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Litigation

Primary Practice Contacts  W. Scott Porterfield &
Roger H. Stetson

Barack Ferrazzano has been selected by some of the world’s most prominent companies to represent them in their most significant legal disputes.  We believe that is because the firm has assembled a group of highly skilled trial lawyers – seasoned partners and well-trained associates – who represent clients both forcefully and efficiently.  Unlike some litigators who spend years engaging in expensive discovery only to recommend settlement on the eve of trial, we are always ready to try cases when necessary, but resolve them early and economically when appropriate.

Barack Ferrazzano trial lawyers have handled a variety of cases, including disputes concerning: securities and derivative securities; contracts; motor vehicle franchises; trade secrets; licensing disputes; consumer class actions; real estate; professional liability; civil RICO and conspiracy actions; director and officer matters; negligence and product liability; bankruptcy and creditors' rights; and bank regulatory and other financial disputes. We represent a diverse group of businesses in resolving these disputes, ranging from one of the world's leading oil and gas suppliers to large financial institutions, major telecommunications services providers, REIT(s), motor vehicle manufacturers, hedge funds, law firms, and consumer goods companies.

Our litigators have extensive experience in state and federal courts throughout the United States, on both the trial and appellate levels. We understand that we are asked to help resolve business problems, and we recognize that a trial is only one potential solution.

Because our clients' success often rests on our ability to design thoughtful, cost-effective solutions to complex scenarios, a significant part of our time is focused on strategic counseling and alternative dispute resolution.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Members of the litigation group are experienced in a broad range of alternative dispute resolution techniques, including mediations, binding and non-binding arbitrations, mini-trials and settlement trials with floors and caps. Many members of the group also sharpen their skills and widen their perspectives by serving as arbitrators and mediators.

Counseling

The litigation group also has extensive experience in strategic counseling designed to minimize the likelihood of litigation or reduce the exposure to litigation when potential problems arise.  For engagements requiring certain legal or industry specialization, we assemble strong interdisciplinary teams designed to leverage the talents of attorneys in other practice areas. Barack Ferrazzano's litigation group is often involved in complex corporate and real estate disputes that benefit from the comprehensive experience of our corporate, real estate and bankruptcy attorneys. Such a cross-functional approach has proved successful in resolving controversies ranging from dissenting shareholders' rights disputes to take-over litigation.

The firm's efficient structure and staffing philosophy allow us to craft efficient teams designed to bring the strongest talent possible to every challenge. A litigation team is assembled for each assignment based on the skill and style required for that engagement.

The members of the litigation group are frequent speakers and authors on commercial litigation topics and regularly serve as instructors at educational programs sponsored by continuing legal education associations and various trade groups. As a result of extensive trial experience, our attorneys are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of many of the nation's leading experts in various specialties.

Representative Matters

  • Fast Break Foods, LLC v. Saudi Aramco Corp.

    Represented Motiva Enterprises (a joint venture of Shell and Saudi Aramco) in three consolidated actions brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, alleging Sherman Act violations in the refined petroleum products market.

  • Porterfield v. Orecchio

    Represented receiver in claim brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the directors and officers of AA Capital Partners, Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisor, in a $60 million claim for violations of ERISA, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and conversion arising out of alleged misappropriation and misuse of investor funds.

  • In re: CFS-Related Securities Litigation

    Represented third-party defendant in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma in suit claiming fraud in connection with failed asset-backed securities and seeking over $100 million in damages.

  • Siegel v. Shell Oil Co.

    Represented Shell in consumer class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging oligopolistic control over prices in retail gasoline market.

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  • Banning Healthcare Investment, LLC v. MLD Financial Capital Corp.

    Represented defendant s and obtained full dismissal of all claims that managing member breached fiduciary duty of care and loyalty in managing limited liability company.

  • Colson v. Maghami

    In a decision rendered by United States District Court of Arizona on July 9, 2010, obtained summary judgment in defense of a multi-million dollar aiding and abetting claim against an auto client.

  • Dalton v. Old Second Bancorp, Inc.

    Represented Old Second Bancorp, Inc. and its 401(k) Plan fiduciaries against claims that they breached their respective fiduciary duties by imprudently retaining the common stock of the bank as an investment option in the 401(k) Plan. Successfully resolved case with no payment from clients.

  • Failed Real Estate Projects

    Represented several financial institutions in numerous lawsuits over failed real estate projects.

  • False Claims Act Litigation

    Represented major medical device manufacturer in False Claims Act litigation alleging violations of Buy America Act in sales to government.

  • Galileo v. United Airlines

    Represented on-line reservations provider in arbitration alleging breach of contract by airline partner.

  • Grand Jury Investigations

    Represented on-line reservations provider in arbitration alleging breach of contract by airline partner.

  • In re Citric Acid Antitrust Litigation

    Represented multinational food conglomerate in class action civil litigation into alleged price fixing of citric acid.

  • In re HFCS Antitrust Litigation

    Represented multinational food conglomerate in class action civil litigation and grand jury investigation into alleged price fixing of high fructose corn syrup.

  • In re: Emerald Casino, Inc.

    Represented Illinois Gaming Board as Special Assistant Attorney General in license revocation proceedings arising out of alleged misrepresentation to Board in casino license application relating to organized crime infiltration.

  • Internal Investigation

    Conducted internal investigation for Audit Committee of international energy company into failure of management to communicate cost overruns in natural gas project.

  • Irma Villate v. Southport Bank

    Conducted internal investigation for Audit Committee of international energy company into failure of management to communicate cost overruns in natural gas project.

  • Italia Foods v. Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute

    Represented defendant in class action in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

  • Jay E. Hayden Foundation v. First Neighbor Bank

    In a decision rendered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on June 22, 2010, obtained dismissal of a federal RICO suit against a bank client.

  • Local 1001 v. Laborers’ International Union of North America

    Appointed special prosecutor in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, tasked with expelling organized crime influence within union.

  • Marc S. Kirschner, As Litigation Trustee For The Tribune Litigation Trust v. Fitzsimons, et al.

    Representing defendant in multi-district litigation alleging defendant participated in the Tribune Company’s breach of its fiduciary duties. A motion to dismiss the defendant with prejudice is currently pending.

  • Mattoon Hospitality Group v. City of Mattoon, Illinois

    Represented hotel group in action in the Circuit Court of Coles County, Illinois to invalidate tax increment financing ordinances adopted to fund a $50 million convention center project.

  • Merdinger v. The John Buck Company, et al.

    The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s order in Merdinger v. The John Buck Company, et al. imposing more than $75,000 in sanctions against plaintiff Greg Merdinger for bringing a frivolous lawsuit against defendant David Anderson. In granting Mr. Anderson’s motion for sanctions, the trial court agreed that the plaintiff had no basis for naming Mr. Anderson as a defendant, and dismissed the case against Mr. Anderson with prejudice.

  • Millennium Holding Group v. Sutura Inc., Fusion Capital LLC

    Represented investment firm in litigation over failed merger agreement.

  • Moet Hennessy SNC v. Phillips Beverage Company

    Represented international beverage company in arbitration arising from acquisition of vodka distributor.

  • Morgan Street Properties LLC v. Wheaton Bank & Trust Company

    Represented financial institution that acquired assets of failed bank in litigation regarding alleged fraud in the sale of bank assets.

  • Non-compete Agreements

    Represented high speed traders in several disputes over non-compete agreements.

  • Partnership Disputes

    Represented real estate developer in various partnership disputes.

  • Princeton South v. First Industrial Realty Trust

    Represented public REIT in lawsuit seeking approximately $2 million in damages arising out of disposition of properties in Princeton, New Jersey.

  • Quad City Bank & Trust v. Elderkin & Pirnie

    In September 2013, obtained a jury verdict in favor of Quad City Bank & Trust in Dubuque County, Iowa. Quad City Bank & Trust v. Elderkin & Pirnie. The suit involved the Bank's claim for legal malpractice. The verdict was upheld on appeal.

  • Saloman Brothers International Ltd. v. Eagle Cayman International L.P.

    Represented hedge fund in litigation with a broker-dealer in the Supreme Court of New York, involving claims and counterclaims in excess of $100 million.

  • Schram McDonnell, LLC dba Austin Orthopedic Specialists v. Ventas, Inc.

    Represented individual and corporate defendants in claim brought in the District Court of Travis County, Texas. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants engaged in a conspiracy, fraud and negligence related to the purchase of equity interests in a medical office building. All defendants were dismissed on all counts.

  • Stella v. LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics, Inc.

    Represented LVMH in consumer class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, asserting fraud, negligence, and product liability claims arising from alleged presence of lead in lipstick.

  • Strategic Realty Associates v. AIMCO

    Represented public REIT in action seeking approximately $10 million in connection with the disposition of alleged VMS assets.

  • Telecommunication Network Design v. McLeod USA, Inc.

    Represented defendant in class action in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

  • Ventas Realty, Limited Partnership v. ALC CVMA, LLC

    Represented Plaintiff in claim brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleging that the Defendants’ receipt of notices of intent to revoke permits from state regulators with respect to its licenses to operate three assisted living facilities in Georgia and Alabama violated a lease agreement with Plaintiff. On June 15, 2012, the matter was resolved with the Defendants’ agreement to pay $97 million for the properties at issue, $3 million for a litigation settlement fee and agreement to pay all of Plaintiff’s fees and costs associated with the lawsuit.

  • Wells v. Sprint Corp.

    Represented Sprint in consumer class action in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, demanding software upgrades to resolve dropped call issues.

  • West American Insurance Company v. Yorkville National Bank

    In an opinion issued by the Illinois Supreme Court on September 23, 2010, won a multi-million dollar judgment in favor of a bank against an insurance company.

  • White v. Progressive Eldercare Services, et al.

    Represented defendant property owner in lawsuit brought in the Circuit Court of Saline County, Arkansas. Plaintiff alleged the defendants engaged in negligent care and treatment of a resident in the facility. Defendant was dismissed on all counts.

  • Wilson v. Krause, et al.

    Represented defendants in in eight figure lawsuit brought in the Iowa District Court for Polk County. Plaintiff alleged that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties to the company. The case was dismissed against all defendants on all counts.

  • Wrongful Death Litigation

    Represented Fortune 500 food manufacturer in class action and individual wrongful death litigation arising from food contamination.