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Commercial Litigation

  • We won summary judgment on behalf of our client, an insurance broker sued for violating restrictive covenants in his employment agreement. Following briefing and oral argument, the trial court ruled that the restrictive covenants were unenforceable as a matter of law and not subject to judicial modification. The decision was affirmed on appeal in a published opinion by the Illinois Appellate Court and covered by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Read more>>
  • We won an appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court that sought to overturn a trial court’s judgment awarding our client in excess of $1.1 million on his claim that he was defrauded by his real estate investment partner.  Our firm also served as trial counsel.  The defendant-appellant argued that the trial court erred in finding him liable for $382,000 in actual damages and that the trial court’s imposition of significant punitive damages was not supported by Illinois law and was unconstitutional.  In upholding the entire judgment, including the $750,000 punitive damage award, the Appellate Court discussed how the judgment was supported by considerable evidence presented at trial establishing that the defendant had engaged in a multi-faceted scheme to defraud his business partner.  The Appellate Court’s unpublished opinion can be read a 2013 IL App. (1st) 103672-U.
  • Our firm won summary judgment on behalf of a global engineering firm in a premises liability and negligence suit in Cook County Circuit Court.  Our client was contracted to provide engineering services to a suburban municipality in connection with its annual street resurfacing project. The plaintiff claimed that our client’s failure to maintain a crosswalk that was scheduled for resurfacing in a safe condition caused her to trip, fall, and sustain injuries.  The court agreed that our client owed no such duty and was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
  • We won an appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court in a case in which our client, who sought to remediate an old tannery for new commercial purposes, was sued after a construction worker tragically died on the worksite.  The trial court granted summary judgment for our client, finding that it owed no duty to the deceased worker.  On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because our client controlled the worksite and, therefore, owed a duty to recognize and protect from dangerous conditions.  Based on the parties’ appellate briefs, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s decision.  The unpublished opinion can be read at 2014 IL App. (1st) 122460-U.
  • We obtained a $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who provided subcontracting services in connection with a major city’s subsidized housing program.  At mediation, we made a strong presentation that the primary contractor’s claims of breach of contract could not be legally substantiated and that the contractor had, in effect, already been paid for our client’s services.  The settlement represented more than an 80 percent recovery for our client and avoided costly discovery and lengthy arbitration.
  • We succeeded in defeating motions to dismiss Sherman Act, civil conspiracy and tortious interference claims in a matter litigated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.  Following extensive briefing and oral arguments, the Court in a 25-page opinion, denied the defendants’ motions as to all claims in the plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint (holding that only the officers of the defendant companies should be dismissed from the lawsuit without prejudice) and ruled that the plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged all elements of each of their causes of action.  Shortly thereafter, the case settled for a confidential amount very favorable to our clients.
  • We obtained a $4.1 million award for a national automotive engineering firm in an arbitration involving claims of breach of a joint venture agreement.  In so doing, we defeated all counterclaims raised by the joint venture partner.
  • We won an appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court that sought the reversal of a trial court’s denial of our client’s contractual claim for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in our efforts to collect a judgment our firm obtained for a client following trial.  The defendant argued that it was inappropriate for a lower court that was responsible for overseeing supplemental citation proceedings to award legal fees and costs relating to those proceedings. The Appellate Court disagreed and further held that the trial court failed to comply with applicable law relating to the amount of fees and costs to which our client was entitled.
  • We defeated plaintiff’s appeal of the trial court’s granting of summary judgment that we won on behalf of a national law firm that had been sued by a recruiter for a substantial fee in connection with the firm’s hiring of a lateral partner for its New York office.  The trial court had previously agreed with our argument that the plaintiff could not establish that any custom and practice in the recruiting field required that a fee be paid to the recruiter where it was undisputed that there was no causal connection between the recruiter’s efforts and the law firm’s hiring of the candidate.  Following full briefing on the motions, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment ruling.
  • We obtained a substantial confidential settlement for an Alabama-based materials company in a title insurance claim.  In conjunction with pursuing early mediation with the federal court, we were able to simplify an extremely technical property dispute and make a winning presentation before the trial judge that resulted in a substantial settlement for our client.
  • We obtained a substantial settlement on behalf of an elderly client in a customer claim filed with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against two brokerages.  With the assistance of our expert witness, we persuasively argued that, despite the large downward decline in stock prices that occurred in 2008 and 2009, the brokerages had improperly caused our client to invest in inappropriate assets.  The case settled for a confidential amount after an all-day mediation in New York City, shortly before arbitration commenced.
  • We successfully settled a commercial lease dispute on behalf of our client, who owns a retail shopping center in Chicago.  The former tenant took the position that our client had failed to mitigate its loss and that the tenant simply did not have available funds to pay our client.  While pursuing litigation aggressively, we worked cooperatively with opposing counsel so that confidential financial information about the former tenant would be made available.  Based upon this information, and with the assistance of our financial consultant, we were able to craft a settlement that resulted in a confidential agreement by the tenant to pay 400 percent more than the tenant originally offered.
  • We won summary judgment for our client as to its claim for unpaid rent for a downtown Chicago commercial office space.  The tenant defendant claimed that it had been overcharged for utilities and therefore did not owe the rent.  We successfully established that the tenant’s issue was with the sublessor and not with our client, the lessor.  The trial court awarded 100 percent of our requested damages plus prejudgment interest.  After we initiated post-judgment collection efforts, the defendant paid the full amount of the judgment.
  • We successful represented a technology company in bringing antitrust, civil conspiracy and unfair competition claims in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas against the dominant companies in its industry.  Following briefing and oral arguments, the Court issued a 24-page opinion denying defendants’ motions to dismiss our clients’ claims.  The case settled shortly thereafter for a confidential amount.
  • We successfully prosecuted a legal malpractice action against our client’s former divorce attorney, whose incompetent handling of the underlying trial and appeal resulted in an inequitable division of assets. The case settled for a favorable confidential amount in the early stages of litigation.
  • We successfully defended a national automotive engineering firm in an arbitration of a multi-million dollar claim relating to our client’s production of exotic automobiles.  The arbitrator awarded client full costs of arbitration.
  • We successfully defended a senior officer and manager from alleged violations of federal and state securities laws and common law arising out of plaintiffs’ purchase of securities.  The plaintiffs claimed they were defrauded through a series of written and oral misrepresentations and omissions of material information designed to induce plaintiffs to purchase securities at a time when the company was on the brink of financial ruin.  Chubb Group assigned the defense of the officer/manager to our firm.
  • We represented a Chicago-based venture capital firm in an accounting malpractice action arising from a failed audit conducted by an auditing firm.  We obtained a favorable confidential settlement for our client.
  • We represented an Illinois financial institution in an appraisal malpractice and accounting action arising from the multi-million dollar refinancing of a Michigan-based property.  We obtained a favorable confidential settlement for our client.
  • A former officer of catalog-giant Spiegel hired our firm to defend against claims of copyright infringement and RICO violations asserted in a Chicago federal court.  After filing several motions to dismiss that narrowed the scope of the asserted claims, and after presenting the defendant officer for deposition, the defendant officer was voluntarily dismissed from the case.
  • An Illinois medical malpractice insurer settled a medical malpractice claim brought against one of its physicians/insureds.  After the settlement, ISMIE pursued a subrogation claim against the physician seeking to recover the proceeds that had been paid out to settle the underlying malpractice case.  We were retained exclusively to handle the subrogation claim.  Initially, we worked to effect a quick settlement to avoid the unnecessary expenditure of legal fees, but ISMIE refused to compromise.  We then prepared a motion for summary judgment, which was granted and upheld on rehearing.  The entire subrogation matter took less than one year to resolve, and the defendant physician had zero liability to ISMIE.
  • We obtained a confidential multi-million dollar arbitration award for our client’s medical practice in a claim for interference with contract against a competing medical group.
  • Our client, a securities firm accused of wrongfully taking control of a competing business, received a not guilty verdict in a trial involving a multi-million dollar claim. This was then affirmed on appeal.
  • We obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a law firm in a claim of embezzlement against the firm’s former CFO.
  • We advised a law firm in an internal partnership dispute resulting in a favorable settlement for the remaining partners.
  • We represented a law firm in a dispute involving a former attorney.  We obtained a favorable settlement for the law firm restricting the former partner’s ability to represent the firms’ clients.
  • We defended an online personalized products company in a claim of copyright infringement relating to the use of computer source code.  We obtained a favorable settlement for our client.
  • We were retained by a high-end asset recovery company days after a federal district court initiated a civil contempt proceeding against it for failing to deliver a luxury vehicle to an automotive finance company pursuant to an order of replevin.  In less than 60 days, our team briefed and won a motion for reconsideration causing the court to vacate the underlying order of replevin and to dismiss the contempt proceeding as moot.
  • We defended a national financial consulting firm against a former employee’s lawsuit alleging that the company wrongfully withheld $225,000 from the plaintiff’s compensation as an improper tax payment.  After we filed a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.
  • We have successfully argued in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, and the United States Appellate Court for the Seventh Circuit.
  • We have a winning record of obtaining various forms of injunctive relief and have defeated similar claims for clients.
  • We have tried jury and bench trials in the Chancery, Law, and Probate Divisions of Circuit Court of Cook County and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Commercial Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
Reported Decisions