Firm News and Recent Decisions
October 20, 2016
On October 20, 2016, TDR partner Caesar Tabet was quoted by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in an article about the Illinois Appellate Court opinion in People ex. rel. Beeler, Schad and Diamond, P.C. v. Relax the Back Corp., 2016 IL App (1st) 151580. The Appellate Court’s opinion exonerated TDR’s client of all liability under the Illinois False Claims Act in connection with allegations that TDR’s client improperly did not pay sales tax on Internet and mail-order catalog sales. At trial, the court rejected approximately 95% of the claims against TDR’s client, and on appeal the Appellate Court rejected the remaining 5%, leaving TDR’s client with no liability whatsoever.
Regarding the Appellate Court’s opinion, Tabet states that it is “thorough, comprehensive and consistent with well‑established federal and state law under the federal False Claims Act and the Illinois False Claims Act and constitutional principles that limit taxation on the internet,” and that it “will be very helpful to the trial courts that are still dealing with potentially hundreds or thousands of similar cases that essentially are tax cases brought by private attorneys under the False Claims Act,” because it will “help those courts substantially narrow and limit these hundreds or thousands of other pending cases.”
TDR partners Caesar Tabet and Daniel Konieczny tried the case and argued the appeal.
October 17, 2016
On October 17, 2016, the Illinois Appellate Court issued an opinion that exonerated TDR’s client of all liability in connection with allegations that TDR’s client violated the Illinois False Claims Act by not collecting sales tax on Internet and mail-order catalog sales. The lawsuit was one of hundreds filed by an Illinois law firm against out-of-state retailers who did not collect sales tax on Internet and catalog sales. At trial, the Circuit Court of Cook County found that TDR’s client conducted a reasonable investigation of the relevant law in connection with its tax obligations and was not liable under the False Claims Act for approximately 95% of the contested sales, but the Circuit Court found liability for 5% of the contested sales. TDR appealed the finding of liability on the remaining 5%. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s finding that TDR’s client conducted a reasonable investigation, and it reversed the finding of liability for the remaining 5% of the sales, leaving TDR’s client with no liability whatsoever.
The Appellate Court’s opinion establishes an important precedent for False Claims Act litigation nationwide, and it will make it easier for courts to identify and put an end to future lawsuits that do not meet the basic requirements of the False Claims Act as early as possible. TDR partners Caesar Tabet and Daniel Konieczny tried the case and argued the appeal.
October 14, 2016
TDR partners Meredith Martin Addy and Daniel Konieczny successfully defended key patent claims against an invalidity challenge in an inter partes review proceeding concerning motion tracking technology with applications to the helmet mounted displays used in military aircraft. On October 14, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its final written decision in Elbit Systems of America, LLC v. Thales Visionix, Inc., Case IPR2015-01095. In the decision, the PTAB held that TDR client Thales Visionix, Inc. overcame Elbit Systems of America’s contentions that several claims of Thales Visionix’s patent were invalid based on obviousness.
The claims on which Thales Visionix prevailed cover systems and methods for tracking the orientation or position of an object, such as a pilot's helmet, relative to a moving reference frame, such as an aircraft. Thales Visionix has brought an action in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, asserting that Elbit incorporated this patented technology as part of the helmet mounted displays supplied to the United States Government for the F-35 fighter aircraft. That action was stayed pending the PTAB’s ruling, and it was independently dismissed based on Elbit’s contention that Thales Visionix’s patent was not directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Thales Visionix has appealed the § 101 decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and on November 2, 2016, TDR partner Meredith Martin Addy argued that case before the Federal Circuit.
Chambers (Band 1 Ranking) and Best Lawyers Rocognize Addy's Accomplishments
August 24, 2016
Chambers USA, an annual guide to the legal market in the United States, has again ranked Tabet DiVito & Rothstein partner Meredith Martin “Mimi” Addy as a Leading Individual in Band 1 for her accomplishments in intellectual property law in Illinois. Band 1 is Chambers’ highest designation for an individual attorney.
Chambers noted that Addy is “praised for her federal circuit appeals practice” and that she has “become a favorite of clients in the pharmaceutical and electrical engineering sectors.” The publication has recognized Addy each year since 2006.
Chambers bases its rankings on a combination of extensive interviews with clients and peers and a comprehensive assessment of recently completed deals and cases. Its researchers evaluate individual attorneys on their technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities valued by clients. You can find more information at www.ChambersandPartners.com.
In addition, Addy was recently selected by her peers for inclusion in the 23rd edition of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in patent law and patent litigation.
Best Lawyers is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession. It employs a survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations from leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical and legal practice areas. More information is at www.BestLawyers.com.
Addy has two decades of experience in complex litigation on behalf of entrepreneurial and innovative companies in sectors ranging from software to pharmaceuticals. She has served as first- or second-chair trial counsel in nearly 30 cases in federal district court, and has handled more than 40 appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Addy is a member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s board of directors, and she has been a member of the Federal Circuit’s Advisory Council for more than a decade. Because of her knowledge of patent litigation and the Federal Circuit, she has also testified before Congress on the state of the Federal Circuit and patent appeals. Addy writes the blog BusinessDeNovo on issues relating to innovation, business, and patent law.
August 17, 2016
TDR partners Caesar Tabet, Mark Horwitch and John Fitzgerald recently obtained the dismissal of an accounting malpractice suit in Indiana state court filed against one of the country’s largest public accounting firms.
The plaintiffs were seeking millions of dollars in damages, and the lawsuit had been pending for about two years when TDR stepped in as counsel for the accounting firm. TDR immediately filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ entire amended complaint with prejudice. Following briefing and oral argument, the Indiana trial court dismissed the claims against TDR’s client with prejudice, thus ending long-running litigation against TDR’s client.
This dismissal came only five months after TDR became involved in the matter.
TDR has an impressive track record of successfully representing public accounting firms accused of professional malpractice.
August 16, 2016
TDR partners Caesar Tabet, Daniel Stanner, and John Fitzgerald, and TDR associate Uri Abt successfully represented a minority owner of a Delaware Limited Liability Company. The controlling members planned to sell the assets of the company and then to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The controlling members scheduled a shareholder meeting to approve that transaction.
The minority owner requested information regarding the proposed action. The controlling members refused that request. They attempted to dismiss the minority shareholder's concerns by claiming that the bankruptcy was in the best interests of the minority owner because it would save him from further liability. The controlling members then expedited the date for the shareholder meeting to vote on the proposal.
TDR filed an arbitration with the American Arbitration Association to resolve the dispute as required by the Operating Agreement. TDR then filed an action in the US District Court for the District of Arizona seeking a temporary restraining order to preserve the status quo pending arbitration. The District Court granted the temporary restraining order prohibiting the company from entering into the stalking horse agreement or from filing for bankruptcy. In securing the temporary restraining order, TDR was able to preserve the minority owner's rights to full information, an informed vote, and a meaningful dispute resolution process.
TDR often represents minority shareholders in corporate governance and shareholder oppression lawsuits and, as in this case, TDR obtains victories in litigation and successfully obtains emergency injunctive relief when necessary to accomplish our clients’ goals.
TCPA Class Actions Provide Backdrop for Illinois Courts’ Struggle with the Adequacy Requirement for Both Counsel and Plaintiff
July 19, 2016
TDR attorney Jordan Wilkow authored an article in the June 30 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The article examines conflicting views among Illinois state and federal courts regarding the severity of the adequacy requirement in class certification analysis as applied to both class counsel and the class plaintiff. Class actions brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which have become rather ubiquitous in Illinois in recent years, have provided the vehicle through which these views have been expressed. The article unpacks the tension between more ideological and more practical understandings of the adequacy requirement, and the notion of decertifying a class in the name of protecting it.
June 24, 2016
Meredith Martin “Mimi” Addy, a partner at Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC and an accomplished intellectual property litigator, has been named one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” for 2016 by Benchmark Litigation.
Addy has two decades of experience in complex litigation, including numerous trials in cases in federal district court, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She represents entrepreneurial and innovative companies in sectors such as software, technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.
Because of her knowledge of patent litigation and the Federal Circuit, Addy has also testified before Congress on the state of the Federal Circuit and patent appeals. She writes the blog BusinessDeNovo on issues relating to innovation, business, and patent law.
Benchmark’s Top 250 Women in Litigation, now in its fifth edition, honors the accomplishments of leading U.S. female litigators representing most of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. The publication bases its list primarily on the results of research it conducted for the 2016 edition of Benchmark Litigation, the parent publication of Top 250 Women in Litigation. Peer review and overall depth of litigation career are important factors in this research.
More information is available at https://www.benchmarklitigation.com/general/topwomen.
New Partner Deepens TDR's Intellectual Property Practice
May 2, 2016
Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC is proud to announce that highly accomplished patent litigator Meredith “Mimi” Addy is joining the firm as a Partner.
Addy deepens our intellectual property practice and strengthens our existing team of highly skilled trial and appellate lawyers. She has two decades of experience in complex litigation, including cases in federal district court, at the U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Addy represents clients in many fields, including the software, technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sectors. She has served as first- or second-chair trial counsel in nearly 30 federal district court cases, and has handled more than 40 appeals to the Federal Circuit. TDR’s clients involved in patent disputes and other intellectual property matters will benefit from Addy’s extensive experience and knowledge of the federal court system.
Addy is a member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s board of directors, and she has been a member of the Federal Circuit’s Advisory Council for more than a decade. Because of her knowledge of patent litigation and the Federal Circuit, she has testified before Congress on the state of the Federal Circuit and patent appeals.
Addy earned her JD cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law. In 2015, she received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She also holds an LLM with honors from The John Marshall Law School. She earned her B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.A. in fine arts from Rice University.
Articles from national and local press covering the move include (registration and / or subsription may be required):
As always, TDR remains dedicated to helping its clients with their most difficult legal challenges, including intellectual property counseling and litigation at trial and on appeal.
Counter-Intuitive Considerations for Plaintiffs, Defendants Considering FLSA Class Discovery
February 18, 2016
TDR attorney Jordan Wilkow authored an article in the February 10 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (subscription may be required). The article, “Defendants, Plaintiffs Should Tread Lightly During Class Discovery in FLSA Actions,” examined a development in the law underlying conditional class certification under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A recent N.D.Ill. decision applied an “intermediate” standard of review to deny conditional class certification, a question generally subject to only a “lenient” standard. The Court predicated its heightened review on the fact that the parties had bifurcated discovery, and class discovery had already been completed.
The article posits that, if this approach gains traction in the District, Defendants could find that enduring some discovery upfront in return for a less forgiving standard of review on the plaintiff’s motion for conditional certification makes good strategic sense. On the other hand, plaintiffs seeking at least the leverage that comes with conditional certification will want to be cautious about how much pre-certification discovery they request, lest they subject their motion for conditional certification to more scrutiny than it can withstand.