Firm News and Recent Decisions
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.
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.
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.
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 World, Who’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.
September 26, 2019
TDR partner John Fitzgerald has been quoted in several news articles (Article 1) (Article 2) this past week concerning disputes arising under the Illinois Constitution, including TDR’s representation of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association and other transportation industry associations in constitutional litigation against Cook County.
TDR and its attorneys often represent clients in high-stakes constitutional litigation. For more information, contact John Fitzgerald.
Federal Court in Kansas Grants Motion to Dismiss
September 24, 2019
On September 12, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas granted our client’s motion to dismiss claims arising under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (“CROA”).
Plaintiff alleged that our client – a nationwide provider of credit repair services – violated CROA by failing to provide certain disclosures required under the Act and breached fiduciary duties allegedly owed as part of credit repair services provided. In its 18-page Opinion, the Court agreed that the plaintiff lacked standing to assert the disclosure-related CROA claims and dismissed the breach of fiduciary duty claim with prejudice. TDR lawyers Tim Hudson and Jordan Wilkow secured this important ruling and victory for our client.
Opioid Addiction Rehabilitation Facility Development Approved
June 12, 2019
On August 4, 2017, TDR filed a five-count complaint in the Northern District of Illinois to redress the unlawful acts of Kane County that resulted in the deprivation of a special use permit to develop and operate an alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation center on a 120-acre site located in Kane County, Illinois. Maxxam Partners, LLC and Glenwood Academy v. County of Kane, et al., 17-cv-5707 The Complaint asserted claims under several federal anti-discrimination statutes, including the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and state zoning law. Plaintiffs claimed that notwithstanding the need for such facilities to address the nationwide public health epidemic relating in part to the abuse of opioid painkillers, as detailed in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 and the 2017 United States President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, the County denied the permit application based on illegal and discriminatory stereotypes about those seeking to recover from addiction (commonly referred to as “not in my back yard” or “NIMBY”).
On August 14, 2018, after months of negotiations and several local government hearings before the Zoning Board of Appeals and the full Kane County Board, Kane County voted to grant special use approval for the rehabilitation facility pursuant to a newly passed Kane County Zoning Ordinance and the terms of a Consent Decree. On November 30, 2018, the Northern District of Illinois – Judge Jorge Alonso – entered and approved the Consent Decree. Among other things, the Consent Decree enforced the granting of the special use for the property and secured for our client the right to develop and operate the rehabilitation facility. In addition, Kane County agreed to pay our client $4.6 million as part of the overall settlement of the lawsuit.
In securing the Consent Decree and the settlement, TDR also defeated a third-party’s eleventh hour effort to intervene in the action in opposition to the Consent Decree, successfully persuading the Court that the putative intervenor’s motion was untimely and improper. TDR also obtained the dismissal of a state court challenge filed by adjoining neighbors to the property, who alleged that the passage of the Ordinance violated their procedural and substantive due process rights.
Caesar Tabet, Christopher Liguori, Brian Haussmann and Jordan Wilkow secured this important result.
March 14, 2019
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin recently published Tabet DiVito & Rothstein associate Jacob Berger’s article (subscription may be required) regarding the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., 2019 IL 123186. That decision may have significantly expanded the scope of liability under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq.
The Illinois Biometric Privacy Act requires any company that collects biometric data to establish written policies regarding the handling of biometric data and to make them available to the public. To permissibly collect biometric data, a company must (a) inform the subject in writing that the company is collecting biometric data, (b) inform the subject in writing as to the purpose for which the biometric data will be collected and how long it will be stored, and (c) obtain written consent from the subject to collect his or her biometric data. The Act also requires a company to store biometric data at least as securely as other confidential information, such as social security numbers.
In Rosenbach, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a plaintiff could sue for a violation of the Act without the need to allege an additional injury or adverse effect beyond a violation of the Act. As a result, companies may face significant liability risks for technical or procedural violations of the Act.
The effects of this decision could be significant and far-reaching. As a result, as soon as possible companies should develop and/or review their written policies regarding handling biometric data or other confidential information to ensure that they comply with the Act.
March 4, 2019
TDR partner Kate O'Brien spoke to The Associated Press about recent rulings TDR secured for our client the United States Conference of Mayors in City of Evanston and United States Conference of Mayors v. Sessions. The lawsuit challenges the Attorney General's decision to impose unlawful, immigration-related conditions on the receipt of federal grant funds under the Byrne JAG program. The Conference represents the interests of cities throughout the country, and brought the lawsuit on behalf of its members. O'Brien told The Associated Press that in the Conference's case, and in similar cases pending across the country, courts have "found the attorney general is not authorized to impose these conditions."
The article ran in multiple publications, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Denver Post. To read the full article on the AP website, please click here.
February 21, 2019
Tabet DiVito & Rothstein proudly announces that 12 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Congratulations to all of them for attaining this high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
2019 Super Lawyers
- Karina Zabicki DeHayes
- Gino L. DiVito
- John Fitzgerald*
- Mark H. Horwitch
- Timothy A. Hudson
- Christopher D. Liguori
- Michael I Rothstein
- Caesar A. Tabet
2019 Rising Stars
- Uri Abt
- Melody GaalI*
- Brian C. Haussmann
- Katherine M. O'Brien*
* - First Time Honoree in this category
The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. The list of Super Lawyers 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.