Brian C. Haussmann handles a broad range of complex commercial litigation. He regularly represents corporate entities and individuals in state and federal courts and private arbitrations in Chicago and throughout the country. He focuses on commercial cases involving business dissolution (sometimes referred to as "business divorces"), contract claims, fraud and other business torts, partnership and shareholder rights, and complex real estate transactions. He also has litigated cases concerning the Uniform Commercial Code, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, strict product liability, antitrust violations, and insurance coverage, among other things.
Haussmann also counsels clients on matters not in litigation, and has helped to resolve important disputes without filing suit.
Haussmann joined Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC in 2008. Before joining Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC, he was a litigation associate at Jenner & Block LLP.
Haussmann is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. Additionally, from 2014 to 2019, he was named an Illinois "Rising Star" by his peers in SuperLawyers® Magazine, a distinction reserved for the top 2.5% of Illinois lawyers who are under 40 or in practice for 10 years or fewer.
Haussmann is also active in pro bono work and in professional activities outside of the office. He currently serves as lead counsel to the United States Conference of Mayors in litigation challenging the Attorney General's unilateral imposition of immigration-related conditions on the receipt by cities across the country of federal law enforcement grants under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program.
Haussmann also serves on the Governing Board of LAF, the largest provider of free, non-criminal legal services in Chicago, and as a founding member of the Chicago Bar Association's committee on Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes.
- Cornell Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2004
- Note Editor, Cornell Law Review
- Student Practitioner, Cornell Legal Aid Clinic
- Note, The ABA Ethical Guidelines for Settlement Negotiations: Exceeding the Limits of the Adversarial Ethic, 89 CORNELL L. REV. 1218 (2004).
- Indiana University, Bloomington, B.A. in Philosophy and Germanic Studies, with High Distinction, 2001
Community Involvement and Professional Activities
- Adjunct Professor at John Marshall Law School, most recently teaching a course in deposition practice
- LAF (formerly Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago), Current member of the Governing Board, Previous Co-Chair of the Young Professionals Board (2017-2018)
- CBA, Founding Member of the Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes Committee
- American Diabetes Association, Member of the Young Professional Leadership Council (2017-2018)
- Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), Appointed to the Civil Practice & Procedure Section Council (2014-15)
- American Bar Association (ABA), Member
- ABA Section of Litigation, Member of its Committees on Business Torts & Unfair Competition and Real Estate Litigation
- Seventh Circuit: "Follow Form" Insurance Policy Does Not Allow Excess Insurer to Take Advantage of Arbitration Provision in Underlying Policy, The Chicago Litigation Blog, November 2, 2016
- Appellate Court Holds that Trial is Needed to Determine Whether Commercial Dispute Must be Arbitrated, The Chicago Litigation Blog, February 25, 2016
- Can Former Minority Owners of an LLC Bring a Legal Malpractice Claim Against Company's Law Firm?, The Chicago Litigation Blog, February 9, 2016
- New Limits on Subject Matter Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege, Illinois Bar Journal (July 2013, Vol. 101, pgs. 1-3), co-authored with Hon. Gino L. DiVito and John M. Fitzgerald
- Served as trial counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer and supplier in the private arbitration of a contract dispute involving alleged breaches of an exclusive, six-year supply agreement. Prevailed at trial on all claims, securing an award for the firm's client of over $8 million plus attorneys' fees. Also defeated a counterclaim seeking approximately $24 million in damages as the result of the supplier's alleged failure to manufacture the drug in accordance with technical specifications, applicable law, and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).
- Successfully briefed an appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court on a matter of first impression concerning subject matter waiver of the attorney-client privilege in business transactions. In a unanimous opinion, the Court ruled in the firm’s clients’ favor, held that no waiver had taken place and reversed an appellate court decision that would have required production of thousands of privileged communications. The case is Center Partners, Ltd. v. Growth Head GP, LLC, 2012 IL 113107. A copy of the opinion is available here.
- Secured the early dismissal of a federal lawsuit against a prominent supplier of technology services. The suit, brought by a competitor, alleged that the supplier had fraudulently misrepresented its capabilities in a successful bid for a government contract for credit card processing services, and plaintiff sought injunctive relief and damages for false advertising, tortious interference, deceptive trade practices and other business torts. After extensive briefing on a number of defense motions, the federal district court dismissed the action in its entirety.
- Part of trial and appellate team that defended a federal class action lawsuit alleging employment discrimination in violation of ERISA. After a 9-day bench trial, the district court found in favor of the defendants on all counts. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court.
- Defended Fortune 500 company in federal lawsuit alleging breach of a sales contract for the sale of five corporate properties. Following a bench trial, the court denied plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the properties' sale to another bidder.
- Helped secure a temporary restraining order for a hospital products company requiring its exclusive supplier of an important product to continue supplying product during the parties' arbitration of a contract dispute.
- Helped minority members of a limited liability company avoid an unfair sale and potential squeeze-out related to the company's investment in a commercial office building; achieved successful outcome without filing suit.
- Obtained a complete defense verdict for automobile manufacturer and distributor in a week-long product liability jury trial resulting from a nationwide recall.
- Served as lead appellate lawyer for an indigent criminal defendant upon appointment by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Following briefing and argument, the court reversed the client's conviction and vacated his 20-year sentence.