Articles Posted in Best Business And Class Action Lawyers Near Chicago

Choosing Lubin Austermuehle for business litigation offers several compelling advantages. Firstly, the firm is known for its commitment to achieving significant victories and effecting change for clients and the community. This dedication is reflected in the firm’s ability to deliver high-quality services with a level of personal attention that is sometimes lacking in larger law practices​​.

Lubin Austermuehle’s team is adept at handling a wide range of business litigation matters. This includes shareholder, owner, LLC member, and partnership disputes, trade secret theft, copyright and trademark infringement, business fraud, non-compete agreements, and restrictive covenants​​​​. Their experience also extends to dealing with emergency (preliminary) injunctive relief in business disputes, class actions, consumer fraud, employment litigation, and real estate litigation​​.

The firm’s reputation for integrity and success is well-recognized in the Chicagoland area and among peers. Notably, Peter Lubin has been distinguished as a “Super Lawyer,” and Patrick Austermuehle has been named a “rising star” by a prestigious rating service. These accolades reflect their commitment to legal excellence and professionalism​​.

Diversity of citizenship cannot be asserted merely on information and belief when it comes to the members of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). For diversity jurisdiction purposes, the citizenship of an LLC is determined by the citizenship of each of its members. A simple declaration of diversity of citizenship is not enough. The court needs to understand the identity and citizenship of each member. In case any member is an unincorporated association, such as an LLC or partnership, the citizenship must be traced through all layers of ownership to ensure no member shares a common citizenship with the opposing party.

Merely claiming that all members are citizens of a certain state or that no members are citizens of a certain state is insufficient. It is also not enough to claim that an LLC was organized under a specific state’s laws, maintains its principal place of business in a certain state, or that an LLC has a parent corporation. The citizenship of an LLC must be proven by underlying facts, not merely alleged on information and belief. If the members of an LLC have members, the citizenship of all those members must also be set forth. Continue reading ›

In 2023, there were several significant developments in Illinois civil case law.

The case of “PPP-SCH Inc. v. SVAP Hoffman Plaza, L.P.” clarified that a voluntary dismissal disposing of all remaining claims in a case makes appealable those orders preceding the voluntary dismissal that were “final in nature”. However, this ruling was later modified and superseded on denial of rehearing by the same case.

In “Disability Services of Illinois v. Department of Human Services”, the court allowed the transfer and consolidation of a civil rights case and an administrative review case for the sake of convenience and efficiency due to the similarity of legal and factual issues in both cases.

“Wilson v. Estate of Burge” highlighted that claims under Illinois law for intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy were subject to a one-year statute of limitations under the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. Furthermore, the court found that a suspect who was wrongfully convicted based on a confession procured by torture, sufficiently pleaded that an assistant state’s attorney engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct, as required to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The “City of Chicago v. SBR Revocable Living Trust” case was notable for the dismissal of an appeal as moot due to a subsequent order.

Additionally, the court’s interpretation of jurisdiction in “In re K.F.” gave clarity on appeals from final judgments in civil cases and cases arising under the Juvenile Court Act. In “Hernandez v. Illinois Institute of Technology”, the court provided guidance on how to apply Illinois law to unprecedented circumstances like the disruption of traditional university operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, “Doe v. Burke Wise Morrissey & Kaveny, LLC” resulted in the reversal of an appellate court judgment and affirmation of a circuit court judgment, demonstrating the Supreme Court’s role in shaping Illinois civil case law. Continue reading ›

Buying a used car, truck, or SUV should be an exciting experience, but all too often, consumers find themselves facing fraud and deceptive practices by unscrupulous auto dealers. When you’re caught in the web of auto dealer fraud, it’s crucial to have a skilled and experienced Illinois Consumer Rights Lawyer by your side. Why? Because these cases involve complex machines, intricate laws with numerous pitfalls, and a deep understanding of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. At our Auto Dealer Fraud Firm, we possess the experience and knowledge you need, having successfully handled hundreds of auto fraud cases and even taken many Consumer Fraud Cases to federal and state appellate courts in Illinois and across the nation.

The Complexity of Auto Dealer Fraud Cases

Used vehicles are intricate machines with countless components and systems, making it challenging for the average consumer to detect hidden issues or fraudulent practices. This complexity is compounded by the fact that auto dealer fraud cases often involve a web of deceptive tactics, such as odometer rollbacks, undisclosed accidents, or hidden defects.

The Legal Pitfalls

Navigating auto dealer fraud cases requires a deep understanding of the legal landscape, including state and federal consumer protection laws. In Illinois, the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA) plays a central role in protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices. However, pursuing a claim under ICFA can be legally complex and rife with pitfalls.

Here are some of the legal challenges you may encounter:

  1. Proving Intent is Not Necessary for Misrepresentations: Intent is not needed for fraud claims under the ICFA involving misrepresentations and dealers are strictly liable for material misstatements even if they were for instance unaware of accident or flood damages.  However intent needs to be proven for material commissions and we have expert witnesses and other methods for establishing such intent including obtaining car auction records
  2. Establishing Material Misrepresentation: It’s not enough to show that a misrepresentation occurred; it must also be proven that the misrepresentation was material, meaning it had a significant impact on your decision to purchase the vehicle.
  3. Navigating Arbitration Clauses: Many dealer contracts include arbitration clauses, which can complicate the legal process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate these clauses to protect your rights.
  4. Statute of Limitations: There are strict deadlines for filing auto dealer fraud claims, and missing these deadlines can result in the loss of your right to pursue a case.

Why Our Auto Dealer Fraud Firm is the Right Choice

When facing auto dealer fraud, you need a legal team that not only understands the complexities of the vehicles but also has a proven track record in handling these cases. At our Auto Dealer Fraud Firm, we have the experience you can trust. Here’s why you should choose us:

  1. Extensive Experience: We have successfully handled hundreds of auto fraud cases, gaining invaluable insights and expertise along the way.
  2. Appellate Experience: We’ve taken Consumer Fraud Cases to federal and state appellate courts in Illinois and throughout the country, showcasing our dedication to achieving justice for our clients.
  3. In-Depth ICFA Knowledge: We are well-versed in the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, ensuring that your case is handled with precision and expertise.
  4. Proven Results: Our track record of securing favorable outcomes for clients speaks for itself.

Continue reading ›

Recent Illinois law regarding the defense of officers and directors of corporations and LLCs encompasses several key factors:

1. Fiduciary Duties: Officers and directors of corporations and LLCs are fiduciaries, holding duties of good faith, loyalty, and honesty to the corporation. They are not permitted to enhance their personal interests at the expense of the corporation’s interests, and should not be in a position where their own individual interests might interfere with their duties to the corporation.

2. Business Judgment Rule: Under the business judgment rule, a presumption exists that corporate decisions made by an officer or director are made on an informed basis and with an honest belief that the action was in the corporation’s best interests. This presumption can be rebutted by allegations that a director acted fraudulently, illegally, or without sufficient information to make an independent business decision [3].

3. Contractual Obligations: Illinois law provides officers of a corporation with a qualified privilege against liability for tortious interference with a contract with the corporation. To overcome this privilege, the plaintiff must assert and plead that the corporate officers acted with malice and without justification.

4. Piercing the Corporate Veil: Generally, corporate officers and directors are not personally liable for the corporation’s actions, as corporations are considered distinct legal entities separate from their officers, shareholders, and directors. However, under certain circumstances, the corporate veil can be pierced to hold officers and directors personally responsible, such as when there is such unity of interest and ownership that the separate personalities of the corporation and the individual no longer exist, or adherence to the fiction of separate corporate existence would sanction fraud or promote injustice.

5. Specifics for LLCs: In the context of LLCs, allegations that officers and directors disguised equity contributions as loans, enabling the company to make interest payments to insiders during a time when the company was either insolvent or undercapitalized, could be sufficient to state a claim for breach of fiduciary duty under Illinois law.

These principles form the foundation of a defense for corporate officers and directors in Illinois. Continue reading ›

In the ever-evolving world of technology and the internet, antitrust issues have become increasingly prevalent. One of the most notable cases in recent memory involves Google and its alleged anticompetitive practices in the app distribution market. The case brought against Google by Epic Games, the creator of the popular game Fortnite, has garnered significant attention and ended with an antitrust loss for the tech giant. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details of the Epic Games case and discuss what this loss means for Google and other tech giants.

The Epic Games Case

Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Google in August 2020, alleging that the company engaged in anticompetitive behavior by monopolizing the distribution of Android apps through the Google Play Store. The crux of Epic Games’ argument was that Google’s restrictive policies and the 30% commission fee it charged to developers for in-app purchases were stifling competition and innovation in the app market.

In July 2021, a U.S. District Judge ruled in favor of Epic Games, finding that Google had indeed violated antitrust laws by maintaining its monopoly over the Android app distribution market. The judge’s decision was a significant blow to Google and has far-reaching implications for the tech industry as a whole.

Implications of the Antitrust Loss

  1. Increased Scrutiny on Tech Giants: Google’s antitrust loss in the Epic Games case is part of a broader trend of increased scrutiny and legal action against major tech companies. This case, along with similar cases involving Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, highlights growing concerns about the dominance and market power of these tech giants.
  2. Potential Changes in App Distribution: The ruling against Google could lead to changes in how app distribution platforms operate. It may encourage alternative app stores to emerge, offering developers and consumers more choice and potentially lower commission fees. This could foster greater competition in the app market.
  3. Impact on Google’s Business Model: Google’s revenue model heavily relies on advertising and its app ecosystem. The loss in the Epic Games case could force Google to reconsider its commission structure for app developers, potentially impacting its bottom line.
  4. Precedent for Future Cases: The ruling against Google sets a legal precedent that could be used in future antitrust cases against tech companies. It strengthens the argument that dominant players in the industry should not use their position to stifle competition unfairly.
  5. Calls for Regulatory Reform: The Epic Games case has reignited calls for regulatory reform in the tech industry. Policymakers and regulators may use this case as evidence that existing antitrust laws need to be updated to address the unique challenges posed by the digital economy.

Google’s antitrust loss in the Epic Games case serves as a reminder that even tech giants are not immune to legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny. This case highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the power and influence of major tech companies in today’s digital landscape. As the tech industry continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more antitrust cases and regulatory actions aimed at promoting competition and innovation while preventing anticompetitive behavior. The outcome of these cases will shape the future of the tech industry and its impact on consumers and developers alike.

Continue reading ›

The Illinois Supreme Court plays a crucial role in shaping the legal landscape of the state. June 2021 saw the release of several significant decisions that have far-reaching implications for Illinois residents, businesses, and the legal community. In this blog post, we will explore some of the notable recent Illinois Supreme Court decisions.

1. People v. Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116: The court addressed the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and found a statute, which prohibits the possession and use of an operable firearm for self-defense outside the home, unconstitutional, thus reversing the defendant’s aggravated unlawful use of weapons conviction.

2. People v. Burns, 2015 IL 117387: This case also addressed a similar Second Amendment issue.

3. People v. Chairez, 2018 IL 121417: This decision pertained to a different statute, but the specific ruling is not mentioned.

4. Yakich v. Aulds, 2019 IL 123667: The court clarified that the circuit and appellate courts of the State of Illinois must apply binding precedent from the Illinois Supreme Court.

5. People ex rel. Daley v. Datacom Sys. Corp., 585 N.E.2d 51 (Ill. 1991): The court agreed that “only the Department (of Financial and Professional Regulation) had standing to pursue civil violations of the Collection Agency Act”.

6. Maksimovic v. Tsogalis, 177 Ill.2d 511: The court clarified that preemption by the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) is limited to situations where the claim made is dependent on a legal duty imposed by the IHRA. If the claim exists independent of any legal duty of the IHRA, the claim is not preempted.

7. Hale v. Committee on Character and Fitness for State of Illinois: The court allowed to stand a decision by the state bar character and fitness committee’s rejection of a bar applicant’s application. The court affirmed that the proceedings were “judicial proceedings,” and that the decision was an “adjudication” in which the applicant was able to litigate his constitutional challenges.

8. Blumenthal v. Brewer, 2016: In this case, the court affirmed that the appellate court does not have the authority to overrule a decision by the Illinois Supreme Court and discussed the implications of such an attempt


The Illinois Supreme Court decisions issued in June 2021 reflect the court’s commitment to upholding constitutional rights, clarifying legal principles, and ensuring fairness in various areas of law, from criminal procedures to civil litigation and attorney discipline. These rulings have a lasting impact on the legal landscape in Illinois and serve as important precedents for future cases. It is essential for legal professionals, scholars, and anyone with an interest in the law to stay informed about these decisions and their implications.

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You’ve probably already heard of Alex Jones, but if you haven’t, or you need a refresher, he’s the right-wing conspiracy theorist who has used his media company, InfoWars, to promote the idea that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a giant hoax created and promoted by anti-gun activists. Among other things, Jones claimed the grieving families and survivors of the massacre were “crisis actors” who were paid to lie about the mass shooting.

Jones has built a huge following, and many of them believe his lies. Many of his listeners even reached the point of actively seeking out Sandy Hook survivors and the families of those slaughtered, threatening and harassing them for their alleged lies.

The families sued Alex Jones for defamation and were collectively awarded $1.1 billion in damages.

Soon after that ruling, Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would have allowed him to restructure his business and potentially avoid paying the money he owes those families.

A judge recently ruled that Jones could not use bankruptcy as a means to avoid paying the $1.1 billion payments. The families took this as a victory, but Jones says he isn’t done fighting.

Jones’s net worth was valued at $14 million, yet he claims he has no money. He says he is $1 million in debt, and that the millions of dollars generated by his media company go to pay the bills, making the $1.1 billion ruling hypothetical. He also says he will continue to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, he is asking his listeners to make donations to help him pay his legal bills. But those bills and the huge ruling against him have not stopped him from spending close to six figures in one month, much of it on lavish meals and entertainment. Continue reading ›


Shareholder derivative lawsuits are legal actions brought by individual shareholders on behalf of a corporation against its officers, directors, or other insiders. These lawsuits typically allege misconduct, mismanagement, or breaches of fiduciary duties by those in control of the corporation. Defending against a shareholder derivative lawsuit can be complex and challenging, but with the right strategies and considerations, it is possible to protect the interests of both the corporation and its shareholders. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key steps and considerations involved in defending against a shareholder derivative lawsuit.

1. Understand the Basics of Shareholder Derivative Lawsuits

Before diving into defense strategies, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what a shareholder derivative lawsuit entails. These lawsuits are filed on behalf of the corporation, not individual shareholders, and seek to hold company insiders accountable for alleged wrongdoing. Understanding the legal framework is the first step in formulating an effective defense.

2. Evaluate the Merits of the Lawsuit

The first line of defense in any shareholder derivative lawsuit is a thorough evaluation of the merits of the claims. Engage experienced legal counsel to assess the allegations and evidence. Determine whether the allegations have a factual basis and whether they meet the legal requirements for pursuing a derivative action. If the claims lack merit, you may have grounds to seek dismissal. Continue reading ›

In a world where consumer lawsuits and class actions seem to be on the rise, businesses are constantly seeking effective strategies to defend themselves against potential legal challenges. One strategy that often flies under the radar but can be a game-changer is product recalls. While recalls are typically viewed as an admission of fault, they can actually serve as a powerful defense strategy, potentially short-circuiting class action lawsuits before they gain traction. In this blog, we’ll explore how recalls can be a great defense strategy for businesses.

1. Swift Action and Responsibility

One of the primary reasons recalls can be an effective defense strategy is the swift action and responsibility they demonstrate. When a company identifies a potential safety issue with one of its products and voluntarily recalls it, they are taking proactive steps to protect their consumers. This responsible and proactive approach can help build goodwill with customers and regulators.

By recalling a product quickly, a company can show that they prioritize safety over profit, which can make it challenging for plaintiffs to argue that the company was negligent or intentionally harmed consumers. Instead of facing a drawn-out legal battle, the company can focus on rectifying the issue and rebuilding trust.

2. Mitigation of Damages

Recalls also allow companies to mitigate potential damages, which can be a significant factor in deterring class action lawsuits. When a company recalls a product, they can take it off the market, preventing further harm to consumers and limiting potential damages. This swift action can reduce the overall number of affected consumers and the associated financial impact.

In a class action lawsuit, plaintiffs often seek damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs. By recalling the product early, a company can argue that they took reasonable steps to prevent these damages from occurring or escalating. Continue reading ›

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