Litigation (with 30+ Years of Experience Presenting in Court and Writing Reports)
ID: 736271 Illinois, USA
dispute resolution; litigation involving fiduciaries, wills and trusts; labor and employment law; market channel matters involving dealers, distributors, and sales representatives; and the general representation of middle market businesses. Expert is a litigation member of several practice groups including his partner firm, serving as the co-chair of the Business Partner and Shareholder Dispute group, which represents individuals and businesses in disputes arising out of their relationships as shareholders, partners, members, and/or venture partners. He frequently appears before state and federal courts and in other forums across the country.
Expert’sexperience encompasses a wide range of complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution matters, from shareholder and other ownership and governance disputes, to complex patent and international customs litigation, antitrust cases, and matters arising from financial transactions and intellectual property concerns (including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets,
covenants-not-to-compete, licensing, and other protective agreements). Expert has also been involved in several construction cases, ranging from construction defects (including latent defect cases) to contract disputes and disputes involving design professionals and related subcontractors.
The diversity of Expert’s practice extends beyond those described above. He has, for example, handled a significant number of complex professional negligence cases and has represented attorneys in malpractice suits and professional misconduct proceedings. This aspect of his practice also extends to representing individual attorneys and law firms regarding separation of attorneys from their firms and the winding down of law practices.
Expert also represents individuals and corporate fiduciaries in litigation involving wills and trusts. These matters arise from issues including the construction and validity of wills and trusts, undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty, and seeking instructions and accountings and can furthermore involve the interpleader of assets subject to interest, rights, and ownership disputes. Expert’s work in this area intersects with his representation of life insurance companies with regards to death claims, beneficiary contests, contested payments and contract rights.
Expert has also, for nearly three decades, represented parties involved in labor and employment matters before administrative, state, federal and appellate courts. He has represented clients before the National Labor Relations Board and multiple state and federal administrative agencies, such as the Department of Labor, and the EEOC, and numerous state investigative and adjudicatory agencies that administer labor and employment laws. This work includes all legal aspects of union organization efforts,
negotiating collective bargaining agreements, labor arbitrations (interest and alleged labor agreement disputes), and litigation relating to union organizational and decertification elections.
Prior to joining his current company, Expert was a partner in a midsized commercial law firm, where he practiced for fifteen years, and prior to private practice he served as an assistant state's attorney in the Financial and Government Fraud Task Force of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.
|Year: 1992||Degree: LLM||Subject: Taxation||Institution: The John Marshall Law School|
|Year: 1986||Degree: JD||Subject:||Institution: Marquette University Law School|
|Year: 1983||Degree: BA, cum laude||Subject: Economics||Institution: Brandeis University|
|Years: 2005 to Present||Employer: Undisclosed||Title: Attorney||Department:|
Responsibilities:For more than 30 years, Expert has represented clients in multiple interrelated areas: complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution; litigation involving fiduciaries, wills and trusts; labor and employment law; market channel matters involving dealers, distributors, and sales representatives; and the general representation of middle market businesses. Expert is a litigation member of several practice groups at firm, serving as the co-chair of the Business Partner and Shareholder Dispute group, which represents individuals and businesses in disputes arising out of their relationships as shareholders, partners, members, and/or venture partners. He frequently appears before state and federal courts and in other forums across the country.
|Associations / Societies|
|For more than 10 years, Expert has regularly served as a volunteer adjunct faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Attorneys (NITA), teaching younger attorneys the art and skill of trying cases. NITA is a leading and highly reputable provider of legal advocacy skills training, having pioneered the learning-bydoing methodology for legal skills in the 1970s.
Expert has served on ad hoc committees for several not-for-profit ventures and has contributed to the programs sponsored by the Illinois Supreme Court's Committee on Professionalism.
Expert has presented at the National Business Institute, on topics such as “Business Partner and Shareholder Disputes.” He speaks and writes on legal topics related to his practice, and he authors a regular column, “Legal Watch,” for Industrial Distribution Today, a bimonthly business magazine serving the industrial distribution market.
|Licenses / Certifications|
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
Courts across the United States on cases, pursuant to local rules
|Expert Witness Experience|
|Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Successfully resolved multiple disputes involving a long standing client and government subcontractor on multiple government projects governed by the detailed obligations and requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), where disputes developed involving design, defect, and contract disputes such as cost overruns and those relating to the scope-of-work statement, all of which are inextricably linked to FAR.
Defended and resolved claims brought by a billion-dollar consulting business conglomerate against a smaller consulting business competitor, asserting copyright, trade secret, and conspiracy and
contractual interference claims arising out of the hiring of the conglomerate’s former employees.
Resolved with limited exposure to the smaller consulting firm and in time to minimize potentially
Obtained favorable jury verdict for national health insurance company seeking an eight figure recovery, in a claim brought by a medical provider denied entrance to a medical network; jury granted further relief on amounts due our client by the owner of the medical provider.
Litigated and obtained substantial damages and permanent injunction against consulting employee
who sold company assets including valuable trade secrets to a competitor in which he held an interest,
as well as a first-ever injunction against the United States Patent and Trademark Office, to protect
client’s purloined trade secrets disclosed in patent documents.
Obtained significant payment of commissions due a Canadian sales representative based upon the
bad faith termination of the representative. This case settled midway through a weeklong jury trial in
federal court in Boston.
Successful defense and countersuit in patent and trade dress infringement case brought by
international cosmetic supplier against private-label, middle market manufacturer/fulfillment house.
Defeated supplier in its home state and successfully obtained declaratory relief so that the case
resolved without any findings of liability for the client and without any exchange of meaningful
Obtained a permanent injunction and seven-figure judgment against a gray-market operator who was
illegally importing goods intended for other destination countries and who diverted sales of the subject
equipment from authorized dealers of the manufacturer. Ultimately, the gray-market importer was put
out of business, maintaining the integrity of both the market channel for the initial dealer and the
supplier-dealer relationship for all of the channel partners as well as the infamous trade mark of the
Initiated litigation against a corporate target planning a $35 million ESOP transaction to effectively
freeze out its minority shareholders. After obtaining temporary and preliminary injunctive relief on the
heels of the purported ESOP closing, obtained a multimillion- dollar settlement for the client which well
exceeded the value of that proposed in the ESOP transaction.
Successfully resolved case involving a multimillion dollar dispute between a property owner, architect
and general contractor, in arbitration, that involved AIA contract forms and the opinions of after-the fact expert opinion witnesses retained to support the client’s position.
Successfully mediated complex accounting claims alleging malpractice around sourcing and treatment
of state revenue and improper reporting of related payments to insiders. Effected a voluntary disclosure
agreement with applicable taxing authorities and averted seven-figure exposure for client.
Settled disputes between OEM contractor and related client as to alleged design defects, which were
demonstrated not to be the fault of the client, such that the case (involving design counterclaims and
claims for amounts due for goods) was resolved, short of a two week international jury trial and that
resulted in a shift in resolution payments from $1.7 million in favor of the OEM contractor to a substantial payment in favor of the manufacturing client.
Successfully tried to arbitral award multimillion dollar dealer-distributor dispute, including franchise act claims against dealer, in weeklong arbitration trial. In addition, resolved multiple dealer disputes
between wholly owned distributor avoiding multiple litigation claims and reportable violations of various state law dealer statutes relating to heavy equipment, such as excavators, wheel loaders and back-hoe lifts.
Successfully obtained arbitration awards in over a dozen cases for a client in labor disputes covered
by applicable collective bargaining agreement. Further, obtained favorable results for client in
defeating organizational efforts to certify union, defeated various claims to aggregate union and nonunion facilities in hearings before the NLRB and in arbitration, and aided client to successfully obtain petition decertifying union in case where the client’s employees sought to terminate union
Business Divorce Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Successfully obtained temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunctive relief for a multi-state staffing company, where the managers of the entity attempted to steal the business of the staffing company including trade secret theft. After filing suit, and asserting claims against counsel for the rogue managers, the staffing company not only reacquired its business in the remote location in which the rogue manager sought to steal its business, but obtained payment of damages including attorney’s
fees, such that the “coup” was not only put down but the client was made whole.
Successful representation at trial of a minority corporate shareholder, establishing and recovering his
share interest at fair value.
Obtained expulsion of self-dealing LLC member/manager, recovering diverted funds as offset to the
purchase of the rogue member’s interest.
Lead counsel conducting 3-year corporate investigation, filing of suit, and resolution involving
protracted mediation and arbitration components, a business break up involving a chemical company and distribution partner that if not resolved could have destroyed the client’s business. The underlying
business was founded on key trade-secret technology, disputed as to ownership and trade secret status, which was safely maintained for the client resulting from the litigation initiated and key dispute resolution tactics that lead to a victorious outcome for the client.. Defeated injunctive relief efforts for manufacturer in manufacturing alleged trade-secret technology, that had been allegedly been provided by insider bribed by distributor. Case involved novel issues of misappropriation under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.
Successfully represented a shareholder who had been frozen out by his fifty percent partner, forcing
a fair split of assets and business between partners, and recovered attorneys’ fees for client.
Obtained preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against a medical practice partner caught
clandestinely soliciting patients before departing for another practice; negotiated division of all practice
assets favorably for client.
Successful arbitration of all claims of our client, a joint-venture partner, involving millions of dollars in
damages. After a week-long hearing, arbitrators awarded the client all relief requested.
Represented an original shareholder marginalized by partners prior to their selling the business to a
larger entity. Employing dissenter’s rights and obtaining an independent valuation of the client’s net
worth, we re-engineered the transaction to result in a more-than satisfactory buyout for client as well
as waiver of non-competition covenants for his future operations and other non-monetary benefits.
Obtained a multimillion dollar judgment against and removal of a key man partner attempting to defraud his shareholder partner in a closely held business.
Lead counsel in representing a vertical farm operation in suit against investor and licensee for breach
of license agreement and trade-secret misappropriation. Obtained agreed to stand-still orders, to avoid
risk of injury to trade-secret information and obtained favorable result for client in effecting a separation of the two business affiliates, leaving farming operation to continue to effectively operate.
Successfully resolved an arbitration dispute between former venture partners in multimillion dollar
vacation property ownership/management venture, resulting in a confidential settlement of disputes
involving LLC, corporate and equitable accounting, and other legal matters, while avoiding disclosure
of client’s sensitive financial information.
Successfully mediated between various corporate partners in a complex structure of more than a dozen interrelated entities, arising out of claims of one partner’s breach of fiduciary duty. After proving no breach or any other wrongdoing, following significant discovery and depositions, mediation exonerated the accused partner and allowed recovery of significant costs incurred.
In a bitter, ongoing shareholder/partnership dispute between two siblings, successfully defeated a
motion to appoint a receiver to take control of the key operating business and structured the litigation
to effect a successful resolution of the dispute tied to the underlying corporate entity.
Successfully restructured an LLC involving two corporate partners (one a subsidiary of a group of
consolidated business corporations), arising from poor accounting advice. A successful suit against the
accountants for professional negligence and a restructuring achieved the resolution of significant tax
ramifications for both the restructured entity and the controlled group of related businesses.
Effected a complete “business divorce” between two shareholder/partners, officers, and directors in
several interrelated financial recovery businesses. Our client was released from all obligations,
including those tied to existing bank loans and non-competition restrictions. Resolution included fair
value payment to the separating partner for his ownership interest in each of the entities.
Successfully resolved several partnership disputes, partner separations, and conclusions of business
ventures, in a variety of businesses, whether by litigation, negotiation, and/or alternate dispute
resolution, including the following business: an electrical wiring business; cosmetic surgery day spa;
temporary staffing business; health aid computer programming operation; medical practices involving
anesthesia, urology and internal medicine; a similar physical therapy practice: an orthotics and prosthetics practice; a thoracic surgery practice; and a mortgage brokerage business.
Crafted comprehensive agreement resolving disputes between two joint-venture partners, relative to
complex, international customs documents governed by treaty—avoiding litigation and effecting a
contract preserving value of client’s business in perpetuity, creating other long-term commitments
between the parties, and establishing governance formerly lacking in the partnership.
Resolved litigation before the United States Tax Court arising out of disputes between a father and
son formerly in professional practice together. After demonstrating son’s innocence of conversion and
unfair competition, the matter was positioned to be successfully resolved between the parties.
Resolved disputes between two family factions operating a myriad of entities to develop, own, and
manage commercial real estate projects, arising from allegations that one faction had engaged in selfdealing, theft, and mismanagement. Through a series of derivative and direct lawsuits, all disputes
were successfully resolved, including return of significant monies to the complaining faction and the
reassignment of various operating partners relative to certain projects.
Lead counsel resolving intra-family disputes that involved governance and authority, counseled client
through issues tied to such disputes, including ancillary litigation to stop a rogue employee who quit
and planned to take confidential, proprietary and trade-secret information to and threatened to work
for a key competitor, only to resolve that litigation in favor of company, and obtain the return of all
confidential, proprietary and trade-secret material. Case also involved a power struggle amongst voting
shareholders, directors and officers, successfully resolved, internal investigative matters that were
highly sensitive to client, and staving off a shareholder suit through informational gathering,
investigative efforts, and the use of forensic computer technology to ascertain key leverage points.
Fiduciary and Insurance Litigation
Tried and obtained resolution for corporate trustee resolving disputes among more than thirty
beneficiaries, to terminate trust and distribute its assets, while vindicating trustee of alleged statutory
and common law violations.
Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a multinational, life insurance company regarding correct payment
of death benefits and defeating claim that the owner had changed his beneficiary configuration.
Successfully tried to a jury competing claims for multi-state Fortune 500 insurance company relating
to billing for various classes of patients, defeating a $30 million counterclaim and obtaining verdict in
favor of insurer on payment obligations.
Successfully defeated claim against trustee of family trust for breach of fiduciary duty by establishing
that complaining beneficiary had full knowledge of the administration and trust activities of the various
assets of the deceased’s “estate,” including various trusts, and demonstrating that formal accounting
was not required due to waiver by disgruntled beneficiary. The case was upheld on appeal and a final
order was entered against the rogue beneficiary such that the final order became law of the case.
Successfully prevailed in multiple institutional trustee litigation involving issues from instructions on
trust interpretation (petitions for instructions), equitable reformation of trust documents, including
those that were when suit was filed roughly a century old, to application of law to the date of existing
testamentary documents (decades old), to removal of trustees and adjustments to trusts with outdated
trust language that required an upgrade to keep pace with current institutional trends and procedures.
Obtained several reformation and/or equitable deviation judgments in litigation ranging from
adjustment to distribution language of trust, affecting trust terms and provisions involving
diversification issues, to determining proper beneficiaries, including as to testamentary documents that
are at least a century old and/or trust language that is substantially ambiguous.
Obtained judgement in federal court leading litigation for client in consulting business dispute above
described, from insurance company, for breach of the duty to defend and indemnify client, recovering
for client nearly all attorney's fees incurred by smaller consulting firm in underlying litigation, after that
dispute was resolved. Litigation was initiated based on insurer's denial of any coverage after initial
tender of underlying litigation.
Obtained for chemical manufacturer in above described suit substantial monetary contribution to the
substantial legal fees and other litigation costs incurred by client in that case from insurance company,
totaling at least 40% of total costs incurred. Through a series of tactical maneuvers ranging from
forcing insurer to issue a coverage determination letter, invoking applicable law giving the client the
right to choose independent counsel, and pursuing bad faith claims with insurance regulators, matter
was escalated to outside counsel and matter resolved in client's favor.
Fields of Expertise
fiduciary litigation, insurance litigation, business dispute resolution, business divorce, professional negligence, attorney malpractice, collective bargaining, intellectual property, life insurance, fraud, compliance, contract dispute, corporate governance, professional liability, prosector misconduct, prosecutorial ethics, breach of fiduciary duty, wills and trusts, labor and employment, labor agreement disputes, economic damages