Firm News and Recent Decisions
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.
January 22, 2016
Once again, SuperLawyers® Magazine has recognized nearly three-fourths of TDR partners for their high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
•Karina Zabicki DeHayes
•Gino L. DiVito
•Mark H. Horwitch
•Timothy A. Hudson
•Christopher D. Liguori *
•Michael I Rothstein
•Caesar A. Tabet
•John M. Fitzgerald *
•Brian C. Haussmann
•Daniel I. Konieczny
* - First time honoree in this category
The list of Illinois SuperLawyers includes no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state. Rising Star is a distinction reserved for the top 2.5% of Illinois lawyers who are under 40 or in practice for 10 years or fewer.
Edit: TDR Partner Meredith Martin "Mimi" Addy, who joined the firm in May, 2016, was also named an Illinois SuperLawyer. In addition, Ms. Addy was named in three Illinois Super Lawyers Top Lists: “Top 10: 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers,” “Top 50: 2016 Women Illinois Super Lawyers,” and “Top 100: 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers.”
November 20, 2015
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Michael Rothstein to a second three-year term on the Supreme Court Rules Committee. The Rules Committee develops and reviews proposals regarding Illinois court rules and rules governing attorney professional responsibility. Mr. Rothstein has served on the Rules Committee since January 1, 2013. His new term runs through December 31, 2018.
Administrative Remedies Must Be Exhausted Before Filing Claim
October 22, 2015
TDR attorneys Uri B. Abt and John Fitzgerald co-authored a column in the October 21st (subscription may be required) edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The column, “Federal Act Should Have Put End to Claim Quickly,” examined a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision on a matter of first impression under Illinois law – namely, whether failure to comply with a claim “bar date” under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) deprived a court of jurisdiction to consider a challenge to an arbitrator’s decision on a claim against a failed bank. The Appellate Court held that, under FIRREA, failure to submit a claim against a failed bank to the FDIC before the “bar date” established by FDIC prevents any court from having jurisdiction to hear not just the claim, but any motion regarding an arbitrator’s decision about the claim. The court went on to hold that the court lacked jurisdiction even if the claim against the failed bank was asserted against a successor-in-interest.
Supplement to Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer
October 6, 2015
TDR partner John Fitzgerald was named as one of the top 40 lawyers under forty years of age in Illinois. Clients and professional colleagues nominated Mr. Fitzgerald for the honor. More than 1,200 lawyers were nominated for the award. Mr. Fitzgerald was recognized for, among other things, his work in representing members of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System in the state’s contentious pension reform litigation.
The article quotes Grace Liu, an attorney with the University of California, as saying, “John has all the skills that make a top litigator. He spots nuanced issues. He frames those issues in understandable and personal terms. He is a highly effective writer. He argues concisely and persuasively in court.”
Other attorneys call John “unstinting and unselfish” and note that “his legal acumen and abilities, the manner in which he navigates complex legal issues and situations, and the maturity with which he carries himself all suggest experience beyond his years.”
September 9, 2015
TDR Partner John Fitzgerald was interviewed by reporter Andrew Maloney of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin for its article on September 8th (subscription required) about the Illinois Supreme Court’s upcoming term. Fitzgerald, whose practice is focused primarily on appeals and commercial litigation, commented on the implications of the Illinois Supreme Court’s eventual ruling in Price v. Philip Morris, case no. 117687.
Fitzgerald and other TDR attorneys are noted appellate practitioners. The firm’s appellate practice is headed by Gino DiVito.
May 29, 2015
On May 28, 2015, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas R. Mulroy granted a motion to dismiss that TDR filed on behalf of a Michigan-based signage company.
The motion was based on a broad forum selection clause contained in a license agreement between the parties. This clause mandated Michigan courts as the exclusive jurisdiction for a dispute between the parties.
The plaintiffs filed a one-count claim under the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. TDR successfully argued that the parties’ agreement was broad enough to encompass all claims between the parties, including the plaintiffs’ statutory claim.
TDR Partner Karina DeHayes and Associate Uri Abt represented the Firm’s client in these proceedings.
Unanimous Opinion Strikes Down Pension Law
May 8, 2015
In a unanimous opinion, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that a 2013 pension reform law is unconstitutional. TDR represented a group of retired teachers in successfully challenging the law.
TDR Founding Member Gino DiVito, who argued the case before the Court, said, “We are delighted that today’s Supreme Court opinion recognizes and ensures the pension rights of State employees, as required by our Constitution. We trust that the General Assembly will address the State’s fiscal difficulties, in a manner consistent with the constitution, and in a way that is fair to all the citizens of Illinois.”
TDR Partner John Fitzgerald also assisted in this matter.
April 26, 2015
Michael Rothstein recently commented on judicial vacancies in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in an article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
"Pension Legislation is Unconstitutional"
March 13, 2015
On March 11, 2015, TDR Founding Partner Gino DiVito argued before the Illinois Supreme Court in Heaton v. Quinn, a landmark case in which the Court will decide whether pension reduction legislation enacted in 2013 is unconstitutional. TDR, representing retired teachers and both active and retired school administrators in the pension litigation, argued that the 2013 law that cuts pension benefits violates the State’s constitution.
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin summarized DiVito’s arguments as “the pension clause is so clear and unambiguous that all the constitutional convention voter’s guide had to say was that it was ‘new and self-explanatory.’ Drafters of the constitution wanted to not only create a legally enforceable contractual relationship for every public employee who receives a pension but also to ensure that the pension rights were guaranteed, which created the very language at issue”.
Further, according to the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald, DiVito stated, "This is a case about a constitutional provision, one that is explicit, clear and unambiguous, and it is subject to no stated exception. The state has not cited a single case where the reserve sovereign powers, the police powers, have been held to override a constitutional provision, and that's because there is no such case."
DiVito, a retired justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, has been a noted authority on the Pension Protection Clause (Article XIII, section 5) of the Illinois Constitution for years, and he often argues cases of great significance before the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court. For more information about TDR’s appellate practice, please click here.