. 2012) (court reverses class action certification against client arising from special education claims).
  • Bruemmer v. Compaq Computer, 329 Ill. App. 3d 755 (1st Dist. 2002) (court affirms dismissal of class action against client involving computer warranties).

Constitutional Law

  • United States v. Goodman, 546 U.S. 151 (2006) (Court limits reach of Americans with Disabilities Act for state prison claims).
  • Harris v. Reed, 489 U.S. 255 (1989) (state court must expressly rely on non-constitutional ground to bar constitutional challenge in federal habeas action).
  • Jean-Paul v. Douma, 809 F.3d 354 (7th Cir. 2015) (court finds constitutional issue preserved, but rules that defendant waived Sixth Amendment right to appellate counsel).
  • United States v. McMurtrey, 704 F.3d 502 (7th Cir. 2013) (client’s right to challenge search warrant unconstitutionally restricted).

Creditors Rights

  • Securities and Exchange Com'n v. Wealth Mgt. LLC, 628 F.3d 323 (7th Cir. 2010) (court affirms plan of distribution proposed by client as receiver).

Criminal Law

  • People v. Lerma, 2016 IL 118496 (amicus brief supporting Supreme Court’s decision to change existing precedent and allow expert testimony on eyewitness identifications).
  • Hill v. Werlinger, 695 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2012) (challenge to federal mandatory minimum sentence).
  • Julian v. Bartley, 495 F.3d 487 (7th Cir. 2007) (court reverses and grants habeas relief to client for resentencing).
  • United States v. Ortiz, 431 F. 3d 1035 (7th Cir. 2005) (court overturns client’s 20-year sentence arising from uncharged conduct at sentencing).

Government Regulatory

  • Alhambra-Grantfork Tel. Co. v. Illinois Commerce Com’n, 358 Ill. App. 3d 818 (5th Dist. 2005) (court affirms agency decision for client stemming from wireless interconnection charges).

Prisoners’ Rights

  • Cordrey v. Prisoner Review Bd., 2014 IL 117155 (original action in Illinois Supreme Court involving statewide practice of denying inmates parole for lack of housing).

Trusts and Estates

  • Herlehy v. Marie V. Bistersky Trust, 407 III. App. 3d 878 (1st Dist. 2010) (court validates charitable trust for client's benefit).

In trial court practice, Mr. Poor has focused on representing clients in disputes ranging from contracts, business torts, real estate, franchises, and class action defense. His bankruptcy and creditors rights’ practice includes litigation involving the rights of secured creditors as well as fraudulent transfer and preference actions. This experience includes:


  • Represented European clients in prosecuting and defending claims involving international sales of goods and applying foreign law.

Class Action Defense:

  • Taxman v. Integrys Energy Group, Inc., 2014 WL 5502560 (Ill. Cir. Ct.) (court dismisses shareholder class actions in favor of similar out-of-state suits).
  • Defended nationwide wireless carrier in consumer class action involving cellphone contracts; court dismisses all claims against client.

Real Estate:

  • Corus Bank N.A. v de Guardiola, 593 F. Supp.2d 991 (N.D. Ill. 2008) (court grants motion to abstain in favor of client in litigation over guaranty of real estate development).
  • Defended well-known Chicago office buildings in lease disputes.


  • City of Waukegan v. National Gypsum Co., 560 F. Supp. 2d 636 (N.D. Ill. 2008) and related cases (represented client in litigation and settlement of major Superfund case).

Creditors Rights:

  • Prosecuted claims of secured creditors in bankruptcy and state courts, defended fraudulent transfer and preference actions involving lien rights.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Emory University School of Law (J.D., 1979)
  • Dartmouth College (A.B., cum laude, 1976)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Appellate Lawyers Association (Board of Directors, 2014–2016)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Faculty member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Boulder, Colorado and for other in-house programs
  • Village of Winnetka (Trustee, 2007–2011; Environmental and Forestry Commission, 2008–2011; Chairman, Zoning Board of Appeals, 1988–1991)
  • Assistant Illinois Attorney General (Commerce Commission Division, 1980–1984)

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America® (Appellate and Commercial Litigation)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® (Business Litigation)
  • Chicago Law Bulletin “Leading Lawyer” for civil appeals
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated