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Super Lawyers named Chicago and Oak Brook business trial attorneys Peter Lubin and Vincent DiTommaso Super Lawyers in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation. DiTommaso-Lubin’s Oak Brook and Chicago business trial lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights and business and commercial litigation disputes. We handle emergency business law suits involving injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud.

DiTommaso-Lubin’s Schaumburg, Evanston, Naperville, and Aurora litigation attorneys have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state business laws. Our Chicago business, commercial, class-action and consumer litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Lake Forest and Elgin, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at DiTommaso-Lubin can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago class action attorneys and Chicago business trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.

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Chicago wage theft attorneys and lawyersThe courts of the United States have seen an exponential rise in the number of wage and hour lawsuits that get filed every year, but the cause of this rise is unclear. Worker advocates allege that “wage theft” has become far too prevalent in our nation’s current economy. Many blame the recent recession, which pressured employers to cut corners in order to save costs. At the same time, employees were afraid of losing their jobs and being unable to find new employment. The result was that employers took advantage of the situation to get more work out of their employees while paying them less. It is only since the job market started to stabilize that employees have felt confident enough to file lawsuits against their employers.

Business advocates tell a different story. They assert that government officials are creating large numbers of wage and hour lawsuits, mostly so they can score points with the unions. They point to the fact that the recent wage and hour lawsuit against Schneider Logistics coincided with unions pressuring Walmart to raise wages. Although Schneider does store merchandise for Walmart, it is not owned by Walmart, and Walmart is not responsible for Schneider’s employment practices. Despite this fact, the lawyers and labor groups involved in the lawsuit against Schneider have sought to make Walmart jointly liable in the labor violations.

Business groups also claim that the onslaught of wage and hour lawsuits against McDonald’s has been coordinated with the recent movement by fast-food workers demanding a $15 minimum wage. Continue reading

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Chicago defamation slander and libel attorneys near Schaumburg and NapervilleNo one likes being the scapegoat in a messy situation. Unfortunately, when large companies lose a lot of money, or don’t make as much as they had anticipated, their first recourse is often to find someone to blame. In the case of Walgreens’s recent $1 billion alleged forecasting error, the company’s CFO at the time, Wade Miquelon, became the alleged scapegoat.

According to reports, Miquelon made an alleged forecasting error that required Walgreens to cut its forecast of pharmacy unit earnings for the year 2016 from $8.5 billion down to $7.4 billion. After the alleged forecasting error, Miquelon and another executive at Walgreens lost their jobs, but Miquelon tells a different alleged story which Walgreens denies.

According to the former CFO, he was not fired from his position. In fact, he claims he was offered a promotion and told that, if he accepted it, he would be in line to succeed Gregory Wasson as Walgreens’s CEO. Instead of taking that opportunity, Miquelon says he left his position “to pursue opportunities outside of Walgreens”. Thanks to accusations made by Wasson and other Walgreens executives though, Miquelon’s opportunities outside of Walgreens have been severely restricted. Continue reading

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Non-compete agreement lawyers near Hinsdale and ChicagoUnemployment benefits were designed to help those who lose their job through no fault of their own. As a result, most employers don’t expect former workers who resign their position to receive unemployment benefits, but a Missouri appellate court recently ruled that, in some instances, an employee who resigns can do just that.

The case that prompted the ruling was David Darr, a former life-insurance salesperson for Robertsville Marketing Group, based in Wentzville, MO. A few months after Darr began working for Robertsville, the company sent out a notice to all of the employees, telling them they would be required to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of continued employment with the company. Continue reading

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Top class action attorneys and lawyers near Chicago and NapervilleWhen a consumer feels she has been cheated by someone she bought a product or service from, the amount of her claim is often too small to warrant suing the seller. In that case, the consumer’s best bet is to collect a group of other consumers who have similarly been allegedly cheated and file a class action lawsuit. In order to successfully pursue a class action lawsuit though, a judge must grant the plaintiffs class action status, and in order for the judge to do that, the class of plaintiffs must fulfill certain requirements. These requirements include a class that is sufficiently large to warrant a class action, plaintiffs who can adequately represent the class, and complaints from class members that are sufficiently similar to warrant combining them into one action.

Another requirement that has caused much controversy in the courts lately is ascertainability, meaning there must be a way to identify all of the members of the class. This can be an issue in class actions filed against food producers or retailers, especially those who produce cheap food, for which consumers rarely keep their receipts. In Carrera v. Bayer, the plaintiff, Gabriel Carrera, sued Bayer on behalf of all consumers who had purchased Bayer’s One-A-Day WeightSmart diet supplement. According to the complaint, Bayer falsely advertised its diet supplement as having metabolism-boosting effects, based on the fact that it contained green tea extract. Continue reading

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Chicago qui tam and whistleblower lawyers near Springfield and JolietA lot of people lost money in the recent economic downturn. Stocks plummeted, 401K accounts shrank overnight, and for most people, there was nothing that could have been done to prevent it. In some instances, though, an investor’s loss was a direct result of negligence or fraud on the part of the company that was supposed to be protecting their money.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) that is exactly what allegedly happened to investors who trusted their money to MassMutual Financial Group, an insurance company based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bill Lloyd worked for MassMutual for 22 years and allegedly had a reputation for being a straight arrow. Unlike the stereotypical agent who is interested only in making money for himself, Lloyd truly cared about his customers. As a result, when he encountered a situation in which his customers were allegedly getting ripped off, Lloyd could not let it slide.

In 2007, when money was gushing into variable annuities, MassMutual added two income guarantees: Guaranteed Income Benefit Plus 6 and Guaranteed Income Benefit Plus 5. The idea behind these products was that they would guarantee that the annuity income stream would grow to a predetermined cap regardless of how the investment itself performed.

When the investors retired, they could take six percent (or five percent, depending on which product they bought) of the cap for as long as they wanted or until it ran out of money, and still be able to annuitize it at some point. In theory, the money would never run out, and that is how agents like Lloyd were allegedly told to sell the product to customers. Before long, investors had put $2.5 billion into these products.

In 2008 it allegedly became evident that the products did not work they way customers had been told they would work. As a result of the market’s fall, it was according to Lloyd all but certain that thousands of customers were going to run through their income stream within seven or eight years of withdrawing the money. Continue reading

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Chicago non-compete agreement lawyers and attorneys near Naperville and AuroraNon-compete agreements have been in use in the top tiers of American companies for several years now. The idea is to protect the interests of the company by making sure that executives or other employees with trade secrets and confidential information  don’t take those secrets to a competitor, where they can be used against the company. Non-compete agreements began in the big tech companies, where keeping the company’s latest developments was of the utmost importance in order for the company to be able to effectively compete in the marketplace.

Non-compete agreements impose restrictions on when and where an employee can work after leaving the company. Usually, the employee cannot go to work for a direct competitor within a certain reasonable geographical radius of the company and within a certain reasonable time frame after leaving the company. This means that an employee is generally allowed to go work for a company’s competitor, only if the competitor is located in a different city or state from the company. Often, employees can work for whomever they want wherever they want within six months to a year after leaving the company. The lag time is usually sufficient to render useless any trade secrets the employee might have.

For executives or employees who are working with trade secrets, helping to develop new products for the company, etc., it may makes sense that the company would want to protect their investment by preventing those employees from going to work for a competitor. It does not make sense for companies to require hourly employees making sandwiches to sign a non-compete agreement, yet that is allegedly the case for certain Jimmy John’s employees.

It is hard to believe that the people making sandwiches, on the bottom rung of the proverbial ladder, have any valuable trade secrets that Jimmy John’s would not want shared. Other cases of hourly, minimum-wage employees have been reported, but it is rare for a company to enforce the non-compete agreements of these employees. Jimmy John’s, on the other hand, according to the New York Times has allegedly taken steps to actively restrict the alternate employment options of its sandwich makers.  The Time’s blog does say that there is no reported case of Jimmy John’s actually seeking to enforce this provision.

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Chicago qui tam and Whistleblower attorneys near Lake Forest and Highland Park, IllinoisIn 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enacted a law which encourages people in the know to “blow the whistle” on people or companies who are stealing from or cheating the government. The SEC rewards successful “whistleblowers” with up to 30% of sanctions collected by the agency.

Recently, an attorney has asked the agency to intervene in a legal battle between the attorney and his former employer. David Danon worked for Vanguard from 2008 to 2013, and according to Vanguard, sent company records to his home email address while he was employed by the company and “at the end of his employment”.

In May 2013, one month before leaving Vanguard, Danon filed an SEC whistleblower lawsuit against his employer and another lawsuit in New York state court. Danon alleges that Vanguard has been operating an illegal tax shelter for almost 40 years. According to the complaint, the company has avoided paying $1 billion in U.S. federal income taxes and at least $20 million in New York state taxes. The company allegedly accomplished this by providing services to the mutual funds it runs at prices that allow it to avoid federal and state income taxes.

Vanguard insists that the case is without merit and has said that it intends to defend itself in the courts. The company sent a letter to Danon after the filing of the lawsuit, saying that, “Vanguard intends to take all necessary and appropriate steps to protect its interests “. It also stated that Vanguard “reserves all of its rights to seek legal redress” if Danon fails to return the company’s documents immediately. Continue reading

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Chicago TCPA lawyers near Oak Brook, Naperville and HinsdaleMachines are wonderful pieces of technology that have made many aspects of modern life faster and easier. For example, machines that automatically dial many numbers very quickly have made it incredibly easy for large companies with thousands of customers to quickly and easily reach all (or most) of their customers. Unfortunately, many customers are not as thrilled about receiving promotional phone calls from a machine, particularly when the customers are the ones footing the bill for these calls.

In the days of landlines, phone calls were paid for by the person or entity making the phone call. When cell phones came about, that was reversed, and now many people are paying for the calls that they receive, as well as the ones they make. This means that owners of cell phones who receive automated calls on those mobile phones are not only annoyed, but may be paying for the privilege of being annoyed. To protect the rights of consumers who are being made to pay for phone calls they do not want to receive and for the annoyance and wasted time of dealing with these in most cases unwanted calls, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which makes it illegal for companies to auto-dial customers in a non-emergency situation without the express consent of the customers.

Despite the law, many companies continue to use auto-dialers to reach customers about sales and promotions. In some cases, the defendants argue that, by providing their cell phone numbers, customers are agreeing to be auto-dialed in non-emergency situations. Consumers frequently disagree with this assertion, claiming that the TCPA requires consumers to provide more explicit permission. The result is usually a lawsuit, such as the class action that was recently filed against AT&T that alleges the phone company violated the TCPA by calling customers using an auto-dialing system. Continue reading