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Dealer Termination / Franchise / Securities

DiTommaso Lubin represents clients in all facets of business litigation and complex commercial matters, in cases involving breach of contract, partnership issues, securities, probate, employment, corporate control, copyrights and trademarks, and franchise and dealer termination matters. Our lawyers have extensive trial and appellate experience across a broad spectrum of corporate litigation disputes, for both plaintiffs and defendants, and have successfully represented individuals, small businesses, and large corporations.

Flynn Beverage Inc. v. Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc., United States District Court Central District of Illinois, Rock Island Division, Judge McDade. 1992-1994. Wrongful termination of 27 year liquor distributorship involving statutory and common law franchise claims. Represented Flynn Beverage. Sought over $2 million in damages and recovery of attorney fees. Seagram’s fifty page motion to dismiss denied. See 815 FSupp 1174. Case settled: terms confidential. Opposing counsel: David W. Ichel (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett) and T. Mark McLaughlin (Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw).

Flynn Beverage Inc. v. Jim Beam Brands Inc., Circuit Court of Rock Island County, Judge Conway. 1993-1995. Similar claims to those discussed above except claimed over $2.5 million in claimed damages. Beam’s motion to dismiss denied in a 5-page memorandum opinion. Case settled: terms confidential. Opposing counsel: Kimball R. Anderson and Scott Szala (Winston & Strawn).

Dedicated v. Volkswagen, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Judge Kennelly. 2001. Termination of Volkswagen parts carrier. Represented Dedicated. Volkswagen’s motion to dismiss, asserting lack of written evidence of a contract, denied. See 201 FRD 337. Case settled: terms confidential. Opposing Counsel: Randall Oyler (Barrack Ferrazzano).

McVicker v. John Doe Corp., Texas Arbitration through American Arbitration Association. 1990-1992. Wrongful termination of and fraudulent inducement to purchase franchises for entire New York City area. Represented former franchisee. At outset of case defendant, a multi-billion dollar international conglomerate, offered $10,000 to settle. After extensive discovery and shortly before the start of the hearing, defendants agreed to a settlement whereby they returned the entire purchase price of the franchises of $300,000 along with an additional $50,000. Opposing counsel: David Butler (DLA Piper).

Trademark / Copyright / Trade Secrets

Berthold v. FKPT, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Judge Andersen. 1999. Represented plaintiff who terminated its German licensee of trademarked typeface fonts for use in computer software. The fonts were part of a large German font library that was over 140 years old. Claims and counter-claims included claims under German and American law, and international discovery issues. Settlement permitted plaintiff to terminate German licensee and licensee waived all claims to rights in fonts. Opposing Counsel: Caroline Clark (Pennie & Edmonds); Chuck McGirdy (DLA Piper).

Virtual Realty Group v. Virtual Realty Network, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Nordberg, 1995. Represented owner of “Virtual Realty” mark in trademark infringement action. Defendant and its partner Intel had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising and promoting the “Virtual Realty” mark that did not belong to them. They claimed there was no possibility of consumer confusion between their computerized home loan mortgage brokerage services, and plaintiff’s Internet based real-estate brokerage services. Case settled before injunction hearing. Defendant agreed to immediately discontinue using the mark, and to pay money damages and plaintiff’s attorneys fees. Opposing Counsel: Russell Pelton (Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly).

DevTech v. Rolfes, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Judge Wheaton. 1992. Claim that computer software designer/former employee stole trade secrets and acted in a manner that damaged plaintiff and defendant's joint copyright in certain software. Represented defendant (software designer/former employee). Plaintiff dismissed all claims on the verge of a preliminary injunction trial when judge indicated that she intended to rule in defendant’s favor on a motion to exclude key witnesses for plaintiff. Plaintiff agreed to divide equally with defendant all profits from jointly owned software. Opposing counsel: Edward Ruberry (Bolinger Ruberry & Garvey).

Berthold v. Linotype, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. 2002. Represented plaintiff. Claim that font software company violated copyright laws in illegally copying software code for its own font software. Case settled. Opposing Counsel: Jim McGurk, Paul Stack and Robert Filpi (Stack & Filpi).

Berthhold v. FKPT, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judges Lindberg and Gettleman. 2001. Represented Plaintiff. Obtained default judge and injunctive relief against German Company for trademark infringement and breach of settlement agreement and then enforced such judgment against third-party German corporations and nationals living and doing business here. Case settled with third parties agreeing to injunctive relief protecting plaintiff’s trademarks and discontinuing sale of infringing products here and in Germany. Opposing Counsel: Robert Filpi and Paul Stack (Stack & Filpi) and Robert Joseph (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal).

Breach of Contract / Partnership / Corporate Control

Eastco International Corporation v. Addax Technologies, LLC, Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Magistrate Judge Cole. 2013. Represented Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff in breach of contract action alleging that florescent ballast production units differed from sample units. Plaintiff purported to unilaterally cancel all outstanding contracts with defendant giving rise to a countersuit for breach of those contracts. Case settled with Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant dropping all claims and agreeing to pay Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff a confidential amount. Opposing Counsel: Peter Carey (Carey & Hartman LLC).

Biancos v. Eggert, Freeland and CMR Interiors, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Magistrate-Judge Valdez. Pending. Representing a real estate owner in his breach of contract case against lessees who performed renovations to the leased premises. Plaintiffs allege that defendants failed to obtain proper building permits and that the renovation does not comply with Chicago building codes. Settlement with certain defendants agreeing to increase rental payments and paying a large share of clients’ fees and costs, and other defendants agreeing to pay money damages. Opposing Counsel: Terrance Buehler (Buehler & Williams), Peter Berk (McDonald Hopkins, LLC) and Robert Rosenfeld.

Costello v. Orozen, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Judge Abraham. 2007. Represented construction company defendant in a breach of contract case involving the installation of a practice putting green on the grounds of plaintiff’s mansion. Case settled for a small fraction of money sought after we obtained evidence rebutting plaintiff’s claims from one of his own experts. Opposing Counsel: Greg Adamo and Ken Vanko (Clingen, Callow & McLean, LLC).

BleuChip International Inc. v. Aulds, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Chancery Division, Judge Popejoy. 2009. Represented corporation and its CEO as plaintiffs in a claim against the corporation’s President. Case settled on confidential terms shortly after suit was filed. Opposing Counsel: Bruce Menkes (Mandel, Menkes LLC)

Anderson et al v. Moy-Gregg, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Chancery Division, Judge Popejoy and Judge Sheen. 2010-2011. Represent corporation and alleged majority owners in a corporate control dispute regarding the intent and meaning of stock gift. Opposing Counsel: Louis Bernstein.

IPC v. Edward Gray Corporation, Circuit Court of Peoria County, Judge McDade. 1988-1989. Construction Contract: local Peoria sub-contractor claimed that Chicago based general contractor entered into a $3 million sub-contract from a car telephone. Represented general contractor defendant. Court entered summary judgment in defendant's favor on all of plaintiff's claims based on "smoking gun" documents uncovered by defendant in discovery. Opposing counsel: Stephen Gay (Husch & Eppenberger).

DiMucci v. DiMucci, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judges Forman, Flynn and Billik. Pending. Corporate control dispute involving real-estate development assets. Represent 50% owner allegedly frozen out of companies. Involves questions of alleged breach of fiduciary duty and issues involving Florida and Illinois corporation law. Opposing Counsel: George Collins and Adrian Vuckovich (Collins, Bargione & Vuckovich), Myron Cherry (Myron Cherry & Associates).

Click to Read Chicago Sun-Times Coverage of this Case

Leslie Hindman and Salvage I v. Beale, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge Siebel. 2003. Represented plaintiffs Hindman and Salvage I in alleged breach of fiduciary duty case involving multi-million dollar damages claims. Case Settled. Terms Confidential. Co-Counsel: Michael Froy (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal). Opposing Counsel: Larry Karlin and Ben Randall (Katz, Radall, Weinberg & Richmond).

Estate of Hudson, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Probate Division. Judge Popejoy. Pending. Complex estate case. Representing guardian of minor child. Dispute over personal and business assets against estate administrator and surviving spouse. Case involves local and overseas proceedings with claims seeking to recover millions of dollars in funds and business assets allegedly owned by the Estate. Opposing Counsel: Douglas Tibble (Brooks Adams & Tarilis) and Richard Cowen (Stahl Cowen).

Heatherly and Newton v. Rodman & Renshaw, NASD Arbitration. 1993-1996. Represented former Sales Managers of Rodman’s Mortgage Backed Securities Department on claims for breach of substantial bonus contracts, and failure to pay finders fees. Two-day hearing. Arbitration award for claimants; claimants awarded all actual damages sought. Heatherly’s appeal on statutory attorneys fees denied with dissent supporting our position. 678 NE2d 591. Opposing Counsel: John Murphy (Baker & McKenzie).

Cusack v. Paul Revere Insurance, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Magistrate Judge Guzman. 1995. Represented plaintiff. Paul Revere refused to pay employment disability benefits of over $200,000. Brought declaratory judgment and bad faith failure to pay insurance claims. Case settled immediately after the complaint was filed: terms confidential. Opposing Counsel: Joseph Hasman (Peterson & Ross).

Meade v. VirtualSellers.com, Circuit Court of Cook County Chancery Division, Judge Nowicki. 1999-2000. Represented co-founder of start-up internet company who was allegedly defrauded out of his interest in the company just before it was sold to a publicly traded company. Seeking 1,000,000 shares in publicly traded company worth between 2 and 7.5 million dollars based on then market prices. Settled after an injunction hearing and denials of defendants’ motions to dismiss. Terms confidential. Opposing Counsel: Ceasar Tabet (Tabet, DeVito & Rothstein) and Stephen Voris (Burke Warren Mackay & Serritella).

Asch and Associates v. Churilla, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge Foreman. 1993-1994. Former employee charged with stealing a customer list to start a rival insurance agency. Represented former employee defendant. Court denied plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order. Court later granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s claims with prejudice, and awarded defendant sanctions (half the attorneys fees billed to defendant and all of his costs). Defendant later filed claims for malicious prosecution against Asch and his counsel in federal court. That case was settled for $45,000. Opposing counsel: James D. Montgomery (former Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago).

Employment

Glaser and Sapyta v. Collins, Hamilton and the College of DuPage, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.  Judge Alonso. Pending. Claims for wrongful termination, violation first amendment rights and 1983 as to former Treasurer and Controller of the College of DuPage.  Co-Counsel: Shelly Kulwin (Kulwin Masciopinto & Kulwin, LLP). Opposing Counsel: Sidley & Austin; Schiff Hardin & Waite; and Schuyler, Roche & Crisha.

Click to Read Press Coverage of this Case

Motorola v. Aderhold, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge Arnold.  2009-2010.  Represented defendant former Motorola vice-president in covenant not to compete and trade secret case.  Case settled on confidential terms, before any discovery, after court granted motion to dismiss and ordered re-pleading of trade secret claims.  Opposing Counsel Arthur Howe (Schopf & Weiss).

Karth v. McConnell, Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division, Judge Goldberg. 2006-2007. Represented defendant in breach of contract, equitable and wage claim dispute involving alleged damages of $700,000. Breach of contract claim dismissed as violating statute of frauds. Case dismissed with prejudice based on motions to dismiss and for summary judgement. Opposing Counsel: Michael D. Gerhardt (Gerhardt, Gomez, and Haskins).

Shelton v. Will County, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. 1999. Race Discrimination. Client reinstated to his job with full credit towards his pension benefits and received settlement of $50,000 in back pay for the period he was off the job. Opposing Counsel: Michael Condon (Hervas, Sotos, Condon & Bersani).

Click to Read Chicago Tribune Coverage of this Case

Hirst v. Rockwell International, EEOC Charge. 1995-1996. Represented senior executive in breach of contract and sex and age discrimination claims. Rockwell demoted executive based on trumped up conflict of interest charges because her husband worked for a competitor, even though executive/wife had fully disclosed the nature of her husband’s relationship each year during the over 10 years that she worked for Rockwell, and Rockwell had always agreed that there was no conflict. Case settled: terms confidential. Co-Counsel: Holly Hirst (Piper Rudnick).

North American Philips v. Filson et al., United States District Court For the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Grady. 1996. Represented defendants, former No. 2 and 3 executives at Philips's most profitable American subsidiary in a case charging those executives, and the former president of the subsidiary with what we contended were trumped up charges of wrongdoing. Executives filed counterclaims for libel claiming that Philips had falsely accused them of wrong doing, and retaliatory discharge for reporting alleged antitrust violations and price-fixing. Case settled immediately after counter-claims filed: terms confidential. Co-lead Counsel: Matthew Kennelly (Cotsirilos Stephenson Tighe & Streiker). Opposing Counsel: Robin Cohen (Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky).

Duncan v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., Circuit Court of Lake County, Judge Hoogasian. 1990. Wrongful termination: plaintiff claimed that she was fired because she filed a workers' compensation claim and sought over $100,000 in lost wage damages and punitive damages and attorney fees. Represented defendant Baxter. After discovery, plaintiff agreed to dismiss all her claims with prejudice in return for Baxter agreeing not to file a sanctions motion seeking recovery of attorneys fees from plaintiff and her counsel due to plaintiff's fraudulent damages claims. Opposing counsel: Alan Blum.

Appleby v. Mrs. Illinois Pageant, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division. Judge Hett. 1999. Represented Mrs. Illinois Pageant in suit filed by runner-up to reverse pageant results, and crown her the winner. Plaintiff’s lawsuit thrown out on summary judgment. Plaintiff paid a large portion of defendant’s attorneys fees to settle sanctions claim.

Click to Read Chicago Sun-Times Coverage of this Case

Jane Doe v. John Doe Corp., United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. 1997. Represented plaintiff, assistant to CEO of a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company. Sexual battery and hostile environment sex discrimination claims against the President of a subsidiary of the Fortune 500 company that worked at the headquarters. $100,000 settlement for emotional distress without filing suit after executive admitted the crux of the charges in pre-filing mediation.

Jane Doe v. John Doe Car Dealer, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. 1998. Represented plaintiff, who was top-performing salesperson at car dealership in sex discrimination case. Case settled for $45,000.

Bark v. Emsco, United States District Court for the Northern District Of Illinois, Eastern Division. Judge Kokoras. 1994. Represented plaintiff, doctor who had headed emergency room of large Chicago Hospital in sex discrimination, libel and retaliatory discharge claim seeking over $1 million in damages and attorneys fees. Defendants' motion to dismiss denied. Case settled for a confidential sum following several written opinions by the Court adopting plaintiff's positions. See 1994 WL 502786; 1994 WL 280077. Defendants provided written retraction. Opposing Counsel: Donald C. Shine (Nisen & Elliott).

Antitrust

Will v. Comprehensive Accounting Corp., United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Plunkett. 1983-1985. Antitrust tying and breach of franchise contracts. Claim that franchisor improperly forced 13 of its accounting practice franchisees to purchase unwanted and overpriced data processing services. Represented all 13 franchisees. Six week jury trial. Not guilty on antitrust tying count. Six plaintiffs won and six plaintiffs lost on breach of contract claims. See 775 F2d 665. Opposing counsel: Edward Foote and Duane Kelly (Winston & Strawn).

Fontana Aviation v. Cessna Aircraft, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Bua. 1983-1984. Antitrust: claimed that Cessna acted in restraint of trade when it destroyed a custom avionics dealership. Represented plaintiff. Three week jury trial. Not guilty. See 617 F2d 478. Opposing counsel: Alan Becker (Kirkland & Ellis).

Corrugated Container Antitrust Litigation, United States District Court Houston, Texas, Judge Singleton. 1983-1985. Antitrust: price fixing conspiracy. Represented opt-out corporate plaintiffs, Pillsbury, Green Giant, U.S. Gypsum and Dean Foods Company. Settled as to all defendants except CCA. Pillsbury earned half its corporate profits for one year from the settlements. Settlement amounts: Pillsbury ($8.5 million); U.S. Gypsum ($1 million); Dean ($850,000). Twelve week jury trial as to CCA. Jury found price fixing conspiracy, but no damages. See 756 F2d 411. Opposing counsel: CCA-Sanford Litvak (former head of the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice and former General Counsel of the Walt Disney Company).

ROI v. Translogic, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Norgle. 1988. Attempted Monopolization Claims. Represented defendant Translogic. Motion to dismiss half of plaintiff's antitrust claims granted. Case settled. See 702 FSupp 677. Co-counsel: Arnold & Porter. Opposing counsel: Paul Slater (Sperling Slater & Spitz).

Vinegar Antitrust Litigation, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Western Division, Judge Roszowski. 1989-1992. Antitrust price fixing case. Represented plaintiff class. Settlement achieved prior to trial worth at least $6 million to the class. Lead Counsel: Perry Goldberg (Altheimer & Gray). Opposing counsel: Howery & Simon; Whitman & Ransom; Jones Day Reavis & Pogue; and Caldwalader Wickersham & Taft.

Glass Containers Antitrust Litigation, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Will. 1989-1982. Antitrust price fixing case. Represented plaintiff class. Settlement achieved prior to trial worth at least $70 million to the class. Lead counsel: Gig Specks (Altheimer & Gray). Opposing counsel: Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal; Kirkland & Ellis; Brown & Bain; Sidley Austin, Brown & Wood.

Constitutional Law

Pillsbury v. Conboy, United States Supreme Court. 1983. Constitutional Law/Fifth Amendment Privilege: Whether prior grant of immunity extends to a civil deposition? See 459 US 248. Represented Pillsbury. Supreme Court upheld assertion of privilege. Opposing counsel: Michael Coffield (Michael Coffield & Associates).

Dean Foods Company v. Clinton, State Court Arkansas. 1984. State Constitutional Law/Interference With Property Rights: Whether Arkansas minimum milk pricing statute was an unconstitutional infringement on property rights? Represented Dean Foods Company. Court found statute unconstitutional. Attorney General's office did not appeal court's finding.

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DiTommaso Lubin represents both plaintiffs and defendants in class action litigation in both state and federal courts. The Firm has done so successfully for over two and half decades, in matters involving consumer fraud, unfair and deceptive business practices, and in a wide variety of state and federal statutory actions, under state consumer frauds acts, the FCRA, FDCPA, TCPA, TILA, and RICO, among others.

Woodsmoke v. Woodsmoke, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Kocoras, 1992.

Woodsmoke v. Woodsmoke, Circuit Court of La Salle County, Judge Denny, 1993.

Condominium association brought in excess of $10 million claim for alleged construction defects, fraudulent sale of condominiums, embezzlement and RICO violations against developers. Represented developer defendants. Federal claims dismissed with prejudice for lack of standing. State case dismissed for lack of standing. Co-counsel: Michael Siavelis (Johnson & Bell). Opposing counsel: Marshall Dickler.

Consolidated Dartmouth Class Action Litigation, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge Curry. 1990-1993. Consumer fraud, RICO, and Truth in Lending Act: low and middle income homeowners claimed that money center banks conspired to sell at least half a billion dollars in second mortgages to them at inflated prices. Represented the NBD Banks. In a 32 page opinion, Judge Curry consolidated all the cases to his docket, and then dismissed the class action claims with prejudice. Co-lead defense counsel/Citibank: Craig Varga and John Ledsky (Varga Berger Ledsky & Hayes). Opposing counsel: Lawrence Walner (Walner & Associates), Daniel Edelman and Catherine Combs (Edelman Combs & Latturner).

Downing v. the NBD Banks and Oxford Credit Co., Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge Hofert. Consumer fraud and Truth in Lending Act: same allegations as above involving a smaller and different loan portfolio. 1991-1992. Represented the NBD Banks. Case settled without any pleadings being filed. Another defendant paid the entire settlement amount. The NBD Banks received a complete release of all claims without contributing any settlement monies. Co-lead counsel/Oxford: Arthur Radke (Hefter & Radke). Opposing counsel: Lawrence Walner (Walner & Associates) and Daniel Edelman (Edelman Combs & Latturner).

EEOC v. Enco, United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Norgle. 1987. Race discrimination in hiring practices: EEOC brought a class action alleging over $5 million in actual damages. Represented defendant, a local Chicago manufacturer. Moved to dismiss based on EEOC’s inexcusable delay in waiting to file action. EEOC settled for $30,000, without taking any discovery, rather than having to explain its inexcusable delay to the Court. Co-Lead counsel: Bennett Epstein (Foley & Lardner).

Stamos v. Prime Cable of Chicago, Circuit Court Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge Schiller. 1999. Lead counsel in class-action against cable company for return of millions of dollars in excessive late fees. Case settled with a substantial reduction in late fees and refunds worth millions of dollars paid to the class. Opposing counsel: John George (Daley & George); Kevin M. Forde (Kevin M. Forde, Ltd.) Richard Patch (Coblenz Patch Duffy & Bass).

Marszalek v. Mutimedia, Circuit Court of Kane County, Judge Nottolini. Lead counsel in same type of class-action as Stamos against a different cable company. 1998. Case settled with a substantial reduction in late fees and refunds worth millions of dollars paid to the class after class certified in contested proceedings. Opposing counsel: Jack Crowe (Winston & Strawn); Richard Patch (Coblenz Patch Duffy & Bass).

Beckman v. Triax, Circuit Court of Kane County. 2000. Lead counsel in same type of class-action as Stamos against Triax. Case settled with a substantial reduction in late fees and refunds worth millions of dollars paid to the class. Opposing counsel: Jack Crowe (Winston & Strawn); Richard Patch (Coblenz Patch Duffy & Bass).

Chmils v. TCI, Circuit Court of Cook Count, Judge Jaffe. 1999. Lead counsel in same type of class action as Stamos against TCI. Statewide class action with over a million class members certified in contested proceedings. Directed verdict for defendants following 17 day trial. When appeal was pending, case settled as part of nationwide settlement where we were lead counsel. Late fees in Illinois and across the country reduced substantially as a result of settlement. Opposing counsel: Richard Werder (Jones Day Reavis & Pogue) and Paul E. Freehling (Seyfarth Shaw).

Out of State Cable Late Fee Class-Actions, 2001-2004. Same type of class-action as Stamos. Participating as lead or co-counsel in over 20 such cases against various cable companies including TCI/AT&T, Cox, Time-Warner, Comcast, Charter/Marcus and Jones Cable. I was in charge of coordinating all the different cases across the country, and my partner took the lead role in the national settlement negotiations with TCI/AT&T and Charter/Marcus. Two TCI cases in Washington DC and Maryland where we assisted lead counsel Philip Friedman (who is our co-lead counsel in all the cable late fee cases) were tried to multi-million dollar verdicts in plaintiffs’ favor with injunctive relief barring the illegal fees. The first Maryland case went up to the Court of Appeals (Maryland’s highest court) where the judgment in the class’s favor of over $6,000,000 and injunctive relief reducing the $5 late fee to 10 cents was affirmed. Burch v. United Cable Television of Baltimore Ltd., 732 A2d 887 (Md 1999). The judgment in the Washington DC case was also affirmed on appeal. District Cablevision Ltd. Partnership v. Bassin, 2003 WL 21664513 (DC). Since the victories in Maryland and Washington DC, loss in Illinois at the trial level, and appellate victories and losses in other states including victories in Louisiana, Texas and Minnesota (TCI Cablevision of Dallas, Inc. v. Owens, 8 SW3d 837 (Tex 2000) and a loss in Mississippi following class certification (Hill v. Galaxy, 184 FRD 82, and 176FSupp2d 636 (ND Miss 1999 and 2001), we entered in two separate national settlements involving over 10 million cable customers with AT&T and Charter/Marcus, which have resulted in permanent reduction of cable late fees throughout the country, and vouchers paid for overcharges resulting in millions of dollars in savings and voucher payments to the classes. We also reached state wide class-action settlements against Cox Cable in Nevada and Arizona, and a state-wide class-action settlement with TCI in California. We currently have a class-action pending against Time Warner in Indiana, following our victory in the Indiana Supreme Court on the voluntary payment issue. Time-Warner v. Whiteman, 802 NE2d 886 (Ind Sup Ct. 2004). In December 2003, following the ruling in Dua v. Comcast Cable of Maryland, Inc., 805 A2d 1061 (Md 2002), and the trial court granting the class’s motion for partial summary judgment and on the eve of trial, Comcast entered into a class-wide settlement of Maisonette v. Comcast an identical case to Dua with a larger number of class members. Comcast agreed to refund 97% of the class’s money damages, including prejudgment interest, for a total payment of 13.589 million dollars to the class fund. Co-counsel included: Philip Friedman and Michael Hyman (Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubinstein). Opposing Counsel on the above cases included: Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, White & Case, Coblenz Patch Duffy & Bass, and Sullivan & Cromwell.

Oakbrook Terrace Hotel Overcharge Class Actions, Circuit Court of DuPage County. 2000-2004. Claims against all Oakbrook Terrace Hotels (Hilton, Marriott, La Quinta, Comfort, Wyndham and Starwood) for including non-tax ordinary vendor charges in the tax line item of customer bills. Class certified in Comfort and Hilton cases following a contested hearings, and appointed lead class counsel in that case; appellate court rejected Hilton’s statutory occupancy tax defense in an interlocutory appeal to the 2nd District Appellate Court. 788 NE2d 789. Comfort, Wyndham, Marriott, Starwood and La Quinta cases settled on a class-wide basis with between 60% and 70% of damages paid into the settlement fund. Summary judgment was entered in the class’s favor in the Hilton case and was affirmed on appeal with the class receiving all of its damages and Hilton being ordered to pay all of class counsel’s fees as additional damages. Opposing counsel: Howard Foster (Johnson & Bell); Dennis Powers and Sonya Naar (DLA Piper); Mark Blocker (Sidley Austin, Brown & Wood); Ira Helfgot; Peter Ordower.

Extended Warranty Class Actions, 1995-2001. Represented plaintiffs in approximately 25 class-actions in state and federal court in Illinois against car dealers, finance companies and car manufacturers regarding alleged misrepresentations in financing documents. All 25 cases have settled following a favorable ruling we received from the 2nd District Appellate Court. See 683 NE2d 1194.

Leiner v. Century, Circuit Court of Dupage County. Lead counsel in certified national class-action against maker of child car seats regarding alleged consumer fraud in misrepresenting the safety of the car seats. Settled following certification of nationwide class in contested proceedings.

Erickson v. Ameritech, Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Flynn. 2004. Consumer fraud claims for failure to disclose that voice mail includes phone charges in addition to the monthly fee. Case settled on class-wide basis with refunds available to all class members along with injunctive relief barring the deceptive practices. Appointed co-lead counsel after spear heading efforts with the Citizens Utility Board to have a class-wide settlement (providing unsatisfactory relief) rejected by the Court. Crain’s Chicago Business listed the new settlement we helped achieve as the 3rd highest settlement/verdict in Illinois in 2004. Co-Counsel Robert Kelter (General Counsel Citizens Utility Board) Opposing Counsel: Leslie Smith (Kirkland & Ellis).

Johnson v. US Bank, Circuit Court of Dupage County. Judge Popejoy. 2004. Consumer fraud and Illinois statutory claims relating to repossessing cars without providing statutorily mandated disclosures. Case settled with 541 class members receiving the right to collect a $400 refund, and to have their substantial deficiency balances with US Bank averaging approximately $6,600 each written off.

Sampson v. Western Sierra, Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Zagel. Represented defendant. 2003-2004. Fair Credit Reporting Act class-action claims against national finance company. Case settled on individual basis on terms favorable to defendant following court granting Western Sierra’s motion for summary judgment rendering judgment in Western Sierra’s favor dismissing the class-action claims with prejudice. See: 2004 WL 406992. Opposing Counsel: Daniel Edelman and Adam Berger (Edelman Combs & Latturner).

Ramsell v. Infinity Broadcasting, Circuit Court of Dupage County. Judge Webster. 2002-2004. Consumer Fraud and breach of contract claims relating to Infinity refusing to provide a refund to concert goers after it cancelled a Doobie Brothers’s concert. Defense summary judgment motions denied. Class certified in contested proceedings. We were appointed lead class counsel. Case settled with full cash refunds to class members. Opposing Counsel: Peter John and Summer Heil (Williams Montgomery & John)

Dale v. Daimler Chrysler Corporation, Circuit Court of Boone County, Missouri. Judge Roper. Pending. Consumer Fraud and breach of warranty claims relating to defective window motors in Durangos for a five year period. Chrysler’s motion for summary judgment denied. State-wide class certified. We were appointed lead class counsel. Chrysler’s appeal of class certification rejected by Missouri appeals court. 2006 WL 1792414. Opposing Counsel: John W. Rogers (Bryan Cave)

Hyde v. Aspen Marketing Services, Inc., Federal District Court of Maryland. 2004-2006. Judge Bennett. Settled. Represented defendant, one of the largest marketing companies in the country. Plaintiff sought $100,000,000 in damages in a Fair Credit Reporting Act putative class action. Opposing Counsel: Scott Borison (Legg Law Firm)

Crandall v. Mobile Management Co., Inc. et al., Circuit Court Lake County Illinois. 2004. Judge Tonigan. Case settled. Represented defendant one of the largest mobile home companies in the Mid-West regarding alleged illegal late fees. Opposing Counsel: Daniel Edelman (Edelman, Combs and Latturner)

Walsh v. Suisse Bancorp, Circuit Court of DuPage County. Judge Elsner. 2005-2007. Represented plaintiff class in consumer fraud action concerning improper liening of workers’ compensation claims by loan and finance company. Case settled for removal of liens and reductions in the amounts due on the loans. Cy pres monies for uncollected class claims paid to Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.

Krey v. Aspen Marketing Services, Inc., Grace v. Aspen Marketing Services, Inc., Connolly v. Aspen Marketing Services, Inc., Federal District Court Northern District of Illinois. 2005-2007. Settled. Judges Kennelly, Coar and Filip. Cases settled. Defended Aspen, a national marketing firm, in Fair Credit Reporting Act Class Actions. Opposing Counsel: Edelman, Combs and Latturner.

Boundas v. Abercrombie & Fitch, Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Feinerman. Pending. Representing plaintiffs that received a $25 purchase reward card that did not contain an expiration date but which defendant claimed should have contained an expiration date and will no longer honor. Class certified and request for appeal of class certification denied by the 7th Circuit. 2011 WL 1676053. Opposing Counsel: Brian J. Murray (Jones Day).

Jane Doe v Modeling School, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division. Represented plaintiff putative class representative/student who took a modeling and acting course. Plaintiff alleged violations of the Illinois vocational schools and consumer fraud acts involving alleged misrepresentations concealing that the course would not lead to work in the field. Case settled on a class wide basis with class members being able to claim a partial refund on their tuition.

Jane Doe et al v. Trade School, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Chancery Division. Class Certified in contested proceedings. We represented a class of students who took a medical sonography course for claimed violations of the Illinois vocational schools and consumer fraud acts involving alleged misrepresentations concealing that the course would not lead to work in the field. The Class prevailed in motions to appeal class certification to the Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court. Case settled on a class wide basis with class members receiving a substantial tuition refund.

Jane Doe et al v. Electronics Retailer, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division. Represented Plaintiffs who received a $500 gas and grocery card that retailer allegedly would not honor. Class certified. Case settled on a class-wide basis with approximately 7,000 class members being able to claim up to $1000 depending on the number of claimants who participate in the settlement.

Takova v. S37, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge Riley and Judge Mikva. Represented defendant landlords in putative class action claiming violations of Illinois security deposit statutes. Case settled on an individual non-class basis following motion to dismiss for mootness. Opposing Counsel: Aaron Krolik and Mark Silverman.

Junk Fax Class Actions, Circuit Courts of Cook, McHenry and DuPage Counties. Pending. Representing plaintiffs in a number of class actions involving alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Cases include Dembo v. McAssey Corporation, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Judge McGann. Case settled for $1.4 million to the class. Each class member had a right to claim $225.

Walczak v Onyx Acceptance Corporation, Circuit Court of Lake County, Chancery Division, Judge Hoffman. Pending. Class Certified. Class certification order affirmed by the Appellate Court. 365 IllApp3d 664. Represent class with co-counsel in claims involving alleged violations of Illinois automobile repossession laws. Case settled with each of the over 7,600 class members able to claim up to $2000, forgiveness of automobile debt totaling $11.5 million and credit repair for each class member worth $1500 per class member. Opposing Counsel: Joshua Threadcraft and Rik Tozzi (Burr & Forman)

Booking Fee Class Actions, Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois. We are prosecuting a number of class actions against various Chicago area towns for charging arrested persons with a booking fee and then not providing for hearing to contest the right to charge the fee. Two of the cases settled on a class wide basis. We obtained class certification and defeated motions to dismiss in some of these cases. We are appealing dismissal of one case to the 7th Circuit.

Daniels v. Hollister Co., Superior Court of New Jersey. Pending. Representing plaintiff who received a promotional gift card that contained words “No Expiration Date” on the card but which defendant voided claiming the expiration date for the gift card was stated on promotional materials and in-store signs.  Superior Court certified a nationwide class.  Defendant appealed class certification arguing that the class was not ascertainable.  Plaintiff argued that New Jersey law does not require level of ascertainability argued by defendant and that class was sufficiently ascertainable.  Appellate court agreed with plaintiff’s arguments and rejected defendant’s arguments. 113 A.3d 796 (N.J. App. 2015). Opposing Counsel: Brian J. Murray (Jones Day) and Richard A. Grossman (Grossman, Heavey & Halpin).

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DiTommaso Lubin concentrates in consumer fraud cases, and are actively investigating auto-fraud, lemon law, infomercial fraud, unfair collection practices, illegal late fees, unwanted telemarketing calls, junk faxes and emails, predatory lending, as well as other types of fraud on consumers.

Butera v. General Motors et al., United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, Judge Coar. 2005-2006. Client purchased a certified used Cadillac Escalade SUV for $45,000 which turned out to be a rebuilt wreck with hidden frame damage. Case settled with General Motors and Dealer paying client $25,000 for loss in value to car and excess interest payments (which was $4,000 in excess of the loss amount determined by our expert). The remainder of the amount paid to our client was for his time and energy spent to rectify situation. Defendants also paid all of our attorneys fees and costs so that client received all his damages since our fees and costs were paid by the defendants. Opposing Counsel: Toby Schisler (Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP); John P. Palumbo (Langhenry, Gillen & Lundquist).

Browns v. Corvette Collection, Circuit Court Will County, Judge Kinney. 2006-2007. Client purchased what was advertised as a “collector’s numbers’ matching” 1965 Corvette for an investment. Car in fact was not a “collector’s” car and its numbers were not matching. Case settled. Client returned car and received full refund of $30,000 purchase price plus $10,000 in damages for lost investment opportunity and aggravation. All of our attorneys fees and costs were paid by the defendant. Opposing Counsel: Douglas Ziech.

Werth v. Lux Cars Chicago, American Arbitration Association. 2013. Client purchased a Cadillac which, unbeknownst to her, had suffered hail damage and been declared a total loss vehicle. Case settled on confidential terms. Opposing Counsel: Edward Rothschild.

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DiTommaso Lubin represents both plaintiffs and defendants in all matters involving First Amendment rights including defamation, libel, and cyberbullying. Our lawyers have extensive experience navigating this highly-complex and ever-evolving area of law. Our Firm has successfully represented clients ranging from individuals who have been sued for invoking their free speech rights to businesses and individuals whose reputations and livelihoods have been tarnished by false, defamatory speech in-person or over the internet.

Wuttke v. Fitzsimmons, Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division. Judge McNamara. Represented real-estate lawyer plaintiff in libel action against lawyer who is also City of Chicago Police Captain, for false and malicious statements made to ARDC and University of Illinois and other parties, which, plaintiff alleges, is part of longstanding pattern and practice by defendant of defaming and attempting to intimidate lawyers and others. Default judgment on liability entered in favor of plaintiff for discovery violations. Case settled in plaintiff's favor. Opposing Counsel: Vincent J. O’Brien.

Chicago Motor Car Corp., et al. v. David Bates, Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Lee. 2012-2013. Represented Defendant in a lawsuit alleging defamation, false light, tortious interference with contract, false advertising, and cybersquatting. Defendant was being sued as a result of several internet postings and YouTube videos he made criticizing the Plaintiffs. Obtained settlement wherein Defendant withdrew his motion for Rule 11 sanctions and Plaintiffs dismissed all claims against Defendant with prejudice. Opposing Counsel: Serena Pollack (Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP)

John Doe v. Jane Doe, Pending. Jane Doe allegedly made numerous posts about John Doe on the internet containing false and misleading information. Representing John Doe in action alleging that Jane Doe’s statements in the internet posts constituted defamation per se, cyberbullying, and invasion of privacy. Seeking money damages for harm to reputation and permanent injunction to remove Jane Doe’s demonstrably false statements from the internet.

Williams v. Marder, et al., United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Magistrate-Judge Guzman. 2012. Represent Defendant in a lawsuit claiming defamation, tortious interference with inheritance expectancy and employment and malicious prosecution. Defendant is being sued as a result of his alleged efforts to try to protect his father who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s from alleged abuse and neglect by a nurse who had sought to obtain a $3 million bequest from the father.

Mercado v. Levy, et al., American Arbitration Association. Arbitrator James S. Montana Jr. 2012. Represented Defendants, a school and their owners in a lawsuit alleging defamation arising from a partnership and employment suit. We obtained substantial video-taped evidence from multiple witnesses supporting that our clients did not defame the Plaintiff and that all of their statements were supported by various eye witnesses. Case settled.

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Retired Judge Kenneth Abraham heads DiTommaso  Lubin's arbitration and mediation practices.  Arbitration and mediation may provide the following benefits over traditional litigation: (a) dispute is resolved in weeks not years; (b) more cost-effective; (c)confidentiality may be preserved.                   

Arbitration is a private contractual dispute resolution process that is often more efficient than litigation.  With more than 160 hours of dispute resolution training, Ken brings an extensive background of practical experience to DiTommaso  Lubin's arbitration practice.  Having served as Supervising Judge of the Mandatory Arbitration program in the second-largest court system in the State of Illinois for more than 7 1/2 years, Ken has trained and supervised more than 400 attorneys who serve as arbitrators, and is currently a certified arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Mandatory Arbitration program. Not only is prompt dispute resolution his goal, but convenience to the parties is also paramount.  The arbitration hearing may be conducted at our location or one chosen by the parties.

Mediation is a non-binding process where the neutral (mediator) assists the parties and their counsel in resolving conflict.  This can be accomplished by facilitating resolution through narrowing disputes and exploring common ground, or by evaluating and testing the viability of each party's potential for success if the dispute proceeds to court.  Occasionally, a combination of both techniques is necessary to achieve a successful outcome.  

In addition to these benefits, mediation can: (1) allow the parties and their attorneys to participate in the solution as oopposed to one imposed by an arbitrator or judge; (2) remove uncertainty of litigation; (3) aide all parties by drafting agreements to preserve confidentiality and outlining other parameters which may lead to future litigation (e.g. non-compete clauses, business dissolution procedures, etc.).

DiTommaso  Lubin can provide experienced mediators to meet the needs of your business and has extensive experience in mediations involving large multi-state class actions and complex commercial cases.  During his tenure as Supervising Judge of Mediation, Ken Abraham has trained dozens of mediators, has been a guest on cable television programs exploring the benefits of mediation, and was on the faculty of the International Conference of Conciliation Courts.  While a judge, he initiated Pilot Project mandating mediation of automobile accident cases requiring insurance adjusters to attend.  During the first year of the program, Ken successfully resolved over 325 cases through mediation, many of them within two months after suit was filed.  The success of that Pilot Project has led the Circuit Court to continue that program through adoption of a court rule.  He now brings that experience to meet your needs both prior to institution of litigation or during litigation.

Vincent DiTommaso has many years of experience successfully mediating complex business and large multi-state class-action disputes on behalf of clients and as a mediator. He was one of the first attorneys selected by the Chief Judge of DuPage County to be certified as a Court Appointed Mediator. For over a decade, he has successfully mediated commercial cases and has an extremely high settlement rate. In addition, he is in demand from leading class-action law firms around the country to act as lead counsel to mediate large settlements. DiTommaso also conducts mediation training seminars for DuPage County Judges.

Read Press Coverage of our Mediation Services

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