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Timothy Bertschy

Timothy Bertschy

Vice Chairs:

John Heil

John Heil

Mark Ludolph

Mark Ludolph

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Heyl Royster

 

Practices

BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

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The effective resolution of business disputes is a major focus of Heyl Royster. Our experience encompasses all aspects of commercial litigation and dispute resolution − state and federal forums, administrative proceedings, arbitration, and mediation − in almost every area of substantive business law.

We approach commercial litigation with an understanding of our client's goals and philosophy towards litigation. We view the client and our attorneys as a team that is focused on achieving the client's goals in the most cost-effective and timely manner. Our focus is on early case evaluation, budgeting, and helping you to formulate a strategy designed to achieve the optimal result.

When advantageous for our clients, we work in tandem with the attorneys in our Business Organizations & Transactions Practice, especially when a transaction or business structure (e.g., Limited Liability Companies, C-Corporations, S-Corporation, General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships) is at issue. We also work in multidisciplinary and/or industry-specific teams that are focused on specific business sectors, such as banking and financial institutions or healthcare.

The matters on which we have provided representation include:

  • Contractual disputes
  • Business torts
  • Business break-ups
  • Stockholder disputes
  • ERISA
  • Unfair competition
  • Intellectual property
  • Debtor claims
  • Lender liability
  • Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy (preferences, claims, objections to discharge, etc.)
  • Covenants not to compete
  • Fraud and misrepresentation
  • Eminent domain (condemnation)
  • Public and private nuisances
  • Environmental
  • Securities Litigation
  • Real estate
  • Zoning

We have represented clients in commercial litigation where the stakes were as high as a billion dollars. We have also represented clients where the dollar exposure was small but the case precedent had game-changing implications. We have handled many cases where non-monetary relief was the primary goal. We have been counsel to businesses as both plaintiffs and defendants. In any matter, we can provide sophisticated representation at an attractive rate. Our ultimate goal is for you to achieve your business objectives in a prompt and cost-effective manner.

Significant Cases

  • D.R. v. Individual Realtor and Realty Company (2017) - Obtained defense verdict for real estate agent in a jury trial in which plaintiff claimed damages related to representations made in the course of the purchase of a home. One year after purchasing the home, the plaintiff experienced a septic tank failure that resulted in damage to his basement. The plaintiff claimed that he was unaware that the home was serviced by a septic tank and that the agent misrepresented that the home was connected to city sewer. The court granted summary judgment prior to trial on the plaintiff’s claims of fraudulent concealment, breach of contract, and professional malpractice. The judge granted the firm’s motion to strike a negligence per se count at trial. Following trial, the jury entered a defense verdict as to the fraudulent misrepresentation count, and the judge entered judgment in favor of the defendants as to counts relating to the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Roth 2:11-cv-02079 (CD IL 2011) Acting as federal court appointed Receiver in case arising from $16.5 million dollar securities fraud case.
  • U.S. v. Zabka Acting as federal court appointed equity receiver in federal tax case.
  • Hartney Fuel Oil Company v. Hamer 2013 IL 115130 Suit was filed by a retail sales taxpayer against our client, The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the Illinois Department of Revenue, and a Cook County municipality contending that the assessment of back sales taxes of $20+ million was incorrect. Ultimately, the RTA's position was upheld in the Illinois Supreme Court. While the taxpayer was not required to pay back taxes pursuant to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the Illinois Supreme Court invalidated existing regulations in adopting a "multi-factor test" as argued for by the RTA, a decision which had statewide application to sales tax sourcing favoring governmental entities such as our client.
  • Witters v. Hicks Circuit Court, Lawrence County, Illinois (Case No. 00 L 2) We represented the plaintiffs on a shareholder's fiduciary duty claim against other shareholder/officer requesting dissolution of business and damages; judgment for dissolution and $22.5 million in damages for plaintiffs (our clients) and receiver. Settled on appeal. Several interlocutory appeals established law in state receivership area.
  • Keach v. U.S. Trust Co. 419 F.3d 626 (2005) (U.S. District Court – Central Division - Peoria, Case No. 99-cv-1201) ERISA claim seeking $200 million in damages; judgment after trial for defendants (including our clients), affirmed on appeal.
  • Platinum Jet Center BMI, LLC v. Bloomington Normal Airport Authority Circuit Court, McLean County, Illinois Case No. 06 CH 381 Plaintiff FBO sought $6 million in damages from defendant airport alleging contractual breach; judgment after jury trial against defendant (our client) for $8,500. No appeal taken.
  • Rosewood Care Center, Inc. v. Caterpillar Inc. 226 Ill. 2d 559 (2007) Illinois Supreme Court adopted our argument, explicitly rejecting the "pre-existing debt rule" under the statute of frauds and adopting of the "main purpose" or "leading object" rule. 
  • Morton Community Bank v. Nash-Hasty Investments Tazewell County, 98 L 133, and NASD Arbitration No. 98-03671 Represented two stockbrokers against a bank in the successful arbitration of a covenant not to compete before the National Association of Securities Dealers.
  • Ridenour v. Kaiser-Hill Co. 397 F.3d 925 (10th Cir. 2005) Successful defense of government contractor in False Claims Act appeal averting revelation of classified information and adopting the Sequoia standard of review.
  • Fritz v. Weather Shield Manufacturing, Inc. Plaintiffs sued our defendant for breach of contract and breach of warranty regarding windows used in the construction of plaintiffs' home. Plaintiffs sought both replacement costs and compensatory damages of $60,000. Our defendant's motion to dismiss the breach of contract claim and claim for compensatory damages based on the limitations of the expressed warranty was granted. At trial, verdict was entered in favor of our defendant on the breach of warranty claim.
  • Koester v. Amergen 2008 WL 879459 (C.D. Ill. 2008) Plaintiff sued Defendant (our client) for an alleged radiation injury, alleging unspecified damages. Summary judgment for our client based on failure to establish duty owed, breach, or causation.
  • Pfister Hybrid v. Jerry Seidl Woodford County, IL, Case no. 02 LM 69. Our client bought seed corn for which delivery was delayed. Our client then had unused seed returned. Contractual suit ensued. Jury trial with defense verdict for our client.
  • Cripe v. Leiter 184 Ill. 2d 185 (1998) In a case of first impression, the Illinois Supreme Court held that Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act did not apply to claim that attorney charged excessive fees.
  • Neziroski v. Von Maur 99 L 121 Jury trial involving false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution claims arising out of an unusual transaction at the Bloomington Von Maur Store. Plaintiff asked for more than $250,000. Verdict for plaintiff in the amount of $50,000.
  • Department of Transp. v. Parr 259 Ill. App. 3d 602 (3d Dist. 1994) In a case of first impression, our argument that environmental remediation costs are not admissible in eminent domain actions to reduce fair market value of property of condemnee (our client) was upheld.
  • Redarowicz v. Ohlendorf 92 Ill. 2d 171 (1982) In a case of first impression in Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted our argument that a home builder vendor's implied warranty of habitability does not extend solely to first purchaser but also to subsequent purchasers.

Publications

  • "What You Should Know About the New Illinois Limited Liability Company Act," International Association of Defense Counsel Business Litigation Committee Newsletter (2017) - Download Article
  • Getting Down to Business, Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter - Click here to view Newsletters
  • "Consideration and Non-Compete Agreements: The State of the Law in Illinois," International Association of Defense Counsel Business Litigation Committee Newsletter (2017) - Download Article
  • "Implicit Bias and Clients: An Overview," ABA Commercial & Business Litigation Newsletter (2016) - Download Article
  • “The Business Suit,” DRI’s Commercial Litigation Committee newsletter (2016) - Download Article
  • "Sale of Goods - Disclaiming of Warranties and Consequential Damages," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2014) - Read Article
  • "Corporate Documentation for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2014) - Read Article
  • "Sender Beware: How Your Emails or Letters may be Ruled a Binding Contract," Heyl Royster Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2014) - Read Article
  • "Protect Your Business - The Three Component Test For Restrictive Covenants In Employment Contracts," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2013) - Read Article
  • "A Brief Introduction To The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act For Private Contractors," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2013)
  • "Contract Considerations Before Sharing Company Information with Third Parties," Heyl Royster Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2013) - Read Article
  • "Developing a 'Best Practices' Record Retention Policy," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2013) - Read Article
  • "You Paid for It, But You Didn't Buy It: The Question of Website Ownership," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2013) - Download Article
  • "The Statute of Frauds" chapter in Contract Law, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2012) - Download Article
  • "Employment Contracts and Keeping Your Secrets Secret," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2012) - Download Article
  • "Public (and Private) Projects Influenced by the Prevailing Wage Act," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2011) - Download Article
  • "Customers Falling Behind on Invoices? Beware of Preferences," Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2010) - Download Article
  • "Protecting Your Valuable Client and Customer Lists"  Heyl Royster Business & Commercial Litigation Newsletter (2010) - Download Article
  • "Personal Liability of an Executor or Trustee," Illinois Bar Journal (2010)
  • "Return of the Verdict and Entry of Judgment" chapter in Illinois Civil Practice: Trying the Case, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2009) - Download Article
  • "The Power Behind the Robe: A Primer on Contempt Law," published by Illinois Bar Journal (2009)
  • "Tips on Writing Well," Minority Trial Lawyer (2009)
  • "Warranties, Disclaimers and Limitations," chapter in Contract Law, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2008 and 2005 editions) - Download Article
  • "Finding Your Way Around the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act," Illinois Bar Journal (2007)
  • "The Dynamics of State and Local Protest Litigation," Contract Mgmt (2006)
  • "10 Principles for Receiving High-Quality Legal Services," Contract Mgmt (2005)
  • "The Consequences of Mutually Mistaken Facts in Contracting," Contract Mgmt (2005)
  • "The Use and Misuse of Contingent Fees in Government Contracting," Contract Mgmt (2003)
  • "The Federal Mentor-Protege Program," Contract Mgmt (2003)
  • "Commercial Contract Liability," Contract Mgmt (2002)