COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

Our commercial litigation team focuses on resolving business disputes at all levels and has represented clients before local, state and federal courts. We have handled matters involving business torts, fraud, unfair competition, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, shareholder and partnership disputes, construction litigation, and real estate litigation. Because of the depth and experience of our attorneys, we know when to counsel clients on early settlement for a meritorious case or to pursue a full trial for more questionable claims. We pride ourselves on advising clients on how to avoid unnecessary costs of litigation or even how to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation. At all times, we seek to achieve the best and most cost effective result for the client. We understand the importance of preserving our clients’ public image and work hand-in-hand with clients to address the issues surrounding their unique situation and to achieve their goals.

Contract Disputes

No matter how carefully a contract is prepared or how sincere both parties may be when entering into an agreement, contract disputes and breaches can nevertheless occur. We have litigated issues such as breach of contract, non-compete agreements, shareholder agreements, and employment contract disputes in both state and federal court.

Partnership/Shareholder Disputes

Like marital partners, business partners have disagreements, which, if not resolved, may lead them to a divorce of their mutual business interests. If not properly managed, these disputes can easily become just as ugly and expensive as the most high-profile marital break-ups. We are well equipped to assist clients from the inception of disagreements, through negotiation and, if necessary, through corporate severance. If negotiation is unsuccessful, we will vigorously litigate until the business divorce is complete.

We are actively engaged in shareholder litigation in both state and federal court. We represent minority shareholders complaining about oppression, fraud, freeze-out, and other divisive issues that form the basis for the dissolution of a company. We also represent majority shareholders, management and corporations in proceedings involving disputes over the value of corporate stock.

Fraudulent Transfers

A fraudulent transfer occurs when a debtor transfers property to another party in an effort to defraud, hinder or delay collection of a debt. These transfers may arise as part of commercial loan transactions, bankruptcies, divorces, or partnership transfers. Regardless of the circumstances involved, creditors may have the right to unwind the transfer, or instead recover the value of the property improperly transferred to a third party. Allegations of those and other acts of fraudulent conveyances have serious consequences and require the representation of an attorney with a thorough knowledge of the complexities of this area of the law.

We also help our clients uncover the fraudulent practices of debtors and either unwind fraudulent transfers or recover the value of the property that was improperly transferred. We are experienced in analyzing financial records and bank statements to uncover evidence of fraud, even when debtors refuse to cooperate.

Director and Officer Liability

Directors and officers of for-profit and not-for-profit corporations are often the target of a dispute or litigation. The sources of these disputes can range from improper loans made by the corporation to directors or officers, exorbitant dividend payments, profit sharing contributions made by the company, violation of loan covenants, unfair competition, imprudent disposal of corporate assets, breaches of duties of loyalty, and corporate indemnification obligations. Our firm has substantial expertise in providing advice and counsel to avoid or minimize a dispute, counsel the directors and officers through the dispute, and represent the directors and officers in arbitration and litigation. Whether a corporation is small and closely held, a condominium association or a publicly held company, our attorneys can provide representation for the directors, officers, or the corporation regarding difficult questions about duties, breaches of duties, defenses, and appropriate relief.

Our cases have included the defense of direct and derivative claims asserting breach of fiduciary duty, corporate opportunity violations, conflict of interest matters and transactions, fraudulent and criminal conduct, and other corporate control disputes.

Construction Defects

Our construction practice consists of claims related to and arising out of construction projects such as, construction delay, mechanics' liens, failure to pay and construction defects. We represent owners, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, landlords, tenants, and condominium associations. We advise our clients on issues of liability, insurance coverage, contractual obligations, and on resolving disputes, regardless of whether that resolution materializes through settlement, arbitration, or trial.

Our firm has extensive experience in both defending and pursuing insured defect-related claims, and in negotiating for or with insurance carriers involved in defect-related claims. We also have defended and pursued surety bonds posted for construction projects that could affect liability or provide a means for payment such as, performance bonds.

Representative Cases

J.F. Lomma, Inc. v. Stevenson Crane Service, Inc.
Case No. 11-cv-00895 – U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Defended construction equipment company in action for damages resulting from contractual dispute involving the rental of several construction cranes.

Lomanto v. Lomanto
Case No. 09 CH 36259 – Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
Represented shareholder both individually and on behalf of the corporation, a family-owned hardware franchise, in an action against a corporate director for fraud, misappropriation, and various other breaches of fiduciary duty.

Shoumaker v. Unicore Insurance Services, Inc., et al.
Case No. CV2004-013473 – Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona
Represented health insurance brokerage firm in shareholder dispute over the enforceability of a shareholder agreement in connection with the purchase and sale of significant company assets.

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