CLASS ACTION LITIGATION
- Obtained dismissal for our law firm client in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court which alleged that the law firm had systematically exposed confidential client information to theft by electronically storing client data without adequate data security. Plaintiff’s class action lawsuit included claims for breach of contract, legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment and sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. We moved to dismiss the class action claims based on a class action waiver in the law firm’s engagement agreement with plaintiff. In addition, we argued that Plaintiff’s individual claims should be dismissed in favor of arbitration pursuant to an arbitration provision in the agreement. The federal court granted our motion to dismiss the class claims and also dismissed the individual claim in favor of arbitration. Moreover, we not only successfully defended our law firm client in arbitration, we also recovered the outstanding unpaid attorneys’ fees plaintiff owed our client.
- Obtained dismissal for an environmental cleanup consulting company in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court which alleged that our client’s alleged participation in a redevelopment/demolition project negligently covered entire neighborhood in a cloud of toxic debris. Plaintiff’s class action lawsuit alleged that a number of defendants had negligently conducted an above ground demolition as part of a largescale redevelopment project, and that the demolition covered an entire neighborhood in a cloud of toxic debris and dangerous particulate matter. Among other class action claims, plaintiff sued our client for Strict Liability for Ultrahazardous Activity, Negligence, and Assault & Battery. Before the parties were even at issue, we convinced plaintiff’s counsel that our client had no liability because, although our client was involved in certain aspects of the redevelopment project at issue, it was not involved in the demolition at issue. This early dismissal not only ensured zero liability for our client in a case where plaintiff would have likely sought millions of dollars in damages, it saved our client tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
- Obtained nominal settlement and dismissal for an asset repossession company in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court which alleged claims for violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Plaintiff’s class action lawsuit alleged that our client and a number of other corporate defendants engaged in unlawful business practices when a consumer like plaintiff defaulted on a car loan and our client repossessed the consumer’s vehicle in accordance with the consumer’s car loan documentation. Plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that since our client’s repossession procedure violated certain provisions of the Illinois Collateral Recovery Act, the procedure also violated the both the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. However, after more than two years of litigation, we negotiated settlement of all claims against our individual client on a class wide basis for a nominal amount.
- Obtained dismissal for an automobile manufacturer in a class action lawsuit filed in state court which alleged that our client’s cars were knowingly sold with defective fuel gauges. Plaintiff’s class action lawsuit included claims for violations of the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. Early in the litigation, we convinced plaintiff’s counsel to voluntarily dismiss the consumer fraud claim because it was meritless as a matter of law. We then convinced plaintiff’s counsel dismiss the class claims with respect to any alleged breach of the warranty because, inter alia, there was no privity between plaintiff (or any member of the putative class) and regardless, any hypothetical putative class member’s claim presented individualized inquiries as a matter of law because federal warranty claims under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act are based on underlying state law regarding warranties which differ from state to state. Finally, we obtained a settlement for our client with respect to the plaintiff’s remaining individual warranty claim.
- Obtained nominal settlement and dismissal for an attorney in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court which alleged claims for violation of a state law Debt Adjustment Act, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. Plaintiff’s class action lawsuit alleged that our client and a number of other individual and corporate defendants engaged in a conspiracy to defraud financially-troubled consumers though the provision of debt adjustment services which plaintiff claimed extracted exorbitant fees in exchange for worthless services. After years of litigation, we convinced plaintiff’s counsel to settle all claims against our individual client on a class wide basis for the nominal amount of $13,000.
- On behalf of construction subcontractor, obtained dismissal from complex construction arbitration filed with the American Arbitration by plaintiff hospital owner against a number of construction contractor and subcontractor defendants with respect to the allegedly defective construction of hospital. Although the plaintiff’s agreement with the general contractor contained an arbitration provision, neither plaintiff’s agreement with our client nor the general contractor’s agreement with our client contained an arbitration provision. After the arbitrator dismissed our client form the arbitration on this basis and refiled claims against our client in state court, plaintiff entered into a global settlement agreement with the other defendants named in plaintiff’s arbitration demand. As part of that settlement, plaintiff dismissed all claims against our client, who was not required to contribute to the global settlement fund either.
- On behalf of religious organization, obtained dismissal of Illinois Department of Employment Security (“IDES”) charges after a two-day Administrative Hearing. IDES alleged that our client had violated the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act and therefore owed significant unemployment taxes and penalties. We successfully convinced the Administrative Law Judge that our client, an alternative religious organization, was a church for purposes of one the exceptions to Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act and received an IDES finding of no liability.
- On behalf of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) trader, obtained dismissal of CME Group Arbitration claims for tortious interference with contract and defamation brought by plaintiffs, a trading firm and its owners against our client and his former employer, a competing trading firm. After our client testified at the CME Group Arbitration hearing, we convinced plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss their meritless claims against our client.
- On behalf of elderly resident of assisted living facility, obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”), the Administrative Law Judge assigned to our client’s case, and the assisted living facility to stop an IDPH hearing regarding termination of our client’s residency agreement with the assisted facility. Days before our client’s scheduled IDPH hearing to terminate his residency agreement with the assisted living facility, we brought a claim for declaratory judgment in state court which alleged that the arbitration provision in our client’s residency agreement trumped any statutory authority the IDPH had to terminate our client’s residency agreement and evict him from his unit at the assisted living facility. We also sought emergency injunctive relief in state court to stop the scheduled IDPH hearing until the state court was able to rule on our client’s request for declaratory judgment. After the state court granted our client’s request for injunctive relief, rather than risk adverse precedent on the issue, the assisted living facility agreed to drop all charges against our client and allow him to remain living in his unit at the assisted living facility.
- On behalf of novelty manufacturer and its CEO, after 2-day trial, successfully defended CEO against plaintiff judgement creditor’s allegations of direct civil contempt. Further, obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s judgement creditor’s claim for turnover of assets based on Plaintiff’s claims that our clients had fraudulently transferred the company’s assets after a monetary judgment was entered against our client in the underlying case. We successfully argued that since our client owed a senior priority creditor (bank) an amount of money far in excess of the value of our client’s assets, it was the bank’s prerogative to allow our client to continue to pay operating expenses with the expectation that the company’s profits would be able to fully pay our client’s debts sometime in the future.
- On behalf of restaurant owner, successfully defended a lawsuit against the requests of our client’s former executive chef and manager for a temporary retraining order and injunctive relief while the court considered the former employee’s request for a declaratory judgment finding that the former employees’ restrictive covenants in their employment agreements were invalid. In addition, successfully moved to dismiss the former employees’ lawsuit for declaratory relief by arguing that an arbitration provision in the former employees’ employment agreements prohibited the state court from exercising jurisdiction over the lawsuit and/or ruling on the former employees’ request for declaratory relief.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of metal forging company against claims for trespass, ejectment, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff landowner alleged that our client’s parking lot was built on land owned by plaintiff, not our client. We filed a counterclaim alleging that our client was entitled to the title for the property at issue by adverse possession. Rather than risk losing the property at issue, Plaintiff agreed to dismiss its complaint against our client and purchase the property at issue from our client at fair market value.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of national retail chain against claims by landlord that our client had breached their 10-year commercial lease and owed millions of dollars in accelerated rent. We successfully defended against plaintiff’s summary judgment motion by arguing that there was never a monetary default by our client under the language of the lease, and therefore, plaintiff had terminated the lease, as well as our client’s obligations under the lease, after our client had notified plaintiff it would be closing that location and abandoning the premises. After the court held that there were multiple questions of fact with respect to whether our client owed any damages at all, we negotiated a very favorable settlement on behalf of our client.
PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY LITIGATION
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of two lawyers and their respective law firms in a complex legal malpractice case relating to events that occurred over the span of almost a decade. Plaintiffs were a couple who had defaulted personally guaranteed business loans totaling $1.25 million, which were secured by a mortgage on their business’s real estate property. They hired one of our clients (a real estate lawyer) to assist with a short sale of the property, and the expected short sale fell through. Thereafter, the bank threatened to foreclose on the property. However, when Plaintiffs found another short sale buyer for the property, our client (the real estate lawyer) assisted with the drafting and negotiation of a “Forbearance Agreement” with the bank that would allow the short sale to close, but also required plaintiffs, inter alia, to execute a note for the remainder of the debt owed and not covered by the proceeds of the short sale and to also execute a mortgage on the plaintiffs’ personal residence to secure the new note. Unfortunately, the second short sale also fell through. The bank then filed several lawsuits against plaintiffs to foreclose on plaintiff’s property, and plaintiff eventually filed for personal bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy was discharged, plaintiffs began looking for a buyer to purchase their personal residence. However, at that time, our client (the real estate lawyer) discovered that the bank had recorded the mortgage on plaintiffs’ personal residence which was contemplated by the above-referenced Forbearance Agreement even thought the Agreement conditioned recording of the mortgage on Plaintiff’s residence on closing of the short sale contemplated by the Agreement that never closed. When the bank refused to remove the mortgage, our clients advised plaintiffs to file a declaratory judgment action against the bank to invalidate the mortgage on plaintiffs’ personal residence. At that point in time, our clients’ partnership ended and our second client (the litigation lawyer) took over representation of plaintiffs in the declaratory judgment action. During that action, our client advised plaintiffs to reject multiple settlement offers by the bank. Then the bank filed a motion to dismiss the action, and the court not only denied the motion, it also specifically held that the Forbearance Agreement conditioned the contemplated mortgage on plaintiff’s personal residence on the closing of the contemplated short sale. Subsequently though, the first judge retired, and a second judge replaced her. And when our client filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings based on the first judge’s holding, the second judge reversed course and instead held that the Forbearance Agreement did not condition the contemplated mortgage on plaintiff’s personal residence on the closing of the contemplated short sale (i.e., the second judge held that the bank’s mortgage on plaintiffs’ personal residence was valid). Plaintiffs eventually settled with the bank for almost the full amount of the proceeds on the sale of their personal residence. They then sued our clients for legal malpractice alleging that our first client (the real estate lawyer) negligently drafted and negotiated the Forbearance Agreement and continued to offer negligent advice along with our other client (the litigation lawyer) until after the declaratory judgment action was filed and that the litigation lawyer was negligent when he advised plaintiffs not to take certain settlement offers the bank made during the declaratory judgment litigation. Plaintiffs alleged more than $200,000 in damages. We obtained summary judgment in favor of our clients on three theories. We convinced the court that the six-year statute of repose for all of plaintiff’s claims against our clients began to run in 2009 when our first client (the real estate) drafted and negotiated the Forbearance Agreement because all alleged damages in the legal malpractice case flowed from that alleged negligence and he was partners with our second client still when the declaratory judgment action was filed more than six years later. The court also agreed that regardless of the statute of repose, the two-year statute of limitations began to run when at least by the time our clients notified plaintiffs that the bank had recorded the mortgage on their person residence, which was more than two years before the plaintiffs filed their legal malpractice claims against our clients. Finally, the court also agreed that because Plaintiff’s damages were equal to the amount for which Plaintiffs could have settled the declaratory judgment action minus the amount for which they eventually settled, the attorney judgment rule barred plaintiffs claims because one judge had agreed with their advice on a legal question (i.e., interpretation of the Forbearance Agreement), and another judge disagreed with their advice.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of lawyer and his firm in another complex legal malpractice case relating to events that occurred over almost fifteen years, which involved plaintiffs who had retained our clients to file an underlying legal malpractice against their former attorneys in a second underlying fraud case related to the sale of their residence. Plaintiffs were a couple who bought a residence in 1989 and discovered temporary roof patching in the roof of the residence when their roof began leaking everywhere in 1993. They allegedly retained two attorneys to sue the seller of their residence for fraud, but the seller’s summary judgment motion in the fraud case was granted when plaintiffs’ attorneys in that case failed to timely file a response to the seller’s summary motion. Thereafter, plaintiffs retained our clients to sue plaintiffs’ former attorneys for malpractice in the leaky roof case. While the leaky roof case was on appeal, our clients entered into consecutive tolling agreements with plaintiffs’ former attorneys to toll the statue of limitations for plaintiffs’ legal malpractice claims against their leaky roof attorneys. However, the former attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the legal malpractice claims our clients filed on behalf of plaintiffs and argued that the underlying legal malpractice case against them was time-barred because our client filed allegedly filed it after the tolling agreements had expired. The underlying court granted the motion to dismiss with respect to one of the former attorneys and denied the other former attorneys’ motion to dismiss. Our clients withdrew from the underlying legal malpractice case still pending against the second former attorney, and plaintiffs hired yet another attorney. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal, but the claims against the other former attorney were eventually dismissed for want of prosecution because Plaintiffs new attorney abandoned them and filed a legal malpractice against our clients. We filed a summary judgment motion on behalf of our clients and argued that the viability doctrine under Illinois law barred plaintiffs’ legal malpractice claims against our clients. The court agreed and held that the third attorney’s abandonment of the still pending claim against the second former attorney in the underlying legal malpractice case was a superseding cause of plaintiff’s alleged damages in the legal malpractice case against our clients.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a divorce lawyer and his law firm against allegations that they failed to adequately investigate the assets and tax returns of the plaintiff’s former spouse. Our clients were retained to assist plaintiff with the modification of her existing child support order because she alleged her former spouse was not paying the child support and arrearages he owed under the existing order. Our clients negotiated and the underlying divorce court entered a modified child support order which stated that plaintiff’s former spouse owed her 30% of net income from all sources of income to pay child support and arrearages. Thereafter, plaintiff sued our clients for legal malpractice and alleged that our clients failed to discover (1) her former spouse’s mortgage loan proceeds on one property, (2) proceeds from the sale of another property, and (3) rental proceeds from a third property. She also alleged that all three of these types of proceeds were “net income,” and that she was therefore entitled to 30% of these proceeds under the child support order. Finally, she alleged that our clients’ above referenced failures caused them to improperly calculate the amount of child support owed to plaintiff by her former spouse.We filed a motion for summary judgment which argued (1) that our clients were not retained to discover the assets of plaintiff’s former spouse or to calculate the amount of child support he owed plaintiff; (2) that the IMDMA allowed agreements whereby one spouse calculated the amount he/she owed in child support and paid it rather than requiring a third-party calculate the payments; and (3) that none of these proceeds qualified as “net income” under Illinois law anyways. The court agreed with us on each of these points and therefore granted summary judgment in favor of our clients.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of our clients (two real estate lawyers and their law firm) on allegations that our clients’ professional negligence caused plaintiff corporation $1.4 million in damages. Plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that our clients(1) failed to obtain correct Warranty Deeds at the closing for the sale of three lots of land, (2) failed to redeem two of the lots of land from tax sales, and (3) made multiple misrepresentations to the plaintiff regarding the closing documents. We filed a summary judgment motion which argued that all of plaintiffs’ claims were time-barred by the applicable six-year statute of repose, which began on the date of the closing on the sale for the three lots of land at issue. The court agreed. Since the plaintiff did not file its lawsuit against our clients until six years and eighteen days after the closing, the court held that plaintiff’s claims were time-barred.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice on behalf of an Illinois lawyer and his law firm in an Illinois federal court case. Our clients had assisted an older decedent (a citizen of Indiana) with the drafting of his estate planning documents which created two pour-over trusts. Per the estate planning documents, at the time of decedent’s death, his multiple real estate properties and IRA Accounts—worth millions of dollars—would pour-over into the first trust to be distributed to his much younger wife (a citizen of Indiana) and his brokerage accounts—also worth millions of dollars—would pour-over into the second trust to be distributed to his only son from a previous marriage (also a citizen of Indiana). Shortly before decedent’s death, however, his wife coerced him to name her as the beneficiary for his brokerage accounts so that the monies in those accounts would transfer directly to her upon decedent’s death instead of pouring over into his son’s trust.When the executor (an Illinois accountant) questioned these changes, our clients advised the executor, wife, and son that these changes to brokerage accounts were invalid and suggested that wife should disclaim her rights to those accounts and also disclaim her right to act as a co-executor of the pour-over trust intended for her benefit. She agreed. However, after disclaiming one of the brokerage accounts worth ~1.5 million and returning those monies to the decedent’s son and also disclaiming her rights as co-executor of her trust, she changed her mind and refused to turn over the other accounts. Therefore, the son sued the wife in Indiana state court. The wife filed various counterclaims against the son and the executor and also filed legal malpractice claims, fraud claims, and conspiracy claims against our client and sought damages from our client in excess of $1.5 million. However, our clients and the executor were dismissed from the Indiana state court case because the court held it could not exercise personal jurisdiction over those defendants. Thereafter, the wife filed her claims against our client in an Illinois federal court. While the Illinois federal court case was being litigated, however, the trial in the Indiana State Court case proceeded and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the son on all counts, including a finding that the wife had illegally changed herself to the beneficiary of the $1.5 million brokerage account, that change was invalid, and that the wife’s pre-suit transfer of the money in that account to decedent’s son was therefore proper. After this verdict, we filed a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings in the Illinois federal court case which argued that the wife’s claims against our clients were now barred by application of the federal Full Faith and Credit Statute—which requires federal court’s to abide by state court rulings according to the law of the state in which the ruling was made—and application of the doctrine of collateral estoppel under Indiana (rather than Illinois) law. The court agreed and dismissed each of the wife’s claims against our client.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of a Texas lawyer and his law firm in a legal malpractice matter filed by the law firm’s former Illinois-based client in an Illinois court. Our clients had represented an Illinois trucking company during litigation and throughout trial in Texas state court. The plaintiff in the underlying Texas case was citizen of Texas who suffered severe personal injuries in a trucking accident which occurred in Texas and involved one of the Illinois trucking company’s trucks. The jury in the underlying Texas case returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for more than $30 million, which exceeded the Illinois trucking company’s primary and excess policy limits by more than $25 million. After the verdict, the Illinois trucking company eventually settled the Texas case for its remaining policy limits plus an additional $2.5 million to be paid by the Illinois trucking company out of pocket. The Illinois trucking company then sued our clients for legal malpractice in Illinois and alleged that our clients caused them at least $2.5 million in damages because our clients and failed to advise the Illinois trucking company of the potential for a verdict in excess of the $5 million combined limits on its applicable insurance policies and failed to recommend pre-trial participation in settlement negotiations for less than policies’ combined limits. We filed a motion to dismiss the Illinois trucking company’s claims because the Illinois court presiding over the legal malpractice lawsuit could not exercise personal jurisdiction over our Texas-based client without violating the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. The court agreed and held (1) it could not exercise general personal jurisdiction over a Texas-based law firm because the firm was not sufficiently “at home” in Illinois and (2) it could not exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the Texas law firm because its communications with the Illinois trucking company were initiated from outside of Illinois and the financial benefits it derived from the Illinois trucking company in the form of fees were insufficient to establish the necessary minimum contacts between the Texas law firm and the State of Illinois which the due process clause in the Fourteenth amendment requires. In addition, the Illinois trucking company plaintiff was unable to refile its claims in a Texas court (where the court would have presumably been able to exercise personal jurisdiction over the Texas law firm) because by the time the Illinois court had dismissed the case in Illinois, the statute of limitations on the Illinois trucking company’s legal malpractice claims had expired.
- Obtained a dismissal in a legal malpractice lawsuit where we defended a family law firm against the plaintiff’s allegations that our clients failed to make progress in plaintiff’s underlying divorce proceedings and that our client’s services were therefore “valueless.” Plaintiff alleged more than $200,000 in damages, but voluntarily dismissed the matter instead of disclosing an expert. However, since the order granting plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal occurred after the deadline for plaintiff to disclose her expert witnesses, she was not allowed to disclose an expert witness after she subsequently refiled her lawsuit. Therefore, plaintiff’s counsel withdrew as her legal counsel and when no one appeared on her behalf at the next few status hearings in the refiled case, we requested dismissal of the case for want of prosecution. The court granted our request and dismissed the refiled lawsuit without leave to refile because under Illinois law, a plaintiff may only refile a lawsuit one time after either a voluntary dismissal or a dismissal for want of prosecution.
- Obtained a dismissal on behalf of a divorce lawyer and his law firm against allegations that they made a judicial admission in plaintiff’s post-dissolution dispute which allegedly caused her to lose $119,000 in stock sale proceeds she was owed under the marital settlement agreement she had executed with her former spouse. Our clients were retained to represent plaintiff in a post-dissolution dispute in her underlying divorce case. Plaintiff’s Marital Settlement Agreement allegedly required her former spouse to give her 25% of the net profit from his sale of certain stocks. During the post-dissolution proceedings, our clients allegedly made a statement to the underlying divorce court that the Agreement allowed plaintiff’s former spouse to deduct taxes from plaintiff’s 25% portion of the stock sale proceeds before transferring those proceeds to her. Thereafter, plaintiff fired our clients, and plaintiff’s new attorney filed a motion to amend the complaint to include an allegation that the plaintiff’s former spouse’s tax deduction was improper. However, the underlying divorce court denied plaintiff’s motion to amend because it held that our clients’ alleged statement regarding the tax deduction was a judicial admission. In the legal malpractice case against our clients, plaintiff alleged that our clients were negligent by making this judicial admission in the underlying divorce proceedings and that this negligence caused plaintiff to lose at least $119,000 in stock sale proceeds she was owed by her former husband under their Marital Settlement Agreement. We filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims which argued (1) that the judge in the underlying divorce case erred when it held our clients’ statements at issue were judicial admissions because, as a matter of law, the statements were legal conclusions, not statements of fact, and (2) that under Illinois law, a lawyer cannot not be held liable for a judge’s misapplication of the law in the underlying case. The court agreed and therefore dismissed plaintiff’s claims against our clients.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of a wealthy couple’s family lawyer against allegations that he had a conflict of interest when he suggested terms for the couple’s amicable divorce. Plaintiff alleged our client had a conflict of interest when acted as both her and her former spouses lawyer by suggesting the terms for settlement in the couple’s divorce and hiding a number of her former spouse’s assets when he did so, including ownership interests in five resort timeshares, several undisclosed bank accounts, and multiple real estate properties in Illinois and Florida. We filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings which argued that our client never had an attorney-client relationship with plaintiff and therefore owed her no professional duty and (2) that regardless of any duty, plaintiff terminated her relationship with our client and retained successor counsel during her divorce proceedings while any claims to any allegedly hidden assets were still viable. As such, the court held that to the extent plaintiff was damaged, her successor counsel was a superseding cause of any alleged damages. Therefore, the court dismissed plaintiff’s claims pursuant the viability doctrine under Illinois law.
- Defeated plaintiff’s summary judgment motion in a legal malpractice case against our clients (a personal injury attorney and his law firm) and thereafter negotiated a $40,000 settlement on a $235,000 claim. Plaintiff was injured in a car accident and our clients filed a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver claiming $235,000 in damages. During the pendency of the underlying personal injury case, the defendant driver passed away, and his law firm substituted a special administrator into the case as a defendant and proceeded to litigate the case as if the special administrator had been properly sued. After years of litigation with the special administrator acting as if her was the defendant, he filed a summary judgment motion on the eve of trial which argued that the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred because our clients had failed to timely file an amended complaint naming the special administrator as the defendant within the applicable statute of limitations. The underlying trial court granted the motion and our clients appealed. On appeal, two of the judges on the three-judge panel affirmed, but one judge wrote a dissent. The dissenting judge opined that the special administrator’s motion should have been denied because the special administrator had lulled our clients to sleep by voluntarily substituting himself in as the defendant and litigating the case for years without expressing any issue concerning his designation as a defendant. Plaintiff then sued our clients and filed a summary judgment motion arguing that no expert testimony was needed to prove our clients’ standard of care because a lay person could understand that our client’s allowed the statute of limitations in the underlying case to expire. In opposition, we argued that the underlying dissent’s opinion that our clients were not negligent under the circumstances created a question of fact regarding whether our clients breached their standard of care. In other words, we asked the court how could the alleged negligence of our clients be so obvious that even a lay person equipped with only his common knowledge should recognize it when an appellate judge with over 60 years of specialized legal training does not recognize it? The court agreed and denied plaintiff’s summary judgment motion. Shortly thereafter, in light of the court’s denial and with the prospect of expert witness fees and full five-day trial looming in the future, plaintiff agreed to settle the matter for $40,000 after adamantly refusing anything less than $235,00 prior to their unsuccessful summary judgment attempt.
CORPORATE TRANSACTIONAL WORK
- On behalf of a top executive at a major international golf equipment company, negotiated an executive compensation and equity agreement, which included provisions for equity options, restrictive covenants, and severance provisions.
- On behalf of national printing company, negotiated an Executive Compensation and Sales Commission Agreement for highest paid individual at the company.
- On behalf of executive at major insurance carrier, negotiated an executive compensation agreement, which included restrictive covenants and severance provisions.
- On behalf of international paint and chemical supplier, negotiated complex long-term paint supply agreement with major international car manufacturer.
- On behalf of international association management company, negotiated complex, large-event hospitality agreement with owner of large event space and event planning company.
- On behalf of religious organization, provides advice regarding non-profit corporate governance issues and negotiated and drafted multiple severance agreements, real estate sale and purchase agreements, affiliate commission agreements, website terms and conditions, employment agreements, and confidentiality and non-disparagement agreements.