Schopf & Weiss helps Chicago's legal community raise $1.8 million in the 7th annual Chicago Bar Foundation Investing in Justice Campaign. - "I am very proud to announce that we have 100% of our attorneys and staff actively involved in this vitally important community-wide effort," says founding partner Steven A. Weiss, who is on the Board of the Chicago Bar Foundation and was one of the vice-chairs of the Campaign. Read more here.
Paula Litt Profiled in Super Lawyers Magazine
Partner Paula Litt was profiled in the Illinois 2013 edition of Super Lawyers Magazine. The article's title, "The Most Respected Adversary," is taken from a former opposing counsel's description of Paula. The profile discusses Paula's practice and includes interviews with attorneys who have worked with her. One general counsel who worked closely with Paula describes her "ability to shoot right to the core of the matter." Partner William G. Schopf describes Paula as having "tremendous intellect, drive and determination to win for her clients." Click here to read the full article.
Schopf & Weiss LLP Secures Reversal of $6.6 Million Judgment
Schopf & Weiss LLP attorneys Robert Palmersheim, Lesley Smith, and Steven Weiss prevailed in an appeal to the Federal Circuit on behalf of client Checkpoint Systems, Inc. The Court of Appeals held, in a unanimous decision, that the “district court’s determination that this case was an exceptional case under §285 is not supported by the record” and reversed the District Court’s award of $6.6 million in attorney fees, costs, and interest to the defendants.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed an order issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania finding that a patent infringement lawsuit Checkpoint brought against defendants All-Tag Security S.A., All-Tag Security Americas, Inc., and Sensormatic Electronics Corporation was an “exceptional case” under 35 U.S.C. § 285. Read this article from the National Law Journal.
Schopf & Weiss partners Nicholas A. Gowen and Peter V. Baugher publish article on Recovering Trademark Damages in March 2013 issue of Illinois Bar Journal. The article explains what a trademark owner must prove to obtain a monetary recovery for infringement, with a focus on seventh circuit rulings. Trademark owners seeking money damages for infringement are often frustrated by the varying treatment of monetary relief by the Lanham Act and the thousands of interpretive cases. This informative article addresses what the courts require trademark owners to prove to obtain a monetary recovery.
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin recently profiled Schopf & Weiss managing partner Jason Rosenthal and his reputation for "Leading by example." According to Rosenthal, "achieving results is more important than talking about accomplishments." Since becoming managing partner in 2010, he has proven to be not only a successful manager of lawsuits but also of the Firm. Read more about his thoughts on the importance of understanding service from the client's perspective, and the Firm's determintion to function as a trusted business partner with its clients: Leading by Example.
Schopf & Weiss gets together to give back. - On March 11, 2013, Schopf & Weiss attorneys and staff members hosted dinner for more than 100 families, guests and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House for the second year in a row. Schopf & Weiss volunteers served meals for the families of hospitalized children at Lurie Children's Hospital as part of the Meals from the Heart program. Volunteers found it to be a rewarding way to work together as a team and to give back to their community. Pictured from left to right:
Front row - Marcus Bell, Sara Pitt, Peter Baugher and his wife Robin Baugher, Anand Mathew, Rachel Weakley, Sean Shumard, and Jerome Jones.
Back row - Mike Royce, Joe Piatkiewicz, and Matt Stodolka.
17 Schopf & Weiss Attorneys named 2013 Illinois Super Lawyers. Peter V. Baugher was named among the Top 10 Illinois Super Lawyers and Paula E. Litt was named among the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers. Steven A. Weiss, Paula E. Litt, Patrick J. Heneghan, Peter V. Baugher, Ian H. Fisher, and Arthur J. Howe were named among the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers. In addition, attorneys William G. Schopf Bradley P. Nelson, Robert J. Palmersheim, and Jason M. Rosenthal were named Illinois Super Lawyers in Business Litigation.
Seven Schopf & Weiss Attorneys were named as Rising Stars in 2013: William B. Berndt, Jennifer A. Waters, Lesley G. Smith, Kristen E. Hudson, Marcus D. Fruchter, Nicholas A. Gowen, and Anand C. Mathew. Rising Stars recognizes up-and-coming attorneys in the state who are under 40 years old or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.
Victory for Schopf & Weiss LLP Attorneys Robert Palmersheim and Anand Mathew in Legal Malpractice Action. Schopf & Weiss partner Robert J. Palmersheim and Anand Mathew, an associate with the firm, obtained a complete victory for firm client, law firm Duane Morris, in a legal malpractice action. Duane Morris and one of its partners were sued for malpractice in connection with their representation of the iconic Chicago restaurant, the Italian Village. The restaurant was sued for violating the minimum and overtime wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL). The restaurant in turn sued Duane Morris in a sixteen-count third-party complaint, arguing that the firm's poor advice resulted in these violations.
Mr. Palmersheim and Mr. Mathew presented a novel theory that nothing in the FLSA or IMWL permits an employer to shift responsibility to a third party to avoid its statutory responsibilities. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox agreed with this and other arguments and stated that the restaurant’s alleged reliance on the advice of its law firm did not transform the law firm into an employer. In a ten-page opinion, Judge Cox granted Duane Morris' motion to dismiss.
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Article Commends Kristen Hudson on her Pro Bono Work - In addition to a busy practice assisting policyholders with recovery of insurance proceeds and other commercial litigation matters, Kristen Hudson, a partner at Schopf & Weiss LLP, has made pro bono work an integral part of her law practice. Kristen has worked with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) since her law school days. Today, she has continued her dedication to pro bono work, sits on the CVLS Board of Directors and serves as the chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin recently featured an article on Kristen and her dedication to pro bono work and to CVLS. Read this article from the Law Bulletin.
It’s a Banner Year; Schopf & Weiss LLP Celebrates 25 Years of Legal Service - Business litigation firm Schopf & Weiss LLP is celebrating its 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the firm commissioned banners which will fly high on street poles along Madison Street between Franklin Street and Wacker Drive in Chicago through December 2012.
Schopf & Weiss represents clients across the country in business disputes including antitrust, complex financial and contract matters, insurance recovery on behalf of corporate policyholders, intellectual property, and professional liability. The firm and its attorneys are ranked in Chambers USA among firms highly recommended for commercial litigation in Illinois and have been consistently recognized in Best Lawyers, Leading Lawyers Network and Super Lawyers.
“We started with the belief that a small, focused team of experienced trial attorneys could bring a more efficient approach to litigation,” said founding partner William G. Schopf. “The opportunities that clients have given us, the confidence shown by those who continually refer us and the friendship and loyalty offered by many have formed the bedrock for the firm’s consistent growth and success.”
“When we opened our doors in 1987, the idea that a small firm could handle complex corporate litigation or that corporations would entrust a small firm with such sophisticated matters appeared revolutionary to some,” added Steven A. Weiss, also a founding partner and chairman of the firm. “Even the most skeptical acknowledge that we made that idea a reality. We handle complex litigation in the most cost-effective manner possible, always keeping our clients’ goals the highest priority.”
Why banners? “Banners might seem unconventional for lawyers,” said firm partner Marcus D. Fruchter. “But, our firm has resisted convention from its start. Banners add to the vibrancy and energy of downtown Chicago. We thought it was a great way to celebrate being an established part of this community.”
Schopf & Weiss was founded by William Schopf, Steven Weiss, Patrick Heneghan and Paula Litt. See the 25th anniversary banners here.
Schopf & Weiss LLP Expands Its Litigation Practice - Schopf & Weiss LLP, a law firm focusing exclusively on business litigation, is please to announce that it has strengthened its practice with the addition of four litigators, James Desir, Chad E. Bell, Kelly M. Glynn and Bradley W. Moore.
James Desir joins the firm as an associate and focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation. Formerly with K & L Gates, he represents financial services companies, manufacturers and business owners in a wide range of matters, with an emphasis on antitrust claims, commercial debt obligations, product liability and internal investigations. His experience also includes intellectual property disputes, breach of contract claims and business torts.
Chad Bell joins Schopf & Weiss as counsel after several years of private practice in plaintiffs’ and defense commercial litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he practiced at Wexler Wallace LLP. He is an experienced litigator with a background in appellate practice, class action, securities, antitrust, consumer protection, and First Amendment litigation. He also has experience as a member of trial teams on discovery and evidentiary issues.
Kelly Glynn joins the firm as counsel and focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation. She comes to the firm from JPMorgan Chase Bank in New Jersey and has experience representing parties in a wide range of commercial disputes, including disputes involving tax, securities, bankruptcy, ERISA, antitrust and intellectual property.
Bradley Moore joins the firm as counsel formerly with Wiggin and Dana LLP in Connecticut. Mr. Moore has represented insurers, hospitals, universities, manufacturers, technology companies, and other businesses in a variety of disputes at both the trial and appellate stages, with an emphasis on class actions, consumer-protection claims, products liability, and intellectual property/technology disputes.
Paula Litt Profiled in Leading Lawyer Magazine – Schopf & Weiss LLP partner Paula Litt was interviewed in an article published in the July 2012 issue of Leading Lawyers Magazine – Business Edition. “We are extremely proud of Paula and the exceptional results she has achieved for our clients,” said firm chairman, Steven A. Weiss. “Paula exemplifies our vision for this firm when we founded it 25 years ago - a group of first class litigators recognized for outstanding representation of sophisticated business clients in the most complex and challenging disputes. Ms. Litt handles the full range of business disputes. With her Schopf & Weiss partners, she won a plaintiffs’ verdict in the first civil RICO case tried in Illinois and successfully prosecuted professional malpractice claims against an actuarial firm. She prevailed in arbitrating claims for breach of a right of first refusal and securities fraud. She defeated claims against her clients ranging from alleged copyright infringement to breach of employment agreements to breach of a commercial lease. In addition to working with companies to resolve the disputes that bring them to court, Ms. Litt helps them secure the insurance coverage they purchased to protect them when they get there. Through her representation, corporations have recovered tens of millions of dollars in defense and indemnity from insurers who refused to pay. To read the full article, click here.
Anand Mathew Speaks at the Network of Indian Professionals of North America. - Anand C. Mathew, an attorney at Schopf & Weiss LLP, moderated a panel discussion, “Protecting Your Family Jewels,” as part of the 21st Annual Network of Indian Professionals of North America (NetIP) Conference, August 31 through September 3, 2012, at the Fairmont Hotel, Chicago. More than 500 South Asian professionals, including attorneys, businesspersons, entrepreneurs, medical, consulting and IT practitioners attended. Mr. Mathew’s panel focused on the various forms of intellectual property protection and how to capitalize on key assets such as trademarks, patents and trade secrets. Topics included information on the three P's of IP—prosecution, policing and protection. Mr. Mathew’s practice covers commercial and business litigation, representing clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to closely-held corporations
Ten Schopf & Weiss LLP Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers in Commercial Litigation in Illinois for 2012. – Schopf & Weiss LLP is pleased to announce that ten of the firm’s attorneys have been named Leading Lawyers in Commercial Litigation in Illinois for 2012 by the Leading Lawyers Network. The Leading Lawyers from Schopf & Weiss are:
Peter V. Baugher
Ian H. Fisher
Patrick J. Heneghan
Arthur J. Howe
Paula E. Litt
Bradley P. Nelson
Robert J. Palmersheim
Jason M. Rosenthal
William G. Schopf
Steven A. Weiss
Mr. Schopf and Mr. Weiss have been named among the Top 100 Leading Business Lawyers in Illinois and Ms. Litt has been named among the Top 100 Leading Women Business Lawyers in Illinois based on surveys conducted by the Leading Lawyers Network. Also, Mr. Baugher was selected as a member of the Leading Lawyers Network Advisory Board based on his reputation and professional ethics in addition to his knowledge of the lawyers within his area of law. Leading Lawyer lists are compiled by the Leading Lawyer Network, a division of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. The lists are the results of thousands of contacts with Illinois lawyers who are surveyed about whom of their peers they believe comprise the top lawyers in the state. Attorneys cannot nominate themselves or attorneys in their own firms.
William G. Schopf speaks on Hollywood's finest fictional lawyers. William G. Schopf, name partner at litigation firm, Schopf & Weiss LLP, discussed "Oral Advocacy in the Movies: Lessons Learned from Hollywood's Finest Fictional Lawyers" -- a subject with which he is quite familiar -- on Friday, August 3, 2012, as part of the ABA Annual Meeting, which was held August 2-6, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago. Schopf & Weiss hosts an annual signature event, Movies On Trial, at the Music Box Theatre, Chicago, which features a popular Hollywood movie with a legal theme and a discussion after the film by a panel of notable judges and lawyers. The event is open to all Illinois lawyers free of charge and offers complimentary CLE credit. This past May, Movies on Trial aired the movie "Michael Clayton" starring George Clooney, with panel members, Scott Turow, Partner at SNR Denton and best-selling novelist; Shauna Boliker, First Assistant Cook County State's Attorney's; Hon. Wayne R. Andersen (Ret.) of JAMS, The Resolution Experts; and, panel moderator, Patrick J. Heneghan, Partner at Schopf & Weiss. Joining Mr. Schopf on the ABA panel is Hon. Ruben Castillo, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; George Young, Haynes & Boone, LLP; Hon. Anne Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Andrea Zopp, Former General Counsel of Exelon Corporation, currently President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League; and, panel moderator, Barry Nash of The Coaching Company.
Nicholas A. Gowen Named Top 40 under 40 Game Changer by The Urban Business Roundtable. - Nicholas A. Gowen, partner at litigation boutique, Schopf & Weiss LLP, was named as one of Chicago’s Top 40 under 40 Game Changers by Ariel Investments and The Urban Business Roundtable, WVON-AM’s weekly black business radio program, at a gala reception held recently at the Blackstone Hotel, Chicago. Ariel Investments and WVON established the award to honor and promote promising black business executives, professionals, entrepreneurs and community activists who have excelled in their fields because of their vision, leadership, achievement, community involvement and impact. Mr. Gowen is a commercial litigator who focuses on intellectual property litigation and employment litigation. He is the Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and is a member of the Project H.O.O.D. Advisory Committee, which raises funds to build a multi-million dollar community center in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood.
Schopf & Weiss dishes out smiles with dinner. - On July 24, 2012, attorneys and staff members of Schopf & Weiss dished out smiles along with dinner at the new Ronald McDonald House which opened on June 26, 2012, at 211 East Grand Avenue in Chicago. Schopf & Weiss volunteers supplied meals and words of encouragement along with great food for more than 100 guests who stay at the house while their young family members receive treatment at Lurie Children's Hospital and at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Pictured from left to right: Front row - Leah Waxell, Paula Litt, Lesley Smith, Kristen Hudson, Channel Drenon and her daughter Janiyah Payne, and Whitney Granger. Back row - Stephanie Conklin, Alison Larson, Matt Stodolka, Sarah Magden, Anand Mathew, and Caitlin O'Neill.
Schopf & Weiss LLP Ranked in Chambers 2012. – For the third consecutive year, Chambers USA has ranked Schopf & Weiss among firms highly recommended for commercial litigation in Illinois for 2012. Chambers states “Schopf & Weiss is a …Chicago litigation boutique honed to provide quality, personalized representation for high-profile clients such as Sears, Motorola and Tyson Foods. It handles a range of litigation and has recently been involved in a patent infringement dispute on behalf of Goss International Americas and various fraud actions.” Chambers continues and quotes its sources as saying “They’ve built a terrific, respected litigation boutique.” In addition, Steven Weiss, Chairman of the firm, was mentioned as showing “particular finesse in trade secret and IP matters, as well as employment non-compete litigation.” Chambers comments that William Schopf “brings a great level of practicality to the business of legal practice.” Paula Litt was noted for her experience in Insurance Dispute Resolution and “…held in high regard by peers for her activity in a range of cutting-edge policyholder issues.” Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business is considered the preeminent law firm and lawyer ranking in the industry and is published annually. Chambers’ rankings are based on in-depth interviews with leading private practice attorneys and key in-house counsel. “Individual attorney evaluations are based on technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment and other qualities most valued by clients,” according to Chambers.
Ian Fisher, a partner at Schopf & Weiss LLP, moderated a panel on “Well, I sure don’t “like” that! Litigation Holds, Social Media and Employees’ Online Data” at the ABA’s 2012 E-Discovery CLE National Institute held on Friday, May 18, 2012, at The University Club of New York, New York, NY. The discussion focused on how electronic discourse impacts corporations’ preservation obligations. In addition to traditional contractual disputes, Mr. Fisher has successfully handled business interference, antitrust, intellectual property, trade secret misappropriation, non-competition covenant, franchise agreement, consumer fraud, real estate, and employment discrimination disputes as well as class actions.
Peter Baugher Speaks at IPPFA Spring Conference. - Peter Baugher , a partner at Schopf & Weiss LLP, spoke on “Recovering Securities Losses: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even!” along with Peter Borkon of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Berkeley, CA, at the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA) Spring Conference on May 17, 2012, held at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, Springfield, IL. Mr. Baugher has represented clients in matters involving commercial banking, securities fraud and insider trading, corporate control and intracorporate disputes, employee noncompete and confidentiality agreements, and antitrust class action.
Victory for Partners Peter Baugher and Jennifer Waters in FINRA Securities Arbitration. - Peter Baugher and Jennifer Waters have won a $1.9 million award for their client, a large, privately-held manufacturer. The victory came recently in a FINRA securities arbitration against JP Morgan Securities. After 13 days of hearings, Schopf & Weiss prevailed on its claim that JP wrongly sold its client auction rate securities. While marketed as safe and liquid money market alternatives, these securities had in fact become vulnerable to auction failures. The entire $300 billion auction rate securities market froze in 2008, leaving hundreds of other corporate investors with millions in illiquid, long-term bonds.
Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment for Exelon in Employee's Attempt to Hold Parent Corporation Responsible for Safety Procedures at Subsidiary. - The Illinois Appellate Court has affirmed summary judgment for our client, Exelon, in a case arising out of an on-the-job accident. Schopf & Weiss LLP partners, Steve Weiss and Kristen Hudson, represented Exelon in the appeal. The plaintiff was injured when he came into contact with an energized field while working for ComEd. Plaintiff sued ComEd's parent, Exelon, based on the direct participant and voluntary undertaking doctrines under which a parent company can sometimes be held liable for injuries while working for the subsidiary. The Appellate Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Exelon and dismissed the plaintiff's claims.
Partner Paula Litt Featured in ABA's Law Practice Management magazine. Paula Litt was interviewed about her successful career as a litigator and rainmaker in the Law Practice Today, an online publication of the American Bar Association. In the interview, Paula discusses the influences on her career, her business development experience and strategies, and tips for lawyers beginning their business development efforts. To read the full article, click here...
The Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Victory For Partners. Peter Baugher, Robert Palmersheim and Lesley Smith - The Illinois Appellate Court unanimously affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice and negligence claim against our client, a large national law firm. After several years of litigation, extensive briefing on probate, estate and tax planning matters and a long oral argument in the appellate court, the case was dismissed resulting in complete victory for our client.
Partners Bradley Nelson and William Berndt Prevail in Summary Judgment Ruling Against Bank of America. - On behalf of our client Crawford Supply Group and related family trusts, Brad Nelson and Will Berndt successfully defeated Bank of America's motion for summary judgment, setting the stage for a November 14, 2011 jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Crawford Supply claims that the Bank wrongfully allowed Crawford's former accountant to embezzle millions of dollars from the company's and its owners' accounts at LaSalle Bank, before LaSalle was acquired by Bank of America. The trial was expected to last 3 weeks.
Partners Robert Palmersheim and Lesley Smith Win $5.2 Million On Behalf of Catmet Co., Inc.- After six years of litigation and a three-week trial, a Cook County jury deliberated for only four hours before finding the defendants, which included a former Catmet employee, liable for fraud, aiding and abetting fraud and civil conspiracy based on their misappropriation of Catmet funds. The unanimous jury awarded Catmet damages of $5.2 million which includes $1.5 million in punitive damages.
Partner Kristen Hudson sucessfully defends ADA claim in Seventh Circuit. - Kristen Hudson su