Cases

The outcome of each case is dependent upon the unique facts. Nothing herein should be interpreted to suggest that a case that we handle in the future will experience a similar result.

Employment Litigation

 Employment Attorneys

Our employment lawyers represent employers and employees in disputes.  Here are examples of the types of matters we handle:

Non-Compete/Non-Solicitation Disputes:  We defended a former employee of a fortune 100 financial company who was sued after he and several people he supervised went to work for a competitor.   The lawsuit alleged that our client had stolen trade secrets by taking electronic files, breached his fiduciary duty by soliciting other employees to leave, and violated a non-soliciation contract.   We achieved a favorable resolution for our client within 8 months of when the lawsuit was filed.

We, along with co-counsel, represented the founder and former officer of a company who was sued for misappropriating trade secrets, violating an agreement to not compete after a buy-out, and allegedly utilizing confidential information.   The company sought a preliminary injunction and damages.  A trial was heard before American Arbitration Association and our client prevailed.

Wage Disputes/Class Actions:   

Recovered over $5 million, under ERISA, for thousands of employees who had their employer 401(k) plan invested in an investment that failed. (Northern District of Illinois; Chicago)

Defended hotel against lawsuit that alleged violations of wage and hour laws, including the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, defamation, and discrimination. The court denied class certification and dismissed all claims brought by two of the class representatives for discovery sanctions. Thereafter, the remaining class representatives agreed to dismiss their claims without being paid any money.(Judge Grady, Chicago, Illinois)  

In 2015, our employment lawyers represented a marketing company against a putative class and collective action alleging violations of the FLSA and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law for allegedly failing to pay overtime wages.  We were able to obtain a favorable settlement within months of the case being filed.  (Judge Castillo, Chicago, Illinois)  

In Cook County, Illinois we brought claims under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act against a clothing store retailer who allegedly deducted money from paychecks without consent.  The case was successfully settled on a class-wide basis.

In the Northern District of Illinois, we prosecuted a vacation forfeiture class-wide settlement under Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act against national school bus company and the case settled on a class-wide basis in 2016.

In 2016, we resolved off-the-clock overtime claims for therapists and therapy assistants who worked at skilled nursing facilities on a collective basis; employer staffing agency covered 20+ facilities.

In 2015, we successfully pursued overtime claims for “store managers” who were paid on a “salary” but subject to deductions in compensation (for cash register shortages and other reasons); case settled on class wide basis.

Employment Contract Disputes:   Defended a former employee of an Illinois based bank who was sued after it was alleged that he was a loan officer who violated his employment contract and misappropriated bank assets and committed violations of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act. All claims against our client were voluntarily dismissed.  (Cook County, Illinois)

Minority Shareholder Rights:   Represented a minority shareholder being squeezed-out of a professional firm and asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty resulting in a successful settlement

Discrimination Disputes:   On behalf of two employees, our employment lawyers helped obtain nearly $400,000 in judgments (through offers of judgment) in an employment discrimination case brought on behalf of an employee who was allegedly fired on the basis of a disability and on behalf of a human resources employee who allegedly opposed the termination. We asserted that the defendant had improperly failed to preserve evidence and we were successful in having the court agree to issue an adverse inference jury instruction for use at trial, the ruling of which is available here. Click here for ruling. (Chicago, Illinois) 

In 2015, we represented a 10 year + employee of a company who who went to visit his sick mother and then was fired when he returned.   After we claimed violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the company offered our client full reinstatement.  The company ultimately agreed to pay what was in excess of 1 year of compensation to our client.

In 2017, we received a ruling in our client’s favor for a claim of unlawful retaliation in a hearing before the American Arbitration Association. After a multi-day hearing, our client was awarded substantial damages for her retaliation claim.

Misclassification Claims:   Represented employees in a collective action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The lawsuit alleged that a group of managers at a nationwide retailer had been misclassified as “exempt” under the FLSA and were not paid for overtime compensation.   The case settled in 2013.  (Chicago, Illinois)

National Labor Relations Board:    Defended employer in complaint filed by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).   The NLRB alleged that our client had retaliated against an employee for engaging in protected and concerted activities.   At trial, the administrative law judge recommended a finding in favor of our client on each and every claim.

Medical/Dental Practice Disputes:   Defended dental practice against claims by independent contractor dentist who alleged claims for breach of contract and fraud arising out of work for a dental practice.   (DuPage County, Illinois)    We have also been engaged in several matters involving employment disputes in the medical field, including relating to non-compete disputes.

We represented a highly compensated professional in a medical practice who alleged sexual harassment and retaliation arising out of a relationship with one of the owners of the business where she worked.    Resulted in outstanding settlement for client prior to filing a lawsuit.

Sexual Harassment  Defended a university professor against allegations of harassment and sex discrimination by his former students. The plaintiffs alleged that the professor violated Title IX, committed assault and battery, and inflicted negligent and intentional emotional distress upon them based upon conduct that occurred while they were students at a private university. Within less than 1 year of the lawsuit being filed, we convinced the plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss their claims against our client–with prejudice (i.e., they cannot file another case on the same claims against our client) — and without being paid any money whatsoever. (Chicago, Illinois) We have represented several woman who have been sexually harassed, or had inappropriate sexual behavior from their superiors at work.

Overtime Lawsuit  We filed an overtime lawsuit against Sistar Beauty Corporation and Sang Lew. A copy of the file-stamped complaint and the order certifying the case as a class action and entering judgment for overtime, by agreement, are available on the links below. FS Complaint FS Entry of Judgment Order

Business Disputes

 

We regularly represent people and companies in important business disputes.  Here are examples of the types of matters we handle:

Contract Disputes:   On behalf of two international clients, we sued a seller of a nearly $2 million airplane who refused to honor an oral commission agreement. The airplane–which was housed at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Aurora, Illinois–was being sold to a large foreign medical company from Argentina. We filed a lawsuit against the Illinois seller/leasing company in the Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois. Within months of filing suit, the case was resolved. (Kane County, Geneva, Illinois)

Partnership Disputes:  Went to trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County in a partnership dispute over a real estate company. Our client had provided a substantial sum of money towards what she thought would make her 50/50 partners in an Illinois LLC. Unfortunately, no written agreements were executed and the defendants took the position that the money was an investment that could be kept. The trial court dismissed our oral breach of contract claim in pre-trial proceedings so went to trial on an unjust enrichment theory. At trial, the judge ruled in our client’s favor, the defendants withdrew their appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court, and our client received 100% of the judgment that was awarded.

Federal Litigation:   Defended a large rental company in a lawsuit brought by a doctor who alleged violations of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and public disclosure of private facts. The doctor alleged that the rental companies had violated state and federal law in retrieving their property. Approximately 11 months after the case was filed, the court granted our motion to dismiss the federal claim and declined to exercise jurisdiction over the state law claims, which brought the litigation to an end against our clients(Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Judge Gottschall).

Defending Physicians In Business Disputes:   Defended a physician who purchased a medical practice in Cook County, Illinois after he was sued for not paying for the medical practice. We filed counterclaims against the seller of the medical practice alleging that the sale was tainted by fraud. Prior to any depositions taking place in the case, we were able to achieve an outstanding settlement for our client. (Cook County, Chicago, Illinois)

Defamation Litigation:   Defended a not-for-profit company against allegations of defamation, invasion of privacy, and false light after a posting was made by one of its employees on the company’s Internet site. We removed the case from the Circuit Court of DuPage County (Wheaton, Illinois) to the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago and filed motions asking that the lawsuit be dismissed in its entirety. Within 60 days of the lawsuit’s filing, Federal Judge Blanche M. Manning dismissed the case with prejudice.

Family Disputes:   We were retained to enforce the provisions in a will and trust in a dispute between siblings. For years, our client’s brother had unilaterally used and benefited from valuable real estate and refused to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to our client. We filed suit in the Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois and filed an emergency motion to have our client’s brother removed as the trustee. Shortly thereafter, the case was resolved favorably for our client. (Judge Wheaton, DuPage County, Illinois)

Banking Disputes:  Defended hotel franchisee against foreclosure claims and asserted counterclaims based upon conduct of bank in approving loan.

 

Partnership Disputes

 Partnership Disputes

We litigate partnership and shareholder disputes.  Here are examples of the types of matters we handle:

Minority Shareholder Rights:   Represented a minority shareholder being squeezed-out of a professional firm and asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty resulting in a successful settlement.

Investment Cases:   Tried to verdict a case where the plaintiff alleged that our client (a fitness company and its owner) had induced him to invest substantial sums of money into a business in exchange for the repayment of loans, ownership in a business, and other benefits. The Plaintiff had begun taking steps towards franchising the business and allegedly believed millions would be made. After that failed to occur, the plaintiff alleged piercing the corporate veil, breach of fiduciary duty, and sought a constructive trust over a new company that our client had formed. We were able to obtain the dismissal of our individual client before trial. The plaintiff proceeded to trial against the new company that our client had formed. At trial, we prevailed in demonstrating that there was no liability against the new company that had been formed. (Will County, Joliet, Illinois, Judge Petrungaro)

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases:  Represented a business and one of its shareholders in a jury trial in Will County (Joliet), Illinois. At trial we argued that a former shareholder of the corporation had breached her fiduciary duties by, among other things, working with a property management company and a neighboring business to misappropriate corporate assets. The jury found in favor of our clients on all counts which went to the jury, including conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duty. Compensatory and punitive damages were assessed against all five defendants, including the neighboring businesses (and its owners individually), the property management company (and individually against a physician who acted on its behalf), and our client’s former business partner. (Will County, Joliet, Illinois)

Piercing The Corporate Veil Cases:  A former shareholder of an Illinois corporation retained The Fish Law Firm, P.C. after creditors of the company sought to “pierce the corporate veil” by suing him, and two other shareholders of the same company, for fraud in DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Fish’s client was dismissed from the case, with prejudice, a few months before trial was scheduled. (Judge Wheaton, DuPage County, Wheaton, Illinois)

Dissolution/Asset Misappropriation Cases:  Defended an Illinois contractor after one of its former officers and shareholders sued for breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, violations of ERISA, seeking the payment of dividends, and requesting dissolution. The lawsuit settled shortly after we filed a counterclaim alleging that the minority stockholder had breached his fiduciary duties by: paying himself when he did not show up to work, used company assets for personal expenses, misappropriated company equipment, and committed negligence by neglecting his duties when he was employed. (Judge Popejoy, DuPage County, Wheaton, Illinois)

Class Action Litigation

 

We litigate class actions and multi-party litigation.  Here are examples of matters our lawyers handle:

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)–Text Message Defense:   Defended a Naperville-based international marketing company in a putative nationwide class action seeking in excess of $5 million that alleged our client (directly and through its agents) had caused the transmission of unauthorized text (SMS) messages to cellular telephones in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Without paying any money whatsoever, our client was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice less than 10 months after the lawsuit was filed and prior to class certification consideration.  (Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Opposing Counsel: Edelson McGuire, Chicago, Illinois)

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)–Fax Transmission Defense:   Defended a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and conversion. The complaint alleged that our clients had sent unsolicited fax advertisements and therefore sought damages on behalf of the proposed class. The plaintiff was G.M. Sign, Inc. which has brought many similar lawsuits. After being retained, we filed a motion to dismiss which Judge Castillo granted. Thereafter, the plaintiff re-filed a similar putative class action against our clients in Lake County, Illinois. We removed that case to the Northern District of Illinois, filed another motion to dismiss, and the putative class action was then dismissed with prejudice by the plaintiff. (Chicago, Illinois; Opposing Counsel: Anderson + Wanca and Botch & Hatch LLC)

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)–Cellular Telephone Defense:   Defended a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The complaint alleged that our clients had made unsolicited automated pre-recorded telephone calls to sell their products.  The plaintiff was represented by a class action law firm and the named plaintiff was Ismael Salam (also a lawyer) who has filed a number of other  lawsuits.   Shortly after we took the plaintiff’s deposition the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice and without any money paid by our client to the plaintiff, the class, or its lawyers.   (Chicago, Illinois; Opposing Counsel: Lite DePalma Greenberg LLC; Judge Pallmeyer)

Employment Claims:   Litigated multiple collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  For example, we brought a claim on behalf of a group of managers at a nationwide retailer had been misclassified as “exempt” under the FLSA and were not paid for overtime compensation.   The case settled in 2013.  (Chicago, Illinois; Opposing Counsel Jones Day)   We recently defended a putative class and collective action claim brought against an Oak Brook marketing company that was sued for allegedly failing to pay overtime to hourly rate employees.

Defended a Chicago based hotel against a putative class action lawsuit that alleged violations of wage and hour laws, including the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, defamation, and discrimination. The court denied class certification and dismissed all claims brought by two of the class representatives for discovery sanctions. Thereafter, the remaining class representatives agreed to dismiss their claims without being paid any money.  (Judge Grady, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Cases:  Mr. Fish, along with other counsel, helped recover millions of dollars for approximately 2,000 investors who had invested in a limited partnership commodities fund. The fiduciaries responsible for the limited partnership entrusted the investors’ money to a company that ended up filing for bankruptcy after its officers had allegedly misappropriated assets. As a result of the bankruptcy filing, the investors were unable to access their money. After approximately one year of Federal court litigation, a settlement was reached that provided millions of dollars for the limited partners.  (Chicago, Illinois)  Read the Settlement

Shareholder Disputes:  Mr. Fish, along with other counsel, helped recover $1.3 million on behalf of a group of minority shareholders of a community bank. The lawsuit alleged that certain directors of the bank had breached their fiduciary duties to a class of shareholders when the bank converted from being a subchapter C to a subchapter S corporation. The case was filed in the Northern District of Illinois and the Honorable Judge Joan F. Lefkow appointed David Fish to serve as co-Class Counsel for the minority shareholders who were forced to sell their stock.

Trade Secret and Intellectual Property Litigation

 

We litigate trade secret and intellectual property disputes.  Here are examples of the types of matters we handle:

Copyright/Trademark Ownership Disputes:  Helped defend a marketing company in the Northern District of California in a trademark, copyright, and trade secret infringement case seeking substantial damages. Mr. Fish helped successfully prevent the entry of a temporary restraining order. After detailed discovery, the court also refused to enter a preliminary injunction. The case was resolved in less than 6 months.

Competitor Disputes:  In the Northern District of Illinois, Mr. Fish helped obtain a $2.35 million jury verdict in a commercial bribery/trade defamation case brought on behalf of a manufacturing company. The lawsuit was filed after our client discovered that one of its main competitors was “dumpster diving” to obtain valuable customer and sales information from the dumpster behind its corporate headquarters. The jury assessed $635,000 in punitive damages.

Trade Secret Misappropriation:  Defended a subcontractor in the construction industry against claims that it has misappropriated trade secrets and confidential information from a competitor, had breached fiduciary duties, and had violated the Illinois Trade Secrets Act.   We were successful in having a significant portion of the claims dismissed and the case thereafter settled.  (DuPage County, Illinois)

Non-Compete/Business Disputes:  We, along with co-counsel, represented the founder and former officer of a company who was sued for misappropriating trade secrets, violating an agreement to not compete after a buy-out, and allegedly utilizing confidential information.   The company sought a preliminary injunction and damages.  A trial was heard before American Arbitration Association and our client prevailed.

Copyright Disputes:  Our client sued a publishing company alleging it published a book containing our client’s intellectual property without her permission. The lawsuit sought a finding that our client was a co-author of the book under the Copyright Act since she had contributed to writing portions of the book. The lawsuit also sought damages for violating our client’s Right of Publicity which is a legal theory that recognizes that the right to control and to choose whether and how to use an individual’s identity for commercial purposes is a valuable legal right. A confidential settlement was reached with the publisher. (Judge Leinenweber, Chicago, Illinois)

Internet Trademark Disputes:   The Fish Law Firm handles intellectual property disputes that arise out of Internet use. For example, after learning that their trademarks were registered as someone else’s domain name, clients have hired the Fish Law Firm to stop the unauthorized use of domain names.

 

Franchise Disputes

We represent franchisors and franchisees in disputes.   Here are examples of the types of matters we handle:

Franchisor Defense:    Represented a food-industry franchisor against claims that it had wrongfully terminated a franchisee in violation of the Illinois Franchise Disclosure Act and violated the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. We obtained dismissal of the case with prejudice on a motion to dismiss within several months of being retained. (DuPage County, Wheaton, Illinois)

Franchise Act Disclosure:   Defended multi-million dollar claims that alleged retail franchisees were victims of Illinois Franchise Disclosure Act violations by not being provided a UFOC/FDD, had misrepresentations made during time they were considering investment in new businesses, and that our client wrongfully terminated its relationship with the plaintiffs.

Exclusive Dealerships:   Represented Illinois franchisor/cooperative in multi-million dollar dispute with long-term franchisee who asserted that its exclusive dealership/distributorship was wrongfully terminated without cause.

Franchise Agreement Review/Advice:  We advise our franchisee clients regarding their franchisor relationships, including regarding  disputes where franchisors makes material changes during the course of a franchise relationship.

Intellectual Property/Trademark Claims:   Represented franchisor/dealer after franchise relationship is terminated and the former franchisee/retailer, or dealer continues to use intellectual property (such as signage or confusingly similar names) in violation of the federal, state, and contractual obligations.

Non-Compete Disputes:   Litigated non-compete disputes where former dealer/franchisee continues to litigate after relationship ends.

Royalty/Payment Disputes:  Represented national franchisors against franchisees who under-report royalties or otherwise violate their franchise obligations.

Financial Disclosures:  Defended against franchise act violations, including fraud, alleging our client had misrepresented expected financial performance.

 

Contractor Litigation

 

We represent contractors in disputes and help them to avoid problems.  Here are some examples of the types of matters we handle:

Fraud and Contract Claims:    Defended a Cook County general contractor and its president who were sued for fraud and breach of contract in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The case proceeded to trial. At the close of the plaintiff’s case, we obtained a directed finding in favor of one of our clients and the case was resolved very favorably as to our other client. (Cook County, Illinois

Construction Claims:   After years of litigation, a custom home builder retained us in litigation commenced by an owner (an attorney) for consumer fraud arising out of the construction of a home in Cook County, Illinois.    The week before trial was set to start in the adversarial action, we were successful in convincing the court to dismiss the case based upon the owner’s failure to comply with court rules.  (Chicago, Illinois)

Consumer Fraud Act Claims:  Defended a restoration contractor against claims of consumer fraud, slander of title (for allegedly improperly recording a mechanics lien), and alleged violation of the Home Repair and Remodeling Act arising out of work performed in Naperville, Illinois.  The case was dismissed for want of prosecution.  (DuPage County, Illinois)

Subcontractor Claims:   Defended a national general contractor against claims brought by electrical subcontractor.  (Cook County, Illinois)

Partnership Disputes:   Represented electrical contractor accused of improperly taking jobs, computer records, and clients from another  contractor.   Plaintiff alleged violations of Illinois Trade Secrets Act, breach of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy.  After obtaining dismissal of many of the plaintiff’s claims, the case settled.   (DuPage County, Illinois)

Employment Disputes:  Represented general contract before the Illinois Department of Human Rights regarding claim that it had constructively discharged a disabled employee.