How Gretchen Helps Clients
Complex litigation cases require a seasoned, practical problem solver with significant courtroom know-how. Gretchen Jankowski is the attorney clients turn to when they need a fighter on their side. With nearly 30 years of federal trial experience, Gretchen is often called to parachute into existing cases, or take over cases from other firms and provide her sharp insight into litigation and trial strategy. As a national trial lawyer, she has tried jury, bench and injunction cases across the country in multiple state and federal courts, secured substantial settlements for her clients and routinely handled significant, bet-the-company matters. Of note, Gretchen also argued and prevailed in one of the seminal Lanham Act cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
In addition to her extensive experience inside the courtroom, Gretchen is known for getting the results for her clients outside the courtroom as well, often turning to non-litigation based solutions to meet the business goals her clients have set out.
Working with clients across a number of industries, including healthcare, higher education, financial institutions, energy, technology, manufacturers, consumer products, medical devices, construction and franchisors, Gretchen serves as a guide through some of the most complex disputes including:
- Lanham Act, False Advertising and Unfair Competition
- Antitrust and Robinson Patman
- Class Actions
- Complex Commercial and Business Disputes
- Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants
What Clients Can Expect
Litigation is often unpredictable and Gretchen strives to bring predictability to the unpredictable by offering a practical approach, coupled with outside the box thinking and the notion that it’s always right to fight the fight that needs to be fought. Many of Gretchen’s clients have been her clients for years and return to her for guidance repeatedly because they know that she will do whatever it takes to achieve favorable results. They rely on her responsiveness, her experience and her sound judgment and appreciate her steadfast commitment to staying on budget.
I care about client's goals, and I manage all aspects of a case to achieve them.
Outside the Office
Gretchen believes in giving back to the community, a passion that is truly a family affair as she, her husband and adult daughters all donate their time to and serve in various capacities within a number of non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh.
- Successfully defeated a motion to dismiss monopolization and attempted monopolization claims against medical device manufacturer (federal court – Delaware).
- Successfully defeated a motion for summary judgment in Robinson Patman lawsuit on behalf of distributor (federal court – Pennsylvania).
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of credit scoring company of a class action complaint alleging price fixing in consumer lending (federal court – Pennsylvania).
- Successfully negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of aftermarket automobile parts manufacturer in price fixing case brought by indirect purchasers (federal court – Wisconsin).
- Obtained court approval of settlement class action lawsuit involving allegations that real estate brokers were excluded from subscribership in a multi-list in violation of the antitrust laws (federal court – Pennsylvania).
Lanham Act, False Advertising and Unfair Competition
- Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of medical device manufacturer in false advertising and unfair competition case (state court – Indiana).
- Obtained affirmance of preliminary injunction obtained against consumer products competitor in Lanham Act false advertising, Groupe SEB USA, Inc. v. Euro-Pro Operating LLC, 774 F.3d 192 (3rd Cir. 2014).
- Obtained a preliminary and permanent injunction and consent decree on behalf of an industrial supplier against a former employee and competitor for unlawful competition.
Class Action Defense
- Obtained dismissal of class allegations for failure to state a claim under Fair Credit Reporting Act (federal court – Ohio).
- Obtained dismissal of a purported class action against a settlement services company in connection with alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (federal court – Alabama).
- Obtained dismissal of a purported class action against a settlement services company for the alleged unauthorized practice of law (federal court – South Carolina).
Complex Commercial and Business Disputes
- Successfully negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of major university under a licensing agreement (state court – Pennsylvania)
- Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a coal sales agent seeking to enforce a long-term coal sales agency agreement with a coal mining company (state court – Pennsylvania).
- Obtained jury verdict on negligence claim brought by hazardous waste recycler against contractor (state court – Pennsylvania)
- Negotiated a favorable settlement in a products liability lawsuit brought against industrial processing manufacturer (state court – California)
- Successfully negotiated a favorable settlement in a commercial contract lawsuit brought by energy management company against hazardous waste recycler (federal court – Missouri)
- Successfully defended a preliminary injunction brought against a metals manufacturer in an effort to undo a short-form merger related to minority shareholder (state court – Ohio)
- Obtained per curiam affirmance of attorneys' fees awarded under patent statute, R+L Carriers, Inc. v. Pitt Ohio Express, Inc., 2013 WL 440757 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 6, 2013).
- Obtained per curiam affirmance of summary judgment in Pitt Ohio's favor on non-infringement of patent, R+L Carriers, Inc. v. Pitt Ohio Express, Inc., 2013 WL 276119 (Fed Cir. Jan. 25, 2013).
Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants
- Obtained a multi-million dollar compensatory and punitive damage award in a six week jury for a medical device manufacturer alleging misappropriation of trade secrets (state court – Pennsylvania).
- Successfully defended a preliminary injunction action brought against a major financial institution's new employee in an effort to prohibit him from working for the new employer under the inevitable disclosure of trade secrets doctrine (federal court – Illinois).
- Took over the defense and negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of an Internet service provider against whom a preliminary injunction was issued for alleged misappropriation of a competitor's trade secrets (state court – Pennsylvania).
- Obtained a preliminary and permanent injunction and consent decree on behalf of an industrial supplier against a former employee who was violating his covenant not to compete (federal court – North Carolina).
- Obtained a consented to extension of an expired covenant not to compete on behalf of a pharmacy benefit management company (federal court – Pennsylvania).
- Prevented entry of multi-million dollar judgment against metals manufacturer in bench trial related to construction project and geotechnical site work (federal court – Virginia).
- Prevented entry of multi-million dollar arbitration award against industrial processing manufacturer related to construction project and alleged delay claim asserted by general contractor (AAA – Pennsylvania).
- Successfully negotiated a favorable class action settlement in securities lawsuit brought against former directors of a hazardous waste recycler (federal court – Delaware).
- Successfully negotiated a favorable settlement in a securities lawsuit brought against a national consolidator of HVAC businesses (federal court – Pennsylvania).
- Obtained attorney’s fees under franchise agreement and statute on behalf of franchisor for franchisee’s violation of covenant not to compete and infringement of franchisor’s trademarks (federal court – Oregon).
- Obtained a preliminary and consented-to permanent injunction on behalf of a franchisor against terminated franchisees that were violating their covenant not to compete (federal court – Colorado).
- Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of franchisor barring terminated franchisee from using franchisor’s trademarks (federal court – Idaho).
- Obtained dismissal based on arbitration clauses contained in plaintiffs' franchise agreements (federal court – Texas).
- Obtained a preliminary and permanent injunction and consent decree on behalf of an athletic and sporting good franchisor against a terminated franchisee for trademark and copyright infringement and violation of a covenant not to compete (federal court - Wyoming).
- Received AV Preeminent certification from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating, the highest available mark for professional excellence.
- Selected as Pennsylvania "Lawyers on the Fast Track" by American Lawyer Media (2006).
- Named a Pennsylvania Rising Star by Philadelphia Magazine (2005).
- Named a Pittsburgh Business Times Women of Influence (2021).
University of Baltimore, J.D., 1994, summa cum laude, Comments Editor of the Law Review
University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1990, summa cum laude
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Registered Neutral with Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution
Allegheny County Bar Association
Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association
Section of Dispute Resolution, American Bar Association
Forum on Franchising Law, American Bar Association
Section of Litigation, American Bar Association
Vitamin Alliance, Board of Directors
Pittsburgh Elite Volleyball Association
Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services, Board of Directors (2016-2021)
St. Bernard School Athletic Association, Secretary (2012-2014)
Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club, Treasurer (2012-2015)
Leadership Pittsburgh XVIII
Wesley Family Services, Foundation Board (2003-2010)
United Way of Allegheny County, Women's Leadership Council Board (2005-2012)