Patrick J. Keating

Phone: 312-251-2273
Fax: 312-878-0303

Patrick Keating is a partner of Roberts McGivney Zagotta LLC. Mr. Keating concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation and class actions, with an emphasis on cases involving transportation. He represents cargo and passenger airlines, trucking and logistics companies, and ocean carriers in tort, contract, and product liability claims. He has over twenty years of experience in counseling and representing mid-market and large businesses of all types in trials, appeals, and alternative dispute resolution. He often serves as local counsel for corporate legal departments and out of state law firms defending clients threatened with litigation in Illinois.
His specialty is handling cases that involve both complex technical questions and complicated legal questions:

• Currently prosecuting a class action case in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of Illinois motorists assessed red light camera tickets in their challenge to the legal authority of municipality to operate a red light camera program not authorized by any state law. Keating v. City of Chicago, No. 116054

• Initiated and successfully resolved a complex $115 million products liability claim against McDonnell Douglas on behalf of the airline purchaser and its subrogated insurers. This involved both determining the exact flaws in the flight control software of a jumbo jet and navigating a legal strategy that allowed the case to proceed despite an aircraft purchase contract over 200 pages in length, which contained dozens of clauses designed to limit the airline's recovery.
• Prosecuted a subrogation claim on behalf of insurers seeking to recover from a shipper of undeclared hazardous materials that ignited in flight and destroyed a DC-10 cargo jet. The chain of events leading to the destruction of the jet was so difficult to determine that even the National Transportation Safety Board could not pinpoint the probable cause of the loss – one of the few times the NTSB has ever failed to determine the sequence of events leading to the loss of a large transport category aircraft. Supervised a multidisciplinary team of legal and technical experts which was able to determine the exact sequence of events - including the negligence of a product shipper - which destroyed the aircraft. As a result, a substantial recovery was obtained for the client prior to trial.

• Resisted the attempts of an Australian corporation to remove a $300 million class action, filed in state court, into the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

• Obtained summary judgment and several default judgments in U.S. District Court on behalf of a small, Hong Kong based air freight forwarder against a much larger competitor, based in India, over unpaid freight commissions. When the defendant pleaded an inability to pay the judgment, successfully investigated, located and seized substantial assets in a New York bank account.

• Retained by the victims of the 2008 shipwreck of the fishing vessel "Fin Seeker" during a "wake low" storm event on Lake Michigan. Successfully defended the victims against an aggressive legal maneuver, based on an obscure 19th century statute, which was brought against the victims by the owner of the vessel.

• Successfully resolved complex products liability claims brought against numerous manufacturers in connection with the fatal crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft in New Mexico, and defended the client's successful summary judgment in the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts.

• Briefed and orally argued complex issues involving international treaty interpretation in the US Courts of Appeals for the Second Circuit (New York) and the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).

Since 2002 Mr. Keating has held an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the organization’s highest distinction for attorneys. He has also been named an Illinois “Super Lawyer” for three consecutive years by the editors of Law & Politics Magazine.

Areas of Practice:

Complex Commercial Disputes
Aviation and Commercial Transportation
Constitutional Litigation
Appellate Class Action
Class Action
Product Liability
Privacy Litigation
Meditations and Alternative Dispute Resolution


Illinois Supreme Court, 1992

U.S. District Court, Northern District Illinois (including trial bar), 1992

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1999

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2000

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2001

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2002

U.S. District Court, Southern District Illinois, 2014


Princeton University, (A.B. History 1988)

University of Notre Dame, (J.D. 1992) Notre Dame Law School Scholar; Articles Editor, Journal of Legislation