The Rookery Cornice

Firm News and Recent Decisions

Tim Hudson Installed as Treasurer for the Federal Bar Association – Chicago Chapter

January 14, 2021

TDR partner Tim Hudson was recently installed as the Treasure of the Federal Bar Association – Chicago Chapter, which represents and supports federal court practitioners and judges throughout the Chicagoland area. In a ceremony conducted via videoconference due to COVID-19 concerns, Hudson was sworn in by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Rebecca R. Pallmeyer.  Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker gave the keynote address at the ceremony.

Mr. Hudson is a partner whose practice is focused on complex business litigation and class action lawsuits across a variety of industries, including marketing and advertising, healthcare and retail. Mr. Hudson has defended businesses and individuals in a wide range of class actions, including lawsuits alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) and state consumer protection statutes.

Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

August 6, 2020

TDR partners Christopher D. Liguori, Timothy A. Hudson and John M. Fitzgerald and TDR associate Amanda N. Catalano successfully represented an attorney and her law firm in a defamation lawsuit, obtaining dismissal of the lawsuit at the pleading stage in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  In that lawsuit, Rose McGowan’s former criminal defense lawyer — Jose Baez — alleged that he was defamed by statements made about him and his connection to Harvey Weinstein in a federal lawsuit filed in California alleging violations of Civil RICO, even though he was not a named defendant in that case. While the complaint itself was absolutely privileged, Mr. Baez alleged that the privilege was lost when the complaint was republished without comment on the defendants’ LinkedIn page. He also claimed that the Attorney Defendants conspired with Ms. McGowan to defame him, thus making the Attorney Defendants responsible for Ms. McGowan’s separate statements to the press and others.  

The Attorney Defendants and Ms. McGowan separately moved to dismiss on multiple, independent grounds. The TDR team successfully argued that none of the alleged statements were defamatory per se as a matter of both Florida and Illinois law.  The court also dismissed the complaint as it concerned Ms. McGowan.   The case is Jose A. Baez v. Rose McGowan, et al., No. 2020 L 00768 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois).

TDR regularly represents both plaintiffs and defendants in defamation litigation in state and federal courts in Illinois.  TDR also routinely defends attorneys, accountants and other professionals in professional liability litigation.

Fitzgerald Installed as ALA President

June 14, 2020

On June 12, 2020, TDR Partner John M. Fitzgerald was installed as the 53rd President of the Appellate Lawyers Association, an association of lawyers who practice in courts of review and judges who serve on those courts.  In a ceremony conducted via videoconference due to COVID-19 concerns, Fitzgerald was sworn in by TDR founding partner, retired Illinois Appellate Court Justice and past ALA President Gino L. DiVito.  Fitzgerald is the third TDR partner to serve as President of the ALA.  TDR founding partner Michael I Rothstein also has led the association. In his speech to ALA members, Fitzgerald observed that ALA “members also are creative and persistent people, and we have a rare opportunity to explore new and innovative ways to continue our work in spite of this pandemic.”  Fitzgerald continued: “We will take this opportunity to learn, to grow, and to more fully embrace technological advances such as the one that made this virtual swearing-in possible.”

Fitzgerald is an appellate and trial lawyer who represents businesses, non-profit associations and individuals in complex litigation.  He has been a TDR attorney since 2006 and a TDR partner since 2012.

Brian Haussmann Quoted in Law360

Filing on Behalf of U.S. Conference of Mayors

April 23, 2020

TDR Partner Brian Haussmann, on behalf of The United States Conference of Mayors, filed a brief in the Seventh Circuit on April 20, 2020.  The brief argues that the Court should affirm a lower court ruling allowing so-called “Sanctuary Cities” to receive needed federal public-safety funds.  The brief also argues that the Conference, as an association, has standing to represent its member cities throughout the country, and that those cities are each entitled to relief from unlawful, immigration-related conditions imposed by the Attorney General upon receipt of the grants.

According to Mr. Haussmann, "The Attorney General’s attempts to coerce local law enforcement into policing civil immigration infractions places cities in an impossible situation: either divert resources from fighting serious crime and undermine their relationships with immigrant communities that are necessary for police to do their jobs, or give up federal dollars Congress has allocated to help cities do just that,  We look forward to addressing these same concerns with the court of appeals, and we are hopeful that the court will again rule that the Attorney General’s actions are unlawful, and will agree with the district court that the Conference’s member cities are entitled to relief."

The entire article is available at Law360 (subscription may be required).

What Businesses Must Know Now About Insurance Coverage For COVID-19 Claims

April 1, 2020

We normally post News Items only to relay information about TDR or our attorneys.

Given the current world pandemic, we are fielding many calls about insurance coverage for losses potentially related to Covid-19.  To help you manage your way through any potential claims, we want to point you to our blog site, TheChicagoLitigationBlog and a recent post by Michael Grant on What Businesses Must Know Now About Insurance Coverage For COVID-19 Claims.

Please reach out to Michael if we can help you in these interesting times.

ISBA Publishes Fitzgerald’s “Guide to Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act”

March 2, 2020

The Illinois State Bar Association has just published TDR partner John Fitzgerald’s Guide to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The Guide is available in both hard copy and electronic formats.

The Guide is the first published book about the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and the rapidly developing case law interpreting it.  It contains a helpful and thorough analysis of the Act’s legislative history, statutory exemptions, the statute of limitations for claims under the Act, commonly raised defenses, and much more.

John Fitzgerald has been a TDR attorney since 2006.  TDR represents clients in high-stakes commercial, statutory and governmental litigation and appeals.

TDR Partner Quoted on Facebook BIPA Settlement

January 31, 2020

TDR partner John Fitzgerald was quoted in a news story by Law360 concerning Facebook’s $550 million settlement of class action litigation under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.  As Fitzgerald explained in the Law360 article, “This settlement shows that BIPA not only has teeth, but that those teeth are extremely sharp.”  See Allison Grande, BIPA Bares Its Teeth in Facebook Biometric Privacy Deal (Law360, Jan. 30, 2020)(subscription required to read the article).

Fitzgerald has authored a book-length Guide to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which will be published shortly by the Illinois State Bar Association.

TDR Victorious in Non-Compete and Trade Secret Misappropriation Case

Non-Competition Restrictive Covenant Ruled Enforceable

January 28, 2020

On January 15, TDR obtained a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for an automobile dealership against an ex-employee in a case involving allegations that the ex-employee misappropriated his former employer’s trade secrets and violated a non-compete agreement.  The district court found that the employer’s non-competition restrictive covenant with the ex-employee was enforceable, rejected the ex-employee’s arguments that the agreement was overbroad or supported by inadequate consideration, and preliminarily enjoined the ex-employee from competing against TDR’s client within a 50-mile radius of its place of business.  TDR partner Michael J. Grant represented the auto dealership.  “Our client is pleaded with the preliminary injunction order because that order helps to protect my client’s trade secrets and its business,” said Mr. Grant.

TDR regularly protects businesses from trade secret misappropriation and from unfair competition.  For more information, contact Michael J. Grant.

Appellate Court Sides With TDR

Corporate Officer and Employee Not Liable for Corporation Debt

January 27, 2020

On January 24, TDR won an appeal in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, in a case where a judgment creditor attempted to hold a corporate officer and a corporate employee personally liable for a judgment against the corporation (Hayward v. Scorte, 2020 IL App (1st) 190476).  TDR partners Gino L. DiVito, John M. Fitzgerald and Amanda N. Catalano represented the two individual appellants, and the judgments against TDR’s clients were reversed. “The appellate court’s opinion confirms existing statutory procedures governing judgment enforcement and collection procedures and vindicates the fundamental principle that a corporation is a separate entity from its officers and employees,” said TDR partner John Fitzgerald. “Our clients are pleased with the Appellate Court’s ruling.”

TDR regularly represents clients in high-stakes appeals in business and commercial disputes. 

Nationally Recognized Patent Trial Attorney Brad Lyerla Joins TDR

New Partner Expands TDR’s Intellectual Property Practice

January 13, 2020

Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC is proud to announce that highly accomplished trial attorney Brad Lyerla has joined the firm as a Partner.

Brad is a nationally recognized trial attorney in the field of intellectual property and unfair competition.  In addition to representing clients such as Amazon and Charter Communications, Brad has tried more than 40 cases before judges, juries, and arbitrators for such clients as Hospira, General Dynamics, Quaker Oats, General Electric, US Robotics, and Business Records Corporation.  Brad’s experience covers a wide variety of technologies including life sciences, communications, software, computing, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.

Since 2014, Brad has been included in the Best Lawyers in America.  He repeatedly has been selected as a Super Lawyer in Illinois, and as one of the top 100 lawyers in Illinois.  He also has been selected as a member of the Leading Lawyers Network for intellectual property litigation.  He is regularly listed in Who’s Who in the WorldWho’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the Law.  He is Martindale AV Preeminent rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.

Brad expands our intellectual property and unfair competition practices.  He is Editor-in-Chief and a Principal Author of Antitrust Issues in Intellectual Property Law, a book published by the ABA in May 2016.  He was a member of the advisory committee of lawyers and judges in the Northern District of Illinois who wrote the District Court’s local rules for patent litigation.  He is a contributing author to Patent Claim Construction in the Federal Circuit published by West.  He was editor in chief of the ABA publication Intellectual Property Litigation for 15 years and served on its editorial board until 2019.  His article titled “Understand the Two Approaches to Claim Construction” was cited and quoted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit as secondary authority in its 2012 opinion in MySpace, Inc. v. GraphOn Corporation, 2011-1149 (Fed. Cir. March 2, 2012).

More information about Brad and his practice can be found on his CV.

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