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Case Experience

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Over the past thirty-plus years, I have had the opportunity to represent terrific clients in interesting and diverse legal matters.  Here are descriptions of some of the cases I have handled:

1.      Reves  v.  Ernst & Young

           Prevailed before the United States Supreme Court in the case that established a new legal standard for when a note is a "security" under the federal securities laws.  I wrote the cert. petition and the merits briefs.  See 494 U.S. 56.  On remand to the Eighth Circuit, I wrote the briefs and won an affirmance of the liability of an EY predecessor firm for securities fraud.  See 937 F.2d 1310.

2.      Township Trustees v. Lyons Township High School

           Prevailed in the Circuit Court of Cook County after a multi-month trial, conducted during the pandemic by Zoom, for a public high school in an intergovernmental dispute. The case involved complex financial issues involving $6 million in claims, a 25-year period, fifteen witnesses, and testimony from several accountants and experts. The Court ruled in favor of my client on all major issues, resolved novel legal issues for us, and granted our affirmative defenses of statute of limitations and laches. The opponent did not appeal, and the win enabled my client to withdraw its funds from the opponent's statutory investment pool.

3.      Ballis  v.  Valinote

           Won a federal court dispute between LLC members over the departing member’s right, after he exercised a buy-sell provision, to indemnification for liability on his personal guarantees.  The District Court entered summary judgment in favor of my client, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed.  See 295 F.3d 666.  This decision was discussed in several business law articles.

4.      Johnson  v.  Access Financial Group

           Prevailed after a three-week long arbitration hearing before FINRA.  Johnson accused my client, a financial services company, of securities fraud and other industry violations and sought a multi-million dollar judgment.  The arbitrators returned a unanimous verdict of zero liability.

5.      United Painting Co. v.  McBride, Baker & Coles

           Won a more than $600,000 judgment for a business in a legal malpractice action against his former law firm.  Prevailed in the Circuit Court on a motion for summary judgment, and obtained a complete affirmance in the Appellate Court.

6.      Ironshore v. Callister Nebeker & McCullough v. Old Republic Insurance Co.

           Won complete summary judgment for insurance company client against multi-million dollar coverage claim based on exclusion contained in application for insurance.  Prevailed on the appeal in the 10th Circuit. 

7.      Chan  v.  Greater Illinois Title Co.

           Won this trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County for a real estate developer seeking damages for breaches of a title insurance policy based on an undisclosed easement.  I established the defendant’s liability before trial through a summary judgment motion.  At trial, the Court awarded 100 percent of the requested damages.

8.     1325 Corp. v. 1325 W. Wrightwood LLC

          Represented a real estate company sued by a commercial tenant seeking to renew a lease.  After an evidentiary hearing, I won the dismissal with prejudice of all of the tenant’s claims.  I also won an award of attorney’s fees against the tenant and his counsel as a sanction for bad faith litigation.  The case settled on favorable terms.

9.     A440, Inc.  v.  Allstate Insurance Co.

          Tried this case in the Circuit Court of Cook County for a stringed instruments dealer fighting with an insurance company over the rightful ownership of a rare Italian violin.  After a trial that involved testimony from prominent industry experts, we won all rights to the violin.

10.     Taylor Textbooks, Inc.  v.  Triton College

          Tried this case in the Circuit Court of Cook County for a book dealer seeking records from a college under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.  After trial, the Court found in favor of my client and entered a permanent injunction.  The opinion established new Illinois law under the IFOIA.


11.   Daye  v.  Snap-on Inc.

          Represented the tool company Snap-on nationwide in a series of lawsuits and arbitrations filed by its dealers.  I was co-counsel in a two-month long arbitration hearing in Pennsylvania involving twelve dealers.  The arbitrators ruled unanimously in favor of Snap-on as to all of the dealers, which ended most of the dealer litigation in the Mid-Atlantic region.

12.  ISLIC  v.  Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.

         Conducted a federal court jury trial in which our insurance company client won a multi-million dollar dispute over the interpretation of 20-year-old reinsurance policies.  Wrote the briefs for the successful Seventh Circuit appeal.  See 998 F.2d 504.

13.   Dresner Capital v.  California Airmotive Group

          This was a commercial fraud case against my client, the former president of a aeronautics firm, in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  I won the dismissal of all claims against my client in the original complaint and in four amended complaints.  I also won the appeal.

14.   In re Estate of Elijah Muhammad

          In the Appellate Court of Illinois, we won the reversal of a multi-million dollar judgment against a large Japanese bank.  The Supreme Court of Illinois affirmed.  The decision released the bank from all liability and established new Illinois law on charitable trusts and equitable ownership.  See 520 N.E.2d 795.

15.   Asani  v.  INS

          In this immigration appeal in the Seventh Circuit, I won a reversal on constitutional grounds of the government’s refusal to grant political asylum to my client.  He had been imprisoned and beaten for his political activities in the former Yugoslavia.  See 154 F.3d 719.

16.   Mila  v.  Shelter Management Group XI

          Tried this Circuit Court case and won a judgment in favor of an apartment building owner and against the sellers of the property, who had defaulted on the primary mortgage.

17.   Price  v.  Household International

          In this federal class action involving Truth In Lending Act issues, I represented several individual officers of Household who were sued for RICO and statutory fraud claims.  I filed a motion that resulted in the dismissal of all of the officers from the case before discovery started.

18.   Ernst & Young Seminars

          Although the case involved in this project is fictional, I taught a series of in-house seminars over several years for the national accounting firm of Ernst & Young.  The seminars train EY accountants to give effective expert witness testimony.  I also wrote the case study used in the seminars.

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