The Business Litigators
The Business Litigators
The Business Litigators
The Business Litigators
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Where dance academy and employee had an employment contract that specified non-compete provision lasting “not less than five years,” the provision meant five years under Illinois law, and the reasonableness of the restriction was a fact-based question requiring more evidence to determine.

In April 2017, Pam’s Academy of Dance/Forte Arts Center sued Callie Marik, a former employee, seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief. The complaint alleged breach of contract and violation of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act. Pam’s Academy alleged that Marik breached the parties’ non-disclosure and restrictive covenant agreement by opening a dance studio within 25 miles of Pam’s Academy and soliciting students and/or teachers from an improperly obtained customer list.

Marik moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that all of Pam’s Academy’s claims were defective because the provisions of the contract were invalid and unenforceable under Illinois law, and the complaint failed to allege a plausible basis for the allegation that Marik misappropriated a customer list. After a hearing, the trial court struck paragraph 7 of the original agreement, which banned Marik from soliciting, interfering with, diverting, or otherwise communicating with any customers or employees of the academy for purposes of providing similar services as the academy. The court found that this restriction, having no time limitation, was overly broad. The court then certified two questions for interlocutory review seeking an answer as to whether employment-based restrictive covenants with time periods of not less than five years and not less than three years were enforceable under Illinois law, and whether, in the context of employment-based restrictive covenants, whether the terms “not less than five years” and “not less than three years” meant five and three years, respectively. The Illinois Appellate Court, Third District authorized the appeal. Continue reading

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When two sisters, minority shareholders and directors of a moving company, were denied access to corporate books, the trial court erred in finding that, as corporate directors, they had absolute access to corporate records. Rather, they had presumptive access and the corporation was required to demonstrate that request for documents was made for the improper purpose.

Barbara Munroe-Diamond, Sally Sharkey, James P. Munroe, and Michael F. Munroe are siblings and the shareholders and directors of the Pickens-Kane Moving and Storage Company. In the winter of 2013, the board of directors hired Ft. Dearborn Partners, Inc. to provide a fair market value for the company’s stock. The next summer, a valuation of $3158 per share for controlling share and $1522 per share for minority shares was issued. Controlling shares of the company were entirely owned by James and Michael Munroe, while Barbara and Sally owned minority shares.

The board of directors unanimously authorized the company to redeem minority shares for $1522 per share. In early 2015, following negotiation, the company paid $1600 per share for minority shares. Every minority shareholder except Barbara and Sally redeemed their stock. Both sit on the board of directors. In July 2016, Barbara and Sally made a demand upon the company to make available for inspection and copying any and all documents pertaining to the corporate minutes, stock certificates, lists of assets and liabilities, and other business records. James and Michael refused to comply with the request, arguing that Barbara and Sally gave no purpose for their request or how their request related to their duties as directors.

After negotiations for the records failed, the sisters filed a mandamus action in Illinois court seeking to compel production of the records. The circuit court entered an interim order requiring the brothers to allow access to the books, finding that the sisters, as directors, had an absolute and unqualified right to examine the books and records of the corporation. The brothers then appealed. Continue reading

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Our Chicago automobile fraud and Lemon law attorneys near Schaumburg and Burr Ridge have experience representing victims of odometer rollbacks, title washing, fake or improper certifications of rebuilt wrecks and other used car scams. We bring individual and class actions suits for defective cars with common design defects and auto dealer fraud and other car dealer scams such as selling rebuilt wrecks as certified used cars or misrepresenting a car as being in good condition when it is rebuilt wreck or had the odometer rolled back. We also see cases where new car dealers conceal that the car has been in an accident while in their possession and even certified it as a certified used car warranted by the manufacturer as having passed a multi-point inspection or used car dealers who put duck tape in the back of the check engine light to conceal serious engine or emission problems. Super Lawyers has selected our DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Will and Cook County Illinois auto-fraud, car dealer fraud, and lemon law lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. We only collect our fee if we win or settle your case. We handle cases near Elgin and Orlan Park and throughout the Chicago area. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll-free number (833) 306-4933 or contact us on the web by clicking here.

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Our Chicago automobile fraud and Lemon law attorneys near Wheaton and Oak Brook have experience representing victims of odometer rollbacks, title washing, fake or improper certifications of rebuilt wrecks and other used car scams. We bring individual and class actions suits for defective cars with common design defects and auto dealer fraud and other car dealer scams such as selling rebuilt wrecks as certified used cars or misrepresenting a car as being in good condition when it is rebuilt wreck or had the odometer rolled back. We also see cases where new car dealers conceal that the car has been in an accident while in their possession and even certified it as a certified used car warranted by the manufacturer as having passed a multi-point inspection or used car dealers who put duck tape in the back of the check engine light to conceal serious engine or emission problems. Super Lawyers has selected our DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Will and Cook County Illinois auto-fraud, car dealer fraud, and lemon law lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. We only collect our fee if we win or settle your case. We handle cases near Schaumburg and Lake Forest and throughout the Chicago area. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll-free number (833) 306-4933 or contact us on the web by clicking here.

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When a contract between two loan servicing corporations contained a drop-dead date specifying that it could not be extended past June 2018, the district court erred in granting one corporation an injunction that kept the contract in force past the drop-dead date. The appellate court found that interpreting the contract as the district court did would have trapped one party in the contract with no way to extricate itself and that this outcome could not have been the intended outcome of the agreement.

BankDirect Capital Finance and Capital Premium Financing both participate in the market for loans to finance insurance premiums. In 2010, Capital Premium exhausted the line of credit that funded its operations. It approached BankDirect with a request for operating capital. BankDirect was willing to purchase the loans that Capital Premium made, and to pay Capital Premium to service those loans while they were outstanding, but it demanded a right to purchase Capital Premium’s business outright after five years.

Capital Premium agreed to the terms and the contract went into force in December 2010. The option to purchase could be exercised near the fifth anniversary. If BankDirect elected not to purchase Capital Premium, then either side could extend the term by notice given before Jan. 4, 2016; otherwise, the deal would wrap up on Jan. 31, 2016. Any extension could not exceed the contract’s drop-dead date, June 1, 2018, after which neither side would have any obligation to the other. Continue reading

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Effective January 1, 2019, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), 820 ILCS 115/1 et seq., requires employers to reimburse employees for all “necessary expenditures” or losses that an employee incurs in the scope of their employment. Prior to the amendment, Illinois law generally did not require employers to reimburse employees for business expenses. Illinois is now the ninth state to impose such a reimbursement requirement on employers—joining states such as California, Iowa, and New Hampshire which have similar laws.

The IWPCA defines necessary expenditures as “all reasonable expenditures. . . required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer.” In addition to the necessary expenditure requirement, for an expense to be reimbursable: (1) the employer must have “authorized or required” the expense; and (2) the employee must request reimbursement of the expense incurred along with all appropriate documentation validating the expense within 30 days of incurring the expense—unless the employer’s reimbursement policy provides for a longer period. The law specifically excludes the following types of losses from those that an employer is obligated to reimburse: (1) losses due to an employee’s own negligence; (2) losses due to normal wear; and (3) losses due to theft unless the theft was a result of the employer’s negligence. Continue reading

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Our Chicago automobile fraud and Lemon law attorneys near Naperville, Wilmette, and Elmhurst have experience representing victims of odometer rollbacks, title washing, fake or improper certifications of rebuilt wrecks and other used car scams. We bring individual and class actions suits for defective cars with common design defects and auto dealer fraud and other car dealer scams such as selling rebuilt wrecks as certified used cars or misrepresenting a car as being in good condition when it is rebuilt wreck or had the odometer rolled back. We also see cases where new car dealers conceal that the car has been in an accident while in their possession and even certified it as a certified used car warranted by the manufacturer as having passed a multi-point inspection or used car dealers who put duck tape in the back of the check engine light to conceal serious engine or emission problems. Super Lawyers has selected our DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Will and Cook County Illinois auto-fraud, car dealer fraud, and lemon law lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. We only collect our fee if we win or settle your case. We handle cases near Evanston and Skokie and throughout the Chicago area. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll-free number (833) 306-4933 or contact us on the web by clicking here.

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Our Chicago automobile fraud and Lemon law attorneys near Naperville, Elmhurst and Oak Brook have experience representing victims of odometer rollbacks, title washing, fake or improper certifications of rebuilt wrecks and other used car scams. We bring individual and class actions suits for defective cars with common design defects and auto dealer fraud and other car dealer scams such as selling rebuilt wrecks as certified used cars or misrepresenting a car as being in good condition when it is rebuilt wreck or had the odometer rolled back. We also see cases where new car dealers conceal that the car has been in an accident while in their possession and even certified it as a certified used car warranted by the manufacturer as having passed a multi-point inspection or used car dealers who put duck tape in the back of the check engine light to conceal serious engine or emission problems. Super Lawyers has selected our DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Will and Cook County Illinois auto-fraud, car dealer fraud, and lemon law lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. We only collect our fee if we win or settle your case. We handle cases near Geneva and Elgin and throughout the Chicago area. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll-free number (833) 306-4933 or contact us on the web by clicking here.

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MG_6325_1-300x200We represent consumers all over the Chicago Area in used car auto-fraud cases for odometer rollbacks and certified used cars which are in fact rebuilt wrecks.  We have handled many of these cases and only obtain our attorneys’ fees out a settlement or judgment. Call us for a free consultation at 630-333-0333.

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