Roger is the Co-Managing Partner of BFKN and a first chair trial attorney who has appeared more than 100 times before judges in federal and state courts in jurisdictions across the country. Roger has been engaged by some of the world’s most prominent companies to represent them in their most significant legal disputes, including class actions, shareholder disputes, and derivative claims. Roger has a wealth of experience advocating on behalf of REITs, manufacturers, financial institutions, distributors, developers, and the fiduciaries that work in these industries.
Roger represents a broad range of real estate clients and is well-versed in the unique controversies involving real estate. He has extensive experience with representing REITs in numerous industries, including the healthcare, industrial, and office sectors. Roger acts as primary counsel to several REITs and funds related to disputes concerning capital markets transactions, creation of joint ventures with institutional investors, acquisitions, dispositions, and leasing in connection with REIT operations. He has also litigated issues related to a broad range of construction and development projects on behalf of various parties, including owners, developers, lenders, and contractors concerning locations throughout North America.
Roger represents financial institutions on matters related to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), corporate fiduciary responsibility, directors and officers liability, civil RICO, insurance, conspiracy claims, and commercial contract disputes.
Roger also represents manufacturers and distributors across the country and around the world to implement market representation and development initiatives and litigate disputes relating to dealer establishments, requirement contracts, distribution agreements, relocations and terminations, warranty reimbursement policies, product allocation systems, facility regulations, advertising requirements, dealer transfers, and site control restrictions.
- State of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court - Southern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court - Western District of Michigan
- University of Michigan School of Law, J.D., 2003
- University of Southern California, B.A., magna cum laude, 2000
- 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. 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.
- Represent commercial, retail, and industrial property owners and landlords across the country in litigation to recover damages against tenants that fail to return properties in condition required by the lease.
- Represent REITs and real estate investment companies in a variety of cases regarding deals that fell apart and where substantial escrow deposits are in dispute.
- Represent REITs where buyers and sellers are making claims for indemnification or breach of reps or warranties.
- Represent REITs in disputes regarding lease renewal provisions where tens of millions of dollars are at issue.
- Represented REIT against securities fraud lawsuit by group of medical industry tenants who alleged they were defrauded by false promise of opportunity to purchase ownership interest in medical office building once certain milestones were achieved. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed lawsuit after being served with discovery focused on their personal finances and whether they would qualify as accredited investors, and depositions of certain plaintiffs.
- Represent REITs and funds in commercial eviction and lien proceedings.
- Represented ESOP trustee in multi-district litigation in SDNY. Plaintiff alleged defendant participated in the Tribune Company’s breach of its fiduciary duties resulting in excess of $3 billion in damages. Court dismissed all claims against defendant with prejudice. 2019 WL 294807 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 23, 2019).
- Represented bank and its 401(k) Plan fiduciaries against claims that they breached their respective fiduciary duties under ERISA by imprudently retaining the common stock of the bank as an investment option in the 401(k) Plan. Resolved case with no payment from clients (District Court for the Northern District of Illinois).
- Represent ESOP trustee against claims trustee participated in conspiracy to overvalue stock in connection with ESOP transaction which allegedly led to the plaintiffs’ promissory notes becoming “worthless” (District Court for the Northern District of New York).
- Represent ESOP trustee in NDNY against claims trustee participated in fraud to overvalue stock in connection with ESOP transaction (District Court for the Southern District of New York).
- Represent 401(k) plan trustee in District against claims trustee breached fiduciary duties and engaged in prohibited transactions under ERISA, by causing the Plan to pay more than fair market value for company stock (District Court for the District of Minnesota).
- Represented bank owners and officers against claims defendants breached their fiduciary duties with respect to lending practices that allegedly resulted in the bank’s failure (Iowa State Court).
- Represent ESOP trustee against claims for indemnification and contribution related to alleged prohibited transactions under ERISA in connection with the sale of a casino (District Court for the Southern District of Illinois).
- Represent national distributors in litigation related to obligations under distribution agreements.
- Represent global manufacturers and distributors in the enforcement of commercial contracts.
- Represent distributors in defense against wrongful termination pursuant to state statutes and constitutional protections.
- Represent global manufacturers in litigating disputes regarding compliance with requirement contracts.
- Guest lecturer on Uniform Commercial Code and contract drafting at the University of Iowa College of Law, 2005
- Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation (2019-2023)
- Leading Lawyers Network (2021-2023)
“Roger Stetson is one of the best litigators in Chicago.”